Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 22
  2. Negative: 10 out of 22
  1. 25
    Equilibrium doesn't tread softly on our dreams; it tramples them.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Equilibrium just happens to be a really bad comic book.
  3. It's not only an ultraviolent, ludicrously inconsistent rip-off of Bradbury's idea, but it poisons the well for future efforts.
  4. 40
    This operates at the intellectual level of the old "Star Trek" in its limp last season, and the professed humanism is belied by the extreme violence and Nazi-chic production design (not to mention a voice-over that traces the outlawing of emotion to "the revolutionary precept of the hate crime").
  5. 75
    Would be a mindless action picture, except that it has a mind. It doesn't do a lot of deep thinking, but unlike many futuristic combos of sf and f/x, it does make a statement:
  6. Not a picture that makes you think very much -- except to wonder why the studios keep making movies like this.
  7. Equilibrium improves as it rolls along -- either that or, ironically, it wears down the senses until the viewer succumbs.
  8. Reviewed by: David Grove
    Since Equilibrium shamelessly rips off every Orwellian science fiction thriller in film history, what other reason is there besides sheer desperation for the film to be so stupidly violent?
  9. 70
    The fun here is not so much in the solid if stolid performances from Bale and co-stars Taye Diggs and Emily Watson (gussied up to resemble the Jefferson Airplaneā€“era Grace Slick) or in Wimmer's overpolished plot devices as it is in the production values.
  10. An accidental entertainment, Equilibrium is a science-fiction pastiche so lacking in originality that if you stripped away its inspirations there would be precious little left.
  11. Mostly plays like a routine thriller with a classy cast.
  12. The best thing about Equilibrium is its impressive look. Along with its generally fine cast and some well-choreographed fights, that goes a long way to making the movie watchable -- despite its underlying stupidity.
  13. Super- violent, super-serious and super-stupid.
  14. A preachy parable stylized with a touch of John Woo bullet ballet.
  15. 70
    A terrific cast, stylish direction, and elegantly choreographed mayhem help make it far better than it might have been -- Though ultimately silly, Equilibrium's shopworn but stylish synthesis of ammo and ideas is surprisingly engrossing.
  16. If someone left "1984," "Fahrenheit 451," "Brave New World," "Gattaca" and the Sylvester Stallone potboilers "Judge Dredd" and "Demolition Man" out in the sun and threw the runny glop onto a movie screen, it would still be a better picture than Equilibrium, a movie that could be stupider only if it were longer.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Flashy, "MATRIX"-style action sequences trump ideas; it's hard not to feel you've just watched a feature-length video game with some really heavy back story.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The martial-arts sequences take this prosaic thriller to a higher level.
  19. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Misses with its blowhard treatment of a silly, obvious script. Results might hazard "Battlefield Earth" comparison if new pic were a tad more fun.
  20. 10
    As this clueless, bulimic debacle madly regurgitates ideas and iconography from Lang to the brothers Wachowski, Leni Riefenstahl to L. Ron Hubbard, Ray Bradbury to Susan Faludi, it's not just Bale who has a hard time keeping a straight face.
  21. Just because it's a good idea doesn't mean it's easy to do well. Screenwriter-turned-director Kurt Wimmer has a hard time keeping his actors from, well, acting a lot of the time.
  22. Equilibrium is like a remake of "1984" by someone who's seen "The Matrix" 25 times while eating Twinkies and doing methamphetamines.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 268 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 126
  1. Sandund
    Jun 8, 2009
    Whats up with most of these critics. If they didn't see the depth and the message in this movie, well they are a bunch of retards who were probably dropped as infants. This in one of the most iconic movies I've seen for a long time. A definite cult fav. Hats off. Full Review »
  2. MarkusW
    May 13, 2009
    Once of my alltime favourite movies. Drama and Action could go together before the new BSG. But it´s hardly surprising that a movie warning of "soft totalitarianism" isn´t well recieved the media. Make a movie about a clicheed fascist gouvernement seizing power using anti-terror as an excuse and they love you. But a movie talking about how the concept of hate-crimes will lead to policing of thought and you are a heretic. Full Review »
  3. RyanJ.
    Mar 9, 2006
    one of the best films ever made, original and inovative action, amazing acting and a film that can be watched over and over. It will make you question al the critics who try to discredit the film. Full Review »