X-Men (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

X-Men (2000)

X-Men (2000)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.

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Movie Info

One of the most popular superhero teams in comic book history finally comes to the screen in this big-budget adaptation of the long-running Marvel Comics series. Psychic Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) leads a school of skilled mutants called X-Men, a peacekeeping force to safeguard the world against a race of genetically mutated humans known as Homo Sapiens Superior. However, Magneto (Ian McKellen), a mutant with a powerful magnetic charge, has also begun to organize a team to strike first against what he believes to be a threat from humanity. When he kidnaps Rogue (Anna Paquin) from the X-Men's compound, Xavier and his forces must rescue her, even as they continue to vie with Magneto for the fearsomely strong mutant battler Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Both Xavier and Magneto also have to contend with Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison), a heartless political leader who wants a final solution against mutants on both sides. Fighting for the forces of virtue with the X-Men are Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, Halle Berry as Storm, and James Marsden as Cyclops; Rebecca Romjin-Stamos as Mystique, Ray Park as the Toad, and Tyler Mane as Sabretooth are the minions of Magneto. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Patrick Stewart
as Professor Xavier
Ian McKellen
as Magneto
Hugh Jackman
as Wolverine
Famke Janssen
as Jean Grey
Bruce Davison
as Senator Kelly
Tyler Mane
as Sabretooth
Matthew Sharp
as NSC Agent
Brett Morris
as Young Erik
Rhona Shekter
as Mrs. Lehnsherr
Kenneth McGregor
as Mr. Lehnsherr
Donna Goodhand
as Rogue's Mother
John E. Nelles
as Rogue's Father
George Buza
as Trucker
Stan Lee
as Hot Dog Vendor
Carson Manning
as Waterboy No. 1
Scott Leva
as Waterboy No. 2
Doug Lennox
as Bartender
David Nichols
as Newscaster No. 1
Malcolm Nefsky
as Stu's Buddy
Quinn Wright
as Lily Pond Kid
Daniel Magder
as Boy on Raft
Madison Lanc
as Tommy's Sister
Nanette Barrutia-Harrison
as Newscaster No. 2
Adam Robitel
as Guy on Line
Dave Brown
as Lead Cop
Ben P. Jensen
as Sabretooth Cop
Tom DeSanto
as Toad Cop
Todd Dulmage
as Coast Guard
Dan Duran
as Newscaster No. 3
Elias Zarou
as U.N. Secretary General
David Black
as President
Robert R. Snow
as Secret Service
David Hayter
as Museum Cop
Cecil Phillips
as Security Guard
Dave Allen Clark
as Newscaster No. 4
Deryck Blake
as Plastic Prison Guard
Ilke Hincer
as Translator
Ron Sham
as Translator
Jay Yoo
as Translator
Eleanor Comes
as Translator
Rupinder Brar
as Translator
Abi Ganem
as Translator
Joey Purpura
as German Soldier
Manuel Verge
as German Soldier
Wolfgang Muller
as German Soldier
Ralph Zuljan
as German Soldier
Andy Grote
as German Soldier
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News & Interviews for X-Men

Critic Reviews for X-Men

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (39)

The X-Men comic books have spawned a cottage industry of mutant characters, and the movie helps make sense of these legions while offering the established fan base something new to cheer.

July 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Exciting mainly because anything can happen and does, the movie drags a bit as it approaches a climax set on top of the Statue of Liberty. But once there it revives.

July 15, 2015 | Full Review…

This is a film that should satisfy fans of the hugely popular comic book and audiences who can't tell one uncanny X-Man from another. Mutants rule.

July 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The script could be a lot snappier, particularly during some virtually unexplained rivalry banter between Marsden and Jackman, but X-Men is a decent start to what will no doubt be an immensely profitable series of negligible but enjoyable summer movies.

July 15, 2015 | Full Review…

The most beautiful, strange, and exciting comic-book movie since the original Batman.

April 15, 2013

X-Men, it must be said, has only a few truly thrilling moments. This is not a picture that tries to blow you out of your seat. But more than any other big movie this summer, it has a consistently inventive vision.

July 6, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for X-Men

In my now-archaic review of The Usual Suspects, I postulated that all Bryan Singer films have a confused sense of identity; they "attempt to marry several conflicting elements while never quite deciding what they want to be." Superman Returns can't decide whether it wants to directly follow the campy tone of the early Christopher Reeve films or be a more emo, Smallville-esque story; Valkyrie flits between a serious drama about betrayal and an old-school B-movie about blowing up Hitler; and even his best-known work can't make up its mind whether it wants to focus on the characters or the ornate mechanics of the heist genre in which they find themselves. The X-Men films have always been at least a partial exception to this rule. Coming after the disappointment of Apt Pupil, this first film in the now-burgeoning franchise finds Singer with very clear intentions with regards to both the key themes of the story and how they should be executed. While it is very much a product of the pre-Christopher Nolan era of superhero films, much of it still holds up extremely well and it is the best of the original X-Men trilogy. It doesn't take too much brain power to see what would have attracted Singer to the X-Men franchise. As an openly bisexual Jewish man growing up in late-20th century America, Singer's life resonates strongly with the struggle for acceptance and equality faced by the mutants in the original comics. In a BBC interview, he stated that he was drawn to the morally ambiguous world which the comics inhabited at their best, describing them as "a step beyond simple crime-solving, superhero action." Singer has always been fascinated by how evil can manifest itself in humanity, and if nothing else this film does a better job at exploring this notion than Apt Pupil ever did. One of the main successes of X-Men, and to an extent of all the franchise instalments involving Singer, is that it has political and intellectual heft. While it doesn't put its brain as far front and centre as Nolan's Gotham trilogy, it's still a far cry from the simplistic, adolescent rendering of good vs. evil which we are often forced to endure with summer blockbusters. Even if the ideas are not to your taste, you always get the impression that the film is wanting to use its high-tech, skintight trappings to explore complex notions of identity, alienation, racism and the abuse of political power. Singer understands that X-Men is less about the powers with which the mutants are blessed or cursed, and more about the people who are trapped within the circumstances of having said powers and how they decide to use them. He brings the theme of alienation to the foreground and keeps it there, focussing on how easily society rejects and turns on those who do not fit into convenient pigeon-holes, or those who refuse to stay quiet. One of the biggest problems with superhero stories, particularly ones involving Superman, is that they are afraid to show the characters' vulnerabilities, living under some delusion that having any form of fear is cowardly. Singer gives us heroes riddled with insecurities; they feel like people that we could come to know, or who could live among us, not just other-worldly beings playing police with their special, sci-fi friendly weapons. Proof is this is found in the delightfully naturalistic way in which said mutants' powers are introduced. Superhero films often go to great lengths to draw attention to said powers as something extraordinary, so that it either defines or dominates the character and they risk becoming less three-dimensional as a result. Singer, by contrast, treats the characters' mutations just as he would treat a character's sexuality; it's just something that's there, and we are called upon to accept it. Instead of giving us a bunch of mutants and asking us to care about them as people, X-Men gives us people and lets us grow to accept their more unusual characteristics. Equally as important is the manner in which X-Men humanises its villains, working hard to show the shades of grey between the differing moral positions of Professor Xavier and Magneto. Singer described their relationship as being akin to the difference between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: two men who were forged in the same conflict against racial injustice, with one choosing to embrace 'the enemy' while the other turned to violent retribution (albeit, in X's case, disavowing it in the end). Casting Shakespearean giants like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen means that we are unlikely to get pantomime performances from the outset. But both still benefit from a script in which both are utterly convinced that their approach is correct, both for their close circle of friends and followers and for society as a whole. Sticking with the characters, it was a deft decision on the part of screenwriter David Hayter to focus the story around both Rogue and Wolverine (brilliantly played by Anna Paquin and Hugh Jackman respectively). To the casual observer, the X-Men universe and its fanbase seems to often worship Wolverine at the expense of the other characters; he is one of the most interesting people therein, but it isn't right that every story should be driven by him. Here the script manages to strike a good balance between Rogue's slow acceptance and growth into her powers and Logan's inner conflict regarding his role in the team, his feelings for Jean and his own nature. The cast of X-Men is pretty strong all round, even if not everyone gets a fair crack of the whip. Famke Janssen is ideally cast as Jean Grey, bringing the same combination of glamour and steely reserve from Goldeneye and dialling things back for a more understated performance. James Marsden, by contrast, is dealt an unfair hand as Scott, whose role in the plot is largely being threatened by Logan's testosterone, but he does make up for his initial douchiness with a solid third act. There are a couple of shortcomings with X-Men which prevent it from being a classic on the level of Batman Begins. Despite Singer's best efforts, there are occasionally jarring shifts in tone which make us wonder what kind of film we should be watching. For the most part we accept the balance between grittiness and humour for which Singer and Hayter have opted - but then we see Wolverine skidding across the snow early on in an unintentionally hilarious fashion, and it's not that easy to get straight back in the saddle. Equally, while the male members of the Brotherhood of Mutants come off reasonably well, the female members in this instalment are not so lucky. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is a fine actress but she is given far too little to do; while Magneto and Sabretooth handle the important plot points, she is reduced to the odd action scene in which she acts as eye candy for the predominantly teenage audience. Admittedly, however, her sex appeal isn't over-egged as much as in The Last Stand, nor is this kind of double standard exclusive to Singer's films (watch First Class if you don't believe me). X-Men is a very solid introduction to both the comics and the characters which proves if nothing else that good Marvel films could be made long before Disney came along. Despite a few odd tonal decisions and a few slip-ups with certain characters, Bryan Singer has still delivered a film which is intriguing, intelligent and entertaining, with a tightly wound plot and set-pieces which avoid being overblown. Nolan's work on Batman may have since eclipsed this as a genre benchmark, but leaving aside the Caped Crusader, this is a good way to bring someone to comics for the first time.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

½

One of the first commercially successful comic book blockbusters, X-Men is a little dated, but nonetheless is an effective start to a long-standing franchise. It holds up well thanks to a good cast, solid special effects driven action, and a plot that gets expanded in future installments. While a little scaled back compared to future comic book adaptations, X-Men helped pave the way for the future of the genre and deserves credit for doing so.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

½

Well this certainly feels a bit dated these days, the very first X-Men film, the backbone of the modern comicbook adaptations craze, the one that started it all. Had this film not done as well as it did then we possibly wouldn't have all the superhero flicks we have today. Heck just looking at the films poster shows how far this genre has come, its positively awful, bland and extremely unimaginative, the two groups just standing there against a city skyline, eh? I remember this coming out back in the day and I recall pretty much poo pooing it as an obvious looking lazy CGI filled cheese fest. Upon seeing the film I didn't actually like it all that much, mainly I think down to the lack of decent action. Low and behold yet again my personal tastes have changed with age and I find myself actually appreciating this film a lot more now. The plot naturally includes the origins of certain main characters and the introduction of the X-Men lead by Charles Xavier and his school for the gifted (mutants). We are also introduced to the bad mutants lead by Magneto and his dastardly plan to turn all the world leaders into mutants presumably so they know what its like to be a mutant. 'Storm? Sabretooth?...What do they call you? 'Wheels'? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard' The general plot may be simple but I do like the easy to understand similarities with real time age old issues such as prejudice discrimination and plain racism. Magneto's (Erik Lehnsherr) family were German Jewish and killed by the Nazi's during WWII, so he had first hand experience of the effects a madman can have in power, himself being a Holocaust survivor. Ironically though Magneto himself turns into the thing he once survived and fought against as here he wants to exterminate the human race to protect the mutant race. Whilst Xavier wants to gain peace between humans and mutants Magneto is constantly trying to start a race war between them, not too subtle but hey it works. The main thing I notice with this first film in retrospect is how much dialog there is and how little kickass action there is. There is a heck of a lot of exposition to take in as we learn about the various characters and their individual flaws and powers etc...But that's not to say its boring, not at all, its actually delivered very well and you want to know more, meet more mutants and see their powers. The action is sporadic and not exactly top dollar in all honesty, we mainly see Wolverine getting into the odd scrap, mutants going up against the police but not killing any and the finale at the Statue of Liberty gives us some semi decent one on one action but the CGI and wire work is pretty hokey to be fair. Prime example being the scene where Wolverine does a 360 spin around a section of the Statue using his claw...looks real nasty. Most of the characters are really well visualised and well cast there's no denying that, twas the worry at first, that these guys would all look ridiculous in their silly costumes. But no! almost every character is realistically designed and performed. The main three of course being Stewart, McKellen and Jackman all brilliantly cast adding such a classy authentic epic feel to the comicbook tomfoolery, Jackman being the main surprise as he was completely unknown. At the same time Marsden, Berry and Janssen also come across in a surprisingly believable fashion, none of these actors ever really come across as hammy which is some feat in this. The only characters that let the side down visually has to be Toad and Sabretooth both of whom look totally daft. I'm not an X-Men fanboy so I don't know the ins and outs of the franchise but some things I do find a bit silly. For a start Toad is just a pointless character, his tongue, jumping and spitting green goo are his mutant super powers?? how is he useful? how does he crush a human by jumping on him? and why include him in this film?! The main main running quibble I have throughout has to be the invincibility thing going on. Wolverine especially is virtually unbeatable, you can't kill the guy so it seems pointless to have him fight at all, we know he can't die or get hurt. Then there's the fact that most mutants seems to be super strong...but why? OK they have unique powers but is a side effect to this automatically having super strength because they all have it apparently. How come Magneto can fly? he can manipulate metal but how does that enable him to fly? and how the hell does Rogue get through even one day without being able to touch another human? Her super mutant power seems utterly pointless and more of a curse than anything surely as she can kill real easy. In the end the film does start to crack towards the finale as things do get a tad stupid, inconsistencies with mutant power abilities, the fact no one notices all the commotion going on at the Statue of Liberty, all the destruction, Mystique doubling as the Senator but showing her yellow eyes etc...I guess the main thing that made me think was simply...Magneto is kinda right, mutants should be very weary of humans, maybe not wipe them out but you can kinda see his angle, humans are a violent dangerous unpredictable species. On the other hand I dunno why he worries so much because in any war the mutants would win hands down. The film isn't your standard comicbook flick gotta give it that, its not light-hearted silly kids stuff, there is a good solid serious tone to everything that does combine well with this material. Dealing with mutants as people who are treated differently because of their looks or abilities is a strong concept that many will relate to. Visually everything generally is quite realistic and doesn't look like a comicbook movie. The black leather outfits, big rich 'Wayne Manor-like' X-Men school, fancy super hi-tech gadgets/equipment and big black super jet are all cliched sure but obviously you need some fun fantasy elements. Despite being 14 years old this film still holds up well today and even better it still blends in with the whole X-Men franchise which has since moved on big time.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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