Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 48
  2. Negative: 1 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 16, 2014
    90
    This is a movie of tremendous visual daring, magnificent special-effects work and surprising moral gravity.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    May 15, 2014
    88
    The sheer filmmaking craft on display here shames almost any comparably budgeted superhero picture you can name.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Henderson
    May 14, 2014
    88
    In form, it's no wham-bam VFX sizzle reel replete with sputtering, ejaculatory climaxes. It's the magnificently sustained equivalent of Ravel's "Bolero," with nuclear warheads in place of timpani rolls.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 14, 2014
    88
    The director thinks visually, which sounds redundant until you realize how many monster movies are flat, effects-dependent factory jobs. Edwards knows how to use great heights for great effect.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 15, 2014
    83
    The worry regarding 2014's Godzilla was that it would seem like a retread of recent big-budget monster mashes "Cloverfield" or "Pacific Rim," or, worse yet, that it would sink to the depths of the 1998 American reboot. Happily, though, this one can stand on its own two enormous three-toed feet.
  6. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 13, 2014
    83
    This Godzilla doesn’t tap into deeper cultural anxieties the way its 60-year-old ancestor did. Nor does it engender much dramatic investment in its hero... Yet as pure popcorn entertainment, Godzilla delivers plenty of goosebumps.
  7. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 11, 2014
    83
    This could easily be ground zero for a whole new series of films, but if it remains a stand-alone single movie, Edwards told an entire story, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, it feels like Godzilla actually matters.
  8. Reviewed by: Matt Maytum
    May 12, 2014
    80
    That rare breed of blockbuster that emphasises character over spectacle and slow-burn tension over relentless action sequences, Godzilla rewards patience with strong performances and sparing, spine-tingling set-pieces.
  9. Reviewed by: Amon Warmann
    May 11, 2014
    80
    The human drama isn't always as compelling as it wants to be, but at its best Godzilla is a hugely entertaining blockbuster that starts strongly and finishes with a mighty roar. The king of the monsters has returned, and it appears he's here to stay.
  10. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 11, 2014
    80
    A summer blockbuster that’s not just thrilling, but that orchestrates its thrills with such rare diligence, you want to yelp with glee.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 15, 2014
    75
    Godzilla 2014 is a more somber and frightening reboot than the cartoonish 1998 movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 15, 2014
    75
    The second half of Godzilla is definitely more fun than the first part of a film I enjoyed overall, if less than last year’s similar dip into giant monster blockbusterdom, “Pacific Rim.”
  13. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 15, 2014
    75
    Here, finally, is a giant monster movie made in the anything-goes CGI era still capable of making your jaw drop.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 15, 2014
    75
    While it has its moments of baffling plot development and the human characters aren’t exactly Shakespearean in depth, there’s some pretty impressive CGI monster destruction here, and the talented English director Gareth Edwards clearly respects the thought-provoking sci-fi roots of the original.
  15. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 14, 2014
    75
    In many ways, Godzilla is a cousin to Edwards' earlier movie, "Monsters," in that it focuses more on the ineffectual humans than the monsters.
  16. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 11, 2014
    75
    Edwards manages to sustain a grim, cerebral atmosphere all the way through, as if fighting the inevitable demands of the material. The movie contains enough basic money shots to please hardcore Godzilla fans without indulging in them at every opportunity. By contemporary blockbusters standards, it's practically a minimalist enterprise.
  17. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 17, 2014
    70
    You don’t go see a 2014 Godzilla reboot for the delicate character shadings and plausible story structure. You go to watch a giant radioactive lizard whale on stuff, and on that score, Godzilla does its work.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    May 13, 2014
    70
    Edwards’ film doesn’t care much about metaphorical resonance, and cares even less about its human characters, many of which get forgotten for long stretches of the film. But Godzilla has a way with a disaster setpiece, and it cares a lot about providing awesome monster-on-monster action on a mammoth scale.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 10, 2014
    70
    Superbly made but burdened by some dull human characters enacted by an interesting international cast who can't do much with them, this new Godzilla is smart, self-aware, eye-popping and arguably in need of a double shot of cheeky wit.
  20. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 15, 2014
    67
    It’s just a popcorn movie – but it’s loud, smashing fun, if you accept it as a high-tech piece of silliness.
  21. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 14, 2014
    67
    It’s a creature feature for the Subatomic Age.
  22. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 12, 2014
    67
    He doesn't seem too interested in his actors — they're more plodding than their reptilian costars and you don't care about a single one of them — but Edwards does know how to fashion some serious monster mayhem.
  23. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    May 16, 2014
    65
    We're here to see the film's leading lizard, who is pretty gorgeously realized by an army of digitizers, even if he seems just a bit-player in his own movie for the first hour or so.
  24. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    May 15, 2014
    63
    An uneven spectacle that can’t sustain its solid first-half character moments. But the movie can also flash a surprising, often clever sense of legacy, and is intermittently capable of thrilling us.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 15, 2014
    63
    Fortunately, the monsters are actually kind of a kick. And isn’t that why you go to see a movie like this anyway?
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 15, 2014
    63
    Seeing the scaly dude side with Mother Nature against the freaks is almost worth enduring the blather that precedes it. I said "almost."
  27. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 15, 2014
    60
    Ironically this big, lumbering movie could have used more, not less. More Godzilla without question, and more emotional content for its very good cast too.
  28. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 15, 2014
    60
    It is at once bloated and efficient, executed with tremendous discipline and intelligence and conceived with not too much of either.
  29. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 14, 2014
    60
    How many times have we complained that summer blockbusters are all about the action, at the expense of niceties like character development? Well, Edwards has gone in another direction, one that's more intriguing in theory than on the screen.
  30. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    May 11, 2014
    60
    Edwards’ film boasts great filmmaking, noble intentions and cracking monster action. Yet it never reconciles its B-movie origins — preposterous premise, clichéd characters — with its solemn, Nolanised tone. This Godzilla stomps but very rarely romps.
  31. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    May 11, 2014
    60
    It’s always fun to watch scaly, skyscraper-size behemoths lay waste to civilization, but a bit more human drama wouldn’t have gone amiss.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    May 10, 2014
    60
    Edwards seems to have miscalculated our investment in his cast...simultaneously underestimating how satisfying some good old-fashioned monster-on-MUTO action can be.
  33. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    May 10, 2014
    60
    The best thing about this new Godzilla is that it spares no expense or effort to deliver big, burly IMAX-ified action... The worst thing about this new Godzilla is how that’s the best thing about it.
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 16, 2014
    58
    Sometimes, oftentimes, trailers showcase only the good stuff. The actual movie is a pale substitute. Such is the case here.
  35. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    May 11, 2014
    58
    Godzilla asks you to care about its characters, achieves that aspiration, earns your trust, and then not only pivots towards a far less interesting character, but abandons most of its absorbing emotional legwork for a fairly rote and straightforward rock ‘em, sock ‘em monster movie.
  36. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    May 11, 2014
    55
    Director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) gets the money shots right, but neither he nor screenwriter Max Borenstein (working from a story by David Callaham) makes the human characters interesting enough to get us through two mostly Godzilla-free acts.
  37. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    May 19, 2014
    50
    Skip Godzilla the movie. Watch the trailer.
  38. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    May 15, 2014
    50
    Godzilla – both the movie and the big guy – is otherwise something of a lumpy, lumbering great beast of a thing, lurching from city to city, continent to continent, smackdown to smackdown and plot point to plot point with singularly graceless indifference to anything other than those take-home jaw-dropper shots.
  39. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 15, 2014
    50
    When the film finally gets around to monsters on a rampage, you'll get both more and less than you bargained for.
  40. 50
    The problem is that he — unlike most modern sci-fi directors, who throw so much CGI at you that they make miracles cheap — seems peculiarly stingy when it’s time to deliver.
  41. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 15, 2014
    50
    What's particularly weird about Godzilla is that for long stretches, all it shows is destruction.
  42. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 15, 2014
    50
    The latest Hollywood version of the Godzilla story is neither fun nor fearsome. It’s an empty spectacle in which the humans are as meaningless as the monster.
  43. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 14, 2014
    50
    At some juncture — much earlier than director Gareth Edwards intends — Godzilla needs to stop being an extra in his own movie.
  44. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 14, 2014
    50
    Godzilla is one of those generic, omnipresent blockbusters that's undone by the very spectacle it strives to dazzle us with: Everything is so gargantuan, so momentous, that nothing has any weight.
  45. 50
    In a tale this timeworn and a film this devoid of humor, with only a few moments of humanity, with tension frittered away by the tedious repetition of the fights, anybody who has ever seen Godzilla in any incarnation can be forgiven for asking the obvious. “What else have you got?”
  46. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 15, 2014
    40
    Despite a few fiery breaths, there’s mostly hot air from a lot of serious actors slumming it.
  47. Reviewed by: Paul MacInnes
    May 10, 2014
    40
    While many people might want to go to the cinema to see Godzilla, what they get instead is a load of homosapiens desperately trying to put a human face on the drama.
  48. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 11, 2014
    30
    Edwards’ Godzilla dawdles toward its Doomsday climax; the movie could win a prize for Least Stuff Happening in the First Two-Thirds of an Action Film... It’s a concept lacking a magnetic story, a package without a product.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 405
  1. May 16, 2014
    10
    To all the people who complain there wasn't enough Godzilla in this movie: Have you ever seen the original Gojira (1954)? Or ever heard of a thing called 'tension-building'? Surely not.

    This film was everything I hoped it would be and thensome! The characters were all great, there isn't a single bad performance - everyone treats this with respect and add an appropriately serious tone to the film. Ford Brody is my favourite as his strict code of honour and morals was put to the test by malevolent creatures, which created some brilliant dilemmas and great duo scenes with his father (played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston). Themes were perfectly adapted from the original Gojira, which makes this 10x more dark and gritty, but it doesn't come off as stale or half-assed.

    Godzilla himself is a majestic beast, and one I don't think audiences will forget about in the near future, as well as the MUTOs who are perfect adversaries for Godzilla. This isn't Pacific Rim, you actually care about these Monsters fighting and look forward to the outcome.

    In conclusion, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla is a magnificent monster movie full of heart and soul with wonderful direction and spectacular visual effects.

    Even better than the original, IMO! (10/10)
    Full Review »
  2. May 16, 2014
    2
    The main character was bland and emotionless, and manages to miraculously not get killed 5 times. As for Godzilla himself, all throughout the movie it keeps faking you out, saying "Guess what time it is? It's monster fighting time... PSYCHE! No it isn't." By the time they got to the actual monster fight I just didn't care anymore

    Say what you will about the 1999 movie, as least Zilla was there for the whole thing and the characters had personality.
    Full Review »
  3. May 16, 2014
    7
    Not quite what I was hoping. Avoided combat scenes extremely often, almost entirely till the last 20 minutes. It was upsetting bc every time that something good was going to happen it just switched scenes. Full Review »