Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. 100
    Here is a bold, beautiful, visually enchanting musical where we walk INTO the theater humming the songs.
  2. This much is inarguable: In the more than two flamboyant hours of Across the Universe, Julie Taymor doesn't cheat us for a single second.
  3. The film is a strange, nostalgic, suitably outrageous ode to a very real revolution in consciousness.
  4. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    80
    A load of kids singing Beatles tunes? You better believe it.
  5. Somewhere around its midpoint, Across the Universe captured my heart, and I realized that falling in love with a movie is like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled.
  6. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    75
    If you're a Beatles fan who's not offended by people taking serious liberties with the arrangements of your favorite songs, the unrepentantly exuberant and seriously tuneful Across the Universe is pretty much a sure thing.
  7. 75
    Across the Universe can't achieve the transcendence and exhilaration musicals strive for, but it often generates a singular kind of magic you've never experienced before.
  8. While the songs are recycled, Across the Universe stands out just by existing.
  9. 75
    It's a funny thing: On the one hand, you fault Taymor for going out of her way to create some of the more disposable sequences. On the other, you can forgive her: Who wouldn't get carried away given the opportunity she has been given here to play with one of the world's greatest song catalogs?
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    70
    All you need is love -- for the Beatles, for psychedelic visuals, for ideas about being young in the ‘60s -- to fully enjoy Across the Universe.
  11. 67
    It's all very clever and thought-through, but all the allusions don't much bolster the bland central romance or the paper-thin treatment of '60s social issues.
  12. Taymor's flower-powery phantasmagoria is ambitious but ultimately tiresome.
  13. 63
    To call it trippy would be an understatement. Your head might explode. Just don't accuse Taymor of playing it safe.
  14. Julie Taymor says the idea for her Across the Universe was "to create an original musical using only the songs of the Beatles." That's like saying you're going to create a new element using only gold.
  15. 63
    An interesting failure, not a fascinating one.
  16. A bizarre counterculture jukebox musical.
  17. 63
    And yes, that is Salma Hayek in the chorus line of sexily sinister nurses, perhaps repaying Taymor for lending her dramatic credibility with "Frida."
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    While style trumps substance, something in the way this '60s tribute moves attracts us.
  19. 58
    Disarming, discombobulating and disappointing.
  20. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    50
    Julie Taymor's visual gifts are very much in evidence in Across the Universe, an ambitious, only partly successful attempt to reinvigorate the musical genre.
  21. 50
    Elements of Across the Universe are shockingly awful and the film lasts at least 30 minutes past the bearable stage. But if you like the Beatles and the idea of hearing about 20 covers of their work fills you with a perverse joy, this may be the movie for you.
  22. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    50
    The film does not know what it is, tonally changing within and between structural acts.
  23. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    50
    Across the Universe, which filters the cultural revolt through a blizzard of early Beatles songs, ends up both reductive and smugly condescending to a presumptively know-nothing audience.
  24. Goofy, pompous, annoyingly boomer-myopic Fab Four musical.
  25. 40
    A yawn and most unforgivably features some appalling arrangements of the Beatles' best-loved songs.
  26. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    Hobbled by its vaguely insulting comic-book version of the '60s and by a humorlessness that can only come from talented people convinced they're creating work for the ages.
  27. 30
    If a bullet hadn't killed John Lennon, this Beatles-scored musical might have.
  28. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    25
    Director Julie Taymor's gargantuan all-Beatles-songs musical is that rarest of animals, the perfect disaster that fulfills expectations by defying them.
  29. Across the Universe will have ardent defenders, but in the long run, it will do nothing to infuse life into the current mini-revival of movie musicals and is as soft-headed as the wishful refrain “All You Need Is Love.” Maybe that works in real life but not in the movies, sister.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 238 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 132
  2. Negative: 32 out of 132
  1. GregP.
    Feb 20, 2008
    3
    What the movie suffered from most was neither the weak treatment of 60's culture nor the poor tribute to the Beatles. What it suffered What the movie suffered from most was neither the weak treatment of 60's culture nor the poor tribute to the Beatles. What it suffered most from was the nagging sensation that almost every named character and almost every scene was a mere contrivance to "force" a scene out of a particular set of lyrics. For those who have seen the movie, the absolutely pasted-on "Dear Prudence" (not to mention the namesake character herself) scene is made bearable only by comparison to the absolute nonsense that was "Strawberry Fields Forever." The events leading up to and surrounding such scenes are such a cobbled-together mess of an excuse that the movie becomes absolutely painful. Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2012
    10
    A musical is a movie where music is used as a piece of constancy, not as utensil for buying the viewers easy boredom. That's what musicalsA musical is a movie where music is used as a piece of constancy, not as utensil for buying the viewers easy boredom. That's what musicals nowadays don't understand (like High School Musical, Camp Rock, etc.) But Across the Universe truly makes a difference. It isn't the lame, disturbing-to-see type of musical: In fact, this is the first of the two musicals where I actually get impressed and potently pleased with what the movie delivers, othe other one being Hairpsray. It's groundbreaking, spectacular, extraordinarily rare and crazy, but not for the faint of heart. I loved it! Full Review »
  3. Feb 7, 2012
    3
    I love the Beatles but this movie is just horrible. It's horribly pretentious and is very forced. There are characters thrown in just forI love the Beatles but this movie is just horrible. It's horribly pretentious and is very forced. There are characters thrown in just for the sake of some how tying in another song. The only positives this movie has is the music, but I can get that on my Ipod with out all the needless crap. The other positive is there is some very good cinematography but the vast majority of it was in the trailer. The think that irritated me most was the worthless cameos by Bono and Eddie Izzard. They were un-needed and a waste of their talent. Go out and buy a Beatles album and avoid this movie. Full Review »