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Generally favorable reviews- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 333

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  1. Dec 28, 2012
    As expected, Renner does fantastically in the lead role here in "The Bourne Legacy". The movie won't appeal to everybody and the mixed reviews are no surprise. Personally, I really enjoyed the film, but that's because I like movies that are largely centered on the action and not so much the plot, which is the case here. Thus, if you're more into movie plots, odds are this one won't be for you.
  2. Dec 16, 2012
    Though The Bourne Legacy doesn't quite live up to the original Bourne Trilogy it is still an outstanding movie in its own right. For one, Jeremy Renner does an absolutely phenomenal job. While I don't think the character development or acting is necessarily up to par with Matt Damon, I think he more than legitimizes the film. I also thought that Rachel Weisz did a solid job and Edward Norton provided a decent villain for the movie. In addition to the acting and character development, the plot developed superbly. I thought making this film coincide with the Bourne trilogy was genius. Honestly, the only elements of the movie I didn't enjoy were the general lack of action and the outlandish aspects of some of the action sequences. These two poor aspects coupled together to really hurt the movie because it would start to drag but then when action would finally happen it would sometimes be silly. Still, this movie is definitely worth watching... just don't expect it to be as good as the first three. Expand
  3. Dec 16, 2012
    The Bourne Legacy, the first Bourneless movie, does not do real justice to the franchise. Jeremy Renner, as Aaron Cross, does breathe new and intense life into a completely different character, with Rachel Weisz as the love interest he never makes love to, although Weisz is definitely the Bourne "girl." It's refreshing to see an actress over 40 playing any kind of girl, and Weisz is the appropriate age for an experienced research scientist with a PhD, playing the role of Dr. Marta Shearing. Nevertheless, Weisz's role is a classic damsel-in-distress, perhaps of a more subdued nature, because she doesn't have to scream even once. If the director intended to develop her as a female kick-boxer, that never happened. She trembles when she holds a gun, emotionally she's capable of falling apart, and only at the end, she finally kicks the bad guy off his motorcycle. At one point Aaron tells Marta, "You're a warrior." The viewers would say, "I don't think so." Weisz has to run a lot, and she has mastered a strong gait, almost like an Olympic sprinter which, again, seems to imply her character was in development for being a female soldier who can really kick derriere, but that plot thread never materialized. She's following Aaron Cross around, always needing to be rescued at the eleventh hour, and only peripherally makes a contribution with her scientific knowledge regarding his medication and his condition. Weisz is still effective, but if the director really wanted her to be the geeky scientist who does not consider the moral implications of her work, they should have downplayed her beauty. The United States government is, once again, an evil institution that cannot be trusted because they set up illegal, embarrassing spy rings that have to be disbanded, which means every undercover agent has to be killed. Since Watergate, Hollywood continually depicts the American government as political leaders who would betray and murder their own people, rather than being the good guys who are the policemen and the protectors for the entire world. The theme of an evil American government that cannot be trusted is tiresome, and it's getting old. The mastermind who betrays his own spy ring is played by Ed Norton, who depicts the character to perfection, even though the script does not give him much to work with. The entire film is one big hunt-and-chase scene, first starting in Alaska, where it almost piques your interest, and ending in Manila, where it's a boring roof-jumping motorcycle chase that goes on for too long. At one point, Weisz almost falls off the speeding motorcycle, and she seems to be holding on to a speeding bus until Renner pulls her back. Unless both vehicles were traveling at the exact same speed, that was physically impossible and she should have been yanked right out of her seat. The worst sin--the director and scriptwriters did not know how to end the film. The main concern was to keep the plot open-ended for the next installment, so at the end the script is, quite literally, lost at sea. Expand
  4. Dec 15, 2012
    I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this movie. It was filled with intrigue, complexity and character development. They also did a masterful job of weaving the timeline into the end of the previous movie in the series. But like so many of these spy thrillers, it degenerated into one long chase scene at the end. And when the movie ended, I was thinking, "That's it?"

    Clearly, they're
    setting it up to continue the series, but the ending was a real letdown. After building such great tension between all the characters, we're left with zero resolution. Expand
  5. Dec 9, 2012
    I have to admit that the low mark is mostly due to the fact that I didn't watch the 2nd and 3rd installment of Bourne series. This meant that I could not understand roughly 30% of the discussions between the government characters. Otherwise, a solid action movie for Sunday afternoon.
  6. Dec 8, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Riding on the back of the Bourne trilogy. It could just as easily have "borrowed" a title from Bond, or Batman - the connection is about as tenuous. A picture of Jason Bourne on the wall, and reference to his name, does not make it a Bourne film. The tedious chase sequence towards the end could have been shortened, and made more plausible, I was reminded of the remake of "Total Recall". Watchable, but not up to the Bourne standard. Expand
  7. Dec 7, 2012
    A surprisingly astute and enjoyable continuation of the Bourne series, which effectively leads away from the Matt Damon/Jason Bourne era into new waters.

    I was sceptical when hearing about The Bourne Legacy, being an avid fan of the Robert Ludlum books and of the Bourne film trilogy (completely different stories but both enjoyable in their own rights). Being honest this film is just
    continuing on the band wagon of the success of the trilogy, which on one hand I detest, however, the story is written effectively enough that you never feel like they are trying to be Jason Bourne they are just taking the story off on another path.

    Renner and Weise are extremely well cast and play their parts excellently and with an excellent supporting cast makes the film a credible watch. My only reservation in terms of the cast is x x who I do not favour as an actor and didn
  8. Dec 3, 2012
    Another attempt to extend a so called franchise way after its end. Not a bad effort, mind you, with a lot of talented cast in its disposal. But while its predecessors were known for its efficiency, Legacy is straddled by a lot of back story and exposition. So much so, that it ruined the pacing of the movie. This is its biggest sin: as an action movie is judged by its 'movement', by being propulsive so to speak. By trying to justify the existence of its new protagonist, Legacy became essentially an Anti Bourne movie. The original trilogy became minor classics because of its grittiness, and its great action sequences, shot essentially on handheld. Legacy felt like a typical spy film, increasing its scope, trying so hard for characterization, but failing in comparison to its 'competitors', The Mission Impossible franchise and of course, James Bond. The end result: a talky film, punctuated with bits of action. Expand
  9. Dec 2, 2012
    It had a pretty solid story that tied in well with the original trilogy. Featured great leads in Norton and Weisz and Renner is a great pick for the lead of the next set of films in this series. That being said, I am a little disapointed with the lack of originality. I understand that it's a sort of Reboot/Sequel/Prequel but it really came off as a repackaged version of the first film but with a different cast and imo it definently hurt the overall value of this film. Also, The whole science situation with the pills is just a little too over the top for me. The pills were believeable but the whole super human thing irked me a little bit. That being said, It's a solid movie overall but definently flawed. I give them a ton of credit though, It's hard to reboot a series when you lose the actor that made the role and films so famous but they did a good job in turning the series into another Bond like franchise and for that they should be applauded. Expand
  10. Dec 2, 2012
    Its unfortunate but I was expecting great things for this movie. I am a huge Bourne fan, having read the Ludlum novels and watched the Bourne trilogy at least 5 fives already. Seeing the average reviews for The Bourne Legacy I was determined that this could not suck. It could not. Oh how wrong I was.

    Having got this movie on Blu-Ray just recently, I was pumping for this film. First ten
    minutes in, I had a horrible feeling. This feels...wrong. Half an hour in, I was like, hey it seems to be picking up. Now, I am not asking for a lot of action. To be honest, I want a movie to be balance of action and dialogue. A lot of the diehard fanboys of this movie (A few in the metacritic reviews) attack those of us who gave his movie mediocre scores as they accuse us of giving it a bad score due to the fact that 'there's not much/not as much action scenes as the previous Bourne films'. To that I say, bullsht. In fact, the action scenes in this movie are alright and the lack of them isn't key in bringing down the score. What does bring it down is a combination of several elements. Firstly, the plot. The plot has to be one of the worst action film plot Ive seen in recent years. And the bad thing is, they're serious here. Unlike the Expendables 1 and 2 where they know its bad so they dont take the plot seriously, Legacy takes it all way too seriously. The movie is full of rudimentary segments and parts that felt way too long. It felt almost like as if the writer wrote a epic plot with visits to several exotic locations, plot twists and sequences. Instead, in filming, they discovered that the script was too long and it was too late to shorten it down. So they just did what they did. About what can be done in 30~50minutes stretched out into 2 hours. Nice work guys. It almost felt like a chore watching this movie after 40 minutes because it just felt so slow and plot progression movie like a slug up a ramp. Unlike the previous Bourne films which mixed a variety of sequences (chases, gun scenes, escapes etc) with excellent plot dialogue segments, Legacy just fills about 85% of the movie with slow dialogue segments that do little to move the story forward and throws in 2 fight scenes, each only around 2 minutes long and single chase scene at the end. That's it. And the asset send to hunt down our protagonists? He's apparently superior to the assets seen the previous Bourne films as he's in a newer, superior program. But heck, in the movie...he's not that good. Especially when going against Renner, who is in an inferior program to Bourne.
    And why the Philippines? That's right folks, half the movie takes place in Manila. I have nothing against the Philippines and have been there before. Its a great country...just with a lot of uninteresting places and lots of slums. Its not really the ideal locale for a top-notch action film. Had this been set in say, Japan, Korea or China or hell, have it back in Europe like the previous Bourne films, it would've been a lot more appealing. Its like saying, "hey, lets set Lord of the Rings in a swamp and have it there for half the movie!". Or "Hey, lets have The Dark Knight set in Antarctica! That's exotic right?" And I felt sorry for Jeremy Renner. This guy has done a great job in this film and its sad to see the rest of the movie being utter dung. Now Rachel Weiz...yea she's a hot milf. Since The Mummy Returns, Ive always had something for her. She's hot. But her acting? Its alright, not too bad, but there are some scenes where you would just this an industry veteran or some new girl on the block. But yea, at least she's a much-needed eyecandy for this horrible film. Bourne Legacy doesn't receive a 3/10 purely due to a lack of good action scenes. In fact, its action scenes are okay and while there is a lack of them, its not the critical factor. The crucial aspect that nails this film in its coffin is the combination of a boring/shallow plot, boring characters (and a complete lack of chemistry, good or bad, between the Weiz and Renner to the point where it feels like they hate each others guts in real life and wanted to avoid doing anything/speaking with one another), a lame premise, bad locale choice and basically, having next to no relations with the Bourne Trilogy. Its like Prometheus to Alien...sure there's the hints and links here and there, but its not the same thing. This is The Bourne Legacy. While I can see Prometheus fit within the Alien universe, Legacy doesn't really feel like its part of the Bourne universe. Sure, it has Jason Bourne it in...on TV, but overall, if you remove the 'Bourne' title in this movie, it really would not making a difference. So shallow, uninspiring and boring, this film dampened the Bourne namesake so bad that I had to rewatch the Bourne Trilogy again just to make myself feel better. A horrible, Grade-B spinoff of the Bourne franchise with no class nor brains.
  11. Nov 30, 2012
    While not as action-packed as the trilogy, The Bourne Legacy does not contain a single dull moment. The ending just happens, but hopefully there is a sequel to make up for that.
  12. Nov 15, 2012
    One of few movies during which I fell to sleep :/ The plot seems full of bullet holes, with some reminiscence of previous Bourne movies rattling inside. Sometimes it's even difficult to understand what the point of this movie is... Is there some kind of conspiracy? Or is it just about one American agent, who runs after some pills? Yet another disappointment, after a dismal Ghost Protocol...
  13. Nov 9, 2012
    The fight scenes in this film are FANTASTICALLY choreographed - Renner turns killing into a dance. The ending leaves just enough open that we can realistically expect a sequel.
  14. Nov 5, 2012
    The Bourne Legacy has moments where it's electrifying, pulse-pounding, and everything else it's supposed to be. The problem is those moments don't add up to anything worth your while.
  15. Oct 30, 2012
    I'm just gonna give this an average score because of two major mistakes the movie has. First of all, this movie is too long for a story and script so thin. The story seems to never develop as the movie has other unnecessary scenes like the death of the other agents and the long confrontation between Marta and the agents in her house. The other reason is that the pacing of the movie is very bad as the pacing is too slow at the start and middle then suddenly speeds up when they arrived in the Philippines with an abrupt ending. Despite good performances by the cast, it is still barely a good film. Oh yeah, action scenes are not as thrilling than the previous films. The franchise should have ended with Ultimatum. Expand
  16. Oct 17, 2012
    If you are a HUGE Bourne fan like myself this movie will probably not be for you. This is Jason Bourne without Jason Bourne. The movie was disappointing to say the least. I must admit there was one good part and thats the part where I dosed off for 5min and nearly got a heart attack when my wife woke me
  17. Oct 4, 2012
    The reason nobody liked this film is because there was much less action and much more dialogue than the previous three. But what they don't realize is that this new twist on Bourne is just getting started, and if the entire film had been judo and shoot-outs, what could we expect from the sequels? Legacy sets the foundation for what looks to be like an excellent parallel on Jason Bourne's story.
  18. Oct 4, 2012
    Better than Supremacy by a hair. But couldn't keep pace with Identity or Ultimatum (of which both I would give a 10). Jeremy Renner does a nice job as the new anchor of the franchise. His character felt rooted in the real world with real training. Set in a story true to present day issues. For the most part the action and ingenuity of the lead didn't disappoint the first 90% of the film. But, overall the antagonist seems to growl more than bite. And I would love to know who's ending we got. The Studio's or the directors. The momentum seemed to sputter like a boat out of gas in view of the checkered flag. With the only real goal being the setup for a sequel. Expand
  19. Sep 30, 2012
    The Bourne Legacy will dissapoint many fans of the orginal trilogy. It ultimatley feels like a cash in attempt to do Bourne without Bourne, although the cinematic style is thankfully reminiscent of the orginals. The story is easily the film's biggest let down and by the end of the film it's all to easy to just not give a toss. That said, the action, specifically a rooftop chase remain as enthralling as you should expect of a Bourne film, and solid performances from Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton almost overshadow the feeling that the film has no point. But in essence, The Bourne Legacy is a letdown for fans of Bourne, compelling plots and good spy movies altogether. Expand
  20. Sep 30, 2012
    This movie started out great as a stand on it own movie, great beginning action. Then they started putting clips of the past three movies that Matt Damon did into it. I am not taking anything away from those I own all 3 and they are great! But did the writers just have brain freezes or something?
    Writers you should have set your standards higher and wrote this as it were Bond James
    Bond. You do not see them jumping back in time to previous movies just to be able to fill the screen. You left it so you could continue the story, please continue it don't back track. Expand
  21. Sep 29, 2012
    This movie was an utter disgrace to what is probably my all-time favorite movie franchise. While the first Bourne movies were smart and engrossing - this movie feels like it was written by 3rd graders. The script is awful, the plot doesn't progress, and the characters are completely 1-dimensional. Not only that, but the entire premise of the movie involves borderline sci-fi garbage that has no place in the Bourne series. Certain scenes like the series' trademark chase scene clip and are unrealistic looking - and I can point to one (unimportant) scene in particular where an agent drops 20 feet from a tree in a blur like superman.

    Some people may have not liked Jeremy Renner - but as most reviews indicate - he was certainly not the problem. No plot, no script, and boring. I'm going to go on pretending that this movie doesn't exist, and hope they do the next Bourne movie the right way - with a plot and a script. Disgraceful.
  22. Sep 24, 2012
    I was surprised at how this movie didn't ruin the entire series for me, and how great of a protagonist Jeremy Renner is. This movie wasn't a total fail, and I actually thought it kept fairly consistent with it's predecessors.
  23. Sep 24, 2012
    The Bourne Legacy failed to have the same greatness as the previous films but still delivers great action and acting, although the script is average and so is the story.

    The best thing about Legacy is the acting. Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz have done a fantastic job of acting their characters and totally fulfills their roles. Only the script let such good actors down.

    The worst
    thing about Legacy is the storyline. The protagonist (Jeremy Renner who plays Aaron Cross) needs to find pills in order to survive and is on the run with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who knows where they are and both are on the run from the CIA. That´s it. Not very fulfilling.

    I shall give "The Bourne Legacy" a 6.5/10. Thanks!
  24. Sep 17, 2012
    I watched every film in the series before walking myself to the theatre to see this. I purposely wanted to give this a good four-movie review. I was looking forward to it very much. And then, I came to the awful realization that this latest release in the Bourne franchise is not so good at all. Maybe even leaning towards bad.
    I can't be too committal on my disappointment because I have to
    admit some scenes where good and I was intrigued. But I couldn't help to feel that this thing wasn't peaking. Am I the only one feeling like this? The guy is just looking to fix his meds. The plot gets going, every one seems super important in their roles, there is a lot of following and a lot of killing, but the thread of the story... not there, right?
    I reached the end of the film literally asking myself, this can't be it? Is it? Wait! it is!
  25. Sep 17, 2012
    I don't mind give it high rating for this movie. I didn't watch the prequel before, for a stand alone movie, Bourne Legacy wins. Breathtaking and intense action, ambush and chase scene. And Tony Gilroy's script is gold.
  26. Sep 11, 2012
    "The Bourne Legacy" is good in many aspects, however the film doesn´t convinces as an action flick, because it has some very long, but boring, action sequences. The actors in it are okay, the dialogues are well written, but after all, the movie is just tedious and tiring.
  27. Sep 9, 2012
    I'm very disappointed with the Bourne Legacy. The trailers and the anticipation was good, but the film was only "average". The beginning is very confused (but that's OK for a spy-movie) ... after the half and some good scene the movie goes down. The ending is "wait for The Bourne legacy 2" and totally inconsistent.
    Don't waste money going to the cinema for this.
  28. Sep 8, 2012
    This movie simply has no art at all. No art in the action scenes, no art in dialogue, no art in acting. The plot sucks and makes me want to sleep, this movie doesn't teach you anything and the soundtracks are frustrating simply. I'm giving it a 0 out of 10 because for me it was a waste of time.
  29. Sep 8, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow, I thought the reviews were misleading, especially given how Bourne has to compete with Batman, and that Retner's previous film, Mission Impossible, was IMHO underwhelmingly reviewed at this site. But this time they got it right.

    Both Bourne and TDKR are films generally for fans of the series only. Anyone not privy to The Bourne Ultimatum is going to get a bit lost in Legacy. Luckily the film does a bit of hand-holding. But the first few minutes can be confusing, and in general the film suffers from somewhat mediocre storytelling.

    Retner does a good impression of a Bourne-esque hero, which tries to be this offshoot of Treadstone, but ultimately the whole film was trying to achieve the Bourne trilogy in 2 hours. And unlike Batman, which tried to approach the story via a new method of exposition, this film suffers from recycling plot points, general characters, and even action sequences from the previous movies. Its as if it tries to be a homage, but ultimately it is made to look like it can't survive on its own without hearkening back to Matt Damon's time.

    Characters are not very memorable apart from Cross. Like I said, the characters look recycled, and unoriginal. Fans of the series can only recall these people from previous movies, like its a homage.

    The story, despite the exposition, does expand upon Ultimatum. Ultimately, Legacy does show the fallout of Ultimatum, both during the film (but parallel using Cross POV), and shortly after the film. It does feel like a sequel is in the horizon, and it does feel like Jason Bourne's saga is not going to end in New York.

    Overall it is not a very bad movie, but only to fans of the series. Again the whole setup feels like a throwback to the Damon era, whilst trying to establish a mythos on its own. Unfortunately Cross would at best come out as a Bourne without the amnesia or struggle with his emotions, and his life's story would not be any different (some say even ripping off) from Bourne.
  30. Sep 8, 2012
    More aptly named "The Bourne Without Bourne", it's quite surprisingly that Legacy manages to use the franchise's formula to good use. It does suffer slight reduction to the pace, which was initially blinding fast, into a more exposition-filled story. The writers keep the plot from derailing off the original three and using a parallel story of another burned agent in a grander scheme affected by the previous events. Acting by Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz are superb and action is definitely there to meet blockbuster demand, it only lacks the fast cut of its predecessor and the titular hero.

    Jeremy Renner is a definite great choice for Aaron Cross, the new marked agent. He looks lively compared to the others rigid agents, it humanizes him and makes him more natural without compromising the resourcefulness of the character. The franchise always uses an agent in distress style and it stays true with Aaron's story, although he leans more on frantic attempt for self-preservation rather cold calculating and vengeful motive. Even though the story deems him a bit flawed, that actually makes him more sympathetic to the audience.

    Rachel Weisz as Dr. Shering delivers a spledid performance. She is convincing on her struggle as if she's doing a ballet piece on the verge of mental breakdown. She appears as strong as an ordinary person would be, but in the same time frail in the face of trained killers. The story gives much time to her, understandably so. This might hampers the pace a bit, but considering her quality acting, it's a safe investment. Her role's attitude switches from methodically calculating for the sake of survival to slowly growing affectionate towards her savior.

    Action is good, true to grimy Bourne stunt, it has plenty of chases and fights, mostly on densely populated area. I like the fact they use real stunt rather than CG, because it gives more organic motion and danger to it, especially the scenes in South East Asia. The editing is still lightning fast, but a bit slower and more concentrated this time around. The main concern is it has lesser content than the previous Bourne titles. With each of them packing a hefty amount of plot and action, Bourne Legacy feels only half of those. It doesn't give satisfying end, as I expect there might be more sequel(s) to it.

    Regardless of not reaching the height of previous endeavors, which is ironic since the main allure somewhat lies in the title, Bourne Legacy is still an enjoyable espionage thriller.

    Rate 7/10

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: Ian Nathan
    Aug 12, 2012
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 12, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 12, 2012
    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.