Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 6, 2012
    100
    A magnificent science-fiction film, all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 6, 2012
    91
    Scott briskly blends the high-minded stuff with impressive boo-and-goo sequences, ratcheting tension in tight spots and dark caverns.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 7, 2012
    88
    Gorgeous set pieces thrill the senses, but there is philosophical inquiry as well. "Alien" was, after all, just "Jaws" in space, but Prometheus ponders where evil comes from and how it conquers its makers.
  4. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Jun 6, 2012
    83
    Though Prometheus follows "Alien's" story beats, it's a looser and less satisfying story, more intellectual than visceral, and not fully satisfying on either level. But in part, that's because it's trying to do so much more.
  5. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 6, 2012
    83
    This is jumbo-size science fiction, with a handsome, impermeable titanium gleam - and a thick coating of creationism lite.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 6, 2012
    83
    Prometheus is an unquestionable good time, one of the best big-screen science fiction accomplishments since 'Avatar.'
  7. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jun 11, 2012
    80
    Scott may always have had an eye on the box office, but from "Alien" and "Thelma & Louise" on, he has made women into heroines. In that regard, he's still ahead of the curve. Rapace's scene is a classic of its kind; it tops John Hurt's notorious misfortunes in "Alien."
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 7, 2012
    80
    We are left, after all the propulsive action, with great turns by Theron and Rapace, and a tightly wound turn by Fassbender, whose eerie, poetically impish mechanical man might have burst from Bradbury's conscience.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 6, 2012
    80
    I really enjoyed watching Prometheus almost the whole way through, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again. It's an enjoyable thrill ride, slicked up with a thin veneer of Asking the Big Questions. But do its so-called heroes really have to be such blithering New Age idiots?
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 6, 2012
    80
    Prometheus is a good movie, sometimes very good. It's just not a great movie.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 30, 2012
    80
    Although Ridley Scott's 3D visual feast is no classic, the oozing alien tentacles hit all the right sci-fi horror notes.
  12. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    May 30, 2012
    80
    Flawlessly designed, with the beautiful 3D cinematography contrasting the clean white futurism of Prometheus' interiors with the black corporeal surfaces of the alien catacombs.

 It might not pack the unbearable menace or blazing horror of the saga's first two movies, but it utterly eclipses the last two. It's exciting, tense and fully impregnated for sequels.
  13. 75
    There's definite mastery here, but it's hardly a masterpiece.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    Scott seduces audiences with thought-provoking possibilities, then pulls a bait-and-switch, subbing in a familiar monster thriller and fiery explosion-fest.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    The ending isn't squishy scary or deeply satisfying. Bummer. Otherwise, Prometheus – especially in its spellbinding first hour – kicks ass so hard and often that it's impossible not to be thrilled by it.
  16. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    Prometheus is breezy and comely and sufficiently clever to mitigate most qualms, and Fassbender, especially, is wonderful.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    The real stars here are Scott's behind-the-curtain crew, who fill every frame with tech-savvy details and take the sets to another dimension with immersive 3-D imagery.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    The best of Prometheus is nonverbal and purely atmospheric: Fassbender's "Lawrence of Arabia"-loving character bouncing a basketball as he patrols the spaceship while his human cohorts finish up their two-year nap.
  19. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    Prometheus is the antithesis of the "big, dumb summer movie." Its visuals and special effects can stand toe-to-toe with any of the season's spectacles, but are audiences ready for something with an intelligent, thought-provoking screenplay where the action is secondary? Prometheus is flawed, but stupidity cannot be numbered among its missteps.
  20. 70
    It's a different sort of experience: a stately, somewhat plodding but endurable science-fiction saga.
  21. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 7, 2012
    70
    Prometheus, unlike its predecessors, does not wear its themes lightly. It pushes too hard for significance, which is dicey in and of itself for genre material and contrasts badly with the standard nature of some of the story's plotting.
  22. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 7, 2012
    70
    The virtuosity on display makes the weakness of the story all the more frustrating. I'll avoid spoilers here, but Prometheus kind of spoils itself with twists and reversals that pull the movie away from its lofty, mind-blowing potential.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 7, 2012
    67
    Ridley Scott has made two iconic sci-fi films, "Alien" (1979) and "Blade Runner" (1982). Trying for a hat trick with Prometheus, he comes up short. I'll say this much for it – it's not boring.
  24. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 7, 2012
    63
    It is Rapace, the Swedish actress who gained worldwide recognition as Lisbeth Salander in the original adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," who ends up the true heroine of Prometheus.
  25. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 7, 2012
    60
    The script, partly credited to Lost's Damon Lindelof, is so filled with talky lectures about divinity (and boner plot holes) that you realize, with embarrassment, that Scott, at age 74, wants to join the cosmic company of Terrence Malick. Does he not think that making a drum-tight horror film was ambitious enough?
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 5, 2012
    60
    My advice to Scott and Lindelof is, Try harder - to bring the characters as well as the creatures alive; to extend the grandeur of that music-of-the-sphere scene to an entire movie; to devise new horror-film money shots; and to scare the crap out of me.
  27. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 5, 2012
    60
    It's imaginative only in a stiff, expensive way. Scott vests the movie with an admirable degree of integrity – it doesn't feel like a cheap grab for our moviegoing dollars – but it doesn't inspire anything so vital as wonder or fear, either.
  28. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Jun 2, 2012
    60
    Beneath the hype and promises, however, it's almost a letdown that the actual film is merely very good: a better-than-average 3D big-budget space tale.
  29. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    May 30, 2012
    60
    Buffeted by a lack of suspense, threadbare characters, and a very poor script, the stunning visuals, gloopy madness, and sterling Fassbenderiness can't prevent Prometheus feeling like Alien's poor relation.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 30, 2012
    60
    Ridley Scott has counter-evolved his 1979 classic Alien into something more grandiose, more elaborate – but less interesting. In place of scariness there is wonderment; in place of tension there is hugely ambitious design; in place of unforgettable shocks there are reminders of the original's unforgettable shocks.
  31. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    Prometheus is more interested in piling on big questions than in answering them. It's deep without being particularly smart, although the dazzling design and special effects keep you from noticing that basic flaw until at least an hour in.
  32. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    Try as it might, the movie is hardly profound, and the murky atmosphere and the leaden pace drag things down.
  33. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    Prometheus, in efficient 3-D, places most of its bets on the wonders that today's visual artists and technicians can work with digital tools. This tale of an interstellar search asks cosmic questions about the meaning of life, but comes up with lame answers in a script that screams attention-deficit disorder.
  34. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    All the God-talk and philosophical musings about morality and "meeting our makers" aside, Prometheus is primarily about delivering those visceral, terrifying jolts. That it does so without generating the taut suspense and moody atmosphere of its antecedents qualifies as one of its greatest failings.
  35. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    It's clumsy revisionism. As storytelling, its simplistic characters and ludicrous situations would embarrass a ninth-grader shooting a short film on a digital phone. Not one of its alleged revelations has the power to surprise.
  36. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 7, 2012
    50
    You may feel fussy asking for a coherent narrative, though, because director Ridley Scott delivers so many of the shocking set pieces that are the real hallmark of the series.
  37. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 6, 2012
    50
    It's a promising epic that ends with what feels like a lie. In short, it's a glorious mess well worth seeing, but light-years away from what fans were expecting.
  38. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 6, 2012
    50
    Watching Prometheus is like opening a deluxe gift box from Tiffany's to find a mug from the dollar store.
  39. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 6, 2012
    50
    The whole of Prometheus - which was written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, and rips off everything from "2001: A Space Odyssey" to "Event Horizon" - feels derivative and passé: The film is a shiny, high-tech relic.
  40. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jun 5, 2012
    50
    With this overreaching Prometheus, Scott seems a bit like David carefully arranging his hair in imitation of O'Toole's Lawrence. He can still mimic the appearance of an epic, noble, important movie - but the appearance is all.
  41. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    May 30, 2012
    50
    Elaborately conceived from a visual standpoint, Ridley Scott's first sci-fier in the three decades since "Blade Runner" remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own.
  42. Reviewed by: John Semley
    Jun 5, 2012
    38
    It aspires to Stanley Kubrick's "2001", but in its maddeningly unresolved plot threads and cornball cosmic mysticism, it lands closer to "Mission to Mars" -though Prometheus lacks any action set piece as gripping as the Brian De Palma film's sentient sandstorm.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1609 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jun 8, 2012
    0
    Prometheus is the story of a trillion-dollar mission to discover the origins of human life on a distant planet. Basically, this is supposed to be the greatest exploration undertaken in the history of mankind.

    So who do they send? A gaggle of fractious goons whose collective scientific nous is rivalled only by that of the Three Stooges. Within minutes of touching down (conveniently beside the only 'man-made' structures on the planet, a'la 1960s Star Trek) the 'scientists' are yanking off their helmets, on the basis of 'it seems fine to me', dipping their fingers into strange organic ooze, and lugging a severed alien head back to an unquarantined spaceship in a sandwich bag.

    Once there, they speedily discover the meaning of life. Then, while one of them gets a bit drunk, his two female companions decide it would be useful to stimulate the head electrically to reanimate it. They don't say why. They give it a bit too much juice, then too little,then dither over too much or too little like a couple of schoolgirls fiddling with a dicky bunsen burner, while the most important scientific discovery in human history waggles its ears and rolls its eyes â
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2012
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Prometheus has a good premise, good ideas, good intentions, but it executes all of them wrong. In fact there are so many inconsistencies you could write an entire review just listing them, don't believe me? Well there you go:
    -the scientists go from paintings on walls to "it's an invitation from our makers to go meet them on a remote planet", just like that, HUGE stretch there don't you think huh
    -the old man that organized the whole expedition pretends to be dead, for no reason, only to show up at the end with no one giving a crap that he's actually alive; what was the point of pretending to be dead to begin with then???
    -they hire completely incompetent and crazy people to conduct an expedition that cost billions and billions; those guys lost themselves in a cave when they have a 3D MAPS OF THE ENTIRE CAVE with gps, good god
    -the android poisons a crew member for no reason whatsoever, the main character even finds out about it and still doesn't give a crap when it was her fiance he poisoned
    -when the main character is impregnated with an alien they tell her they have no other option but to put her in hibernation when they have the best surgical machine available, which she then uses herself to get the thing out with no problem at all
    -talking about the surgical machine, why was it programmed for a "male patient" when it was owned by Charlize Theron, does that mean that her character was a actually a man?
    -why was the bald dude in hibernation for god knows how long when it was clearly stated he wanted to destroy mankind, or something, why was he just sleeping there if he had such an important mission to accomplish?
    -why did he just attack the characters like a rabid bull if he's supposed to be so smart and superior to us, couldn't he outsmart the crew and try to manipulate them instead of just going Rambo on them and failing miserably?
    -why the hell did such a terrible script get approved?
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 8, 2012
    2
    Roger Ebert has lost it long ago. My favorite movie of all time is Aliens and I want to say that I saw it at a midnight showing with a great crowd that was very quiet (You go Alamo Drafthouse!). Yes, this movie is very pretty with outstanding cinematography. But it's all about story and this one is just terrible. The story is disjointed, leaves too many unanswered questions in an attempt to be cerebral, and finally, is just downright boring. The atmosphere was not tense at all, their were no frights just unbelievable scenes. I don't want to give away any spoilers but just think about this review when you see Noomi's need for medical attention. It's one of the worst scenes I can think of in my last 20 years of watching movies. Full Review »