Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 31
  2. Negative: 10 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    38
    This saga of one robot's determined quest to become human is so coldly calculated it could give you frostbite.
  2. I'll be darned if I can think of a more excruciating, ponderous, remarkably unfunny and inert cinemagoing experience to come down the pike in ages.
  3. 33
    You're likelier to shrink in astonished horror from it than laugh.
  4. Reviewed by: Nicole Campos
    30
    With this desperately eager-to-please fable based on a short story and novel by Isaac Asimov, director Chris Columbus clinches his berth as the master of shiny-happy message movies.
  5. 30
    Amid the complacent self-congratulation...is a bizarre reactionary bent.
  6. 30
    It's not really a kids' film, nor it is particularly funny, by either design or execution. It is, rather, Columbus' latest attempt at a comically tinged tearjerker.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    30
    The tone is cloying, the running time bloated.
  8. A cold, protracted and unemotional affair.
  9. Must be among the most blatantly manipulative movies ever made. It's cold, calculated and treats its audience like its robotic central character.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    20
    Kids will be bored, the rest of us baffled.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Jun 18, 2013
    6
    Robin Williams begins the film of Bicentennial Man in a mechanical suit, he is a robot, or 'household appliance' who is found to have feelings and reactions similar to human beings. Unfortunately he doesn't stay in the suit for the entire film, not to take away anything from the remarkable talent and personal admiration of Williams, but a lacklustre and bland second half will have you counting the minutes until the end. A running start, but an egg and spoon finish.
    The script is filled with emotional appearance from start to finish, but its time frame fast forwards so unpredictably that it can be difficult to feel any sort of attachment to anyone but Andrew, the robot purchased by Richard Martin, or 'Sir', (played by Sam Neill) who quickly realises that his robot may do more than the standard model.
    Andrew begins to immediately bond with the his masters children, and as the years go on and Andrew's talent for carpentry and other things have made him quite a rich man.
    But the more he understands humans and the more he reads, he knows the demeanour of freedom, and wants to become his own man.
    Where the film starts to lose its feet is when it starts fast-forwarding, because for a film spanning 200 years it moves at quite a fast pace. Andrew deals with death, others growing up around him and is unable to convey emotions to these changes, but the film is perhaps to polite for its own good in these situations, with a calm and mellow score throughout the film, there is no sense of despair or sadness, but always a sense of epic romanticism and heightening shows of this is how the world should be, but it isn't.
    Robin Williams and Embeth Davidtz are the leading people in the film, Davidtz playing two people in terms of generation. Williams, while in the suit and a few times outside of it, is an ideal and welcome choice for the role, but he seems to be held back quite often and although he is playing a robot, the lack of emotional depth can be blamed on a script which never digresses or takes a new path, it perhaps should have listened to its own words,"sometimes it's important to do the wrong thing".
    There are laughs to be had and some of the script is quite funny, particularly the earlier parts of Andrew getting to know the ways of human behaviour,but a slow and messy second half have held the film back from being as good as the opening 45 minutes suggested, but there are definitely lessons to be learnt and teachings to follow from this very quotable film, which explains human behaviour at its very core.
    Full Review »
  2. May 25, 2013
    5
    Overlong, sentimental (or perhaps maudlin), and lacking clarity. I remember the original story well, though have not read the novel it was adapted into (The Positronic Man). Regardless, I recognized and enjoyed very little. Full Review »
  3. Mar 28, 2013
    9
    Probably one of the most underrated movies in the last 20 years. Aside from perhaps being a tad too long, Robin Williams gives a really fantastic performance here. Really showing of his range in both comedy and drama. Oddly it is the drama in this movie that makes him shine, not the comedy (which was generally a bit flat.) Overall: Bicentennial man is a Drama that happens to be set in a Sci-Fi-ish setting. The "human" drama is really what captures you and really gets you questioning what it means to be alive. A really nice approach to the A.I. rights idea that doesn't involve guns or time traveling Austrians. Over This is a heartwarming story that makes me cry a little every time I say it. It may not be to everyone's liking, but I thought it was brilliant. Full Review »