User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 317

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  1. Mar 31, 2014
    6
    Good action. Unnecessary extended. At least he gets the girl at the end. Useless scenes. Norton reduced to that role? Not good. Easy ending and resolving. Its not the same without Damon
  2. Feb 17, 2014
    5
    "There was never just one." Hah. The biggest mystery and suspense around "The Bourne Legacy" comes from good advertisement. The film itself is a lackluster; a mediocre action flick at best and hilariously horrible Hollywood money-maker wannabe sequel at worst. The actors are good though, especially the leading performers Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner. But it's well known that good actors don't replace good screenplay. Expand
  3. Dec 22, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first 3 sequels of the bourne franchise was very strong in all it's element, and then this movie.
    at first i thought that they replaced matt damon with Jeremy Renner which is a joke if they did, not because i have anything against renner but the entire franchise is based on the main character, change it and you have nothing left.
    anyway it turned out that they add new character to the movie that happen in the same time when they were chasing bourne and that was good because they didn't try to take anything away from bourne.
    but they stretched some scenes too much that the action parts are separated by a long period of time,
    and there was a few plot mistakes like project larx who did absolutely NOTHING, you keep anticipating him and thinking about what's he's gonna do, and he got shot the first time he introduced,
    so after all the movie is not that good and doesn't feels like it belongs to the franchise.
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  4. Dec 14, 2013
    5
    The Bourne Legacy works only through Jeremy Renner's work as Aaron Cross. Otherwise, it is a failed attempt at imitating it's much better predecessors.
  5. Nov 20, 2013
    5
    The Bourne Legacy tries really hard. Jeremy Renner is a likable hero, Rachel Weisz is unbelievably hot and the movie contains the requisite action scenes and foreign locations to make it work. Yet it doesn't. Something is missing in this installment. It could be linked to the fact that the movie takes FOREVER to get going and by the time it does, you've already slipped into tedium.
  6. Oct 6, 2013
    5
    With some solid action sequences, the latest instalment in the Bourne series clearly suffers in quality compared to the previous films. Its plot is quite simply and at times, very stale.
  7. Sep 17, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy really is a disappointment compared to the trilogy it followed. The story didn't make sense, it jumped from one plot to another, and was a sorry excuse for a Bourne movie. No wonder Matt didn't sign on for this one.
  8. Sep 7, 2013
    0
    One of the worst films I have ever seen. As a huge Bourne fan (even loved the game), I can't believe how much they've managed to ruin one of the greatest movie franchises. First of all, it starts of extremely slowly, with no explanation. It jumps from one scene to another for about 45 minutes but doesn't link them together. The backstory doesn't exist at all, and there is no connection to Treadstone or Bourne AT ALL. What's more, the new characters and their motives and the entire story is not only dull, shallow and without any explanation, but even the action scenes are laughably pathetic. Far too much Hollywood cliché rubbish. At the end I had no idea what the film was about and still didn't get how anything linked together. Honestly, there is no reason why anybody should watch this film. Expand
  9. Sep 3, 2013
    5
    I went into this movie with high expectations and I left very disappointed. The acting was good but few of the action scene were very exciting, especially if you compare them to the first three. The characters had no depth which can be blamed on the lack of depth in the story.
  10. Sep 1, 2013
    6
    NOTE: There are grammatical errors and some duplicated words in this review that aren't my fault there must be a problem with the software.

    There are a lot of good things about “The Bourne Legacy”, with Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weizs being the top two. They’re both good; Renner as a spy targeted for disappearance by his own government, and Weizs as a laboratory doctor, assisting in a
    secret program to develop genetically enhanced spies. Unbeknownst to her, she, too, has just been added to the dispatch list.
    The film opens in the snowy and spectacular wilds of Alaska, where Renner has been sent to meet another ’participant’ in the program, who will give him the medications he needs. The cautious, distrustful conversations they have set the tone for the film; a calculating, ruthless world even for the most cynical among us. As Dr. Sheering, Weisz is wonderful; a sympathetic and credible soul, capturing the bewilderment of a physician caught up in machinations far over her head. “Who’s… who’s ‘they?’”, she pleads. “I don’t know anything!”. It's just one of her many excellent scenes.

    The original books were by Robert Ludlum, written many years ago. This film was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, and it's hard to imagine much of the story came from Ludlum, other than the main character.
    The story is better in its first half; the pace slows, later on, and ends weakly with a retread of the rooftop chases that were the dramatic highlights of the first three films. In “Legacy” this final chase is anti-climactic; Gilroy seems to have turned the script over to the stunt department, with orders to dream up something new and it feels contrived.

    There are several shots that deserve note. A close-up of Renner at a remote, icy river’s edge, that pulls back till he’s a mere speck in the distance. And later, as government agents close in on Weisz, Renner quickly scales the outside of her three story house, surging through an upstairs window to surprise an agent a split second before she can fire. The athleticism is remarkable enough, but even more impressive is the technological feat; the camera swoops up after Renner in one fluid motion, then passes effortlessly through a small window, and without a pause, it pivots sharply as he shoots the agent just as she looks up. It’s the kind of cinematography we take for granted, but is just one example of the superb filmmaking being done in the Bourne films, and many others. I looked up the credits on “Legacy”, and there were well over 500 names attached to this film. Some talented people.

    The editing is excellent alternately staccato or placid, shaking you out of your seat, or giving you a moment to catch your breath. The sound design is unobtrusive but vita to the filml. Casting is first rate up and down. If we’re going to quibble, Doc Sheering (Weisz) never really does much can’t the female lead at least throw a punch, or ride her own cycle? Gilroy treats this woman like a figurine. Smart, but helpless.

    Finally, Republicans will doubtless find this story unfulfilling. While it’s a slam-dunk portrayal of a rogue US government, silently subverting the Constitution, and killing off Americans left and right, the filmmakers don’t even hint that Obama is behind it all an unforgivable omission. Unless....wait! what if...Obama prevented them from revealing the truth?!! There you go!
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  11. Aug 12, 2013
    5
    What a waste of money. Seriously. There was clearly a lot of talent in the casting with this movie, but apparently not behind the camera. Tony Gilroy did an average job directing, but what really just hurts this movie is the screenplay. This movie has no sense of direction whatsoever. Also, there's really no tension making the action boring and pointless. Renner does a good job, but i think that people see his past work and think he makes any movie he's in good. With Legacy, that's not the case. They waste him really, since Aaron Cross isn't an interesting character. He's hard to cheer for because the only thing that motivates him is getting his next pill fix. Norton's character was wasted too, as was a lot of characters. Bourne was mentioned frequently throughout the film, rendering Cross's point in the story useless. Seriously why did this even have to happen? Its clearly an obvious cash grab with an ending that contradicts Ultimatiums near perfect conclusion. I hope this is the last one. C Expand
  12. Jul 21, 2013
    7
    It was good and had it`s moments, but nothing to make it stand out from other movies. I can also tell how great a movie from how much I have to talk about after, and I really didn`t have much to say. The ending felt incomplete.
  13. Jul 10, 2013
    6
    Giving the writer of the franchise the directorial role was a mistake. The Bourne Legacy isn't awful, but it is very far away from the heights of previous installments.
  14. Jul 7, 2013
    1
    A travesty, pure and simple.

    I think we could all accept the mediocre movie on display if it had kept to itself, and not interfered with the works beforehand. But not only does the film breach into territory the original trilogy worked so hard to set up, it ruins all the meaning from it, just so they can selfishly continue the franchise without Damon and Greengrass.
  15. Jun 26, 2013
    7
    Jeremy Renner plays the role really well but the movie does fall down without Jason Bourne who is referred to repeatedly and is just a more interesting character, but overall a great action movie with some impressive chase scenes.
  16. May 14, 2013
    4
    This film is just simply boring. It takes an hour just for Bourne to start kicking somebodies ass. What do we get for the first hour? A storyline about some scientists, treadstone, and Jason travelling in some mountain for ages... The action is weak and just doesn't have the thrill like the first two films did. (I haven't seen the third one yet)
  17. Mar 31, 2013
    7
    Having never seen any of the previous "Bourne" films, I have a feeling there's a lot of background I'm missing out on here, especially in the first several minutes. However, on its own, it still stands as a very watchable action thriller. There are some true standout performances here, particularly from Rachel Weisz (damn, I need to check out more of her movies now), and I've become a quick fan of Jeremy Renner. The first and third acts were definitely the stronger points the second felt like they dragged just a tad at moments, and as a rule I would have liked the action to be slightly less frenetic in its editing (though from what I understand, that's something of a Bourne staple). But I enjoyed it. Certainly not among the more impressive action flicks I've seen, but definitely not bad either. Expand
  18. Mar 22, 2013
    4
    I was really looking forward to a new Bourne movie, even if Matt Damon wouldn't be in it. Lets just say.. I was disappointed. The story wasn't interesting, the direction was horrible and probably the main reason why the acting was terrible. Rachael Weisz is quite capable of acting, although in this movie it seemed she was asked to improvise too much, leaving, in some cases, an annoying display of fumbles for 5 minutes. The pacing wasn't great, and Jeremy Renner was playing a different character to the one he was meant to be playing. He was goofy and stuck up, when I believe his character description probably said "confident" Jeremy Renner can't do "confident" he can only do "Jeremy Renner" So coming from Matt Damon perfect representation of what a spy on the run would be like, it was a shock to see such a horrible performance from the leads. There are too many points in this movie where you don't care what's happening, but you can see that you are meant too. This is not good. There is a point where Rachael Weisz is distraught about seeing her colleagues murdered. Which is fine, although we hardly know this character, we don't care about her enough yet to then sit through a scene which goes for about 15 minutes where she is sobbing while talking to people who we don't know either until after that scene. If you loved the Bourne trilogy, and you haven't seen this one yet, I recommend you don't. 4/10 Expand
  19. Mar 13, 2013
    6
    The worst of the franchise, but with a franchise this good the movie is well worth the watch. I think the introducing of Jeremy Renner's character could lead to some interesting films in the future.
  20. Feb 21, 2013
    6
    Bourne is back. Well sort of, his picture is anyway, and his 'legacy' is also there.
    Through studio and talent communication breakdown, Matt Damon did not return to this fourth instalment as Jason Bourne, he has been replaced by Jeremy Renner who plays a different lead in the film. Director Paul Greengrass also didn't return. Tony Gilroy, who was screenwriter for the first three
    instalments, has taken directorial duties, and well, he has muddled things a little bit.
    Let me say that for the first half hour I was completely oblivious as to what was going on, there was a lot of coded talk, but the gist is that Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is an Operation Outcome member, something similar to Treadstone from the previous films. There is, however, much more detail in this film has to what makes these people able to do what they are doing, and Cross is training in Alaska when the brains at Outcome decide to shutdown, due to the events surrounding Jason Bourne and the revelations of Treadstone to the media, because this film takes place during and after the events of Ultimatum. They have to take pills, or chems, in order to enhance their abilities, and after Cross escapes his own assassination, he meets Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who has escaped from her lab, which tested the participants for Outcome, after a colleague was chemically forced to murder all the lab doctors, as Eric Byer (Edward Norton) and his associates are attempting to erase any clues to Outcomes existence, again due to the media report into Treadstone.
    The film falters in many aspects due to it being its own worst enemy, the dialogue is often constricted to the point where the audience themselves shouldn't be a part of whats going on, the camera work in the climatic chase scene was very Quantum of Solace, there was just too many cuts to make out a full picture. For its winning formula, there is a different sense of realism to this, they have taken the original films and gave them a full explanation, albeit a very confusing one.
    Renner is excellent as Cross, you can still see his skills of Hawkeye from the Avengers but his confident speech from the Hurt Locker. Rachel Weisz plays the damsel in distress who finds her stride in the last half hour, but the last half hour is taken up by a chase scene in the Philippines which simply far too long, it went on and on, and this was the part where there was just far too many cuts and tight corners to enjoy watching.
    I hope there is a sequel, it was enjoyable to the point of it continuing the 'legacy' but it just wasn't as clean and forthright as its predecessors, some work is definitely needed.
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  21. Feb 7, 2013
    2
    I watched about an hour before skipping to the end. The main problem for me was the long exposition scenes where in characters sit or stand around yelling or insulting each other. All the exposition could have been edited down to a few minutes and still told the audience everything it needed to know.
  22. BKM
    Jan 29, 2013
    6
    The Bourne Legacy picks up in the aftermath of the CIA's failed attempt to take down Jason Bourne in 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum. With Bourne on the run and the agency facing the threat of having their entire operation exposed, a new unit headed up by Edward Norton's no nonsense agent begins covering their tracks. Jeremy Renner has the lead role of agent Aaron Cross who must outwit the forces working to take him down. It's pretty standard stuff, especially when compared to the last two Bourne films, but it's well made and delivers plenty of action. Still, it's hard not to miss the enthralling direction of Paul Greengrass who helped elevate the series to where it is today. Expand
  23. Jan 21, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy was completely unnecessary. Not only was the plot weak, but it didn't follow what happened in the other movies at all. The one good thing was that there were some awesome action sequences.
  24. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    Here they try to flesh out the backstory of 'the program' and the agents a bit more, but it's all very thin and it doesn't matter much in a film which like most Bourne films is mostly action orientated. Where the previous Bourne films mimiced James Bond by being very international in their locations, this one plays out mostly in the US. It's not to say it's bad, the cast is A-level with Renner, Norton and Weisz who make the film allot more enjoyable than B-actors would have made it, but it's certainly not the best in the Bourne series. Expand
  25. Jan 11, 2013
    6
    Nowhere near as good or as visceral as the Bourne trilogy, but how could it be? Those films have set the standard for action and it's a hard one to live up to. Still enjoyable and gives an idea of the life that Bourne led before he lost his memory. I think that's the main problem here. With Jason Bourne we have an essentially sympathetic character who feels disgust at his previous self and wants to exorcise his past. With Aaron Cross we have a man motivated by smart drugs. Bourne is now a franchise. Expand
  26. Jan 2, 2013
    5
    Not a close follower of this Bourne series, but caught this on a flight and was not impressed. Seemed as though there was not a lot of action and alot of unnessessary dialog. Hard to picture/watch the film without Damon (although not a fan of him either) in it. Glad I didn't pay $ to watch this in the theater or on DVD.
  27. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy was a let down. I'm not going to repeat what alot of the other critics have already noted but it clearly did not measure up to the trilogy. Long story short, it doesn't click because the casting is off as is the direction, too bad.
  28. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    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.
  29. Dec 16, 2012
    7
    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
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.