User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 50
  2. Negative: 5 out of 50
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  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 youRobin 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.
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  2. RachelM
    Aug 22, 2005
    5
    This story approaches classic Sci-Fi ones, introducing the topic "how things would be when...", or better, "how men would be when...", reflecting on vital topics, etc. Asimov's story is great in this sense, but Buena Vista adaptation is focused on commercial success and some special effects. And the result is POOR! The worst in this movie is its construction: time seems to fly, This story approaches classic Sci-Fi ones, introducing the topic "how things would be when...", or better, "how men would be when...", reflecting on vital topics, etc. Asimov's story is great in this sense, but Buena Vista adaptation is focused on commercial success and some special effects. And the result is POOR! The worst in this movie is its construction: time seems to fly, leaving no time for emotion or reflectio. Of course, anything performed by R.Williams is great, but I'm afraid he is too human to perform a robot! I didn't like it. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. JamesH
    Nov 14, 2009
    6
    I am not quite sure why this film was so often disliked by the critics. It is a bit overlong, and it does have some slow stretches, but otherwise I thought is was warm and wonderful. Good score, imaginative, and Robin Williams is great.
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. 30
    Amid the complacent self-congratulation...is a bizarre reactionary bent.
  2. 40
    The childish humor and sensationalistic effects undercut the movie's philosophical agenda.
  3. 50
    The sad fact is Williams is at his best while trapped in Andrew's original sleek form. His performance is subtle, his reactions restrained. The more Robin is exposed, the more ham is served.