User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 487 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 487

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  1. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    Who would have thought that the highest professional critic score for a movie like John Carter would come from the Village Voice?? I thought I'd check this one out after reading about the massive loss that Disney would be taking on this film, wondering just how bad it could possibly be. I was shocked to find how much I enjoyed it. Other than the Dark Knight films and the first Matrix, I can't remember another superhero-style movie that kept me so interest during it's full length. It's immensely satisfying. The marketing campaign - from the billboards, to the trailers, to the TV spots - revealed nothing of the charm of this film - and it has it in excess. The John Carter character and the double-pronged story are interesting as hell. The "green" inhabitants of Mars feel completely real to me - unlike any of the beings in the Star Wars prequels. (If only Jar Jar Binks had been one of these suckers - or even the massive space dog - which I loved - The Phantom Menace wouldn't have been such a joke.) The romance between Carter and the princess is somewhat reminiscent of Han Solo and Princess Leia - if Leia kicked a ton of ass, that is. I'd MUCH rather see this movie again than The Green Lantern, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, or just about any of these Marvel/DC films which felt so hollow. An easy recommendation. Expand
  2. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    This film has been receiving the most baffling bad reviews and after deciding not to see it because of them, I changed my mind and took a chance. Wow, am I glad that I did. I have no idea why some people have decided that big special effects automatically make a story bad. Whatever the reasons may be, I don't think I have disagreed more with critics on any movie so much, in recent memory, anyway. The story, the effects, even the acting save for a couple of scenes (and I didn't think Dominic West did a very good job either) were amazing. In my book, Andrew Stanton just hit it out of the park yet again. I'm definitely going to be paying to see this again, and that's including the ridiculous 3D IMAX price, too. Expand
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    2
    A bad action movie that's visual candy is rarely short, but it's stupidity in story line and plot pacing are it's major weaknesses.
  4. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    Great action, great story, great fun! It was entertaining from start to finish and it is definitely the best movie of 2012 so far... who could ask for more? This is a must see!
  5. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    Edgar Rice Burroughs is famous for literary creations that have inspired countless generations and given birth to numerous film and television projects. You would be hard-pressed to find anybody not familiar with Tarzan, one of Burroughâ
  6. Mar 12, 2012
    10
    On Saturday morning, I sat down in my seat, hoping to have a good experience while watching John Carter. What I got was an AMAZING experience. Some say the plot was cliched and boring, but I thought it was just simply breathtaking. The visuals were also superb and I didn't have anything wrong with it. to me, John Carter was better than Avatar. Sure Avatar had nice visuals, but I thought its plot was just as boring and confusing as John Carters. Actually, I thought that John Carters was a lot better and easier to understand. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are confusing and the last three plots have been a bore to me and those films still manage about a billion dollars a piece, while John Carter will end up with about 350 million world wide and will not see the break of day again when it comes to a series. This is extremely disappointing as I think the world deserves to visit Barsoom a few more times. Expand
  7. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    Incredible film, the effects are awesome, the story is amazing, the 3D is innecesary, but all in John Carter is amazing, the cast is incredible, this is one of the most interesting films of the year.
  8. Mar 10, 2012
    9
    John Carter was awesome! Highly recommend. Was what Star Wars Ep. 1 could/should have been. Great characters, action, romance, humor, effects. The ad campaign didn't do justice to what the movie is. It is what it's trying to be, a space spaghetti western, not an Academy Award winning drama. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but the stakes still feel high. It's more fun than Avatar and less pretentious. Go see it! It deserves/needs a sequel. Expand
  9. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    I have waited almost 50 years to a film to do justice to Burroughs' Martian series which I avidly read as an adolescent boy, which I have long thought would be impossible. Although this adaption might bring criticism from some ERB purists, there being certain plot and character's changes for the sake of plausibility and to satisfy current sensibilities, the film's production values, its quality acting and action sequences, its CGI, and even its pace, left me hoping it succeeds, confounding its "critics", and brings on a sequel! To that selfish end I will recommend this escapist and satisfying action/adventure jaunt to all my friends. . Not since viewing the first of the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy have I "bought into" such a film, which gave me something to look forward to in its sequels. Sadly, I do not see anything which is presently in development that can be its equal. The film has also taken me back to how enthusiast I was when I originally read the whole series, from start to finish. Do yourself a favor, and let yourself be an adolescent again for a couple hours, and make sure to have some popcorn and a soda while you are at it! Expand
  10. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    Both my wife and I saw this movie in a packed theater, both of us absolutely loved this film. It wasn't just needless and endless action through out the film. It had a strong romance at the heart of the story and characters that you could rout and care for. Exiting the film I noticed all the comments that I over heard were overwhelmingly positive. Good story telling through out the movie. Great movie that I will probably add to my meager blue ray collection at home. Expand
  11. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    John Carter is a beautifully painted picture of the original books. However it has many flaws, corny scenes of distress and random turns into cliche situations I have come to know from recent titles. Though I will say it was well worth the money I paid to see it and the time spent. It did exactly what I wanted (entertainment), and gave me the movie I would have asked for as a kid when I read the books. The graphics were amazing. I mean spectacular. Expand
  12. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    Excellant movie. Alot of fun action packed moments. Followed the book very well but also added to the material. Wish it would have done better in the states. Not looking good for a sequel.
  13. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    people that love John Carter have said all there is to say. Just to reiterate. Hollywood screwed this movie, but despite this the world knows its the best sci fi movie to hit since the 80's. Don't let this turn into another Firefly. Go to a cinema, Imax theater, or eventually buy the dvd. So many can't believe the bum rap this movie received. Check it out. You'll be surprised. Don't let negative critic **** cloud or form your judgements. If you allow that, then you're going to miss out on the grandfather of all modern sci fi. John Carter blew me away and it'll rock your world if you give it a chance with an open mind. Expand
  14. Mar 30, 2012
    10
    wasn't sure what to expect when watching this movie. loved every bit of it, story was original nothing remake like everything else. effects and story was alot better then some blockbuster hits like Transfomers.
  15. Aug 1, 2012
    6
    "John Carter" is pretty much your average enjoy-action summer blockbuster where only striking visuals and big-scope fight scenes matter.
  16. Mar 9, 2012
    5
    Imagine a mash up of Prince of Persia and Avatar: except not as good as the latter by far. John Carter is a blend of amazing visuals and great CGI characters to then fall short on plot and character development. A guilty pleasure kind of movie that was similar to Avatar's plot, John Carter focuses on the main character who gets thrust in a different world only to end up helping fight for the princess who he falls in love with. Take the time and energy that James Cameron took to develop that relationship in Avatar and don't expect it here. Disney's fast paced sequence is much like Prince of Persia with little creativity added in the script to make an entertaining movie with nice action sequences, just not enough of a story in between. While it didn't happen to be the amazing blockbuster that if could have been, if you are to see this movie anyway, go ahead and watch it in theaters. The 3D and mars visual effects will make the movie worth the two hours. Expand
  17. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    Don't believe the critics on this one, John Carter is an absolute blast. Went with my 7 year old son to see it the other night and both of us loved it. It's exciting, spectacular and funny as well. Taylor Kitsch is a little reserved as John Carter, but that makes sense from a story perspective, but Lynn Collins is awesome as Dejah Thoris. Willem Dafoe's motion capture work made Tars Tarkas a big hit with my son, as well.

    Andrew Stanton has made a modern movie with a very classic sensibility. favouring story and character over mindless action and pointless special effects. There is action in this movie and the effects are definitely special but they all serve to move the story forward and develop the characters.

    And anyone who doesn't walk away from John Carter wanting to own a Woola has a rock for a heart.

    Only word of warning, don't bother with the 3D, it added nothing to the movie and actively distracted me at times. Save yourself some money and just watch the 2D version.
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  18. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    I legitimately needed to make an account to offset some of the utterly ridiculous claims about this movie. I for one think professional critics have their heads so far up their film school tailored asses that they truly can't be influential to the real people who love to go to an entertaining movie.(I mean look at some of the "geniuses" in the user section that try to use their botched literary prose to match the critics to absolutely pathetic results.

    I think there really needs to be different type of way movies get reviewed. Obviously the same people who liked something like War Horse wont automatically love a movie like this. There needs to be fans and critics separated into different specific genres and you can see their review history of similar movies(So say they gave AVatar 9/10 and you see they gave this an 8/10...you'd know a credible person gave it a good review). But honestly it's a very good movie for all you people who are adventurers at heart.
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  19. Mar 10, 2012
    9
    When I ready negative reviews of this film, I wonder if they watched the same movie I did. I found the movie very entertaining, and that is the only reason I go to the movies. I normally do not like 3D but this is a must see in 3D since it is not overly done. I would pay to see it again, somthing I never do. I hope this does well so they do a second film where this one left off.
  20. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    I'll make my review short and sweet. Every once and a while my inner child stands up and pushes aside the cold cynical adult that I have become and takes a stand. John Carter was made for that inner child. This is not a film attempting to be more than what it is, cheesy pulp sci-fi and I loved every ridiculous minute of it. It's a shame this film won't win at the box office or win the hearts of critics. It deserves more then month after month of critical press and ominous projections. It isn't perfect, but its not supposed to be. The source material is corny, far fetched, sword and planet sort of adventure pulp, but the film has no delusions of what it is, or what it wants to be, and that's refreshing. Expand
  21. Mar 9, 2012
    3
    Even with its gorgeous special effects, numerous set-pieces, and massive budget of $250 million, John Carter leaves me with a booming thought in my mind: "That's it?"
  22. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    Alright, to start off, lets get one thing straight for some people out there. This is not a ripoff of Avatar or Star Wars. They are ripoffs of John Carter. This is book one of a book series written over 100 years ago. James Cameron and George Lucas have even said they got their ideas from the John Carter of Mars book series, so don't judge it saying its a ripoff of those two films or any other scifi films without getting your facts straight. Now that thats out of the way. John Carter (the movie) was a fun, and exciting adventure, although it gets pretty boring through the middle. I wouldn't say as a fan of the book series that im anywheres near 100% pleased with how Andrew Stanton made "A Princess of Mars" a movie. Besides the absolute basics like the characters looks and the looks of Barsoom, Andrew Stanton pretty much made this his own. Their were countless amount of differences from the book to the movie. VERY big differences at that, which as a person who read the book, it angered me alot, but i understand why he changed it around. I know he changed it around so the people who didn't read the book could follow the story, but I just wish he didn't change it completely, like the key elements to the story like how John Carter and Dejah Thoris met, how they fell in love, and how John Carter made it to Barsoom, and the ending, they were all completely different. Does this mean the movie was bad? No not at all. I enjoyed the movie, but i was really hoping Stanton wouldn't make it a cliche type of film. He made the love story reeaaalllyyy corny and too cliche, the whole love story between Dejah and John was changed alot, and it seemd to be overshadowing everything else involved in the story, and he put a little bit too much humor into a story thats supposed to be serious. It was still a fun movie, but they cut alot out of the book, especially in the middle because the middle of the film just dragged on, it got really boring whereas the book had action all throughout, which on another note, the action in John Carter was actually very good. It was pulse pounding and it was incredibly entertaining, but this film cost them over 250 millions dollars to make and i do really hope this installment makes enough money for them to make "The Gods of Mars" (the second book in the series) into a film adaptation, and hopefully if they do, it follows very closely to the book. Judging the movie from a fan of the books point of view, i give John Carter a 5/10, the looks of the locals of Barsoom and Barsoom as a whole was spot on, and Woola was perfect in the film, i've always loved Woola and i'm sure hes going to win America's heart and sell ALOT of action figures, but story wise, everything was changed around in some manner, but as just a movie i give it a 7/10. Overall the action that was in the film was amazing, very beautiful effects and i'd say Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins did a pretty good job with what they had in the script. Their is a little something for everyone in this film. Love story, action, great story (although different from the book) and comedic relief. Although this is a Disney film, parents might wanna stay away from this movie, somethings (like the white apes) might be too frightening for small children. Overall I give John Carter a 6.5/10 Expand
  23. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    Well done film goes right along with the books. Great family fun! The only thing they could add would be more gunfighting or laser fights :) The special effects were amazing!
  24. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the best film I have ever seen in my life. (Reached far above my expectations) I watched it in 3D, although the 3D kind of sucked, I recommend 2D. The movie is better in 2D. There are some funny moments, moments that will surprise you! There are also moments that will make you tear up a little bit. The story is great, the movie doesn't have as much action as you expect there to be, but I think that is a good thing. There are many characters and places, The animation is great 100% the best animation I have seen in any film that I have seen in the past. I am not saying this because I am a fan, I am saying this because it is true. A really fun movie, it needs what it deserves (good box office results). The only two downsides to this movie, is that I think the beginning of the movie on earth felt a little rushed/fast, I think they should have added a little more time on earth. The second downside, (SPOILER ALERT) is that I think John Carter and the Tharks should have learned each others language instead of taking a translation potion. The ENDING is GREAT. I rate this movie a 9.99998/10. :)

    P.S. What I also love about this film is that it keeps a lot of information from the book.

    GO WATCH IT!
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  25. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    Many of the negative criticisms show expectations that have been shaped by those various movies of the fantasy and science fiction genre, some of them having been influenced by the original "Princess of Mars" story, which movie themselves have also come to include various formulaic requirements of a "good movie." The new movie "John Carter" is escapist fantasy plain and simple, without camp or issues or cutesy kid stuff or mystery meanings or allegory or cosmic questions or dire warnings or hopeful futures or technology predictions or apology or even a clear delineation of good and evil. It's just the pure goo of macho hero fantasy, where the only virtue of the title character is that he doesn't know when to give up. Otherwise, if we must interpose some faint philosophical depth to the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs, we might suppose Tarzan to be an image of "le bon sauvage", and John Carter of the "Ã Expand
  26. Mar 10, 2012
    0
    This movie was an absolute train wreck. It was simply awful. This was so bad that it was the first movie in 12 years that i got up and walked out of the theater. The pacing of the movie is out of control, it moves so fast that that all the scenes feel rushed. Despite the frantic pace it feels like your stuck in a boat without a sail or paddle. The movie feels like your in stagnant water. The dialogue was terrible and very very boring. The acting left much to be desired. The movie made me cringe because you could tell how awkward the Actors felt during many scenes. The action sequences had a lot of flash with zero substance, no emotion or suspense, all in all the action was very . . . . . bland and uninspired. Towards the last 3rd of the movie i just couldn't handle this snoozefest anymore and i thought to myself, "do i really want to put myself through any more of this torture. . . . Hell NO!" So i got up and walked to the lobby and played Galaga in the arcade until my buddies gave up on the movie too and left early. Don't waist your money and this shameless cash grab. Expand
  27. Mar 11, 2012
    10
    I went into Andrew Stanton's (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) "John Carter" not knowing what to expect. By the time the film had run its course, though, I was very happily surprised. Let me make this clear: if you walk into this movie expecting a crystal-clear, fool proof story and acting to rival those of the hollywood greats, its best you stay home. If you're just looking to have a great time, and experience a true blast of a film, go right now, and see "John Carter". The film is just that much fun. "John Carter" truly immerses you in the worlds it takes you to, from the dynamic relationships between the characters and the struggles each one must confront. Each character is dynamic and has their own story, and the acting is good all around. Taylor Kitsch does well enough as the film's title character, but it is the supporting cast that truly stands out: Lynn Collins as Princess Dejah, Samantha Morton as Sola, and Willem Defoe. The latter two who are simply spot on in their voice acting. The cinematics are incredible and the animation truly brings the characters to life. The music does exactly as it should, it complements the story, doesn't overshadow it, or give too much away. Yes, there are small problems with the story, but they are not truly important, nor will they affect your movie going experience at all. And with that; I give "John Carter" a 9 out of 10. Expand
  28. Mar 11, 2012
    9
    Really enjoyed this movie. So much so that I left the theater wanting to see the movie again and we talked about John Carter the rest of the night. We never felt short-changed with this movie; it was all there including a dynamic, full story. Am very much hoping there is a sequel.
  29. Mar 11, 2012
    9
    This movie delivered exactly what it said on the tin, a true tribute to pulp science fiction in the form of John Carter. Highly entertaining to watch in case you are able to enjoy a movies without asking yourself 'How is that supposed to work?'. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  30. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    Love Love Love! The main guy was a dream and the story line was pretty decent! For Walt Disney, this was one of there better 'teen' films. Enjoyed it lots!
  31. Feb 2, 2013
    10
    John Carter is an unjustly dismissed sci-fi masterpiece...grossly unjustified. What was wrong with it? Specifically, what was wrong? Pacing? It was intense!!! Coming from someone who uses this word sparingly, this movie was "EPIC". I am almost certain that time will enable objectivity, and objectivity will redeem it from the stinging taint slapped on it due to a predictably simplistic aversion to what is "mainstream" by film critics. If a studio other than Disney could have created the same film with half the budget it would have been heralded as a cinematic achievement within the sci-fi genre, but its budget was viewed as ostentatious and its production studio as childish, so it became "cool" to hate on it before anyone had even seen it. Who makes something and how much they pay to have it made has nothing to due with the quality of what is actually produced, it may be indicative of quality or lack thereof, but the final product speaks for itself. Reviews of John Carter tell us more about film critics than the critics told us about the film. It was practically perfect. "Incomprehensible plotting"??? They laid the groundwork for the presumed sequels by deliberately leaving a few questions unanswered, which I hope they still make and answer because I loved this first one! Mars was epic, and then in the end we are reminded that the story began on Earth and the film ends stronger than I could have hoped for! An excellent story masterfully told on screen. Expand
  32. Mar 10, 2012
    9
    As usual, ignore the critics and see this movie! I won't repeat the story, in case you want to see it, I think you will find it imaginative, with unexpected twists and funnier than expected. Yes it has a lot of CGI, but that's kinda expected when you have a sci-fy adventure movie set on another planet. I liked the action and totally believed the story. I recommend this movie highly.
  33. Mar 14, 2012
    9
    Fun and enjoyable movie! Forget that the dialogue is predictable and the acting uneven. Forget that it doesn't follow the book. Just watch the action, wonder about the landscapes, enjoy the rescues, and hope that they get together in the end. The 3D is lame so stick with the 2D version. And remember, the critics don't like it because they are mostly sourpusses and have forgotten we go to the movies to have fun with family and friends! Expand
  34. Jun 2, 2012
    8
    Exellent movie: what most people doesn't realize is that the story of the movie is a big classic by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan, and was written in 1912... Don't believe the critics or mindless public that doesn't known the roots behind this one, or the classic books. Do you think the movie has cliches? Well, I guarantee that the book was written years and years before the cliches existed... It's a great classic made in a great movie, and I'm sorry that that the sequence movie doesn't seem to be made. Expand
  35. Mar 10, 2012
    3
    A mess. It is pretty amazing that an established director, with Disney as the studio and 200 million dollars can actually make a movie that is this disorganized.

    How can you have quality like A Separation or The Hurt Locker for 10 million dollars and a mashed up piece of whatever for 200 million?
  36. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    Very interesting film) funny characters) Good visualization) Cool story) Recommended to all who wants to spend the time with pleasure!!! Now the first thing you must do its to rush in the nearest cinema to buy the ticket and watch John Carter!!!
  37. Mar 11, 2012
    10
    John Carter review

    I forced myself to go see John Carter.  The movie was getting a 50 on metacritic and rotten tomatoes.  My wife and I have not seen a movie in months and were getting desparate, we refuse to pay $20 to see mediocre quality movies.  We are both fans of the books, but the trailers looked terrible, the principals seemed miscast and the
    marketing was never focused.   So with trepidation and apprehension we went to see John Carter. Many times through this movie I kept expecting it to suck. It never did. When the credits began to roll I turned to my wife and asked, "That was awesome, right?" She said, "It was SO AWESOME!"

    The movie did has some faults.  It was a little long and some of the cgi flying scenes were muddy and felt rushed through production.

    But everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING else, was fantastic.  John Carter is a character with an arc that I was rooting for and felt real compassion for.  Dejah was beautiful, powerful and had real chemistry with John.  The Green martians were completely believable and expertly created.  And seeing Julius Caesar and Marc Antony chewing up a few scenes together was a complete delight.  Anyone who saw the HBO mini series Rome will know what I mean.  They were like two old friends thrilled to be performing together again.  I would pay $10 a week just to watch them have more adventures together on Mars.

    I had no trouble following the story.  In fact, the addition of the advanced beings improve the plot immensely by giving the viewer a way to understand how John Carter came to Mars and it's connection to Earth.  It is also impressive how much of ERB's original plot was kept in the movie.  A plot that came 100 years before Avatar.

    I will end this review by complimenting the director and the cinematographer.  Outstanding. You created a world that I believe. A world with its own cultures, myths, architecture, and beauty, yet kept it familiar by making some of the tech similar to the 1880's and shooting on location in Utah.  A marvelous achievement.

    It saddens me deeply that I will not be seeing further adventures of John Carter of Mars.  I see no way for it to be profitable.  It cost too much to make and for reasons I truly don't understand the reviews have been mixed.  I myself, a John Carter fan, narrowly skipped out from seeing this movie.  I now feel it is my duty to use the power of the Internet to say see this movie.  Go with an open mind and a desire for old fashioned fun and adventure.  Then maybe, just maybe, like John himself, we can all go back to Barsoom.
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  38. Apr 5, 2012
    10
    This movie was fun. The princess is gorgeous. People think to much, just watch a movie and have fun. You can find a way to make every movie suck if you look hard enough. Just have fun.
  39. FC1
    Mar 13, 2012
    10
    Warning: I have already posted a review and have given this movie a 10 rating. It seems Iâ
  40. Mar 12, 2012
    4
    A dull Prince of Persia/Avatar clone. The only thing that could have saved this movie was if David Lynch wrote the script and Takashi Miike directed it, now that would be a messed up movie I'd actually want to see.
  41. Mar 20, 2012
    2
    A Virginia Civil War soldier is transported to Mars, where he helps the good guys fight the overlords. As imaginative as that sounds (actually from a series of Edgar Rice Burroughs books), there's nothing original about the story, the style, the action, the look or the direction of this tedious bomb. So much is derivative that it feels like a really awful, long-lost "Star Wars" spinoff.
  42. Mar 10, 2012
    3
    So strange. You have brillant director, yet this film is a formula. It is like the producers and writers all ganged up to make a known quantity; that is really much better as a novel (exposition that never stops, just tedious). I was disappointed to say the least. Way too many story lines that have you more confused than interested. Only die hard fans of this type of genre will like it.
  43. M13
    Mar 13, 2012
    10
    It's the best BIG movie I've seen since Avatar. And when you keep in mind that the story was written about 100 years ago it makes the movie all the more impressive. And I thought since it was Disney that there wouldn't be much killing.....boy was I wrong. The story even had a twist or two that I wasn't expecting. Worth seeing. And worth seeing in IMAX.
  44. Feb 23, 2013
    10
    John Carter is a majestic adventure movie, reminiscent of many of those titles of the 70's and 80's that so many of us remember from our childhoods and loved because we all wished we'd end up in an adventure like that. It is never too violent, there is never a dull moment (despite the movie lasting 2 hours and 12 minutes) and it is beyond me why anyone would rate this movie with a 6 or less. The acting, CGI and story are all top-notch. Apparently it is based on a book but who cares? The movie is what it is; a masterpiece of cinematized storytelling. It reminded me of Star Wars and Dune. Readers of Storm (Don Lawrence) will get a huge kick out of this movie and those who enjoyed the movie should waste no time discovering Don Lawrence's brilliant work. Expand
  45. Dec 30, 2012
    8
    They really don't make them like this any more. Enjoyable from start to finish, those familiar with the books will undoubtedly get more from it - many plebs find names like Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas difficult to remember, credit to the film makers; John Carter doesn't appear to be motivated as a money-maker, isn't diminished for broad appeal and doesn't insult the intelligence. The story is modified slightly from the books (for those familiar with them) but is still, instantly recognizable. Reminds of cult classics like Star Wars, Flash, Dune, Willow, etc. The work of ERB predates them all. Expand
  46. Mar 12, 2012
    8
    John Carter is a blast. From the fast-paced action sequences to the brilliant special effects this truly is a very good film. However, some of the acting can seem a little stale at times, making what could have been a fantastic film merely a great one. It also seems to be aimed more at younger teenage boys, a more family-orientated film then. But it suprised me so much at how good it was, so everyone should go watch it, it's very fun. Expand
  47. Mar 20, 2012
    5
    Seriously the movie get only five, i think the 3D is just a joke. This movie is really boring, i didn't read the book, but the movie have a lot of inconsistency.
  48. Mar 29, 2012
    6
    The critics are right. It is disjointed and wildly incoherent. But it is based on the most influential work of science fiction E-V-E-R. Seriously, "Avatar" and "Star Wars" would NOT exist without the book "The Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.That being said, perhaps you need to be of a certain age to fully appreciate this film. I am not of that age. However, I really did like the stylistic melding of Renaissance-fair-sword-and-sorcery, and laser-beams-science-fiction. Expand
  49. Mar 10, 2012
    2
    Great CG cannot save an excellent original story line which is drowned by needlessly long, unnecessary, boring, scenes. The trademark "Disney" is synonymous with excellence,..but in this case, no.
  50. Mar 9, 2012
    0
    "Trust me" said Andrew Stanton a self-proclaimed fan of the books. I wouldn't trust him if he told me the sun would rise tomorrow after seeing the way he pulled the book apart. Maybe he read the same book as Rogosh, but it definitely wasn't A Princess of Mars. I was introduced to the books over 30 years ago, aged 10 and have read and re-read them many times since, most recently the last few weeks I re-read the 1st 3 books.
    Others have given a synopsis, the trouble is there are so many changes to the book that this is not much more than a reworking. From minor details such as Carter not staying with Burroughs when he 'died', to pretty major changes in plot and timeline.
    Stanton has introduced characters that we don't meet until the 2nd book and changed character status around with no apparent purpose. Then there are pretty major characters that are missing.
    I can understand missing parts from books as they may not work in a film or there isn't enough time, but to rework a book to such an extent and never once mention that it is a reworking is basically lying to the legions of fans out there. I will not be watching any further films in the series unless Stanton is thrown out.
    As for the characters, John Carter did not give me the impression of a man of honour who would fight for what he thought was right, more a depressive that wasn't really interested in anyone but his own self pity. Dejah Thoris waxed briefly, then waned. She had a strong opening and displayed some of the royal pride and standing I would expect, only to wither into a flaky weak woman.
    As a fan of ERB's books, I am thoroughly disappointed with this film.
    As a sci-fi romp I would only give it a middle score as it is ok based on that, but there are no really strong characters nor a solid story line. Even the effects are just ok. Ignoring the books for a moment, nothing about this film stands out as original or innovative.
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  51. B47
    Mar 11, 2012
    10
    Amazing.

    Some reviewers have used the word epic and it is not a word that is being bandied about nor used with exaggeration. Andrew Stanton for the two and nearly half hours of John Carter repeatedly shows a boldness to cast his movie on levels of scale that rarely are seen on our movie screens today. He uses wide and long shots to establish the world of Barsoom, to show a grandeur to the
    action and the stage upon which he has filmed Burrough's work. The shots do not overwhelm the movie, but a number of times my breath was caught in my lungs as I forgot to breath and with wide eyes took in the vistas and the moving moments of the film. There are some directors today who attempt to create scenes on such scales, many fail, but Stanton (in my opinion) isn't one of them.

    Stanton (and all his support) create a breathing, lived in and dying world. The film feels balanced, as if everything is exactly where it should be, but it never feels as if it's some set piece, carefully constructed and intended to be viewed in a frame behind a plate of glass. It simply feels natural. It feels real. A place with history.

    Another bold decision Stanton (and Chabon, as well), was not to streamline the story they present. The film begins with several threads which are gradually and then increasingly woven together, be it the conflict between Zodanga and Helium, the way of life of the Tharks, or the purpose of the Therns. As in the book, Carter ultimately is the world changing element that brings everything together. It doesn't rush and the movie's patient approach could be something that frustrates those used to the more simple and direct approach of most modern films (particularly those with action/sci-fi elements).

    Avatar, for example, while a like in world building and to a degree, the same epic scale that Stanton embraces, is a simpler film in terms of its story telling. John Carter has more depth, period.

    Michael Giacchino's score does a wonderful job of supporting the story without overwhelming it, adding to its richness. It doesn't quite rise to the level of cinematic greatness, but it definitely succeeds in enriching action/events going on in the film at any one time.

    I have seem some dismissals of the abundant use of CGI in the film. It is done with the care one expects from a Pixar director, as for example the Tharks. Tars Tarkis (Defoe does a great job voicing him) becomes one more character, not a digital intrusion in the realm of human actors (as do the other Tharks, like Sola). People complained about Carter's jumping. I did not find it cheap or hokey looking in the least. (As an aside, several reviewers complain that the inhabitants of Barsoom are more amazed that Carter can jump, rather than being from Earth - they apparently ignore a complete scene where Dejah is astonished when she realizes Carter is from where he claims to be from - another note, Carter's origin is never really made as much as a big deal as his physical abilities in the book either).

    The acting. I felt Lynn Collins did a perfectly fine job as Dejah. Would I say it was an Oscar-worthy peformance? No, but I would call it comparable with anything Carrie Fisher offered in Star Wars. As a rule, all the acting was good. I will admit that Taylor Kitsch appeared more limited in range, but in part I think it came across as such as the John Carter he plays is at first one that is emotionally detached from the world. He plays a Carter who travels to Mars as a man who has simply given up on believing in anything (explained in flashbacks), and as the movie progresses, and that Carter begins to care about a lot of things, Dejah, his place within the world of Barsoom, so does Kitsch's acting become more expressive and likeable. As I said earlier, Defoe's voice acting is excellent, and he transcends being Defoe's voice and becomes Tars Tarkis.

    In part, the ambition of the movie is so great that I feel as if I can't accurately convey everything with any hope of complete success. It's a film I want to see again and perhaps with enough viewings, be able to offer an encapsulation that in much shorter words can describe the essence of Andrew Stanton's John Carter.
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  52. Mar 11, 2012
    8
    I loved John Carter. It is not without its flaws, which are more than one would like, but the sum of the parts is great. The acting is fine, the effects awesome, and the story interesting and engrossing. I feel that the movie tried to fit too much into one movie, and the pacing was inconsistent, with the end suffering the most from a rushed story. However, it is a good and interesting movie that reminds me of the classic sci-fi like Star Wars where it was all about the adventure. Expand
  53. Mar 11, 2012
    10
    **** every critic & **** those who don't like Science fiction movies. Watch this Movie- Great Story, Amazing VFX, Mind-Blowing Sound. You will love it.
  54. Mar 15, 2012
    0
    Disney has yet again failed to deliver an original movie. It's as if they got the worst parts of Star Wars (Jar Jar Binks mostly) and all of Avatar, and fed it to the viewer after being processed by a geriatric Warthog. Epic Fail.
  55. Apr 1, 2012
    8
    I actually really enjoyed this flick. I don't understand all the negative press and why it just didn't seem to catch on. The story of a civil war guy traveling to mars and fighting aliens, saving a princess, and what not is pretty cool. The effects were nice. The pacing was great and the movie never felt like it was dragging on. Overall definitely a good movie. If it's still in theaters I suggest giving this one a chance. Otherwise pick up the dvd for sure. Expand
  56. Apr 5, 2012
    7
    I wasn't expecting much from this movie based on the trailer but I was wrong. I don't think they did a good job marketing the film.

    I found it to be fun and engaging if not a little generic (I have later leaned that the books, for which the movie is based, have influenced some of the most popular sci-fi franchises). The special effects were well done, complimented the movie and were
    never distracting. Expand
  57. Jun 17, 2012
    2
    Little more than a collection of puerile fantasy 'bits' cobbled together, with relentless, falsely dramatic muzak. So pretty much, the usual recipe for almost every other sci-fi / superhero movie that's emerged from the bowels of Hollywood over the last decade or so. Add in some truly uncharismatic lead acting talent (sic) and eradicate all traces of plausibility and humility.... et voilà!! Expand
  58. Jun 2, 2012
    0
    From the very beginning this looked like utter stupidity. Nothing special about special effects. So what if some computer designer drew some stupid creature on his computer. Big Deal! Other than that, lame plot, everything and anything is as out of touch with reality as it can get. Like humanoids on Mars? Martian airships? Seriously? Technologically advanced Martians/aliens that act as if they had the disinterment of a 5-year old? And they wonder this load of nonsense was a commercial failure! Expand
  59. Mar 30, 2012
    10
    Fantastic looking movie with a wonderful story. The shame is that Disney sabatoged this movie before it was even released. For months leading up to the movie release a certain website advertised this movie as Ghosts of Mars. The travesty is that a bit of marketing could have saved it. It was a huge mistake not to push the love story or to include Mars anywhere in the title. There is a huge following of the books that probably overlooked it because they did not use "Princess of Mars" or "John Carter of Mars". It is a shame because now we will never see the others. Expand
  60. Mar 19, 2012
    7
    I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised. I saw it in 3D and I think that did help. Totally crazy story and plot but to me that has to be a good thing when every other movie is a sequel or remake. At the same time it can't help but remind you off some sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Avatar, with a bit of Thor thrown in. Even some of the comedy moments work with a six legged dog! A few good action scenes but for such a big budget movie I don't think there are enough of them. Transformers is an example of too much action and this is an example of not enough. All in all worth a watch in 3D. Expand
  61. Mar 15, 2012
    10
    I have never watched a movie that made me feel sad after I watched it because it was getting a bum rap. I almost didn't go see it because of all of the bad publicity now I am glad I went. John Carter is a good film, fun, entertaining, funny and visually stunning. Strong interesting characters, good storyline. I blame Disney and its small mindedness for its failure. It is a fantasy film, it should be marketed as one. They should have never changed the name from John Carter from Mars, they should have hit up the fanboy network, and yes there are lots of fangirls out there too who would rock this movie in cosplay.. Disney opened the door and practically begged the critics to pan the movie. The trailers sucked, there is a fan trailer on youtube that is fantastic which is 1000 times better than the lame ones Disneys put out. Give this film a chance, it is a fun ride and worth seeing. Expand
  62. Sep 3, 2012
    6
    Disney's John Carter seemly doesn't have many original ideas, but what you've got to remember is that the source material the film is based on pre-dates all the movies this film appears to be referencing - it's a bit of a paradox really. You feel like you've seen it all before, but everything is executed extremely well. Visually, John Carter is superb, with some of the best sci-fi action since the Star Wars prequels. Taylor Kitsch's star is on the rise, but perhaps he isn't the best actor to lead a film, as excepting one notable scene that makes very effective use of juxtaposition, he is rarely able to demonstrate much emotional depth to the titular Carter, but he can certainly handle the physical demands of the role. Lynn Collins manages to emotionally ground the whole film and Mark Strong makes another effectively creepy villain. Unfortunately the usually brilliant Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy play pretty much exactly the same characters they did in HBO's Rome, and Dominic West's performance is pedestrian at best. The film makes use of some hugely convenient plot devices to avoid slowing the story, the script is so-so, and many of the key characters' motivations remain annoyingly unclear throughout. I'm also yet to decide whether the framing device for the main story on Mars works or not - is it clever and unusual, or just tonally misjudged? You end John Carter with a feeling that you've only just scratched the surface of this rich world, and I sincerely hope that the film makes enough money to justify a second installment, as a great sequel has been set up, a sequel which wouldn't require anywhere near as much clunky exposition, and in which we might be allowed to finally learn what on Earth (or Mars) Mark Strong's villain is trying to achieve. Expand
  63. Mar 12, 2012
    10
    "John Carter " is a fantastic movie, the scale is enormous and the story is moving. The secondary characters are alive and well developed. A worthy adaptation of the now classic novels by Edgar R. Burroughs.
  64. Mar 23, 2012
    3
    One word I keep reading in relation to John Carter is inconsistent. I felt that choice of word was excellent because the biggest crimes of John Carter is that it buries the fact it actually has emotional resonance underneath cheap thrill action sequences and comedy sequences designed for the Disney family (the Disney family that in the end, didn't go to see the film). The character of John Cater is a conflicted one having suffered severe loss prior to his transportation to Mars. However this issue is glossed over as he begins leaping around the planet and getting involved in a war that's justification is NEVER given. In fact the film explores different parts of John Carter's personality at different times in the film so you have to struggle through his problems with wars in general before you really get to why he is the way he is. There is a sequence halfway through that is so powerful and poignant that it almost saves the film because it finally gives the viewer someone to support, someone to root for, but then the film returns to its predictable action and linear storytelling and everything that was good is bad again. Taylor Kitsch does a decent job portraying Carter regardless of the bad script and storytelling but he is let down by most of his supporting cast. Lynn Collins puts little effort in and never seems comfortable in the role making her scenes irritating, Dominic West tries to get by on charm but he fails to realise he doesn't have any and Ciaran Hinds looks as bored as he must have felt. The films 250 million dollar budget is evident in some truly stunning visuals but at times they can be a bit jarring in that the humans and creatures never really mesh when they are on screen together. However the CGI and the world created by Andrew Stanton is beautiful in the way Avatar was despite the large amount of sand. The film at times borders on cute because its a Disney film but overall it doesn't provide enough character to even pull that off. It's a shame as they advertised the film as '100 years in the making' as Edgar Rice Burroughs published the first of his John Carter novels in 1912. I wonder if it was made sooner, would it have been any better than this uninvolved yet beautiful mess of a picture? Expand
  65. Mar 31, 2012
    6
    A little bit slow at the beginning it starts a good pace at the middle end of the film. As many people say, when you go to see some films, you enter with some expectations, and for me this was suposed to be a super-action adventure non-stop film, but despite the fact it was a pretty average film I wouldn't recommend watching it it beyond a BR/DVD release.
  66. May 29, 2012
    4
    What the film makes up with interesting plotting, it fails in creating something new, exciting or different. Subpar alien people, mediocre visual effects, and some bad dialog characterize a film in which Disney put all its eggs ($250 million) in one basket. Too bad they were rotten eggs. Feels like a cross between National Treasure and Avatar, not a great combination.
  67. Mar 25, 2012
    9
    John carter is an amazing sci-fi/action adventure movie with a bit of cheese. It's got incredible special effects and 3D, very good action scenes, really good music, an awesome story-line (it's a little confusing at times), and good acting (mostly). I really recommend watching it, do it for Disney (they're losing money), let them make a sequel!
  68. Mar 12, 2012
    0
    One of the worst movies I've ever seen at the cinema, with the possible exception of Indiana Jones IV. Its only saving grace were the special effects and only when it came to scenery, not the aliens, who all looked like Jar Jar Binks wannabes. The lead actor was just awful, his acting was beyond bad, it was so horrid many people in the theatre were laughing when he delivered the cheesy one-liners with the earnesty of 5-year-old at a school play. Sure, he was pretty, like a Bravo-girl poster pretty, but is that really what it takes to be a fantasy lead? Where are the Han Solos of this generation? The lead actress was better, but not astonishingly so. The story was needlessly complicated and the emotional background for the main character was pointless and forced. The jokes were childish and not very amusing and the dialogues... dear lord, I want those two hours of my life back. I'm actually a life-long sci/fantasy fan, and I admire Burroughs and his fantasy balls of brass, so I wouldn't be so hard on the film (some of the CGI was nice), if it weren't for the amount of money wasted on it - 250 mil, plus 100 mil marketing - do you have any idea how many good movies, even only within the sci-fi/sci-fantasy genre, could've been made for that amount? But no, it was poured down this drain.
    And worst part - there's idiots everywhere claiming the movie is awesome and anybody who doesn't like it is a "hater". I don't know what their motivations are, but their like die-hard McDonalds fans - the more you support it, the worse your health is. Let go of this tripe and try a decent sci-fi story once in awhile. Asimov will do for starters, Lem, too. Your choice though.
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  69. Mar 14, 2012
    10
    For those who think this movie is a "Prince of Persia/Avatar" clone, they should realize this was adapted from a BOOK written in 1912. That alone is pretty awesome. The majority of critics don't seem to realize or appreciate this fact... Regardless, I thought the movie was great and not at all incomprehensible as some called it. It was simple, awesome fun.
  70. Mar 15, 2012
    10
    First and foremost, this film is a ton of fun, with characters you like that have some depth and soul - even the strange and wonderful aliens and monsters. It has great action, effects and a sweet romance at its core. Ignore the bad press and ignorant reviewers who think this copied "Avatar" or "Star Wars" - I'd like to know how a 100 year old story managed that little trick? Edgar Rice Burroughs "A Princess of Mars" may be 100 years old, but the creative team behind this gem of a movie has updated the story nicely while retaining what makes Burroughs "Barsoom" stories so wildly entertaining. Yes, it was an expensive movie to make - but it shows it all on the screen, and then some. This film is a nice throwback to better movie making, where actual sets were built and actual locations were journeyed to, creating a level of realism you don't see in films shot on green-screen sets. Do yourself a favor and see this movie: relax, let go and enjoy one of the most entertaining films in the last several years. Expand
  71. Mar 17, 2012
    5
    John Carter is a difficult review. I was entertained at times but frustrated throughout by the simply awful 3-D effects. If you have any 3-d sensitivity, you will be sick at this movie. As to the content, the movie is part action, part children movie, and part graphic violence movie. The movie overall looks like what it is- a product of a director who had never made a live action movie and was learning on the job- while spending $200 million of Disney's money and dooming the John Carter franchise. Perhaps it would be better in 2-d on the television from Redbox? Expand
  72. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    I don't remember a movie that I liked so much that was reviewed so poorly. It is not Casablanca but if you're in the mood for an adventure film with a solid story a really great special effects and aratsy visions of alien cultures, this is it. It's a matinee adventure with classic hero/heroine/evil doers. The bad rap it has so universally received from paid movie reviewers is very unfortunate and does not jib with the audience reaction, which has been predominately positive. . The movie deserves much better. I have seen a half dozen of this genre in the past year or so that were far less entertaining, Green Lantern, Percy Jackson. . and I'm a fan. . .to name only two. Go see this movie. Drop your Andrew Sarris precious-ness, open the kid-part of your brain (if it still exists, and I hope it does) and you'll have fun. My 12 year old son and I both liked it a lot. Expand
  73. Mar 31, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It´s a great movie, full of action, adventure, incredible landscapes, realistic creatures....and there is love. Anyone who loved Indy, Star Wars will love this movie. Dejah Thoris will rule forever. Expand
  74. Apr 2, 2012
    10
    The movie is fantastic, the story is very good and special effects are the best, actually when I saw it I thought it would be a success at the box office, not because it was not, I can only congratulate Disney.
  75. Apr 4, 2012
    5
    To say "John Carter" is an "Avatar" or a "Star Wars" ripoff is simply an ignorant, and a mindless statement. The 100 year old, hard-sell story's success was a questionable bet which the director of the fantastic "Finding Nemo" was hoping to produce.

    However, the film itself was quite a bore. There was too much romance story involved that the entire rhythm of the film was out of control.
    The effects however, was unquestionably impressive. Although a few of the scenes were not visually stunning. Still I was amazed how the film has its individual stand. Expand
  76. Jun 13, 2012
    0
    If I were capable of encapsulating how awful this film was, I'd have invented a new language based around the word "bad". The trailers looked terrible, but I suppose at that point the marketing budget had already been spent and two-thirds of the way through production there was no turning back, but surely the most prudent decision would have been to postpone the release and continue the test/edit process until a satisfactory cut was found like Into the Blue. John Carter was simply horrible. Expand
  77. Jan 22, 2013
    2
    "John Carter" is just a mess. It's story is incompetently told, the characterization is ludicrous, the motivation of the different fractions diffuse, and the casting is all wrong. Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins are very pretty, but lack a whole lot of charisma. And using the original terminology of the novels just adds to the confusion. I'm all into challenging movies, but this is just bad, stupid writing, and there are more silly scenes than in some comedies. "John Carter" is just a huge bore. Expand
  78. Dec 5, 2012
    6
    John Carter has some amazing visual elements that are some of the best I have ever seen; the cgi is absolutely fantastic and certainly makes the film easy to watch. It's easy to see where the money was spent on this project. However, it suffers considerably due to major pacing problems, making the film feel uneven. Thus resulting in a film that, unfortunately, is disappointing and forgettable.
  79. Apr 7, 2013
    8
    I had no idea what to expect going into this movie. Now, I've got to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was allot of fun. A really novel idea with some great effects and interesting characters. But if I have to gripe, I would say that the story feels like it was condensed a bit. This almost feels like they took three movies and condensed it down into one. I felt like there could have been more. I feel this movie would have worked better if fleshed out a bit more and perhaps done as a TV series or even a mini-series.

    Overall:
    John Carter is an enjoyable movie that just feels a bit incomplete. Otherwise still fun to watch.
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  80. Aug 21, 2012
    8
    I wasn't sure what to expect from this film but i enjoyed what i saw. it has a very throw back feel to it with modern efects . i kept thinking of the old flash gordon movie with all the queen music in it . it also reminded me of many other older films. it feels very simple and i would not say thats a bad thing in general since this is disney after all they are trying to make this family friendly . i know my 6 year old nephew really enjoyed it and over all i thought it was a pretty solid film . if i had to complain it would be the dry acting and weak dilouge in the film and also the pacing is abit slugish. over all though worth a see especially if you have kids who like SciFi films. Expand
  81. Mar 19, 2012
    10
    John Carter story (book) predates Star Wars so I can see where Star Wars got some of its ideas from John Carter. The visuals were a master piece although I wasn't too impressed with the 3D, sorry but Avatar raised the bar pretty high. The story pretty much is the usual guy saves the girl then saves the world scenario, nothing new there. Remember this is a science fiction so turn off your common sense sensor and you should have fun watching all the action in this flick as I did. Not sure if there is a part 2 in the works but they certainly left the door open for it. Expand
  82. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    Typical storyline. But quite interesting... It reminded me of Star Wars a lot. (John Carter was written decades before Star Wars)
  83. Mar 2, 2013
    6
    I think much of the negative press this film got was because of the enormous amount of money it cost to make. And yes, I can see it has extremely high production values with many exciting battle/chase/fight scenes all using very high quality CGI. I admit I have never read the Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘John Carter of Mars’ books but I’m sure those that have will have got a lot more out of this film than me. It’s an exciting adventure that (I’m afraid) has a storyline that doesn’t quite hold up today. Yes, it’s visually quite stunning in places with some very exciting action sequences along the way but the plot is a tad too over-complicated, particularly for a younger audience, and the main premise that Carter can jump is, quite frankly, very weak. So, does it deserve the vitriolic reception it received? I have to say no; it is a better film than many have made out. Was it worth spending that amount of money on making it? Again, no; although it’s not as bad a film as many have said; I still find it hard to justify the amount of money spent on it. Would I watch it again? Probably not; but I’m glad I did see it the one time.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (just watch it once)

    My score: 5.8/10
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  84. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    I was very skeptical of this movie, I had read the plot of the books online and it sounded just too hard to accept. Then the commercials did not really shine--they focused so much on action. My father told me that the movie was great, watch it, and basically shut up on the criticisms til I had seen it. He was totally right. The richest parts of the film are the internal conflicts of the main character. The flashbacks do a beautiful job of explaining so much in mere seconds. Combine that with the civil war and lost causes and bam...great stuff. The suspension of disbelief was quite easy and about 15 minutes in it was easy to accept this view of the solar system and forget all about rovers on Mars and what we scientifically know. The final 15 minutes are a brilliant, simply brilliant ending with some twists that I won't ruin for you. A must see! Expand
  85. Mar 21, 2012
    5
    John Carter tries so hard. Part Star Wars, Dark City, Avatar, Prince of Persia and Incredible Hulk (the jumping around) and others, it never feels original. Every attempt at humor in the film fell flat and you could hear crickets in the theater when there was supposed to be laughter. The acting was sub par, and the dialog was at times laughable. They spent a fortune creating all the aliens, who all look alike. They had to make the bad guy have a broken tusk or we would never know who was who. I saw it in 3D IMAX. The 3D was good, not great. There were some good special effects interspersed throughout, but in the end I simply didn't care enough about the characters and didn't feel the chemistry between the two leads. I was bored at times and looked at my watch, never a good sign. This is not a terrible movie, but not quite good enough to recommend. Expand
  86. Jul 6, 2013
    10
    I just gave John Carter a 10 but after months of reflection. I grew up reading the Princess of Mars and in fact all of the books in the Barsoom series. They were transformative. I remember picking up the first one, probably out of order, as a child in the school library. I read about the Green Man from Mars and my life changed. So, I approached this film with huge skepticism and watched it with an eye jaundiced by what I perceived to be the Disney-fication of it. Meanwhile, I read about the marketing mess, the high budget, the overreach and the staleness (these were the critics and the Hollywood blogs). But no other film, short of perhaps one of the early Star Wars films, has touched me as when John Carter at the end whispers the incantation followed by "Barsoom". My God this was a romantic story. Not perfect, but on a scale of 1 to 10, it touched my heart and soul (or certainly the heart and soul of the little girl who first imagined the distant worlds and the fiery Princess and the brave John Carter and his friend, the Green Man Tars Tarkas) at the level of 10. Barsoom. Expand
  87. Apr 15, 2012
    8
    Is it a bit dated and corny, sure. But, that's what John Carter of mars was, and while the movie wasn't any Avatar, it was a fun show, with heart and nice effects. You won't need your copy of "the scientists guide to alien technology"; --- But, bring a large bag of popcorn, sit back, and prepare for a couple of hours of enjoyable vintage comic book style science fiction / science fantasy. This movie is a romp, rather than an epic... and it was far better than we expected going in. Expand
  88. Apr 5, 2013
    0
    Beyond bad. Where the heck did they dig up Taylor Kitsch to star in this I saw him in 'Battleship' which bombed as well, and he was one of the main reasons. He has absolutely NO charisma, and that in turn makes each and every one of his lines...laughable. This entire movie is a nauseating mess, where one scene is worse than the next. Anyone who sits through this deserves a medal of honor.
  89. Apr 9, 2012
    5
    I went into this movie with an open mind, having never read the books I wasnt sure what to expect. I have to say I agree with the general consensus that this is just an average movie, kind of a nice starter before the summer movie season but not something I would see again. The action was ok but I never really bought into the whole romance and towards the middle i found myself glancing at my watch. If your bored on a Sun afternoon and its still showing go see it especially if its cheap....still much better than the Hunger Games which I thought was terrible Expand
  90. Jul 4, 2012
    2
    My roommate took this film home last night and I decided to watch it with him despite hearing that the film had flopped at the box office. Well, I wish I hadn't. Someone's cooking the books, too, on the average user score of 7.1 average. Total fantasy. I found myself laughing at the serious parts, groaning at the "funny" parts and yawning most of the rest of the time. How can a movie be so predictable and yet take so long to get where it's going? A horrible combination. The one surprise? That Disney made an ultra-violet action film devoid of any moral or inspirational message. I kept thinking to myself, "Disney made this?" Biggest disappointment? Taylor Kitsch. I really like this guy in Friday Night Lights, but he's just not ready for a feature film. Do yourself and favor and rent something else. Expand
  91. Aug 12, 2013
    7
    Far from perfect but still manages to entertain. "John Carter" starts off unbelievably slow and almost as dry, barren, and lifeless as Mars itself. But it does manage to quickly pick up the pace. Featuring fantastic special effects and an enjoyable, if sometimes stale, plot. The action is satisfying and the cast great. Other than the slow opening this movies flaws are with a predictable romance and the main characters lame backstory. But these flaws don't manage to ruin the movie when it's firing on all cylinders. With humorous moments and great action scenes the movie succeeds at being an enjoyable experience, even if it's not what I would call a great movie. The main character's powers are what gives the action scenes an edge. Watching "John Carter" leap through the air like Marvel's "Incredible Hulk" is constantly entertaining, and put the feats of enhanced strength put the new Superman movie to shame. So overall "John Carter" is an enjoyable experience, but it does have some issues holding back from greatness. Expand
  92. Apr 8, 2012
    6
    I think I agree with Rotten Tomatoes' verdict, it's ridiculous fun. "While John Carter looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization."
  93. Sep 23, 2012
    5
    John Carter is a very imaginative yet B rate movie that calls itself science fiction. Though the special effects are wonderful, the characters are all one-sided, the plot is very simple and predictable, and it blatantly ignores many scientific facts that even an elementary school student should know. However, the movie can be very creative at times, with dazzling scenery and intricate landscapes, as well as creatures. I get the impression that this would be what Mars would be like if it actually did have an atmosphere.

    But now we get to the really big HOWEVERS. Good graphics and special effects the movie might have. HOWEVER, as mentioned before, the movie's characters are all very simple and do not evolve hardly at all over the course of the movie. The protagonist (John Carter, as if you wouldn't have guessed) is your standard action hero with lots of brawn and lots of bravery but little brain. The princess of the City of Helium (I kid you not, one of the cities is named Helium) is your standard damsel in distress. Though she does participate in some action scenes, she is never shown to be capable of really defending herself, thus forcing upon her the mantle of "one who is good only for being rescued". And the support characters (of which there are a disappointing few) are hardly elaborated on very much, and I didn't feel as though I really knew any of them very well at all by the movie's end.

    Meanwhle, the plot is very simple. I won't go into any detail beyond this, since doing so would require me giving out spoilers. However, I will say that there aren't really any twists to the story, least of all during the climax (which especially surprises me). There are some points where it seems like a twist might be about to happen, but then it never really does. It seemed like the writers were always holding back, and even when it came time for them to actually take the plot to a new level, they decided not to for some reason.

    And now we reach the largest HOWEVER. The flaws mentioned above are bad. But of all of them, the obvious illiteracy that the writers had regarding scientific concepts is the worst. Because this is a Disney movie, I can forgive a few messups regarding realism, even for a "science fiction" themed movie (it is really complete fantasy, but I digress). HOWEVER, there are certain gaffs in the movie that were so horribly bad that it just made me angry. Perhaps the most obvious example is that, of course, Mars doesn't actually have an atmosphere. The movie tries to dispel this in the very beginning by saying something like "that's what they say, but it's not true". Like hell it isn't!. Movie, are you trying to tell me that in your universe, astronomers for hundreds of years have misinterpreted multitudes of evidence to the contrary? Give viewers a break, they deserve better treatment than this! I could go on about this example, but I don't think I need to. Anyways, the next huge realism gaff is how John Carter can jump to insane heights, with the only explanation being that Mars has lesser gravity than Earth. While this may be true, it is only about 38% the gravity of earth. So that means that Carter should only be able to jump 1/0.38 (about 2.6) times higher on Mars then he can on Earth. Perhaps about 10 or 15 feet, assuming that he's somewhat of an athlete. But a skyscraper's height? Hell no! And what makes this particular gaff even worse is the effect for jumping. Now, to be fair, most of the effects in this movie are great. But the one for Carter's jumping is the one exception. He could not more obviously be on a rope, during the early scenes. And later on, during the battle scenes, it just looks completely ridiculous. Lesser gravity means that you fall slower. It doesn't mean that you increase your height but fall at the same speed. That's just stupid. Now, you're probably thinking: knowing that this is a Disney movie, why am I being so particular about realism? After all, none of the other Disney movies are realistic at all, right? So why get worked up about this one? The reason is actually very simple: it's not because I expected the movie to be realistic (I didn't, of course). It's because it shows how little the producers actually know about science. The stuff they get wrong in this movie is the kind of stuff you learn about in middle and high school (even elementary school, for some cases). And the fact that the producers got this stuff wrong honestly makes me wonder about their IQs. Taking some liberties with realism is okay. But pretending that physics doesn't exist is just careless.

    To sum up, John Carter is actually quite fun, very imaginative, but also quite simple (and stupid, in some places), as well as underwhelming as far as the plot is concerned. I give it a D-.
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  94. Apr 29, 2012
    7
    John Carter was surprisingly a fun filled ride from start to finish. Not sure what the hate is all about and why Disney could lose so much money on this venture. It was a tough book to adapt to the big screen, but I think it was done fairly well.
  95. Mar 11, 2012
    7
    the movie is worth seeing. plain and simple. Avatar did the same type of thing better a couple years ago and unfortunately a big part of being successful is getting there first (no matter when the material originated)
  96. Mar 19, 2012
    9
    Having read such negative reviews from the critics, I was unsure if I would drop $20 on it. I had some cheap tickets and thought it was worth a risk. i am so glad I did. Thoroughly enjoyable spectacle, I enjoyed it immensely.
    Well made, well paced, great story...just don't expect it to be a masterpiece of cerebral film-making that the critics and the pretentious gush over.
  97. Mar 12, 2012
    8
    Going into the movie, I was questionable about the movie and my friend was all about the movie. Afterwards, I enjoyed it and he questioned it. Maybe it was my expectation thinking that it was going to feel like a Star Wars Episode 1-3 type of movie is why I ended up liking it. I don't know if I would go back for the IMAX 3D... but it looked great there. Only real complaint is the theater played 35 minutes of previews... too much. Expand
  98. Mar 22, 2012
    10
    As a person who plays many many computer games, I was not expecting to be entertained as much I I thought I would when I wen to see this movie. Now I have not real the Novels but I was taken aback by how well this movie had been put together, the visual effects are rather excellent, the characters meaningful and true to human nature.

    From what I gather this movie is not true to the
    original story but this tends to happen and I think the story is true and particularly well put together.

    I would certainly recommend this movie to almost everyone even, I went into this movie purely to just "see a movie" and I came out extremely happy with my choice.
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  99. Jun 27, 2012
    8
    Looking at the critic reviews, the Positive and Average far outnumber the Negative ones so I really do not understand why was this received negatively. I think $175 mil box office sounds successful only until you consider what it cost to make. However this film has just started to come out World Wide on Blu-Ray and Dvd and I think it will still be a great success. I saw this film with wife and children and everybody loved it. I thought it was very entertaining movie and Taylor Kitch was good but it was the gorgeous Lynn Collins, the Wolverine squeeze, who stole the show. James Purefoy, of the sadly US shunned Solomon Kane, was also great. A great fantasy adventure movie, not for the Woody Allen fans, probably. Expand
  100. Mar 15, 2012
    7
    John Carter is an experience worth experiencing and it is most definitly not a bore. However the film does have it's faults. This film seems rushed by thedirector. The editing is sloppy and many things in the film that seem like large and key pieces to the plot are rushed when there are 2 minute long scenes of drama that ultimately does not affect the viewer. Too bad because the film had many scenes that are so well done but when i think of this film i will only be able to think of it's faults. Expand
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 42
  2. Negative: 7 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Mar 19, 2012
    40
    Burroughs invented a primal fiction: a man winds up on another planet, and has to find his way among strange creatures. Sticking to that fable, which was central to "Avatar," might have saved John Carter, but Stanton loses its appealing simplicity in too many battles, too many creatures, too many redundant episodes. [26 March 2012, p.108]
  2. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    Mar 18, 2012
    60
    Get your ass to Mars? A handsome new sci-fi adventure that feels rather familiar. Enjoyable enough while it lasts, John Carter is big on ambition and disappointingly short on action.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 18, 2012
    20
    Dejah, with her seen-it-all-before smirk, is not a very sympathetic heroine, and Kitsch is stolid and dull. And as for the red planet, the answer to David Bowie's famous question is no. What a sadd'ning bore it is.