Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. So the science in this film of Jules Verne's science fiction classic is ludicrous. Well, how's the fiction? Not terrible.
  2. This first feature by veteran visual effects supervisor Eric Brevig has its transporting, if benign, charms.
  3. You don't believe a second of it, but it's easy to enjoy, partly because of the casting of all three leads.
  4. 75
    The most entertaining 3-D movie I've ever seen.
  5. 63
    I don't know if 3-D could improve all movies (nothing could make "The Love Guru" funny) but it sure works here.
  6. 63
    A brisk, undemanding adventure aimed squarely at the family market, Journey is completely passable in 2-D. But viewing it through 3-D glasses not only quadruples the movie's entertainment value, it also explains why characters are constantly thrusting things at the camera.
  7. Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy but fun, fun, fun.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    For a harmless "Indiana Jones" knock-off, Journey to the Center of the Earth has an awful lot riding on it.
  9. Not exactly a movie in the usual sense, not exactly a ride, Journey is more of a virtual theme-park simulation and possibly a milestone of immersive entertainment.
  10. 50
    This is a fairly bad movie, and yet at the same time maybe about as good as it could be. There may not be an 8-year-old alive who would not love it.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Not so much a movie as an amusement park ride.
  12. 50
    With 3-D, a little goes a long way and, in the absence of a legitimate script with credible characters, the fun dries up long before the running time has expired.
  13. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Fraser on form, 3D dinosaurs, geology lessons, phosphorecent hummingbirds, killer flying fish, theme park rides, Icelandic babe - what's not to like? It skews young, but is everything an 8-12 year-old could want. Older siblings and parents will have nothing to complain about either.
  14. The cast hits the right notes. Fraser, switching between affable good sport and heroic goofball, clearly doesn't mind this stuff. He realized early on with "George of the Jungle," "Dudley Do-Right" and the "Mummy" movies that his B-movie build and persona is perfect for live-action cartoons.
  15. Provides tepid but fun entertainment.
  16. Journey is just the new version of a 1950s comin'-at-ya roller coaster, with a tape measure, trilobite antennae, and giant snapping piranha thrust at the audience.
  17. It's harmless fun, and it makes for an often impressive display of the latest generation of computer-wizardry. But the enterprise is utterly void of substance: instantly forgettable and about as enriching as a rerun of "Johnny Quest."
  18. It's a thrill ride not to be missed.
  19. It's inoffensive and shiny and competent and kids will dig it, and I can already barely remember a single thing that happened.
  20. 80
    Terrific family entertainment, an action comedy on a par with "Night at the Museum" and "National Treasure."
  21. 70
    The picture works because Brevig and his actors -- not to mention his effects -- maintain a sense of humor and lightness. It doesn't hurt that Fraser, a fine actor who's made a name for himself not with his serious performances (which are reliably solid) but for his recurring role in the "Mummy" series.
  22. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    A more unavoidable obstacle here is that there's not much in the way of plot -- the story is in the tour through the labyrinthian intimacies of inner Earth. As such, it's an f/x wizard's dream, and Brevig makes the most of it.
  23. It would be barely passable under normal circumstances, but in 3-D it's a circus of excellent FX.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Neither the acting nor the story matters much here; the movie is simply the sum of its 3D effects.
  25. Surprising as it may be, given an unpromising trailer, the 3D update of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth turns out to be perfectly charming as well as predictably eye-popping.
  26. 50
    Ultimately, Journey to the Center of the Earth's minor-league visual pleasures will be most enjoyed by those with the smallest number of celluloid reference points, preferably those who have started going to the movies after "Jurassic Park" or, better yet, the Harry Potter films.
  27. 50
    If this movie is not a ride, then what is it? One thing it may not be, quite, is a movie.
  28. 50
    As daft, outlandish, and speedy as it needs to be, and, for all its newfangled effects, touchingly old-fashioned in its reverence for the Jules Verne novel that inspired it.
  29. 50
    Eric Brevig, making his feature directing debut after a long career as a visual effects supervisor, lurches from one CG set piece to the next, though he's helped along by Fraser's easy comic touch.
  30. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    If the 3D here is better than average, SLIGHTLY, the rest of the movie brings it way, way down--not quite to the center of the earth, but at least a good six feet under.
  31. 58
    Like its early predecessors, it's a nominally fun trip, but it's tissue-thin and instantly forgettable.
  32. 63
    This dumbed-down spin on Jules Verne's classic adventure tale was devised as a kid-friendly roller-coaster ride, and it delivers the goods. Whether anyone over the age of eight wants the goods is another matter altogether.
  33. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    Many have described "Journey" as a 3D film dumbed down to a theme park attraction. However, its visual splendor would have left Walt Disney weeping and Sergei Eisenstein preaching of cinema's second coming.
  34. It has its modicum of suspense, and Brendon Fraser, who stars as intrepid professor Trevor Anderson – who does indeed journey to the center of the Earth – is his usual heroically affable self.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 44
  2. Negative: 15 out of 44
  1. Feb 13, 2012
  2. Nov 15, 2012
    It's not completely unbearable, but the script is trash, and the CGI effects are mediocre at best.
  3. Jan 28, 2012
    Journey to the center of the Earth is funny, entertaining and visually dazzling and the chemistry between the three stars lights up the screenJourney to the center of the Earth is funny, entertaining and visually dazzling and the chemistry between the three stars lights up the screen which helps the film be a heartfelt and surprisingly original adventure. I give this movie 79%. Full Review »