Pacific Rim

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 48
  2. Negative: 4 out of 48
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 50
    Pacific Rim made me marvel at the technology of movies, but never the magic of them.
  8. 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 11, 2013
    50
    You get 45 minutes of awesome encased in 90 minutes of yawnsome.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1427 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 376
  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 »