Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. 75
    This kind of film requires us to be very forgiving, and if we are, it promises to entertain. Angels & Demons succeeds.
  2. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    70
    Plucking the same violent, occult strings as "Da Vinci" while avoiding its leadenness, Angels keeps the action coming for the best part of 139 minutes.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    As transparent as this device is, Angels has elemental satisfactions in its blend of movie genre that could appeal to wide segments of the audience.
  4. The movie includes some tony philosophizing about the conflict between science and faith, but it's mostly a beat-the-clock chase through Rome (nicely evoked in Salvatore Totino's lush cinematography).
  5. The new movie is an opulent-bordering-on-hysterical mass of chitchat and chase scenes.
  6. An OK action film, but only the humorless will find it heretical – or educational.
  7. 63
    The movie can be enjoyed for the hell-raising hooey it is.
  8. 63
    It's got enough going on to sustain five blockbuster thrillers. That is its blessing and its curse.
  9. A far sight nimbler than its plodding predecessor, where the Holy Grail turns out to be a Holy Girl. The sequel is a little like CSI: Vatican City.
  10. Reviewed by: Patrick Parker
    63
    There are so many facts presented that many of them feel forced and trivial. We were also a little disappointed with the twist ending.
  11. Despite the overlong running time, the action moves smoothly and swiftly.
  12. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    60
    Angels & Demons is still no more than another treat for whacked-out male conspiracy theorists.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Less turgid and aggravating than its predecessor, this cleverly produced melodrama remains hamstrung by novelist's Dan Brown's laborious connect-the-dots plotting and the filmmakers' prosaic literal-mindedness in the face of ripe historical antagonisms, mystery and intrigue.
  14. 50
    Technically a prequel to "Da Vinci" but could also pass for a two-hour episode of "24," rarely stands still long enough for anyone to deliver a monologue.
  15. Reviewed by: Amy Binacolli
    50
    Preposterous.
  16. Reviewed by: Cammila Albertson
    50
    Whatever Howard's reasons for keeping things so stale, it was a bad choice, but lucky for viewers, some stories are just too crazy for even the dullest storytelling to completely ruin the fun.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Angels doesn't know when to quit: Just when you think it's over, it continues.
  18. 50
    Watching what Howard has done with the book - covering up the lewdness, blunting the snobbery, and spackling the amazing plot holes - is dismaying. This adaptation has the stink of superiority about it.
  19. Though complete redemption of Brown's fiction may not be possible, Howard's new film at least represents an upgrade from a mortal to a venal movie sin.
  20. 50
    Unlike Nicolas Cage in "National Treasure," Hanks lacks the game for it. The surface seriousness of these Dan Brown movies obstructs his affability and easy, attentive way with romance.
  21. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    50
    One of the more cheerfully dumb thrillers I've seen in a good long while.
  22. 50
    Perhaps this is what fans want from a movie like this: to sit back as if in a Jacuzzi and get a quick impression of history and Rome and such. If so, Howard, Brown and company likely have another monster hit on their hands.
  23. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    50
    Ultimately everything wilts under the weight of the complicated story lines of its many saints and sinners.
  24. 50
    This movie, without being particularly good, is nonetheless far less hysterical than "Da Vinci."
  25. 50
    At half the length, and with half of Hanks' sneering pretension, this would make a pretty terrific action film.
  26. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    40
    Presumably in response to criticism that "The Da Vinci Code" was static and talky, director Ron Howard has made Angels & Demons frantic -- and, well, talky.
  27. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    40
    More entertaining than "The Da Vinci Code," but still tosh.
  28. The only thrill here comes from the adrenaline kick of the chase. Alas, it's an empty, Pavlovian kick at best.
  29. 40
    Might have been classy, entertaining junk -- if only it were entertaining.
  30. A shapely, stylish, white-knuckle horror-thriller that hits its marks with blood and thunder. It stinks to heaven, too, but it isn't lame. The streets of Rome haven't run this red since the Inquisition.
  31. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    40
    In its last 20 minutes, Angels does attain the status of good bad movie, with a transcendently absurd climax that's great fun to rehash later over burgers.
  32. Angels & Demons is a serious slog. Still, it's an odd kind of a slog that manages to keep you partially engaged, even at its most esoteric or absurd.
  33. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    40
    What the movie is supposed to accomplish -- laying out a fairly complex mystery in a way that creates suspense -- is precisely what it doesn't do.
  34. Astonishingly, Angels & Demons IS the same sort of lumbering mediocrity.
  35. 38
    Of course, the problem with Angels & Demons is that to get to the final 40 minutes, it's necessary to endure the first 90, and that would be defined as cruel and unusual punishment.
  36. 30
    Brown and now Ron Howard have added an incendiary element to trash--open hostility toward the Catholic Church.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 96
  2. Negative: 30 out of 96
  1. Nov 23, 2011
    10
    Great movie, very entertaining with a thrilling story. Again same as Part 1 the "Da Vinci Code" pretty much setup story but...who cares. These are the movies you go to the cinema for.... I love such mystical thrillers of which you unfortunately nowadays can only find so few.....Watch it! Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2011
    8
    I liked that movie. It kept me watching, which is rare these days. I did not read the book, so I have no comparison to that. I was never bored, the action moved along, the acting was good, Rome was nice and authentic. If all movies made these days would have the same caliber, audiences around the world would be happier ! Full Review »
  3. Jun 15, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Angels and Demons: 3 out of 10: Clearly something bad has happened to Ron Howard. I don't know what exactly, but something has gone very wrong.

    Howard has always been a decent workman director. While he will never be mistaken for an artistic savant both Cinderella Man and Apollo 13 were excellent films, Parenthood was pretty good and even Angels and Demons prequel/sequel The Da Vinci Code was a fun romp. In addition none of his films have been downright awful. (Note I have seen neither How the Grinch Stole Christmas nor his newest film Heidi Montag Says No to Plastic.) Whats more Howard managed to hold this quality is such devise genres as star driven Oscar bait (A Beautiful Mind), star driven costume drama (Far and Away), star driven revenge fantasy (Ransom) and comedies about prostitution and mermaids (Night Shift, Splash).

    Angels and Demons is at its center a poorly directed and shot film. Scenes are too dark, camera angles are all wrong, the actors block each others shots and the whole affair is often out of focus. This makes the telling of an already confusing story even more muddled.

    Dan Brown gets picked on a lot but I found The Da Vinci Code a fun readable romp (so sue me). The movie version of the Da Vinci code kept the same where are they going to next vibe of the book and added an attractive cast and attractive location shooting.

    Angels and Demons however takes place in the claustrophobic confines of Vatican City and since Howard wasn't allowed to film in many of the real locations we end up with a lot of running around a CGI back lot. The entire film is as if Rick Steves did a Vatican City special and instead of actually visiting the Holy City and pointing his camera, Rick had to use Lego bricks and a second hand art book with all the **** erased.

    While the Da Vinci code had what I still think is an intriguing central mystery (again sue me), Demons and Angels story consists of a plot by the Illuminati (roll eyes now) to destroy the Vatican. Their idea was to take positions in schools for the deaf around the world and raping every student in the ass repeatedly. Oops my bad; apparently the Vatican doesn't need any help on that one.

    Anyway their plan is to infiltrate Europe's Large Hadron Collider, kill the head priest, and steal three vials of Anti-matter. This begs more than a few questions. Can the Hadron Collider create anti-matter? Can you capture the anti-matter once created? Why is the EU collecting it? (Perhaps they fear a Godzilla attack?). Why is the head of Anti-matter gathering a Vatican priest? Now once they get the anti-matter they are going to use its incredible destructive power to take over the world… no just kidding; unfortunately the Illuminati haven't quite grasped that Pinky and the Brain level of sophistication just yet. Instead the current pope has just died and it's conclave time. The top seeded cardinals for the final four pope tournament are all kidnapped and the Illuminati are killing them one by one Seven style. They being good sports however are leaving clues at every murder like some Latin themed Riddler. Oh and the last kidnapped Cardinal has the anti-matter and if he isn't found in time Rick Steves will have to go straight to Venice next year to see decent frescoes. If only there was some Latin themed Batman to save the day…? Okay the story is truly awful and it is poorly told, but maybe this is one of those films saved by great performances. A true character study… (Okay you know where this is going). Tom Hanks gives an incredibly wooden performance and simply looks awful (he is also to old to play the character by about twenty years. ) his love interest Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer has zero chemistry with either Hanks or the screen. Ewan Macgregor plays the Pope's personal assistant/cabana boy as an Irish man who looks like he is about to break into a musical number at any moment providing no one steals his Lucky Charms.

    On the plus side Stellan Skarsgård puts in a fine turn as head of Vatican Security and as far as we know no deaf children were raped during the making of this film which puts it ahead of its Vatican critics in at least one area.
    Full Review »