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61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 365 Ratings

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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: Ben Nicholson
    Sep 5, 2014
    80
    This undeniably silly, but raucously entertaining, off-the-wall transhumanist actioner is an absolute riot.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 135
  2. Negative: 45 out of 135
  1. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    I thought the movie was great. It had a spiritual message that provoked one to thought. I love action movies and this film does give lots of action; however, typically action movies don't offer any depth to the storyline. "Lucy," does provide depth and need for thought and I left contemplating its message. It reminded me a bit of the Matrix. The message was a labyrinth of possibilities. Collapse
  2. Aug 9, 2014
    9
    If you are smart and open to the future, then, you will value the concept of this movie. It will caught your attention from the beginning. Scarlets is amazing as usual, so Morgan Freedman. On the contrary, if you are not too smart and you are waiting just to see action, sex and rock and roll, this movie it is not for you. A great concept of evolution and how we can evolve as a human and develop our brain capacity. Expand
  3. Aug 2, 2014
    7
    Entertaining film. Although the 10% myth is flawed, the movie is decent. I would have liked to see more blood and action scenes in the movie. I could see why people didn't like the movie as much because it tends to get more philosophical toward the end which makes it a bit confusing. I did like however, the idea of increasing your mental capacity. Not a horrible film. Decent movie to see, if you have nothing else to do on a Saturday. Not a movie to be taken too seriously. The silver lining is sarjo proves she has the skill to lead an action film and it also opens the door for more action films with leading women in it in the future Expand
  4. Aug 26, 2014
    5
    Although it's enjoyable to watch, this movie is not good science fiction. The premise is based on the old saw that says "we only use 10% of our brains." So what would it be like if we someone could use all 100%? Of course the premise is nonsense. If we really used just 10% of our brains, then evolution would have given us brains that are 10% as large as they are now. The brain is an energetically-expensive organ. It makes no sense from an evolutionary standpoint that we would have brains 10 times larger than we need.

    A good science fiction film should have some basis in real science, or at least have a comprehensible and consistent explanation of whatever pseudo-scientific ideas it relies upon. This film is fantasy masquerading as science fiction. There have been a couple of films that develop this topic in a more satisfying way -- Charlie and Phenomenon come to mind. (Those films are good science fiction, check them out.)

    Still, the special effects are fun to watch, and the plot, while implausible, did hold my attention. Entertaining fantasy, but not science fiction.
    Expand
  5. Sep 20, 2014
    4
    Disappointed. Very disappointed. Very, very disappointed. Is this all accelerated evolution has to offer mankind? Here was a chance for Scarlett Johansson to kick some ass for 80 minutes and somehow there was no fun, no humor, no triumph of smartness over dumbness. "Limitless", a flawed movie, with Bradley Cooper better covered the expanding mental power in an ordinary human. Better still, check out "The Sixth Finger" from the 40+ year Outer Limits show (season 1, episode 5). Expand
  6. Sep 14, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie starts really good, but to the end it gets just laughable. They shot to long and transformed it into a holy awakening movie towards the end. The superpowers Lucy gets, get more and more ridicolous when she turns smarter and stronger. SPOILER : Why should a human be able to use telekinesis and travel in time because they got 10x smarter than before ? SPOILER END. They should have stopped in the middle of the film and just go on with the plot from there, but the movie transforms to a comedy from there... Expand
  7. Sep 12, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is probably the worst movie I've ever seen. I'll just put up in bullet points why:
    1) Unforgivable fallacies: The idea that humans only use 10% of their brain is a glaring myth, and the fact that they then try to say that because dolphins use 15% of their brain, they have been physically allowed to develop sonar. Additionally, the scenes where this "science" is explained, it is to a room of professors and students who regularly ask questions. And not one of them tries to call him out on it.
    2) Poor choice of words: After she "unlocks the unlimited potential of the cell's nucleus," she states a couple of times that she has achieved some great "knowledge." This stunned me. You don't just begin to know things as a result of being smarter, you must learn them. This movie has her learn everything by taking drugs. (She somehow knows random trivia about people and how to control various electronics, but still has to look into people's phone calls to see what they're planning to do.)
    3) Unneeded tension: There were far too many instances where Lucy could have ENDED any conflict in the movie and she simply chooses to ignore them. And as a result, the people she says she cares about are put at risk of dying. It wasn't just a matter of non-violence on her part, either, so there's no reason for more than half of the conflict.
    4) Non-relatable character: From the moment she becomes "all-knowing," she acts better than everyone and pretends to _know_ everything despite still needing to find information from others. And - to spoil the ending of the movie for you, too - just prior to going through a time-travelling experience, she still insists on being an all-knowing entity more akin to a god than a human... therefore completely invalidating anything that could have been achieved through that scene.
    5) Terrible acting: In the beginning, she plays a ditsy girl which was okay, but as soon as she's kidnapped, it all goes downhill. Every sound that comes out of her mouth while she's captured is painful to listen to (not out of sadness, but out of not wanting my ears to bleed). Then, as soon as she's using "more than 10% of her brain," she starts acting so arrogant and ignorant of how her behavior could affect others.
    6) Horrific cutaway scenes: Sometimes the movie will cut away to various shots from nature programs to equate something that's happening with a natural event. But the quality of the footage is subpar, and the objective simply isn't well executed at all.

    It was a sad waste of an hour and a half, and it seems pretty clear, too, that most of the budget went into buying positive reviews for this trashy film.
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