Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 138 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: New York cab driver Korben Dallas didn't mean to be a hero. But he just picked up the kind of fare that only comes along every five thousand years - a perfect beauty, a perfect being, a perfect weapon. Now, together, they must save the world. (Columbia TriStar)
  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 126 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. The cast is a delight, but it's Willis who is the film's true "fifth element," giving it life, depth and humanity.
  2. 78
    Although the film tends to suffer from a severe case of overt preachiness in the third reel (shades of James Cameron's "The Abyss"), it's still a wonderfully visual, exciting ride.
  3. It's ludicrous, but it's fun. Besson is a filmmaker so in love with his own daffy excesses that he's able to pull us, laughing, right into his world of loony pop. [9 May 1997]
  4. Reviewed by: Jimmy Chertkow
    The story is such a cut-rate kid's sci-fi fairy tale that at one point Evil actually calls Gary Oldman on the phone (and it isn't played for laughs).
  5. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    This is a prodigious something. It's just difficult to say whether that something is good or evil.
  6. 50
    Besson may have misfired with The Fifth Element, but at least he does it with flair and a sense of humor.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    As you sit through the interminable two-hours-plus that constitute The Fifth Element -- a colossally stupid, overbearingly pompous new movie by Luc Besson -- you can expect to become acquainted with boredom on the most elemental level.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Nov 6, 2010
    I loved this movie. I saw it in the theaters and have watched it on TV a zillion times since. There was an article in the NY Times recently about unforgettable movie lines. The article wasn't particularly good - it forgot about Better Davis's "fasten your seatbelt, it's gonna be a bumpy ride" and so on. But it got me thinking. And what popped into my mind (forgive me) were two lines from The Fifth Element that I found unforgettable: "Negative, I am a meat popsicle." and "Does anyone else want to negotiate?" And then there is the memorable "It sa, it sa, it sa..." I am really curious what it is that so turned the critics off. I am a fan for life of this whimsical, silly, funny, well-acted and yes, sentimental, film. Love might not save the world, but wait - it's on again this week! Who cares!?! Expand
  2. Apr 21, 2012
    What can I say? This movie is epic for its time and is underacted.
  3. ALF
    Apr 3, 2011
    Bravo to Kevin Thomas. This film is great fun and what is even better was it was made so that no sequels would follow at a time when sequels seemed to be rolling off the shelf. Gary Oldman, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich all clearly enjoyed working with Luc Besson along with Chris Rock who has to be commended for wearing those, umm outfits and hairstyles which alone were worth laughs. This is two hours of fun which is not to be taken seriously and is clearly meant to be family fun. Perhaps the other film critics who felt the need to moan at this creative fun should take their brain out of the fridge or maybe actually stop being tight and go and see the film they have written about. This is unlikely as that would actually mean film critics earning their salary! Expand
  4. Jan 25, 2013
    Probably my favorite movies. It's far from being brilliant, I can even say its trashy at time, but there is just so much here that I utterly love. This is the ultimate Sci-Fi movie that stay very true to that concept. Everything is just so over the top that its a marvel to watch, almost like witching Scorsese on LSD. Also one little detail that many people don't notice that almost never happens any movie I have ever watched, is that the main hero (Willis) and the main villain (Oldman) never meet throughout the whole film. Not a big thing, but a curious one. Overall: a great Sci-fi romp that just never fails to entertain me. I absolutely love it! Expand
  5. Nov 30, 2013
    It has a bright color to the real world grayscale. It also has a funny part to it and has incredible acting, with great action scenes. Overall, I would just love to see this movie again. The ending is even better than the beginning. Expand
  6. Jan 29, 2012
    The Fifth Element is one of those films that just strikes a chord with me. Luc Besson's as-always stylish and energetic direction, his wacky and colourful vision of the future, and the plethora of weird and wonderful characters we spend time with over the course of the narrative all make it a very rewarding viewing experience. Bruce Willis' Korben Dallas is basically John McClaine dressed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, but still makes a very entertaining, relatable protagonist. Milla Jovovich is as her very best as the ass-kicking "supreme being" Leeloo, evolving from childlike innocence early on in the film to face her destiny as a weapon against evil. It's the relationship between Leeloo and Korbin that gives the film its emotional heart, and thankfully Jovovich and Willis get it spot-on. Gary Oldman's Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is a great villain even by his standards, and among the best performances of his career (only just pipped to the post by another villain, corrupt cop Stansfield in another Besson film, Leon, and his recent scene-stealing performance as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) - the limping, flamboyantly dressed arms dealer and tycoon is comic and scary in equal measure, and Oldman appears to relish the role. Ian Holm is also good as Vito Cornelius, a priest and guardian of the secret of the five elements (and the antithesis of Zorg in characterisation terms), and Chris Tucker provides much of the film's comic relief as the camp, ego-centric celebrity DJ Ruby Rhod. I've no idea why Luke Perry gets top billing in the credits - his character, an archaeology assistant named Billy is only in the film for about five minutes - even Lee Evans is in the film for longer, and he's only got three or four lines! Longtime Besson collaborator Eric Serra provides a brilliantly catchy electronica-based sci-fi score that is nearly as bonkers as the film's story. While the film is extremely enjoyable, there are a few plot holes, and a couple of ideas that are a little underdeveloped or that don't quite work. That said, The Fifth Element still has a lot to offer - it's a sci-fi-fantasy thrill-ride with great character performances, strikingly creative production design, great effects (especially for a European film), an abundance of good gags and some very entertaining set-pieces. If it weren't for the stunning Leon, this would be Besson's best film. Expand
  7. Sep 19, 2013
    So ridiculous. I’m not sure if I liked the film or not, but I will certainly remember it as a very silly and whimsical sci-fi action movie aimed at kids, that is not meant to be taken seriously. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews