Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aug 8, 2012
    91
    Renner's Cross is a conflicted hero built to take advantage of the "Hurt Locker" star's best qualities as an actor - his default intensity, the way he conveys that complicated mental calculations are taking place under cover of watchful stillness, even underwater.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Aug 9, 2012
    83
    The result is a newly revived spy movie franchise -- and the best big-budget action film of the summer.
  3. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Aug 7, 2012
    83
    Viscerally, The Bourne Legacy packs a punch. If you're looking for a traditional sequel though, you'll probably be disappointed, but if it's a whole new ride you're after, you've come to the right place. Bourne has indeed been reborn.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 9, 2012
    80
    Complex, unexpected and dazzling, alternating relentless tension with resonant emotional moments, this is an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there.
  5. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 8, 2012
    78
    And yet, it works, so much so that after two and a quarter hours, I was startled – and not a little disappointed – when the closing credits kicked in.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 12, 2012
    75
    The globetrotting is reined in, the mayhem at each stop just as exciting. Renner is a sturdy action hero, with an interesting face that unlike Damon's appears to have taken a punch or two.
  7. 75
    Bourne fans will find much to enjoy about The Bourne Legacy, even if they are forced to do without the title character.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    This latest Bourne doesn't send adrenaline surging the way "Ultimatum" did, but it's still a tense, well-acted thrill ride.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    It's smart, it's exhilarating, and Gilroy's depiction of a high-tech world where our every move is captured by surveillance cams and Big Brother-types deploying the latest spyware feels authentic, and troubling.
  10. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    With The Bourne Legacy, Gilroy has brought characteristic taste and skill to a nearly impossible task: embracing the past without completely erasing it, thereby creating an invitingly complicated and open-ended future.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    It bodes well for the future of the franchise that Renner and Weisz share not only a gripping predicament but something more important: chemistry.
  12. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Aug 10, 2012
    70
    Thanks to Renner's smart, charismatic performance and a couple of elegant action sequences early on, The Bourne Legacy mostly holds its own as a late-summer thrill ride - but only if you're able to wipe your mind clean of the knowledge that it could have been something more.
  13. 70
    The best thing in Gilroy's "Michael Clayton" was the final scene between George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, the one in which the vise tightened click by click on Tilda. This is another vice-tightening sequence, but scary instead of triumphant, and with a long and explosive punch line. Finally, a sequence we can follow! After this, Gilroy owns us.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 9, 2012
    70
    A solid success, primarily though not entirely because of Jeremy Renner. He's a star worthy of the term as Aaron Cross, another haunted operative who, like Jason Bourne, is as much a victim of the government's dirty deeds as a covert super-agent. But the production is impressive too.
  15. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 9, 2012
    70
    A lean, clean killing machine that supplies some dark, late-summer thrills and chills and breathes new life into a seemingly extinct franchise.
  16. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Aug 6, 2012
    70
    The new movie continues the "Bourne" tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, but when the series lost its star it lost most of is soul. [13 & 20 Aug. 2012, p.96]
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 12, 2012
    67
    Good at scenes of high-level nastiness, but there's too much confusing exposition in this "Legacy" and the action scenes, some of them good, are too little and too late.
  18. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 8, 2012
    67
    Gilroy does the unforgivable by turning out a lean thriller at a fatty 135 minutes, mainly by making the conspiracy plot far more complicated than it needs to be.
  19. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Aug 8, 2012
    65
    Like much of the movie, Norton's presence has a patient, diligent quality to it, as if what's on screen is just a slog to get through before some promised fun in the next installment.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 10, 2012
    63
    To really work, The Bourne Legacy either needed to turn the title character into a 007-type who can change his face or bring back Damon in some capacity, even if just for a cameo. Neither happens and that works to the movie's detriment.
  21. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 9, 2012
    63
    Gilroy stages two riveting shootouts involving Marta at work and home. And there's a killer chase scene in Manila as the bad guys try to knock Aaron and Marta off their speeding motorcycle. It's all sound and fury signifying nothing except a desperate need to feed a franchise.
  22. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 9, 2012
    63
    The best thing that can be said about The Bourne Legacy is that Renner will survive it.
  23. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 8, 2012
    63
    The Bourne Legacy is always gripping in the moment. The problem is in getting the moments to add up.
  24. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Aug 7, 2012
    63
    One successful set piece in 135 minutes, and it involves very little running, no parkour, and no genetically enhanced superheroes from clandestine government projects.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 10, 2012
    60
    Gilroy -- who earned writing credits on all four "Bourne" films -- doesn't miss when it comes to the most important task at hand: He takes a well-worn concept and makes it feel new, and without sacrificing its sense of familiarity.
  26. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    By the time Rachel Weisz, as a scientist called Dr. Marta Shearing, showed up in a lab coat, I stopped trying to parse every plot twist and just went with the action flow.
  27. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    Assured if not inspired, Legacy keeps the Bourne engine ticking over without reaching top gear. The action's accomplished and Renner's fine. Without Matt Damon, however, it feels like a placeholder.
  28. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    The introduction isn't as smooth as it could be, but eventually everyone settles into the right groove.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    It has plenty of energy and drive, and Jeremy Renner is really good, better as a Bourne-y agent than Matt Damon, tougher and more grizzled-looking, more convincing as the professional soldier who has grown careworn and disillusioned in the public service.
  30. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    A perfectly serviceable thriller, smarter than many, but it has too much of a reputation to live up to.
  31. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Aug 8, 2012
    60
    The Bourne Legacy doesn't reach the heights of the previous three films, but a guns-blazing final act and strong performances from its entire cast might give it the juice to try for a fifth sequel.
  32. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Aug 7, 2012
    60
    Now, we have Jeremy Renner as another Treadstone mega man (there were nine, apparently), and though he is a likable enough pug-nosed action figure, the Damonlessness is sorely felt.
  33. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 7, 2012
    60
    Renner and scientist Rachel Weisz are sympathetic enough (although lacking in Matt Damon's all-American approachability), and the movie flies along briskly.
  34. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    The overall tone is familiar, refried, redundant.
  35. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    It looks fantastic, but it's also hard to sit through, because by that point The Bourne Legacy has repeatedly proven there are no surprises to be had here, no more fresh stories to be mined from this well. The stunts look exhausting, though. No wonder Damon bailed.
  36. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    "The Bourne Identity." "The Bourne Supremacy." "The Bourne Ultimatum." And now, "The Pointless, Confused and Then, For the Last Half-Hour, Exciting Bourne Sequel, After a Fashion," more commonly known as The Bourne Legacy.
  37. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Aug 6, 2012
    50
    The same tone and look are maintained, but the visceral excitement is muffled by familiarity, an insufficiently conceived lead character and the sheer weight of backstory and multiple layers of deception.
  38. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Aug 6, 2012
    50
    Subbing character actor Jeremy Renner into a franchise that requires Matt Damon-caliber magnetism, series scribe Tony Gilroy takes over the helming duties with an overlong sequel that features too little action and an unnecessarily complicated plot.
  39. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 12, 2012
    40
    As earnestly as they have tried to continue the formerly excellent spy series, everything Gilroy and crew concoct only serves to mock the excellence and passion with which Greengrass delivered his films.
  40. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 10, 2012
    38
    Disappointingly, Bourne never resurfaces in this less-than-satisfying series reboot. The film is more a talky, convoluted, action-starved two-hour subplot.
  41. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Aug 9, 2012
    38
    The worst thing about the picture is that the people involved all seem to realize it's generic.
  42. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 9, 2012
    25
    The Bourne series ended with the last installment, and now comes a 135-minute death rattle called The Bourne Legacy. It's a peculiar movie, both over-plotted and under-plotted, encumbered by layers of detail and yet with no details invested in or developed.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 332 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 104
  2. Negative: 14 out of 104
  1. Aug 18, 2012
    2
    A promising new lead and decent anticipation turns to a considerable let down. The latest Bourne film is Boring. Jeremy Renner is a quality actor, who this time plays a rougher, more aggressive, more believable bad ass member of Secret Government Operation: Treadstone. The main issue with the film is that it doesn't deliver the action, the villain or build into anything interesting. The final act in Manila features one of the weakest car chase sequences of all time. The film is more missing Paul Greengrass than Matt Damon. The action and tension isn't there. Full Review »
  2. Aug 10, 2012
    6
    The Bourne Legacy does two things wonderfully. One; it fills the shoes of the killing machine Jason Bourne with Jeremy Renner
  3. Aug 24, 2012
    2
    If you make a Bourne movie without everything that makes a Bourne movie awesome you get The Bourne Legacy. While I watched it, I perfectly understood why Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass didn't want to get involved in this piece of junk. While in the original films you get exciting action sequences that kept your attention and very good editing, The Bourne Legacy has tons of dialogues that go nowhere and a terribly awkward pacing. Not to mention it's 30 minutes too long. As a matter of fact, there's barely any action. The few there is would be ok if it was a Jason Statham movie, but for Bourne standards is cheesy and absurd. The only good thing about The Bourne Legacy is the solid acting from Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, who make a very sexy couple and are both very likeable. Yes, the talented Edward Norton is in the movie, but unfortunately for him, he can't do much of a thing with a very poorly developed character that only has the function of throwing exposition at computer screens. I'd be surprised if anyone cared for the pills conflict which wasn't any intresting. Tony Gilroy should stick to writing, because he isn't a good director. He should be ashamed of making such a terrible film for a great franchise he helped to build. Specially in the ending, which was a cheap way to leave everything open for a sequel unlike The Bourne Ultimatum, which tied everything in its place. The only thing this movie has of Bourne is the title and it's not worthy of it. The Bourne Legacy is the perfect example of Hollywood beating a dead horse. Full Review »