Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 28
  2. Negative: 6 out of 28
  1. 88
    The story is nuts-and-bolts space opera, without the intelligence and daring of, say, Steven Spielberg's ''A.I.'' But the look of the film is revolutionary. Final Fantasy is a technical milestone, like the first talkies or 3-D movies.
  2. 60
    But the film exerts a hold. The crux is: for how long?
  3. This sort of cinema is as dehumanizing as the aliens who serve as its intergalactic bad guys.
  4. May not tell a great story, but it's a great wow.
  5. The film's plot gets so convoluted no nongamer older than 14 will be able to follow it all.
  6. Is Final Fantasy decent sci-fi? Yes, more than decent.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The movie exists only as a showcase for the animation technology known as hyperReal, a photo-realistic simulation of space, figure and movement that hopes to one day erase the line between animation and live action once and for all.
  8. 78
    Unlike anything you've ever seen before, Final Fantasy is, finally, one for the history books, and tremendous fun to boot. It makes Lara Croft look like an old maid.
  9. 40
    An offshoot of a popular computer game, is really all about inducing visual awe. And for the first few minutes, it does.
  10. 30
    The lip movements of the animated figures are slightly slow, so you feel as if you're watching a badly dubbed Japanese creature feature from the 1960's. The dialogue is almost as stilted, and after a while you drift into that half-dream state that inert movies can create.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    As computer game-derived features go, it sure beats "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."
  12. You watch with amazement their physical movements, how closely their lips match their overly precise, prerecorded dialogue, yet they're not human enough to get us past the stunt factor and lost in the drama.
  13. I never forgot for a minute that I was watching a cartoon, all the way down to the silly, pseudo-spiritual ending, an ending whose very incomprehensibility is actually one of the more endearing hallmarks of anime.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Moviegoers accustomed to Hollywood action probably won't find this contemplative adventure so appealing.
  15. As monotonous as Muzak, and when it comes to the plot, both bewildering and trite.
  16. For all the grace of the animation and visual splendor, the stilted script and emotionless "performances" give this digital artifact a distinctly stiff, wooden flavor.
  17. The techies still can't manage to make two characters look convincingly into each other's eyes -- it's like watching Disney World animatronic figures do soap opera.
  18. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Despite its conceptual shortfall, is worth seeing, if only to update yourself on what can emerge from a keyboard these days.
  19. What makes Final Fantasy a final failure is a predictable, nonsensical plot, laughably lame dialogue and a surfeit of cloying environmentalist piety.
  20. 30
    The thin story covering her acquisition of one wave after another while narrowly escaping death time and again is strictly for player one.
  21. 50
    Isn't likely to satisfy the gamers' appetite for action. It also probably isn't heady enough for the science-fiction crowd, and it's too remote for those who simply wish to be immersed in a head-spinning fantasy world.
  22. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    The result is a feast for the eyes but frequently a famine for the frontal lobes, a movie of towering imagination and middling rewards.
  23. Final Fantasy doesn't pop.
  24. Reviewed by: Ed Epstein
    Although packaged as a movie, is in reality a clever 106-minute promo for Sony's PlayStation II games.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 49
  2. Negative: 12 out of 49
  1. Sep 15, 2013
    The greatest criticism I will have to this movie is its name. Yes it was made by Squaresoft, but it is Final Fantasy in name only. It offersThe greatest criticism I will have to this movie is its name. Yes it was made by Squaresoft, but it is Final Fantasy in name only. It offers and deliver very little to give it any connection to the franchise. A few small nods here and there, but nothing substantial enough to make the connection. This is likely why allot of fans really raged against the movie. I didn't rage, I was just a little disappointed.

    That aside as a movie, on its own forgetting the name, it is beautiful. Considering the animation was done in 2001 it was utterly breathtaking and mind blowing. Character are great and the voice acting absolutely fantastic. Story was a little limp though. I felt there was too little focus on the main plot and more on the main characters. This constant sidetracking from the main plot really get a little boring and does ruin the pacing. Making the movie a little boring at times. But when the action kicks in, it really kicks in! In fact it kicks in far to quickly and is over before you know it.

    The Spirits Within (I ignore the FF part) is a decent enough movie that perhaps could have been longer, simply to add in more relevant plot points and perhaps cut down on the character development a little.

    A great movie that you will love the first time you watch it, but can be a bit dull as a rerun.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 24, 2011
    Stuck between a rock and a hard place; Final Fantasy neither resembles the games of its namesake nor provides solid narrative to quiet theStuck between a rock and a hard place; Final Fantasy neither resembles the games of its namesake nor provides solid narrative to quiet the harshest critic. Both camps hate the film for what it isn't; it isn't related to the games at all and it isn't 2001: A Space Odyssey. As far as visuals go, The Spirits Within looks amazing ten years after its original release, which is not to say it's overbalanced with style over substance ... well, it is, really. This came out when I was studying for a computer animation degree and I will always love it (even if most of it is motion captured) because it blew my eyes out of its sockets. The story is standard Science Fiction fare that often breaks down into shoot 'em up action but underneath is something deeper that's there if you decide look for it. Full Review »
  3. MatthewG
    Nov 11, 2008
    Should of done very well, and could of change how we did film if it had done well. Very easy my favorites