Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 30
  2. Negative: 12 out of 30
  1. 75
    The fact that Reign of Fire does what it sets out to do is a cause for celebration amongst those who like special effects-laden action movies featuring fire-breathing monsters and mayhem.
  2. 70
    Bowman and production designer Wolf Kroeger do an excellent job of evoking a twice-baked England, while writers Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka and Matt Greenberg keep the script devilishly pitched just shy of preposterous (it's McConaughey who stumbles beyond).
  3. 70
    Loads of fun. It has a jamming B-picture buzz -- the kind of swift filmmaking and high spirits that have been missing from movies for a while.
  4. The beasts are employed to splendid metaphorical effect, which may be lost on viewers perceiving nothing but an action romp.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Sartin
    70
    An odd cross between "Mad Max" and "Dragonheart," this movie is all borrowed ideas, but it's still trashy fun.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Jones
    63
    It's a decent, fast-moving and visually powerful summer action romp for the teenage demographic-the dragons are deliciously evil critters, with a nice retro identity.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    This is quite enjoyable as creature features go, and Bale continues to demonstrate his curious under-the-radar appeal. As for McConaughey, let's just say a star is reborn. Suddenly that whole naked-bongo-playing incident makes a lot more sense.
  8. The film delivers the goods, reptile-wise. Though the computer-generated villains look a bit clumsy at ground level, they're superb in the air.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    60
    An uncommonly satisfying mix of medieval fantasy, high-tech military action and "Mad Max"-style misadventure.
  10. A collision of medieval fantasy and commando action movie, where you can almost believe in the high-concept mix-and-matching.
  11. 50
    Stops dead the second the monsters fall out of view. It doesn't help that the movie's post-apocalyptic future is of the unimaginative backlot variety, or that the movie takes itself so seriously.
  12. Clearly, nobody's going to win any awards for this, but maybe Bale and McConaughey knew what they were doing after all. The music is loud, the action is fierce and the bodies are buff.
  13. 50
    The script gives the actors less of a chance than the dragons give to Homo sapiens.
  14. 50
    Surprisingly lifeless monster movie.
  15. Though Reign of Fire's concept of a humans-versus-dragons smackdown is a good one, the way it's worked out on screen is more silly than compelling.
  16. 42
    Like a dog walking on its hind legs across a freshly waxed floor -- awkward, slow, deliberate, seeking approval -- the action thriller Reign of Fire gets from start to finish, somehow, without tumbling into complete disaster.
  17. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    40
    Some great things can found in this fluidly kinetic film, well-directed by X-Files series and movie veteran Rob Bowman, including no-nonsense dialogue, epic photography and a terrific score. It's too bad the story is so sloppy and stupid.
  18. 40
    Will make monster fans ache for what might have been.
  19. It strains belief that nuclear weapons couldn't kill off the dragons, but three people with crossbows could.
  20. Often incomprehensible (a combination of jumpy editing and lots of thick British Isles accents) and hardly ever entertaining - even unintentionally.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    38
    The story doesn't clarify why the dragons hibernated for hundreds of years, nor why they awakened. Clearly, however, the filmmakers might have benefited from more sleep before penning the script.
  22. Reign of Fire never comes close to recovering from its demented premise, but it does sustain an enjoyable level of ridiculousness.
  23. 30
    Director Rob Bowman seems at a loss as to what to bring to the film, which, even with its good choice of leads, plods along from one dragon fight to the next, all of them staged to showcase Fire's impressive CGI dragons, but none choreographed with any real flair.
  24. 30
    Peaks early with a vertiginous dogfight; thereafter, spotty CGI and a bamboozling plot conspire toward a colossal anticlimax.
  25. It's just silly, loud and goofy. The dragon needed a bigger part and the two stars smaller ones.
  26. 25
    One regards Reign of Fire with awe. What a vast enterprise has been marshaled in the service of such a minute idea. Incredulity is our companion, and it is twofold: We cannot believe what happens in the movie, and we cannot believe that the movie was made.
  27. 20
    Dragons torch the earth as manly men with weird hair battle them in this colossally misconceived dud.
  28. 20
    So what's not to like? There's the bad CGI, the choppy pacing, the comically intense acting, the repetition, the dullness and mostly the idiot plot about how there's only one male dragon and everything will be fine if they kill the Big Dick. Wha? Somebody get a hose and put this Fire out.
  29. A disaster of a drama, saved only by its winged assailants. You know a picture's in trouble when you find yourself rooting for humankind to lose.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 37
  2. Negative: 7 out of 37
  1. Nov 12, 2012
    5
    Heartbreakingly mediocre for such a list of good ideas.
  2. Aug 19, 2010
    7
    A stupid ending, with laughable dialogue and Matthew McConaughey looking and acting like something out of GI joe and yet I was never bored and found it quite entertaining. I'm a bit annoyed though because it's never as epic or explosive as it should be and never as heartfelt as it wants to be. The cover and posters are misleading Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2013
    7
    Very good post-apocalyptic science-fiction/fantasy movie with some interesting characters, good computer generated images and exciting action scenes. Unfortunately, everything inbetween those action scenes is somewhat dull.

    Apparently some of the characters are named after environmentalist authors but I am not sure if this movie has a political message; I couldn't find it.
    Full Review »