Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 9 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 6, 2014
    63
    The lack of a creative driver behind the film leads to a level of fundamental dissatisfaction. The movie delivers all the necessary elements but their impact is dull.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 6, 2014
    25
    "300" was an innovative and imaginative action film, but the follow-up, 300: Rise of an Empire, is nothing but a disappointment.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 6, 2014
    50
    Basically, if the first “300” was a pep-talk from Coach on how to lose with dignity, Rise of an Empire is an inspirational speech on the value of teamwork.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 5, 2014
    78
    While very much a “hard R” movie, Rise of an Empire is, nevertheless, the perfect sort of film for rainy weekend afternoons. It’s a spectacle right down to its shattered ships and duplicitous warcraft, and this time out the story’s been leavened and enlivened with plenty of old-school girl power.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 4, 2014
    70
    Rise of an Empire might have been essentially more of the same, but for one distinction that makes it 300 times better than its predecessor: Mere mortals of Athens, Sparta, and every city from Mumbai to Minneapolis, behold the magnificent Eva Green, and tremble!
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 6, 2014
    63
    This is digital fake-ism all the way. Audiences bought it the first time; they're likely to buy it a second time.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 3, 2014
    50
    Other than for the pleasure of watching Green try to conquer ancient Greece dressed as a distant forebearer of Catwoman, more is less and a little late in this long-aborning sequel.
  8. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 6, 2014
    25
    When the film isn’t sloppily directed, it’s a series of lazy filmmaking tics, including fetishistic slow-motion shots of blood, water and sweat, as well as sundry dismemberments, impalings and decapitations.
  9. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 5, 2014
    63
    Green rules the picture with her nutty stare and her willingness to get nasty in a hot sex scene, but the movie’s main weak point is the Greek general Themistokles.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 6, 2014
    20
    The only saving grace is Green, the reigning witch-queen of cinema. The smoky-eyed French actress, best known for “Casino Royale,” “The Golden Compass” and “Dark Shadows,” throws her all into the performance, going bare-chested at times, bared-teeth at others. She’s like Elizabeth Taylor’s "Cleopatra" possessed by a succubus — which is a good thing. Without her, 300: Rise of an Empire would be bloodless and brainless.
  11. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 5, 2014
    40
    The film feels epic in scope, visually at least, but the depth of its deep-focus composition is bitterly at odds with the flimsiness of its characterization and plotting.
  12. 63
    The design... is stunning, an improvement over 2006′s “300.” And the action never disappoints. It’s a pity this colorless cast doesn’t hold a candle to the Butler/Headey/Michael Fassbender/David Wenham crew of the original, that the writers couldn’t conjure up thrilling speeches to match the original.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 10, 2014
    60
    For all the energetic milling, Rise of an Empire proves superior to its predecessor by making war a game both sexes can play, on nearly equal terms. In comparison, the R-rated "300" seems as innocent as Adam in the Garden before the delicious complication of Eve — or Eva.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 6, 2014
    40
    The best thing about the movie, by far, is Green. Her Artemisia is a real nut case with a taste for blood, and Green is the only one in the cast who seems to be having any fun at all.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Mar 3, 2014
    70
    Anchored by Eva Green’s fearsome performance as a Persian naval commander whose vengeful bloodlust makes glowering King Xerxes seem a mere poseur, this highly entertaining time-filler lacks the mythic resonances that made “300” feel like an instant classic, but works surprisingly well on its own terms.
  16. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 6, 2014
    60
    The spectacularly brutal fighting is the film's main calling card, and in that "Rise of an Empire" doesn't disappoint. Still, in the battle for best guilty pleasure, I'd give it to the Spartans of "300," by a head.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 10, 2014
    40
    It really is pretty dull, though, with the same moments of campy silliness: the same frowning gym bunnies with the same digitally enhanced abs.
  18. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Mar 6, 2014
    50
    The naval collisions and melees play out in panel-like renderings that are bold and satisfying for the first half-hour but lack the momentum and bombastic je ne sais quoi of “300.”
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Mar 6, 2014
    88
    Even with the uniformly good performances — and the standout work from Ms. Green — 300: Rise of an Empire is foremost a triumph of production design, costumes, brilliantly choreographed battle sequences and stunning CGI.
  20. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Mar 5, 2014
    25
    Murro doesn’t so much direct as frame and stage, placing the characters against digital desktop-wallpaper skies and constructing each battle scene as a showcase for the characters’ prowess and toughness.
  21. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Mar 6, 2014
    60
    If 300’s human touch largely came down to Butler’s roaring and screaming, it’s left entirely to Green to goose the sequel into life. Happily she obliges.
  22. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Mar 10, 2014
    50
    The best thing about the new 300: Rise of an Empire is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it. And the worst thing about it is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Mar 7, 2014
    50
    Stunningly shot and stupidly written.
  24. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Mar 7, 2014
    63
    Israeli director Noam Murro does an excellent job of managing and expanding the franchise established so vividly by Zach Snyder.
  25. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Mar 5, 2014
    75
    The film belongs to Green — maybe the only actress ever to "graduate" from being a Bertolucci muse to a bloodthirsty action-flick dominatrix.
  26. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Mar 6, 2014
    33
    Forgettable and only mildly entertaining, 300: Rise of An Empire seals its own fate at the initial story level by being so deeply invested in its own mythmaking and playing super safe.
  27. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Apr 18, 2014
    75
    300: Rise Of An Empire is a worthy sequel to "300," stylistically consistent and equally loony, featuring what may well be the first truly can't-miss performance in a film this year.
  28. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Mar 4, 2014
    60
    It’s all extravagantly daft, moves at a fair clip and is over before you expect it to be.
  29. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Mar 5, 2014
    60
    Just as bloody yet much more conventional, 300 #2 offers splashy thrills aplenty but fails to make a watertight case for its own existence. Green, however, ensures it stays afloat.
  30. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Mar 6, 2014
    25
    Noam Murro gives the film nothing so much as a hit-refresh on the same glistening, impossibly golden and gray flecks of pixel-barf that have invaded the frames of every tent-pole studio release since the Bush administration.
  31. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Mar 7, 2014
    25
    Both a prequel and a sequel to the original tale, only with more bloodspilling and slow-motion, and even less wit or truth.
  32. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Mar 7, 2014
    63
    Entirely more engaging by dint of being absolutely impossible to take even a little bit seriously. The ruthlessness of Green's character is taken to extremes that meld Medea to the cheesiest serial you can name, and is hence delicious.
  33. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Mar 7, 2014
    0
    The empty violence and pointless style are only the biggest problems.
  34. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Mar 6, 2014
    38
    By throwing herself headfirst into scenes that a more cautious actress might beg off, Green earns herself a citation for valour – a Purple Heart in a movie that’s otherwise way too grim and grey for its own good.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 444 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 108
  2. Negative: 24 out of 108
  1. Mar 13, 2014
    0
    Totally Forgettable. Too much cliche scenes and very weak story makes this sequel one of the worst I have ever seen. Amazing how the trailer could be so deceiving. Don't waste your money! Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2014
    3
    Saw this movie last night in 2-D. My first issue was that the blood effect look cheesy but perhaps in 3-D may have looked better. Eva Green was awesome but the leading man sucked. Wasn't buying the story because they had these regular soldiers able to take on the immortals like they were nothing. Absolutely loved the first 300 but this 300 I walked away disappointed and bored. Full Review »
  3. Mar 23, 2014
    0
    The only thing I find myself thinking when I see a movie like this and then arrive @ metacritic, is what on Earth these people are thinking who give it a positive score. I wish I could be in their head for just an hour, just to see how truly stupid these people are. Full Review »