Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 48
  2. Negative: 4 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jul 12, 2013
    100
    If I were nine years old, I would see the monsters-versus-robots adventure Pacific Rim 50 times. Because I'm in my forties and have two kids and two jobs, I'll have to be content with seeing it a couple more times in theaters and re-watching it on video.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 10, 2013
    100
    Pacific Rim gives big, dumb and loud an exemplary name and summer audiences something to cheer.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 10, 2013
    100
    There’s no shortage of brains, brawn, eye candy, wit and even some poetry in this epic battle between massive lizard-like monsters and 25-story-high robots operated by humans.
  4. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jul 8, 2013
    100
    At first, watching Pacific Rim feels like rediscovering a favourite childhood cartoon – but del Toro has flooded the project with such affection and artistry that, rather than smiling nostalgically, you find yourself enchanted all over again.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 11, 2013
    90
    This is a noisy, chaotic, technology-crazed 21st-century action film, but also one made with tremendous excitement, vigor and heart, along with a myriad of wonderful details.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 10, 2013
    90
    Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker, he's a fantasy visionary with an outsized imagination and a fanatical specificity, a creator of out-of-this world universes carefully conceived down to the smallest detail. His particular gifts and passions are on display in the long-awaited Pacific Rim and the results are spectacular.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 10, 2013
    88
    Pacific Rim is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 9, 2013
    80
    Every monster-movie archetype is here, from nerdy scientists (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) to hard-stare leaders (Idris Elba) with a penchant for 11th-hour inspirational speeches. (Watching the former Stringer Bell bellow about “canceling the apocalypse!” is one of those great, giddy pleasures you didn’t know you needed.)
  9. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Jul 8, 2013
    80
    A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans.
  10. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jul 8, 2013
    80
    It is one of the better dumbass sci-fi action movies to come down the pike in quite some time.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jul 5, 2013
    80
    Pacific Rim is big and dumb in a smart way.
  12. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jul 12, 2013
    75
    Director Guillermo del Toro knows that the charm in the clash of scale - or armor-plated titans isn't necessarily tied to the low budgets and laughable production design of those guilty-pleasure TV shows. And with Pacific Rim, he cracks the code.
  13. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    Of all this year’s loud, over-long summer action movies that, in various ways, simulate the experience of having a tin bucket placed over your head and being struck repeatedly with a stick, it must be said that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is by far the most entertaining.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    What pulls us over the rough spots is the mind meld between del Toro the artist and the child inside him. They both want to astonish us. Geeks everywhere, salute.
  15. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    Pacific Rim shares much with the Mexican filmmaker's "Hellboy" franchise - jokey and comic book-y, full of muscular tableaus with huge squads of people coming and going (and running for their lives).
  16. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    Idris Elba exudes the requisite militaristic authority as Raleigh's commanding officer, and Rinko Kikuchi is his determined partner in mecha mayhem.
  17. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    There's not a single original moment to be found in Pacific Rim's 130-minute running time, but that doesn't much matter because the familiar beats are conveyed with maximum expertise intended to provide a visceral experience.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 11, 2013
    75
    It's closer to the hammering "Transformers" aesthetic than expected. Yet the weirdness around the edges saves it from impersonality.
  19. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 10, 2013
    75
    Yet for all its expensive grandeur, almost too epic even for the vast canvases of IMAX, Pacific Rim is unmistakably a Del Toro creation.
  20. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 10, 2013
    75
    It is a ridiculously entertaining (and often just plain ridiculous) monster-robot movie that plays like a gigantic version of that “Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots” game from the 1960s, combined with the cheesy wonderfulness (or should it be wonderful cheesiness?) of black-and-white Japanese monster movies from the 1950s.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 11, 2013
    70
    Coming out of Pacific Rim I felt energized rather than enervated, excited to describe certain nifty details of the film’s wacked-out imaginary world to friends, maybe even ready to … sit through certain parts again?
  22. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jul 11, 2013
    70
    Pacific Rim, with its carefree blend of silliness and solemnity, is clearly the product of an ingenious and playful pop sensibility.
  23. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 10, 2013
    70
    It’s not the best movie of the summer, not by a long shot, but if there’s such a thing as smarter dumb fun, this is probably it.
  24. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jul 8, 2013
    70
    To kill time between action set-pieces, del Toro has done an above-average job of avoiding tedium via some flavorsome casting, passably interesting plot contrivances and, above all, by maintaining strong forward momentum. Unlike so many similar crash-bang action spectaculars, this one feels lean and muscular rather than bloated or padded; the combat is almost always coherent and dramatically pointed rather than just splashed on the screen for its own sake.
  25. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jul 10, 2013
    67
    There’s no denying Pacific Rim is the best film of its kind. It remains to be seen whether the film’s epic clawing and clanking satisfies a pent-up demand equal to its ambitions.
  26. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 10, 2013
    67
    In a sense, Pacific Rim winds up being not enough of a Guillermo del Toro movie. It's more like a mash-up of "Real Steel" and the "Transformers" pictures. Which is a shame, because the idea is undeniably cool.
  27. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 8, 2013
    67
    Too in love with itself to ever totally go off the rails, Pacific Rim doesn't qualify as the first full-on dud of del Toro's career, but it's hard not to get the sense that something's missing.
  28. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 11, 2013
    63
    A big, lumbering, rock ’em, sock ’em mash-up of metallic heft and hyperbole, a noisy, overproduced disaster flick that sucks its characters and the audience down a vortex of garish visual effects and risibly cartoonish action. And you know what? It’s not bad!
  29. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 11, 2013
    63
    It’s the cinematic equivalent of a kid playing with his toys and smashing action figures together, except del Toro does it with more grace and imagination than most. There are long sequences in this movie that merit that most overused of terms, “awesome.”
  30. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 11, 2013
    63
    The movie is an eyeful, especially in 3-D, but even with humans at the helms of the machines, it’s a hollow exercise in homage.
  31. 63
    Del Toro’s robots have weight and mass, and their epic, Hong Kong-smashing fights with the four and six-legged, clawed and horned monsters are visually coherent, unlike the messy blur of the “Transformers” movies. There’s a light, humorous feel to “Pacific Rim” because the science is silly and logic takes a flying leap.
  32. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jul 8, 2013
    63
    Guillermo del Toro doesn't rise above the obligations of staging a film of this sort as a multi-level video game, a stylish but programmatic ride toward an inevitable final boss battle.
  33. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jul 11, 2013
    60
    Pacific Rim never amounts to more than the sum of its setpieces, but it delivers on the promise of its premise.
  34. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Jul 10, 2013
    60
    If Del Toro is pitching for an audience of 12-year-old boys (and we do mean boys: this is old-school macho), he’s done a bang-up job. Still, there are times when Pacific Rim could be the work of any jobbing Hollywood director – the warmth and idiosyncracy that characterises Del Toro’s finest work, from Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy 2, is absent.
  35. Reviewed by: Andrew Pulver
    Jul 8, 2013
    60
    Pacific Rim's wafer-thin psychodrama and plot-generator dialogue provides little for the human component to get their teeth into.
  36. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Jul 8, 2013
    60
    Del Toro is giving scope to a boyhood lust for mayhem, the multi-million-dollar equivalent of kicking over sandcastles and torturing insects. There is something infectiously juvenile in that.
  37. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jul 15, 2013
    50
    It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered — long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.
  38. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 12, 2013
    50
    The Kaijus make zombies look like wusses, so at least the fights in this film are battles royal. But overload sets in early, and it all turns into battle boring.
  39. 50
    Pacific Rim made me marvel at the technology of movies, but never the magic of them.
  40. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 11, 2013
    50
    "Could be worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Pacific Rim, but my head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.
  41. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 11, 2013
    50
    You get 45 minutes of awesome encased in 90 minutes of yawnsome.
  42. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jul 11, 2013
    50
    All performances remain irrelevant in the face of such expensive, explosive combat and destruction, and there the film excels: You will feel blown back into your seat, starting 40 seconds into the story.
  43. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jul 10, 2013
    42
    If your basic movie needs demand a little bit more -- logical premises; interesting, marginally original characters; dialogue that doesn’t reek of throaty, aspirational monologue after monologue -- Pacific Rim will leave you feeling hollow and wanting.
  44. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jul 8, 2013
    40
    Although assembled with consummate care and obsessive attention to visual detail, Pacific Rim manages only fitful engagement and little in the way of real wonderment, suspense or terror.
  45. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 11, 2013
    38
    The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots.
  46. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 11, 2013
    25
    If this is the best we can do in terms of movies - if something like this can speak to the soul of audiences - maybe we should just turn over the cameras and the equipment to the alien dinosaurs and see what they come up with.
  47. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 9, 2013
    25
    An hour and 20 minutes into this two-hour-and-11-minute endurance test, a hungry Kaiju attacks the city of Hong Kong and eats the neon signs of every Cantonese restaurant in Victoria Harbor. It’s sort of worth waiting around for.
  48. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 11, 2013
    20
    Laudable as its world-building is, the film drags not just in its interminable middle hour, but also during the redundant monster-on-mechawarrior smackdowns.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1380 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 369
  1. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    Disclaimer: I loved this movie. I watched it twice, back-to-back, in 3D.

    I loved the action and the spectacle. The battles, despite the one
    Disclaimer: I loved this movie. I watched it twice, back-to-back, in 3D.

    I loved the action and the spectacle. The battles, despite the one absurdity of giant robots fighting alien invaders had sense of realism that was rather unnerving. Everything but that (minor detail) was eerily plausible. I also liked the other messages found throughout. Mostly, though, I loved how it all came together as a kind of celebration of the value science and technology when coupled with human courage, ingenuity, innovation, self-sacrifice, individualism (when appropriate), and cooperation (when appropriate).

    It's the many minor messages within the movie that made it stand out from mindless summer action movie fare (which are fine, on occasion).

    First, what I like the most: I liked abiding theme of science and technology being tools for human salvation. There are literally no scenes without some object of human ingenuity in view. The giant robots are man-machine saviours that aid humanity in fighting against grotesque organic monsters.

    (As an aside: I like nature. I was raised in a rural area, and I enjoyed camping. But make no mistake, nature can be brutal, and it is only human scientific, technological, social, and other developments that can keep the monster at bay. If you doubt me, try surviving alone and without man-made equipment for a week in virtually any natural environment. You may not be dead, but you'll almost wish you were. Where I live (just outside a city of 1 million), you’d be dead in less than 5 hours without winter clothing, six months a year. Nature can be subservient to us, but it must never again be our master. Precambrian humans had an average life expectancy of 31 years. Also, like the monsters in this movie, any number larger wild animals would kill a human without a second thought. A bear will rip a child to shreds. Wolves (prior to their gradual domestication by killing the more violent ones over the centuries), were a particularly large threat in Europe. An elephant will gore a grown man. And so on. **It is solely our scientific, technological, and social advancements made possible by an appropriate mix of individual initiative and group cooperation that keep the nightmare at bay.** The movie Pacific Rim acknowledges this. Unlike the technological luddism of, for example, the Terminator movies or Avatar [which both partially denigrate technology and science], this movie celebrates human achievement and progress. And movies could use more of that.)

    I liked that movie (unlike almost all American blockbusters) takes place in several locations, none of which are large American cities. The United States comprises about 5% of the global population, and it’s nice to see that represented in an American blockbuster. And how many times do you really want to see New York destroyed, for instance?

    I appreciated the message that both cooperation and individual initiative are prudent and necessary. The fight against (for instance, there are several instances of insubordination and deviations from military procedure, but they mostly involve serving the greater good).

    I liked the love story component. The lead man was not a handsome male Brad Pitt lookalike, and the female love interest was not the typical American supermodel of action flicks. Rather, she was an English-speaking Chinese national who models the very best traits of many females from that culture. She is polite and respectful, yet stands up for her beliefs non-confrontationally, and she is obviously intelligent. She is "equal but different" from the main male protagonist.

    I appreciated the cursory mention of the cause for the alien invasion: global environmental degradation, the (spoiler) reason for the alien invasion.

    Although there is much "apocalyptic porn" (hey, I like it too), the body count is actually quite low. While we see entire skyscrapers destroyed, because civilians are evacuated in shelters, the number of civilian casualties is less than 100. (Contrast that with "Man of Steel", which had a casualty count of six or seven figures).

    It was nice to see scientists portrayed are heroes. The two scientist characters literally risk their lives to test a theory and gain evidence that is crucial to a positive outcome. This world needs more scientists and technologists. Even the characters' stereotypical eccentricity is endearing: they have their foibles, but they are each aware of it. Sometimes, human foibles are unavoidable, and condemning people for (relatively) harmless quirks that they cannot change serves no purpose.

    I did like that movie avoids many Hollywood clichés (for the above reasons).

    If I had one complaint, it's that the movie is too short. It's 2 hours and 10 minutes. However, there is less action than I would have liked. It's not that there is too much "non-action" content. It's just that another 30 minutes or so of giant robot battles would have been swell.

    In short: see it.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 12, 2013
    3
    Dull, noisy, clichéd. I'm shocked that Del Toro had anything to do with this. I know fanboys eat this adolescent stuff with a spoon, but ifDull, noisy, clichéd. I'm shocked that Del Toro had anything to do with this. I know fanboys eat this adolescent stuff with a spoon, but if you're looking for anything innovative and inspired, do not see this movie. Just terrible. Full Review »
  3. Jul 12, 2013
    7
    Pacific Rim is a one of a kind movie: a 100% commitment to its genre and target audience with absolutely no apologies for its material.Pacific Rim is a one of a kind movie: a 100% commitment to its genre and target audience with absolutely no apologies for its material. Exceptionally well crafted, with full saturation of neon colors, rain and goo. Director Del Toro probably takes the uber geek fan film into a territory the general audience might not want to go. The battle scenes deliver, and the performances from the actors deliver maximum dedication to the material. My bet is that the film will find a devoted audience, and especially inspire young kids. This is far closer to the Godzilla 1998 film should have been. The executive who greenlit this film was fired, so be grateful that this blank check geek epic got made. Full Review »