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Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1644 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life's ultimate mystery. (20th Century Fox) Expand
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 124 min
  • More Details and Credits »
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: Eric Kohn
    Jun 6, 2012
    83
    Prometheus is an unquestionable good time, one of the best big-screen science fiction accomplishments since 'Avatar.'
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Jun 9, 2012
    10
    After seeing the Previews I had mixed feelings about Prometheus. Yes it looked like it would be visually pleasing, and I love the original Alien, liked Predators and Alien 3, but all of the other films set in the fictional Alien/Predator universe are pretty terrible, especially AVP2 which was one of the worst films I have ever seen. After AVP2 I vowed I was done with both of the franchises for good. But after some coaxing by a couple of friends, I reluctantly went to see the Prometheus opening in IMAX. Couldn't be happier. Amazing visuals. Intriguing plot lines. Excellent character portrayals by most of the cast. Intense edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, but not only was it thrilling, it was gripping. The cinematography was excellent. The character development of David was spectacular. The story line exceeds all of the other movies of the Alien/Predator franchises, except for the original Alien, combined. I'm glad I spent the money to see the IMAX version, and I am planning to see this at least two to three more times in IMAX before its run is over. Last movie I saw in a theater more than once? The first Matrix film. Saw it twice. This movie is right on par with it as far as an overall experience. Surpassed even Avatar, far surpassed in my opinion, in overall 3D movie experience/entertainment. This is a must see. Anyone saying it was boring, or hard to follow, doesn't know what a great movie is. There is no hand-holding through the movie. You must think for yourself and form theories as you as you go along, and this film kept me guessing through the end, but not to a point that I ever felt I was "lost." Wonderful Experience. 9.7/10 Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2012
    10
    Fantastic visuals. Great acting. Doesnt answer the main questions it ask but whos to say it had to? One of the best Sci-fi movies in a LONG time. Best IMAX movie ive ever seen! Expand
  3. Jul 1, 2012
    9
    Loved it so much. The scenes were beautiful specially in the beginning and I loved the aliens ship. The creatures were awesome. The acting was ok but Michael Fassbender was awesome. The 3D was just an extra. Expand
  4. Jun 13, 2012
    6
    A decent score and promising start full of bleak beauty, conveying a good sense of the vulnerability of space travel, isolation, and the beauty of life. Up until the point the main body of actors are introduced, the film was going excellently. Two main things let this film down- the characters and the plot. That sounds pretty damning, like there isn't anything left to salvage it. Not so. Good points were excellent visual appeal, reasonable tension, a believable level of future technology, and engaging questions about the origins of humanity. The characters. It is such a shame when a film is ruined because characters do not act believably. There may not be a faster way to ruin a film. The most obvious example of this is the sheer recklessness of the so-called scientists. They are just falling over themselves to stick their tongues into unknown goo. The list of these incidents honestly goes on and on. In fact, the number of incidents of people actually behaving believably are so few that they stand out like megaton blasts when they finally crop up. The motivation of many of the characters is very muddy, and is never clarified. Most of the characters are never explored at all, which somewhat diminishes the impact of their later noble sacrifice.

    The plot. For the first half of the film, it was essentially the exact plot of Alien, although there is nothing wrong with that. It wrestled (not wholly unsuccessfully) with grand themes, but left most questions unanswered, and the few answers offered were very ambiguous. Everytime it felt like a revelation was about to be reached, the resulting pronouncements were always rather vague. A lot of possibilities were hinted at, but nothing really concrete was ever offered to any of the million questions posed. It felt too much like it was paving the way for a sequel, and not enough like a self-contained plot. In general a lack of answers and a lack of continuity. There was never really any impetus or momentum, just a series of barely related (and generally icky) events.

    The alien beasties were reasonably grim and imaginative, although lacking the classic horror that made Alien so good - allowing the imagination to fill the gaps. Perhaps it's just the biologist in me, but the alien's life cycle made no sense whatsoever. It was as if the film studio had 5 wacky ideas of horrible alien creatures, but couldn't be bothered to bring them together cohesively, so just tossed them into the film willy-nilly (I'd bet decent money that this is exactly what happened).

    The major themes of "Where did we come from?" and "Do we actually need to know where we came from?" and "What does this mean for religion?" cropped up repeatedly, and made for interesting intellectual fodder. There was definitely more than just a cursory nod to exploring these ideas, so well done there Mr Scott. As if it even needs to be said these days, but the special effects were seamless. Many parts of the film were visually very rich, and the score was very good. In fact, the set designs really were outstanding, an extremely lustrous visual world that satisfied very well on a superficial level.

    All in all, not a terrible film. It had all the pieces necessary for a good film, yet it cemented them together disjointedly and inexpertly- like shattered diamond stuck back together with excrement. With another edit, and maybe 3 minutes additional footage here and there this could have been an excellent film. So nearly a classic 80s sci-horror, but not quite.
    Expand
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    5
    Prometheus is not a bad film, it's just not a good film. The production design by Arthur Max is creative and simply incredible, the 3D is great and Michael Fassbender is fantastic as a robot. With all that said, the screenplay is what doesn't work in Prometheus. It's sometimes confusing and sometimes predictable, the characters aren't really good developed, apart from David (Michael Fassbender), and some scenes are well written, but bad on camera. At the end, Prometheus is just a poorly connection to Alien. Expand
  6. Jun 9, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Prometheus was staggeringly bad.

    Part of this was that I was primed to be that Prometheus was going to be "about" something, and failing that, I thought it was going to be sci-fi horror on the scale of (or at least in the ballpark of) something like Alien. And it's Ridley Scott: The dude has made two sci-fi movies: Alien and Bladerunner: both classics of the genre. It's only going to get better, right?

    So, let's start with the good: It's undeniable that the visuals are very striking. Some of the vistas made me want to race off to photograph them (even if they weren't real), and there was a real "internal logic" to the visual style and design of the human and alien environments that made the whole thing seem believable. As usual (and it's hard to fault Prometheus for this), 3d added little to the movie, save for the scenes with lasers and holographs both human and alien, where it helped with immersion. The other bright point is the robot (sorry, "Artificial person") David, played by Michael Fassbender, who steals most of the scenes he's in. He starts out in an earlier montage which influenced by TE Lawrence, _Moon_, and Desmond in the Hatch. After that, he manages to channel a role which is equal parts automaton, adolescent, menacing molester ("I saw your dreams"), and dutiful but ignored son, but closes in the role of toady.

    Virtually everything else in this movie is average through awful. The writing is forced and wooden, and almost hurt to sit through. "Every king has his reign and then he dies" -- I guess channeling King Lear for dummies, but how forced. The plot was implausible and actually fairly uninteresting. The fact that this was pitched as a "big theme" movie had me excited. Instead, we have really hamfisted metaphors and a people working through parental issues in the dumbest and least interesting way possible.

    The really damning failure of this movie is that it even fails as a suspense or a horror piece. I telegraphed most of what would happen very, very early in the movie. None of it was a surprise, the horror was all utterly predictable, and what little subtle there was in foreshadowing required you to already be a fan of Alien (no bad thing, but if that's what it takes to scare people...). There was just no new ground tread.

    The theater I was in actually found itself laughing at some of the lines and situations. This was in no way intentional -- and in fact, when I ran into a friend at dinner (who'd just seen it), he said the way he'd enjoyed the film was to appreciate it as camp. Ouch.

    Probably the best thing I could say is that there is enough sort of directionless "theme stuff" in the movie that you could hack together a good movie out of the pieces: but man, this isn't it.

    It gets a 3/10 on the strength of the visuals. Normally they'd be nice enough to give it a 4/10, but I had to take off a point for the painfully bad old man makeup on Weyland. (another friend: "He looks like Biff from Back to the Future!"). I
    'm really sad about Prometheus, because I really had high expectations.
    Expand
  7. Jun 29, 2013
    0
    Wow. Thank goodness I didn't waste the money on a cinema ticket to see this when it came out (despite being tempted to thanks to the ridiculous levels of hype Ridley Scott generated). Prometheus is NOT "inscrutable", "mysterious", "intellectual" or any of the other terms used to describe it on fanboy webforums and YouTube rants claiming to "understand" its "true meaning". It is a fantastically stupid film. End of. The only redeeming feature is the gorgeous production design and cinematography. It LOOKS great. But looks can be deceiving. Prometheus doesn't make sense NOT because it is cleverer than we are, but because it is far, far, FAR stupider than we are. It is confusing not because it knows something we don't, but because it is poorly cobbled-together archaeo-religio-scientific claptrap that simply doesn't make sense. The entire film (and all subplots therein) rest upon the shaky foundations known in the business as "the Idiot Plot". NOBODY in this film, at any time does anything that could in a favourable light be labelled as intelligent. Every decision of every character is totally stupid and acts simply to bring them closer to death, which is (surprise surprise) the point of a stupid space-slasher movie. Right now this excrable crud is battling with Batman and Robin for the honour of Worst Film I Have Ever Seen. It really is THAT bad. Expand

See all 558 User Reviews

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