Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    60
    For all its visual sweep and propulsively violent action, this bloodthirsty rendition of the Old English epic can't overcome the disadvantage of being enacted by digital waxworks rather than flesh-and-blood Danes and demons.
  2. Beowulf is all right as far as it goes, and it goes pretty far for a PG-13 rating: Dismemberment, “300”-style blood globules comin’ atcha, and a digitally futzed and, for all practical purposes, completely naked!!!
  3. Zemeckis, who blazed trails mixing live-action with animation in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," blazes not even a footpath here.
  4. The 3-D is necessary to the film only in so far as it keeps your eyes engaged when your mind starts to wander. Stripped of much of the original poem’s language, its cadences, deep history and context, this film version of Beowulf doesn’t offer much beyond 3-D oohs and ahs, sword clanging and a nicely conceived dragon, which probably explains why Mr. Zemeckis and his collaborators have tried to sex it up with Ms. Jolie, among other comic-book flourishes.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    50
    I like a good flying, fire-breathing dragon as much as the next fellow. Beowulf's excesses, though, are such that the film ought to carry the subtitle …But This Is Ridiculous.
  6. 50
    First and foremost a showcase for the latest developments in motion-capture and 3-D technology.
  7. As for Beowulf itself, it's all about the visuals, which means that as soon as the novelty of 3-D wears off, the experience has been had.
  8. 50
    Ten years from now, Beowulf may look like the groundbreaking project that helped kill live-action movies, but for the moment, its uncomfortable jokes and fakey rendering of life leave it wedged firmly in the uncanny valley. (Insert your own joke about Jolie's astonishing animated anatomy here.)
  9. 42
    Owing more to the sword-and-sex-play fantasies of 12-year-olds than the traditions of Old English poetry, Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf will allow adolescents to have their cheesecake - and beefcake - and eat it, too.
  10. Reviewed by: Jamie Tipps
    40
    Certainly, modern interpretations should add their own spin to an ancient tale, but in the hands of director Robert Zemeckis, Beowulf becomes... silly.
  11. Beowulf appears so cartoony, in fact, that the academy just put it on the short list of films to be considered for the Oscar in feature animation.
  12. 40
    Ambitious, overbearing and hollow; it goes overboard to impress, yet it never feels truly inventive or imaginative. At best, it achieves a level of clumsy camp.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    40
    The most interesting thing about Beowulf, alas, is its technology. It's the work of a man who has fallen in love with his toys, but I miss the wicked satirist who made "Used Cars." And the truth is the motion capture in Beowulf comes across as an unsatisfying compromise between animation and live action.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 133
  2. Negative: 27 out of 133
  1. Sep 30, 2011
    6
    "Beowulf" is a epic remake of the original tale of vikings. It lacks the depth or symbolism of the characters, but it certainly does have the"Beowulf" is a epic remake of the original tale of vikings. It lacks the depth or symbolism of the characters, but it certainly does have the glorious gore and blood going on. Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2010
    3
    None of the reviewers who gave it over a 30 actually have ever read beowulf, I have and this has almost zero to do with the epic poem. It isNone of the reviewers who gave it over a 30 actually have ever read beowulf, I have and this has almost zero to do with the epic poem. It is just a bad attempt to "hollywoodize" the poem Full Review »
  3. Aug 16, 2013
    5
    Robert Zemeckis made a well animated 3-D epic but nothing that I observe is special. The first half is dull and second half has a bit moreRobert Zemeckis made a well animated 3-D epic but nothing that I observe is special. The first half is dull and second half has a bit more gore and kiddish story of the book and epics is not well used but some fun provides. In voice acting or CGI acting its cool but nothing special. The ending is clueless and characters have no depth or story. The 3-D is good, yeah but could have been used well. The gore and violence is endless and the UNRATED version is worse. Zemeckis makes the real he digs in deep and makes it up to serve the nudity, sex, gore and violence of this dull war epic. Full Review »