X-Men: The Last Stand

Critics Consensus

X-Men: The Last Stand provides plenty of mutant action for fans of the franchise, even if it does so at the expense of its predecessors' deeper character moments.



Total Count: 238


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,074,051
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Movie Info

The explosive X-Men motion picture trilogy officially draws to a close with this release that finds Rush Hour director Brett Ratner stepping in for Bryan Singer to tell the tale of a newly discovered mutant "cure," and the polarizing effect it has on mutant/man relations. With the pressure on mutants to give up their powers and pledge alliance with the human race reaching a critical turning point, Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) urges tolerance and understanding as his nemesis Magneto (Ian McKellen) gathers a powerful resistance in preparation for the ultimate war against humankind. Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, and James Marsden return to reprise the roles they played in the previous two X-Men films, with Kelsey Grammer and Vinnie Jones joining the cast as Beast and Juggernaut respectively. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Hugh Jackman
as Logan/Wolverine
Halle Berry
as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Ian McKellen
as Eric Lensherr/Magneto
Patrick Stewart
as Professor Charles Xavier
Famke Janssen
as Jean Grey
Anna Paquin
as Marie/Rogue
Kelsey Grammer
as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast
Rebecca Romijn
as Raven Darkholme/Mystique
James Marsden
as Scott Summers/Cyclops
Shawn Ashmore
as Bobby Drake/Iceman
Aaron Stanford
as John Allerdyce/Pyro
Ellen Page
as Kitty Pryde
Vinnie Jones
as Cain Marko/Juggernaut
Ben Foster
as Warren Worthington III/Angel
Michael Murphy
as Warren Worthington II
Dania Ramirez
as Callisto
Josef Sommer
as The President
Shohreh Aghdashloo
as Dr. Kavita Rao
Bill Duke
as Bolivar Trask
Daniel Cudmore
as Peter Rasputin/Colossus
Eric Dane
as Multiple Man
Kea Wong
as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee
Haley Ramm
as Young Jean Grey
Cameron Bright
as Jimmy/Leech
Shauna Kain
as Theresa Rourke Cassidy/Siryn
Adrian Hough
as Mr. Grey
Cayden Boyd
as Young Angel
Julian Richings
as Mutant Theater Organizer
Benita Ha
as Worthington Technician
as Philippa Sontag/Arclight
Ken Leung
as Kid Omega
Aaron Pearl
as Team Leader
Ron James
as Truck Driver
Julian D. Christopher
as Prison Truck Guard
Anthony Heald
as FBI Mystique Interrogator
R. Lee Ermey
as Seargant
Makenzie Vega
as Prison Truck Little Girl
Donna Goodhand
as Rogue's Mother
Tanya Newbould
as Dr. McCoy's Assistant
Stan Lee
as Waterhose Man
Chris Claremont
as Lawnmower Man
Mei Melançon
as Elisabeth Braddock/Psylocke
Richard Yee
as Little Phat
Lloyd Adams
as Lizard Man
Ronald Blecker
as Commander
Zoltain Buday
as Mutant Cure No. 1
Mi Jung Lee
as Newscaster
Clayton Watmough
as Glob Herman
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News & Interviews for X-Men: The Last Stand

Critic Reviews for X-Men: The Last Stand

All Critics (238) | Top Critics (51)

  • Sillier than the Singer versions, Ratner's movie is also -- for this less-than-reverent X-Men fan -- more satisfying.

    Jul 7, 2010 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • X-Men: The Last Stand has shifted the shape of the franchise from pretty good, if uninspired, to terrifically entertaining.

    Jun 22, 2006
  • [I] found myself strangely moved by the sense of relationships, friendly and unfriendly, coming to an end in a dull return to normality in the world of humans and mutants.

    Jun 7, 2006 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • What a comedown, after the weirdly beautiful things Singer and his technicians did in the first two movies.

    May 30, 2006

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • While the movie takes itself seriously, not to say solemnly, it's really an occasion for funny, frightening metamorphoses and spectacular effects.

    May 27, 2006 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Top Critic
  • The Last Stand is a hugely ambitious picture, and it would have been far more successful if Ratner had scaled it down to focus more on the interaction between the characters.

    May 26, 2006

Audience Reviews for X-Men: The Last Stand

  • Aug 22, 2017
    In my review of Return of the Jedi, I spoke about the baggage that comes with threequels and their tendency to be the runts of their respective litters. Often the drop in quality - whether perceived or actual - stems from a lack of new ideas, or an abandonment of the principles and/ or personnel which made the series so successful. That being said, the same person being in charge is not in itself a guarantee of quality, as Spider-Man 3 and Evil Dead 3 firmly demonstrate. X-Men: The Last Stand has accrued a similar reputation in comic book circles in the 11 years since its release. Whenever this offering is mentioned, fans of the first two films tend to either start foaming at the mouth, disgusted by some deep betrayal, or sigh dejectedly and make some resigned comment about Hollywood. One could be forgiven, as a casual fan of X-Men, for assuming that this is the 2000s' equivalent of Batman and Robin. Rest assured, it's isn't - but it is very much the Batman Forever of the series, representing a huge climbdown from the heft and skill of old. A lot has been made about Bryan Singer's sudden departure from the series, with debate raging over how much of the resulting disappointment is his fault. Singer left the project in July 2004 to helm Superman Returns, at a time when only a partial treatment of the story existed. Singer had intended to focus the third film around Jean Grey's arc leading on from X2, culminating in Jean committing suicide but her spirit surviving as something akin to the Star Child from 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Singer jumped ship, he took with him X2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, leaving 20th Century Fox with little to work with. Over the ensurng six months, the project was offered to numerous directors who turned it down, including Joss Whedon (who was busy on his Wonder Woman project) and Alex Proyas, who refused on account of the bad experience he had endured on I, Robot. Matthew Vaughn, who had then just finished Layer Cake, signed on to direct in February 2005, but even with the release date being pushed back Vaughn felt he did not have the time he needed to make the film he wanted. Having had some say in the casting - including Kelsey Grammer and Vinnie Jones - he backed out before filming was set to begin in July, paving the way for Brett Ratner to come in. Whether or not you think that Singer was right to jump ship (Superman Returns being the indecisive stodge that it is), much of his influence remains in at least the first hour of this film, just as Tim Burton held some sway over Batman Forever. His fingerprints are all over the Jean Grey storyline, fleshing out the character and turning her into something truly dangerous. Her arc is very reminsicent of Amy Irving's character in The Fury (itself heavily X-Men-inflected), being as she is a young woman struggling to channel and contain enormously destructive powers that to a large extent she doesn't want. There's even a sequence where Jean disintegrates people with her power - although it's not as bloody as The Fury's 18-rated version. If all the good parts of X-Men: The Last Stand lie in whatever Singer managed to contribute before departing, all of the blame for the bad aspects can be laid firmly at Ratner's feet. The main problem lies in his sensibility - or, to be more precise, the complete lack of it. While Singer worked hard to build a compelling visual world to explore complex themes about racism, identity and alienation, all Ratner really wants to do to make knob gags and blow stuff up. Despite having been in the running to helm the first X-Men film, he displays no deep knowledge or love for the mythology, being too obsessed with spectacle and cheap humour to put in the hard yards which this kind of story needs. As a result of both Singer's influence and Ratner's laziness, the film ends up being deeply conflicted. The first hour has some of the substance of old, especially in the opening flashback and some of scenes involving discussions of the cure. But Ratner doesn't delve as deep as Singer did, introducing the concept and then leaving it as a mere McGuffin. The dialogue is more aggressively macho than before, and talky scenes are more readily broken up with needless editing. And then there is the needlessly yandere-ish love scene between Jean and Logan, which feels like someone copy-pasted the sauna scene from Goldeneye into their fan fiction. Building up their relationship is necessary for the pay-off, but this isn't an erotic thriller - you don't have to approach every conversation like it's a prelude to 12A rumpy-pumpy. As things roll on towards the inevitably explosive conclusion, many of the interesting character arcs which are either introduced or carried over from X2 are left unfinished. Grammar is a half-decent fit for Beast but is wasted in the role, and Rogue gets an especially tough break; while in X-Men she was arguably the central character, here all she does is go off, get the cure and then come back. While in the previous two films the action felt like an interlude to or progression from the character development, here everything serves the need for everything to blow up at the end. If X2 was said to have been modeled after Road to Perdition, then X-Men: The Last Stand's main point of comparison would be with Die Another Day. Aside from possessing a general contempt for the audience's intelligence, and a number of similar scenes (the training simulations, the X-Jet's 'stealth mode' standing in for the invisible car), they also feature really dodgy CGI in the places that it's least needed. It's not so bad when Logan is having his flesh ripped apart when Jean is in Dark Phoenix mode, but the sequence with the bridge is every bit as ropey as Pierce Brosnan windsurfing over the CGI wave. Building up to the big battle at the end would be fine if it actually had scale, context and above all meaning. But while Peter Jackson pulled it off spectacularly in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King, Ratner's battle is as aimless as a video game raid. Where Jackson's battles went through given motions, ebbing and flowing to build character and generate tension, the final act of this film is uninvolving, bland and often ridiculous. Vinnie Jones make the whole thing feel like a cut scene from Gone in 60 Seconds, and the actual ending involving Magneto at the chess board is both unashamed sequel bait and a huge anticlimax. In spite of all its poor qualities, the cast of X-Men: The Last Stand do just enough to make the experience tolerable. Famke Janssen is the stand-out, having a commanding screen presence which manages to pierce through the effects and hold our attention; in the scene in the woods, she even upstages Sir Ian McKellen. McKellen and Patrick Stewart are both fine, though both have settled into 'established actor cameo' mode by the end, and Hugh Jackman continues to make his case for being the definitive Wolverine. Had Days of Future Past never happened, this would have been a bittersweet farewell for the cast, but you can't blame any of them for not trying in spite of the poor script. X-Men: The Last Stand is a disappointment denouement to the original X-Men trilogy. While it makes for watchable viewing during the Jean Grey sequences, there's ultimately too little meat on the bones and too few thoughts between its ears to either satisfy committed fans or compete with its two predecessors. It id the worst of the original X-Men films, but had Brett Ratner been involved from the very beginning, it could have been even worse.
    Daniel M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2017
    While the main players are all great and the action is arguably the best in the saga, X-Men: The Last Stand is too fast and too rushed to make any sort of emotional resonance despite some truly interesting ideas.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2017
    Every franchise has a low point. For some it's a scene or maybe a full act of a film. For the X-Men series, it's The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After two acclaimed outings to kick off the new age of the superhero genre, The Last Stand is just about as goofy and messy as you can get. It nearly killed the franchise. The reason comic fans are still yearning for a Dark Phoenix adaptation is because this film did a poor job of giving fans anything that closely resembles the classic storyline. In fact, what makes it even worse is it's hardly an adaptation at all. The first chunk of the movie certainly seems to indicate a Dark Phoenix direction, but once she has a big showdown with Charles Xavier in her childhood home, it becomes a movie way more about the cure than Jean Grey. It also doesn't help that Jean Grey's phoenix alter ego resembles another absolutely insane Famke Janssen villain, Xenia Onatopp. Yes, she also turns to an intimate make out position in an attempt to kill a few of her victims. Really, Brett Ratner? Ratner gets a bad rap for The Last Stand, and most of it is warranted. But there are some redeemable qualities to this film. Plus, he did inherit the directing duties pretty late in the game (after Bryan Singer left a few weeks before production began because of Superman Returns). Although it still doesn't feel necessary at all, I definitely felt an emotional impact when Charles died and Wolverine killed Jean. The way those particular scenes were directed and shot made for an emotionally resonant few scenes. The action is also amped up a bit. Rightfully so, the first two films keep the action to a minimum and instead focus on story as the backbone. The Last Stand tends to do the opposite, hence another reason for the film's failure. As with pretty much every other X-Men related film, there's no sense of continuity whatsoever. Whether it's the appearance of Moira MacTaggart or Bolivar Trask, the bad CGI used for young Charles and Erik, or the horrendous attempt at Angel as a character, The Last Stand gets a lot wrong. The grounded tone from the first two films is gone entirely. Why the heck is Juggernaut running around acting like he's from the 60's Batman TV series? Why does Pyro act like he's a worthy right hand man to Magneto? I think the questions raised here still frustrate me to this day. This could have been one of the best superhero trilogies but instead The Last Stand tries its hardest to tarnish any reputation the first few built. There are a few moments of classic X-Men joy, but it's really a bunch of nonsense for the most part. +Some emotional moments hit -Tone is all over the place -Continuity issues galore -Was this an attempt at a Dark Phoenix saga? -Everything feels rushed 4.4/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2016
    Despite being incredibly disappointed with this film upon my first viewing of it almost 10 years ago, as to it falls in the common trap of most 'third' movie franchise entries being the worst or least appealing of their predecessors. Looking back on this film, I find it's not necessarily that bad; it's still got enough action and drama played out for most the franchises pre-established characters, in saying that without any exception, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine still shines. Though for the overall plotting and story, the film is an unevenly toned confrontation between these familiar characters the two previous films did so much better at exploring their inner depth and dimension. Though, fueled by Magneto's revolt against the proposed human threat to mutants, it's also distracted by Jean Grey's evil Dark Phoenix subplot, that doesn't make the X-Men have more of a reason to act against except for when the messy shit gets real. Lastly, while there's many touching and heartfelt moments in this film with the impact of the plot, it was also unnecessary for the film to purposefully kill off a few of it's well loved, written and performed characters that stood out in the franchise in the first place. A little more of a clear concentration of the film's plot and characters could have saved it from the unlikable motivations of various characters and story-lines.
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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