Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 17
  2. Negative: 7 out of 17
  1. A B-movie goof on an A-minus budget, Returner is a mini-epic tweaked with computer effects and one blazing gun battle after another and set to an anonymous techno-beat.
  2. Like all good B-movies, Returner comes loaded with enough eccentric touches to give the recycling a whiff of freshness and, as is often the case with many above-par follies, it's the cast that takes the whole thing to another level.
  3. Hovering between "Last Action Hero" and "E.T.," this sci-fi extravaganza is bookended with violence but has some gentle moments in between.
  4. Overwrought and overlong, Returner might been a rousing B-movie -- had it not been hamstrung by Yamazaki's bigger pretensions.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Less a new Japanese movie than a series of scenes from old American ones, most notably "The Terminator" and "ET."
  6. 50
    Hardcore genre fans may find some appeal in this warmed-over tale, but most viewers will be squirming in their seats even before the prolonged finale.
  7. 50
    Yamazaki is clearly a science-fiction fan himself, and in Returner, he shows some worthwhile style, if only by stealing the biggest and best possible elements for his serviceably entertaining genre mashup.
  8. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Kaneshiro is all long flowing locks and smoldering disdain, the visual F/X are only so-so, and pacing is almost brisk enough to hide the plot holes.
  9. 40
    Mines familiar territory and does nothing especially new with it. On the plus side, Kishitani is a spectacular villain.
  10. 40
    A smorgasbord that seems to have been picked out of a Dumpster. It clumsily combines a fish-out-of-water story with bits lifted from sources including the "Terminator" movies, "Star Wars," "Starman," "Close Encounters," a couple of Pink Floyd albums and H. G. Wells.
  11. Serves as both an homage to and shameless thief of its influences. The result: a sprawling, deformed, undisciplined piece of cinema that hobbles along on weak, genre-splicing tactics.
  12. With his tousled mane and wispy facial hair, Asian pop star/ Prada model Kaneshiro suggests a Japanese Johnny Depp, but even his charisma can't carry Returner through its interminable longueurs. Blame it on Yamazaki.
  13. 30
    Silly, derivative stuff.
  14. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    A shamelessly recycled vision of decrepit high tech.
  15. 30
    Suzuki and Kaneshiro keep the first hour afloat with their easy comic interplay, but Yamazaki badly needs editing: the opening escape sequence is needlessly repeated later, and a slow drip of false endings drags this out to a tiring 118 minutes.
  16. 25
    Soporific, shamelessly derivative and barely coherent by American standards.
  17. Reviewed by: Scott Warren
    The story and stunts are outlandish, and the effects are distractingly computer-generated. To be fair, some of the best things about the film are very Japanese, notably the anime.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Jan 3, 2015
    I love this movie. It is fun, clever, visually perfect. And Takeshi Kaneshiro is wonderful in his role. After all those American-hero movies,I love this movie. It is fun, clever, visually perfect. And Takeshi Kaneshiro is wonderful in his role. After all those American-hero movies, this is refreshening! Full Review »