Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 26, 2014
    90
    The summer’s best, coolest, juiciest, smartest action movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 24, 2014
    90
    It's gleefully bold, visually adventurous, often funny, strikingly concise — the whole heart-pounding tale is over in 90 minutes — and 100% entertaining.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jul 23, 2014
    83
    It comes across, instead, as a directorial flight of fancy, an imaginatively goofy take on an already goofy idea, exaggerated by Besson’s blunt style and an uncommonly fast pace.
  4. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Jul 23, 2014
    83
    It's basically the perfect summer movie, because it's designed to be.
  5. Reviewed by: Kate Stables
    Sep 5, 2014
    80
    Besson is at his balls-out bonkers best in this genre-scrambling, mind-expanding exhilarator.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Nicholson
    Sep 5, 2014
    80
    This undeniably silly, but raucously entertaining, off-the-wall transhumanist actioner is an absolute riot.
  7. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Sep 5, 2014
    80
    It’s the blockbuster of the summer.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Lucy is insane, makes very little sense, doesn't stand up to scrutiny and is an absolute blast.
  9. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Jul 23, 2014
    78
    The best comic-book movie in a long time, though based on no comic, Lucy is a film that mates classic Besson with Quentin Tarantino in a go at the mystical, world-solving vision found in Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Terrence Malick’s "The Tree of Life."
  10. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 25, 2014
    75
    What Johansson does in Lucy won't win her any prizes, but it establishes her ability to carry a movie that has some ideas, however half-baked, and has nothing to do with her obvious sex appeal.
  11. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Jul 25, 2014
    75
    When it comes to sheer comic-book fun, few summer movies deliver a more consistent, satisfying, thoroughly enjoyable shot of cinematic jouissance than the delightfully adventurous actress Scarlett Johansson's latest bit of strange, Lucy.
  12. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jul 25, 2014
    75
    Like many films by Besson — "The Professional," "The Fifth Element," "The Messenger" and other high-octane shoot-'em-ups — Lucy starts out riveting but becomes less engaging as it goes along.
  13. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Lucy is what a superhero movie might look like if developed by Spike Jonze and/or Michael Gondry.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Scarlett Johansson is ideally cast as a rapidly evolving kick-ass hero in Lucy, a stylish action thriller that is equal parts dazzling and ludicrous.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    It’s all ridiculous and enjoyable, and at the movie’s center is an actress creatively guessing at what omniscience might feel like.
  16. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    A full-out action movie - and a sober rumination on the nature of existence. It is both things, effectively and sincerely.
  17. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    In a captivating climax, the movie turns attractively freaky, though somewhat marred by cheesy special effects, and there’s a huge debt to the immense leaps of “2001.” An abrupt ending feels frustrating and leaves questions floating in space. Then again, I’m using only 3 to 5 percent of my capacity, so what do I know?
  18. Reviewed by: Jeff Labrecque
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    By the time the film exhausts itself—in a brisk 89 minutes — it feels like there's literally nowhere that Lucy and Besson can't go, no boundaries, no laws, no logic. Just go with it.
  19. Reviewed by: Abhimanyu Das
    Jul 23, 2014
    75
    Vulgar auteurist Luc Besson finally commits wholeheartedly to his decades-long preoccupation with waifish young women discovering their inner Shiva, spinning the concept out to its most delirious possible extremes.
  20. 70
    An outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style.
  21. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    There are a number of terrific production numbers in Lucy, basically violent action scenes that border on slapstick, and as long as we agree in advance that the “science” in this movie goes beyond pseudo into total B.S., I believe you will leave satisfied.
  22. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    Buoyed by Ms. Johansson’s presence, Mr. Besson keeps his entertainment machine purring. He may be a hack, but he’s also a reliable entertainer.
  23. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jul 23, 2014
    70
    Giddily recycling everything from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Matrix” to yakuza actioners and National Geographic documentaries, it’s a garish, trippy, wildly uneven and finally quite disarming piece of work, graced by a moment-to-moment unpredictability.
  24. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 22, 2014
    67
    Lucy doesn't hold together, but with its flashy innovation, Besson's trying to freshen the formula. It's the kind of freewheeling mess of a movie you wish studios would try out more often.
  25. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jul 24, 2014
    63
    Lucy, you may have twigged, is named after our 3.2-million-year-old hominid ancestor.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 24, 2014
    63
    Although Besson, the director of “La Femme Nikita” and the producer of “Taken,” indulges in some operatic violence, the film is more spacey than pacey.
  27. 63
    Besson’s script may let her (and Freeman) down in the third act, but the 89 minute long Lucy is so brisk it’ll give you whiplash. Even marginal thrillers benefit from a director and star who have a sense of urgency and are as hellbent as this on not overstaying their welcome.
  28. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Sep 5, 2014
    60
    This ridiculous, highly watchable, at points startlingly psychedelic action thriller is probably Luc Besson’s best film since ‘Léon’ (which isn’t saying a great deal).
  29. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 18, 2014
    60
    What begins as a thrilling pastiche of comic-book formula gets bogged down in its own scientific prattle — not that you ever stop adoring Johansson’s magnificent heroine.
  30. Reviewed by: Matt Singer
    Jul 23, 2014
    60
    Lucy earns points for its unpredictable treatment of its vaguely superhero-ish premise and an appealing silliness, but it struggles to match wits with the genius at its center.
  31. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jul 23, 2014
    60
    The end of the movie goes completely off the rails, but in a way that is charming in its stupidity.
  32. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jul 24, 2014
    58
    Whether you take to it will depend on whether you consider “high-octane” or “nonsense” the more important word.
  33. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Jul 23, 2014
    58
    There are moments of real wonder and even beauty amidst the slam and the bang and the big bada boom, and while Lucy is a mixed bag, it's been mixed by a master, and it is delightfully, happily insane.
  34. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Jul 23, 2014
    52
    Even Besson’s most bold choices – and this is a film that goes weird, and then just keeps getting weirder – don’t seem so revolutionary when packaged in such well-tread trappings and increasingly shoddy writing.
  35. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 25, 2014
    50
    I know we’re supposed to think that Besson’s daffy cinematic calisthenics are entertaining because at least they are not boring. But I was bored. It didn’t help that Morgan Freeman shows up as a brainy scientist explaining everything to us in his deepest intonations. When was the last time Freeman, a great actor, really acted?
  36. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    An entertainment choice I wouldn’t recommend, but one you might not regret if you dial your expectations down (or your drug intake up).
  37. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    When everything and anything is possible, nothing feels urgent or truly dramatic. The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity.
  38. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    The junk in Lucy doesn't entirely eclipse the moments when weird is fun.
  39. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    Remember "Limitless," the 2011 thriller in which Bradley Cooper becomes a whirling killer dervish from a drug that lets him access 100 percent of his brain? Well, Lucy is basically the same movie with Scarlett Johansson in the Cooper role. It's not a good trade-off.
  40. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    Jul 23, 2014
    50
    Lucy is a confounding experience, but at a brisk 85 or so minutes, it manages not to outstay its welcome. Those not enamored of Besson's particular brand of Euro-schlock grindhouse existentialism, however, may find their brains more stimulated elsewhere.
  41. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 24, 2014
    40
    A brazenly mindless thriller about the infinite capacities of the human brain. That said, sometimes we just want to shut down and give in to bombastic summer entertainment. In that regard, as usual, Besson delivers.
  42. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jul 24, 2014
    40
    There's enough mumbo jumbo about space and time and cellular division to allow Lucy to feign depth, but what lingers is Besson's regressive belief that even the most intelligent woman on earth can't figure out how to get her way without a miniskirt and a gun.
  43. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jul 23, 2014
    40
    Lucy plays more like a big dumb superhero flick than sci-fi.
  44. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 23, 2014
    20
    The funny thing about all these sub-"Matrix" shenanigans is that they’re genuinely meant to stoke thought and reflection. Frankly, though, few movies have left me feeling as shorn of gray matter.
  45. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 24, 2014
    12
    Besson has always demonstrated the ability to chuckle at the madness of his own material, and he provides some solid laughs from time to time. But these winks do nothing to erase the reality of a plot that becomes unintentionally hilarious.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 434 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 149
  2. Negative: 52 out of 149
  1. Jul 25, 2014
    2
    Really bad movie. Scarlets worst movie. It's like a Matrix wannabe but is tiresome and predicable. Yes there is action but it is all the sameReally bad movie. Scarlets worst movie. It's like a Matrix wannabe but is tiresome and predicable. Yes there is action but it is all the same and you are just thinking ok I get it get on with it already. Full Review »
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    1
    Pushing aside the laughable "science", the film fails to entertain. Scarlett Johansson is so bad in this, that it's no longer surprising whenPushing aside the laughable "science", the film fails to entertain. Scarlett Johansson is so bad in this, that it's no longer surprising when her performance contains no emotion or actual acting. The character is beyond unconnectable, and sometimes unlike able. The story is lame, the action is kind of lame, and overall the project is just boring. Full Review »
  3. Jul 26, 2014
    0
    Probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Cheesy and childish effects, pointless fights and a ridiculous plot. Completely incorrectProbably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Cheesy and childish effects, pointless fights and a ridiculous plot. Completely incorrect scientific basis of the brain function did not do any good either. Full Review »