Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 17
  2. Negative: 8 out of 17
  1. 88
    It walks and talks like a big budget horror film, heavy on special effects and pitched at the teenage audience, and maybe that's how it will be received. But it's more impressive if you ignore the genre and just look at what's on the screen.
  2. The special effects are effective and aggressive, although one might occasionally confuse a divine vortex with a flushed toilet.
  3. Reviewed by: David Kaplan
    Think Batman on crystal meth.
  4. Spawn doesn't make a lot of sense, but the imagery whooshes by in glitzy psychedelic torrents.
  5. 50
    Todd McFarlane's Spawn plays better on the page, but the adolescents of all ages who buy Spawn comics will probably enjoy the movie. Others should consider themselves forewarned.
  6. 50
    Unfortunately, where the movie falls apart is in the storyline. While Spawn fans may be delighted by this effort, the uninitiated may have a hard time getting beyond the fancy special effects and often-incoherent plot.
  7. The adventure is vulgar and violent, although the special effects are impressive.
  8. 40
    It's all one big blur: sound, fury, and Martin Sheen devouring scenery as if it were going out of style (and in Spawn, it's definitely not).
  9. 40
    If Spawn had anything close to a script, it would be a pretty nifty fantasy about conspiracy, apocalypse and a fat killer clown.
  10. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    Shot by a special-effects superstar making his first stab at directing, Mark Dippe, the result is dizzying in its unreality, and the visual tricks are impressive. [01Aug1997 Pg.02.D]
  11. 30
    The nonsensical screenplay can barely stand-up to the hellzapoppin, Beelzebubbin effects mustered by first-time director Mark Dippe.
  12. Almost every moment has flashes and explosions and a pulsing, relentless soundtrack. It's like being trapped inside a video game.
  13. Otherwise, the movie, which borrows from a dozen pop sources and improves on none of them, is pretty much a washout.
  14. But after 15 minutes, this yellow-orange vision of spiraling circles of hell, snorting devils and demonic shapes continually morphing out of one another, begins to seem redundant and conceptually impoverished.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Spawn is a moodily malevolent, anything-goes revenge fantasy that relies more upon special visual and digitally animated effects for its intended appeal than any comics-derived sci-fier to date.
  16. 10
    This hopelessly redundant action gross-out aspires to a form of hip vacuousness--and may achieve it.
  17. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    The special effects look model-shop cheesy, as if they'd been created using a handful of action figures and MacPaint, and the rest of the picture has the flat visual finish and phoned-in performances of a TV movie.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Jan 28, 2013
    Overall an OK movie and decently made for the time. Effects were astounding (for the 90s) and Leguizamo is fantastic as Violator (perhaps a bit too over the top.) The rest of the cast were clearly not as interested in their roles. A really hammy performance from Martin Sheen, a bit shocked that he was capable of this. The story does cover modern Spawn's origin story, but in the most bland and rushed way possible. Like most comic book movies of the age, it clearly suffers from trying to do too much in a limited time and ending up with a disjointed mess that makes little sense. Too many references that only fans would understand with little to no exposition to explain them to anyone else. Overall: Spawn was fun to watch, but really a bit of a let down to most hardcore fans as it barely scratches the surface on the potential it could have been. Average, in every sense of the word. Full Review »
  2. Mar 1, 2014
    Ok I felt like I was playing a video game in the scene where he was in hell (The CGI'S were terrible to) I picked up my XBOX controller and started pressing random buttons (The old NG6 graphics were way better than this)
    This movie is a great example about great comic books that were made into movies and sucked I watched this on TV and it goes above scary movie 2 "Spawn" is the worst movie I've ever seen.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2013
    The over exaggerated performances take away the overall mobility in character depth from the movie, leaving the broad span of violence and moderate special effects the task of bailing it out from near complete disaster. Full Review »