Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 33
  2. Negative: 11 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    Pompeii is a big, glorious, cheesy mess.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    A campy guilty pleasure that serves up a “Gladiator’’ knockoff as an appetizer to the impressively flame-filled main course.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Feb 21, 2014
    58
    Most of the film is a chintzy but watchable B-movie knockoff of "Gladiator," with Kit Harington, the English actor from "Game of Thrones," mustering very little in the way of facial expressivity in the role of Milo.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 20, 2014
    25
    If you think of Pompeii as a ride, a conveyance for special effects, and not anything resembling an emotional experience, indifference can almost be a good thing.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    The result is a generic saga with a cast of forgettable one-dimensional characters
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Feb 26, 2014
    40
    Pompeii delivers the goods – well, at least during its final 20 minutes.
  7. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    The movie is so grand in scale that you can’t help surrender to the spectacle, even if the stuff that’s going on with the people in the film is often close to risible.
  8. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    No doubt the audiences in the Coliseum would offer a thumbs-up to the scale of the destruction, though even they might have had some quibbles about the special effects, which, too often, resemble a very large pile of melting crayons.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 20, 2014
    0
    It’s impossible to find anything that grabs you in Pompeii. This lumpen adventure with a misguided romance buries anything in the disaster-flick genre that might have been a blast.
  10. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Feb 20, 2014
    40
    Pompeii just feels like an excuse to rain digital terror on screaming extras. There’s much to see here, but little to feel, and even less to remember.
  11. 63
    What Anderson delivers this one time is a genuine spectacle, a gladiator movie with a volcano in the middle of it.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Feb 23, 2014
    50
    A wildly flawed but fitfully diverting picture.
  13. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 21, 2014
    20
    There’s not enough villainy—nor lip-smacking comeuppance—to justify a smiting by ash or falling column. The movie in your head melts ten times better.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Feb 19, 2014
    60
    While more coherent than much of Anderson’s recent work, the film proves less successful at combining destruction and damsel-in-distress storytelling within the same frame, serving up blurry images of Milo trying to rescue Cassia while the city crumbles around them.
  15. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Feb 20, 2014
    70
    Part sword-and-sandal spectacle, part disaster epic, Pompeii accomplishes its ambitious agenda to largely engrossing effect.
  16. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Feb 20, 2014
    60
    Anderson distinguishes himself as the rare action director who shows us real bodies in real space in real reaction to each other, who prizes legibility over quick-cut dazzlement, who stages his fights with comic-book zeal rather than puffed-up graphic-novel miserableness.
  17. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Feb 20, 2014
    67
    Fortunately, Pompeii’s second half is tailor-made for Anderson’s established skill set, unfolding over a matter of hours, with many scenes set in and under a gladiatorial amphitheatre that recalls the arenas, subterranean tunnels, and cavernous vessels of Anderson’s best movies.
  18. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 3, 2014
    40
    Anderson’s Pompeii doesn’t sweat the human stuff. His camera is mostly trained on the big picture: billowing smoke, tidal-waves, fireballs streaking through the sky. What’s happening to the people on the ground doesn’t matter, so long as we’re aware that 95 percent of them are being squashed or torched.
  19. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Feb 23, 2014
    70
    More fun than any civilization’s fiery extinction should ever be, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii 3-D is gloriously exciting kitsch – a poor man’s "Titanic" crossed with an even poorer man’s "Gladiator."
  20. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Feb 20, 2014
    8
    When you plunk down your $12, you will get the destruction you were promised. But it's too bad it's such a repetitive, unengaging, glaringly digital experience and worse than that, you'll have to sit through the disaster that is the rest of movie.
  21. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Feb 20, 2014
    35
    The first sixty minutes of Pompeii are awful, bordering on unwatchable... The final forty-five minutes of the movie however are, by sheer force of will, irrefutably entertaining. At least there’s raining death in the form of fireballs smashing up the place.
  22. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Feb 20, 2014
    63
    Anderson’s stab at rendering the Mount Vesuvius catastrophe with a 3-D “Titanic” gloss.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Feb 20, 2014
    37
    Paul W.S. Anderson, best known for the “Resident Evil” franchise and 2011’s “The Three Musketeers,” creates harrowing simulations of the disaster. It’s enough to make you want him to ditch the story altogether.
  24. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Feb 21, 2014
    30
    Anderson's repeated hurling of flaming volcanic projectiles directly at the screen — the dominant feature of the latter third of Pompeii — is firmly in the lovably trashy spirit of the '50s drive-in.
  25. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Feb 20, 2014
    30
    It fails to offer as single compelling character as a sacrifice to the angry volcano.
  26. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Feb 20, 2014
    25
    Shockingly, the violent release of smoke, fire, and meteoric debris is positioned more as a climactic afterthought than as the main attraction.
  27. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Feb 19, 2014
    30
    While Anderson excels in the film’s many moments of digital doom-and-gloom, he can’t deliver a single authentic emotion between the two star-crossed leads, leaving us with a sooty aftertaste of having sat through one very loud rendition of Titanic in togas.
  28. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Feb 20, 2014
    60
    Mr. Anderson displays his mastery as a director in the sword-fighting scenes... But the glares and eye rolls that bookend these scenes are what make this film both GIF-ready and campy fun.
  29. Reviewed by: Amon Warmann
    May 3, 2014
    40
    Pompeii make tick all the necessary movie checkboxes, but its execution is unoriginal and uninspired.
  30. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Apr 28, 2014
    40
    While it offers spectacular CGI devastation and a chiselled hero, Pompeii is so soulless and empty that you won’t shed any tears when the ‘cano blows its top.
  31. Reviewed by: Owen Williams
    Apr 28, 2014
    40
    Over-reaching and unintentionally amusing, this is straight-to-video quality inexplicably delivered at blockbuster scale. A thunderous volca-NO.
  32. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Feb 22, 2014
    25
    It's a spectacle, all right -- but mostly just of a lot of people, some of whom should know better, making an utter ash of themselves.
  33. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Feb 21, 2014
    63
    This is a surprisingly old-fashioned disaster movie. In point of fact its old-fashioned-ness is really the only surprising thing about this eye-popping 3D spectacle.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 48
  2. Negative: 18 out of 48
  1. Mar 20, 2014
    10
    i am giving this movie a 10 because i feel it deserves a higher score. after reading a few reviews i felt like i shouldn't bother watchingi am giving this movie a 10 because i feel it deserves a higher score. after reading a few reviews i felt like i shouldn't bother watching this but it was fairly good with amazing cgi and good acting. I may have been forced to like it because of kit harrington but even non game of thrones fans should admit he didnt do a bad job. i would recommend this to people who are interested by history and to people who enjoy watching mass destruction. id defnitley say the story wasnt the best but not terrible. Full Review »
  2. Mar 1, 2014
    3
    It wants to be Gladiator + Titanic, but ends up being an empty ripoff of both. The protagonist is a horseman who gets enslaved after his tribeIt wants to be Gladiator + Titanic, but ends up being an empty ripoff of both. The protagonist is a horseman who gets enslaved after his tribe is massacred...and that's it. This being a disaster, people die one by one in exactly the order you expect, with trite, meaningless last lines. The effects look computer generated even in 3D. Historical accuracy is optional.

    The film's high points are eye candy (Kit Harrington or Emily Browning, whichever floats your boat) and the occasional moment where you do get a glimpse of the city itself.

    The low points are a meaningless romance, ludicrously contrived plotting, and dreadful casting. There are a lot of well-known character actors who have no business playing ancient Romans. The film's ending brought unintended laughter to my screening. Just stick to watching Game of Thrones.
    Full Review »
  3. May 13, 2014
    9
    I just returned from the cinema and I have to say that this movie is just amazing. The effects and the storyline are also really good. I don'tI just returned from the cinema and I have to say that this movie is just amazing. The effects and the storyline are also really good. I don't really understand why people gave it such a bad score. LOL Full Review »