Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Amiel's greatest achievement is that Creation is a deeply human film with moments of genuine lightness and high spirits to go with all the deep thinking.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    Thoughtful, moving, and Bettany is brilliant. To be reminded of the power of love to redeem and repair, catch Creation.
  3. 75
    I have a feeling the loss of their child and the state of their marriage were what most interested the backers of this film. They must have wanted to make a film about Darwin the man, not Darwin the scientist.
  4. Jon Amiel's moody, and strangely moving, vignette of the naturalist is something else entirely. It is more about Darwin, father and husband, than Darwin the scientist.
  5. It helps that most of Creation is about the relationships - Darwin's with his wife and with his daughter. Even if we resist it, even if we don't want to be dragged in, the story of Annie becomes quite moving, almost unbearable.
  6. Reviewed by: Adam Christie
    75
    It's a captivating story presented with a fresh and artistic spirit, putting a human face on the man behind the theories.
  7. It's smart, heartfelt, handsome and just mutated enough to sustain interest in a specialized subject.
  8. 70
    Creation's power lies in its layers, in the way it makes distinctions between religion and faith, and the ways it beautifully (save for one clunky bit of overexplanation) lays out the similarities between religion and science.
  9. 70
    So few movies these days concern themselves with ideas of any sort that a drama like this one, about a man humbled by the consequences of his own intellectual breakthrough, seems even more powerful.
  10. The film is never less than intelligent and never more than accomplished.
  11. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    65
    In fact, given its subject matter, Creation should arguably be bolder and more shocking if it wants to survive among the fittest at the multiplex. Audiences with so many flashier pictures available may not regard a straightforward period biopic as a natural selection.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Creation is a superbly creative exercise for its star, Paul Bettany, who plays Charles Darwin. But it's a subdued and meandering portrait of the conflicts underlying the development of the theory of evolution.
  13. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    60
    Slow-moving and occasionally ponderous in tone, "Creation" nonetheless is an intriguing portrait of a man and a time that changed everything.
  14. 50
    This one means well, a kiss-of-death review if there ever was one.
  15. 50
    What the Charles Darwin biopic Creation mainly creates is a do-over for Paul Bettany: This time he gets to have a beautiful mind.
  16. 50
    Creation is fatally weakened by an excess of pathos; in a Darwinian universe, it would be quickly swallowed up by a leaner, fitter movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    There are good performances and fleeting moments of exquisite moviemaking, but the experience as a whole is an evolutionary dead end.
  18. As angst-filled as if it were "Amadeus" and "Lust for Life" rolled into one.
  19. 50
    Some questions just can't be answered by science, and the quandary of why Creation is so poundingly dull is one of them.
  20. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    50
    Bettany's Darwin always has a chill or a case of the sweats, tummy ache or trembling hands. He has our sympathy initially, but the movie bathes us in such general despair that the natural instinct soon becomes a desire to tell him to buck up. We do believe in survival of the fittest, after all.
  21. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    Isn't about science vs. faith so much as that well-worn dramatic hook, the loss of a child.
  22. 50
    What begins as a multilayered tale of scientific discovery and cultural history gets reduced to a single maudlin idea: that even Charles Darwin had to evolve.
  23. One of those tepid, genteel biopics that's far too busy ennobling its hero to bother giving him any recklessly interesting personality traits.
  24. There are sparks here that suggest the smarter movie a more scientifically minded director--say, David Cronenberg--might have made.
  25. The prospect that this role would officially shift Bettany to a bigger stage, taking him from the character roles that have become his specialty to leading man status, dies a sort of Darwinian death from bad plotting.
  26. 40
    As a journey through Darwin's discoveries, Creation fails, although, given the intricacy and the patience of his working methods, it is hard to imagine how such a film might succeed.
  27. 30
    What we see on screen is a lumbering, flat-footed fancy-dress melodrama.
  28. It's impossible to say who's more unhinged: Darwin, caught between faith and reason, or the filmmakers.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 18, 2012
    6
    Creation runs deep and is brim-full with raw human emotion but it's plodding pace keeps it from being anything more than an above-average period drama. Full Review »