Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 19, 2013
    80
    Oblivion is a technical triumph rather than a philosophical breakthrough, demonstrating how beautifully digital effects can be blended with real people and real sets, demonstrating that neither Tom Cruise nor the 1970s will ever die, and announcing the unexpected arrival of a major science-fiction director.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 18, 2013
    80
    Oblivion has the ability to haunt you visually and, with an unanticipated love story, even emotionally.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 18, 2013
    75
    It’s a visually arresting movie. But as the plot layers are peeled back, and we’re given one answer after another, Oblivion actually becomes less interesting.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 18, 2013
    75
    After a slow start, this is the rare film that gets better as it goes along. The story, about two scientists working in a post-apocalyptic New York, deepens and builds an intense rooting interest. The action sequences are too much out of a video game, but this is intelligent science fiction -- and it benefits enormously from Tom Cruise in the lead role.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 18, 2013
    75
    Despite various shoot-outs, dogfights, chases, and crashes, Oblivion is not a teen-friendly film. The storyline is too dense and the pacing too uneven.
  6. Reviewed by: Aaron Franco
    Apr 17, 2013
    75
    Oblivion is a terrific-looking movie, alternating spare, sterile environments with homey organic ones, and making both look tremendously pretty. Kosinski also handles his action well, with cut-and-dried clarity and edge-of-seat energy.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 17, 2013
    70
    The story probably doesn’t stand up to heavy scrutiny, and at times the effort by star and director shows. But at least the effort is there.
  8. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 10, 2013
    70
    Oblivion is an absolutely gorgeous film dramatically caught between its aspirations for poetic romanticism and the demands of heavy sci-fi action. After a captivating beginning brimming with mystery and evident ambition, the air gradually seeps out of the balloon that keeps this thinly populated tale aloft, leaving the ultimate impression of a nice try that falls somewhat short of the mark.
  9. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Apr 18, 2013
    67
    Oblivion is Moebius-comic gorgeous and it sounds great, especially the loud, nervewracking honks the drones make when they're weighing whether or not to shoot you. I suppose that's a surface appeal. But it's a nice surface.
  10. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Apr 17, 2013
    67
    Glaringly indebted to several earlier works and the film overall remains beholden to one established brand above all others: Tom Cruise.
  11. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Apr 10, 2013
    67
    It is overlong, and familiar, and never quite hits top gear -- it's never especially bad, but neither is it especially excellent, beyond the visual wow factor. But there's still a lot to admire in the film, not least that it's engaging from the first moment to the last.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 18, 2013
    65
    Oblivion occupies an awkward no-man's-land between escapist space adventure and heady science fiction, but it's neither thrilling enough nor intellectually stimulating enough to satisfy devotees of either.
  13. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    Oblivion is a slick spectacle — seeing the humorless but ultra-fit Tom Cruise wrestle with himself might be worth the price of admission alone.
  14. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    Oblivion is an okay blockbuster, a multimillion-dollar exercise in competence.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    It’s an engrossing, if complicated and twisty, story, with plentiful sci-fi action and a provocative subtext about the nature of the human soul. At times, however, the balance between those two things feels off.
  16. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    By the end of the film, Leo is beginning to sound suspiciously like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Robotic, and more than a little peeved.
  17. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Apr 18, 2013
    63
    Oblivion is a lot like its star: clean, cold, efficient, increasingly overblown, and not a little inexplicable.
  18. 63
    That doesn’t make Oblivion a bad movie, just a familiar one — generic.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 19, 2013
    60
    Granted, "intelligent" might be too generous a word to describe Oblivion, which flirts with big questions, but never answers them. What's left is a story that doesn't quite go where no man has gone before.
  20. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Apr 16, 2013
    60
    The good news: Here's a lavish, serious science-fiction picture, one that on occasion transcends big-budget hit-making convention to glance against grandeur...Which brings us to Tom Cruise, the not-necessarily-good news. However engaging its end-times mysteries, Oblivion is still a Tom Cruise movie.
  21. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Apr 10, 2013
    60
    Kosinski has again built a fantasy world that feels real to its core, but once more put most effort into the scenery and too little into the people.
  22. Reviewed by: Keith Harley
    Apr 10, 2013
    60
    It isn’t a reboot or reimagining, refreshingly, but Oblivion plays like a stylised remix of superior sci-fi ground-breakers. Cruise and Kosinski: they might be an effective team, but pioneers they’re not.
  23. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 10, 2013
    60
    A moderately clever dystopian mindbender with a gratifying human pulse, despite some questionable narrative developments along the way.
  24. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 17, 2013
    58
    Oblivion has enough special-effects artistry to keep you distracted for a while. But all the eye candy in the world can’t mask the sensation that you’ve seen this all before…and done better.
  25. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 11, 2013
    50
    Oblivion is a special effects extravaganza with a lot of blatant symbolism and very little meaning. It starts slow, turns dull and then becomes tedious — which makes it a marginal improvement over the earlier film. It features shiny surfaces, clicky machinery and no recognizable human behavior. It's equally ambitious and gormless.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Apr 22, 2013
    50
    In space, Jack hopes, someone may hear you dream. But in a movie theater, no one will see you yawn.
  27. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Apr 22, 2013
    50
    Yet Oblivion is worth the trip. There are two reasons for this. The first is the cinematography of Claudio Miranda.
  28. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    Without an exceptionally skilled director of actors (such as Cameron Crowe), Cruise can’t dial up much emotion, so the two love interests for his character are two more than he can convincingly handle. He may be at home in the cockpit of a killing machine, but when it comes to displaying his humanity, he’s no Wall-E.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    The questions raised by Oblivion aren’t especially deep, but the movie does answer a puzzler that has troubled humankind for generations: Can Tom Cruise build a concept so big that he himself can’t lift it?
  30. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    For its first hour or so, Oblivion is a visually mesmerizing, intriguing picture that doesn’t feel like the same-old: It engages your eyes and piques your curiosity. Then, gradually, the novelty wears off, the clichés start to pile up and we’re back to Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia 101.
  31. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo turn up in cameo roles anyone could have played. Kosinski was smart to limit their screen time, because it’s awkward to have actors with weight and charisma hanging around those who lack both.
  32. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    Oblivion is odder and less conventional than your average forgettable star vehicle; at times it feels like a five-character play taking place in a digital-effects lab. But there's not much energy to it.
  33. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 18, 2013
    50
    For all the bells and whistles – an electronic score by M83, a screen-busting Imax presentation and Cruise going full throttle – Oblivion feels arid and antiseptic, untouched by human hands. Bummer.
  34. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Apr 17, 2013
    50
    Admirable in its look and style, the film is not unique or exceptional. Nevertheless, given the state of current science-fiction fare, the film does hold its own.
  35. 40
    Oblivion is like that movie-within-a-movie: Everything in it feels 100 percent inauthentic. That vibe, as it happens, turns out to be intentional. But when the humans arrive, it’s still a narcotic.
  36. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 18, 2013
    40
    The mystery posed by Oblivion as a whole is why its mysteries are posed so clumsily, and worked out so murkily.
  37. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 18, 2013
    40
    Kosinski’s ultimately underwhelming film leads nowhere. As its palpable sense of dread — well-sustained in a gently cascading first hour — gives way to dead ends, this Omega Movie shoots itself in the foot.
  38. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 10, 2013
    40
    Oblivion goes on for a long time, moving slowly and self-consciously, and it looks like a very expensive movie project that has been written and rewritten many times over. It is a shame: Cruise, Riseborough and Kurylenko as the last love triangle left on Planet Earth should have been quite interesting.
  39. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Apr 10, 2013
    40
    Kosinski continues to lavish far more thought on how his elaborate fantasy worlds look than how they work, and neither the politics nor the human stakes here coalesce into rational or relatable drama.
  40. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 18, 2013
    30
    Oblivion never transcends its inspirations to become anything other than a thin copy.
  41. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Apr 18, 2013
    12
    Absent of any sense of self-awareness, Oblivion seems only self-serious, a ponderous mess both misguided and unaware.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 926 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 279
  1. Apr 20, 2013
    10
    While the movie seems like a mixture of several different science fiction films, it is not fair to say it is unoriginal but it is more of aWhile the movie seems like a mixture of several different science fiction films, it is not fair to say it is unoriginal but it is more of a respectful throw back to the science fiction films of the 1970s. It has some spectacular action, some great concepts, and always beautiful imagery. It's not only worth checking out, its worth seeing, telling your friends about it and then seeing it again! Full Review »
  2. Apr 19, 2013
    9
    While the premise and some factors of the movie may seem underwhelming going in, Oblivion not only delivers, but makes for an enjoyable andWhile the premise and some factors of the movie may seem underwhelming going in, Oblivion not only delivers, but makes for an enjoyable and smart sci-fi movie well worth the price of admission. The scale of the movie is excellent, set pieces are huge and memorable, the visual feel is tremendous and helps create a genuine atmosphere. With that, the soundtrack by M83 is engrossing and excellent. Tom Cruise plays a solid main role, that didn't sell me at first but did later on, his scenes with Andrea Riseborough are among the best of the film. Add in some unexpected and truly great twists, and I'm happily surprised with this movie and it turns from what I'd expected to be a good movie, to a great one. Full Review »
  3. Apr 19, 2013
    8
    Oblivion is a rare beast, at least for Hollywood, it's actually a real science fiction film. While most sci-fi movies are basically guns inOblivion is a rare beast, at least for Hollywood, it's actually a real science fiction film. While most sci-fi movies are basically guns in space, or other genres wrapped up in futuristic glitter, Oblivion wears it's sci-fi credentials proudly. It's hardly perfect, it's a bit too long, has 3 endings and borrows liberally from a number of familiar genre elements, but it weaves them together into an enjoyable mystery with beautiful scenery and some impressive set pieces. Full Review »