Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 555 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: It begins with no clear warning. It seems to come out of nowhere. In a matter of minutes, episodes of strange, chilling deaths that defy reason and boggle the mind in their shocking destructiveness, erupt in major American cities. What is causing this sudden, total breakdown of human behavior?For Philadelphia high school science teacher Elliot Moore what matters most is finding a way to escape the mysterious and deadly phenomenon. (Twentieth Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 38
  2. Negative: 18 out of 38
  1. A divertingly goofy thriller with an animistic bent, moments of shivery and twitchy suspense and a solid lead performance from Mark Wahlberg.
  2. It's an entertaining movie, which is half the game, but it's not scary, which it should be. Neither is it something to be taken seriously, though it's intended to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    The old-school horror tricks (the fake scare followed by a real one, the safe haven that isn't) feel more like cribbing than homage, but they get the job done.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Shyamalan isn't drawing the caliber of performances from his actors as he used to. Who can forget Haley Joel Osment's haunting portrayal in The Sixth Sense or that of Toni Collette, who played his mother, or Bruce Willis in arguably his best role?
  5. 30
    The Happening is both too incoherenly weird and too narratively ambitious for its own good.
  6. The Happening makes you wonder whether Mr. Shyamalan's own switch may have been flipped. How else to explain his film's befuddling infelicities, insistent banalities, shambling pace and pervasive ineptitude?

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. sLm
    Sep 30, 2012
    I don't get why so many bad critics xD the movie was good! No special effects needed, just nature to scary us. And also there were funny moments followed by creepy ones. It was definitely NOT a bad movie. Expand
  2. Nov 5, 2011
    This became a dull film with a really bad plot, and confusing - but Wahlberg's performance was a little So and So with his character in The Happening. This film isn't what you might expect for a disaster film. It's a confusing film (for understanding what the film is about), and I think it wasn't showing any suspense or thrills in this sci-fi film. Expand
  3. Mar 27, 2012
    One of the funniest bad movies I have ever seen and in my opinion, it's up there with The Room. This film is just dumb, dumb, dumb. The premise, plot and its logic don't make any sense, the concept and execution of the neurotoxin or plant or whatever it is that makes people commit suicide is laughably bad, the actors are dull and boring and it's not scary at all. In fact, it's absolutely hilarious. If you don't take this film seriously , you might get many hilarities when there's a really dumb or over the top moment. In a broader prospective, it's Shyamalan at his usual worst. A very stupid film. Expand
  4. Nov 15, 2013
    Little happens in The Happening.
    The Happening begins intriguing and mysterious until out stretching its concept. The acting is nothing
    special, and there isn't anything thought provoking about the ending. It simply ends when they decide its gotten too boring. Expand
  5. May 5, 2013
    There was a time when the name M Night Shyamalan was effectively a synonym for the new generation of writing: plots that could turn on a dime, characters that were interesting, and generally movies that could be counted on to be interesting and a good use of your time. Well, that era appears to be over. So let's run down The Happening. On its positive side (and there is a considerable positive side), it is a unique execution of an uncommon premise: the environment has turned on us. But unlike most previous versions of the plot, this isn't about animals rising up en masse against us (whoops, sorry James Patterson...but Zoo was a real piece of cheese), but rather nature subliminally convincing us to do the dirty work for it. So, neat twist on a not-new idea. Unfortunately, though, Shyamalan's "new approach" completely wrecks what could, should have been an outstanding movie. Remember that in all of great works...and Shyamalan's early stuff...that they held to a basic maxim: tension is built most by not letting the audience see. Keep them guessing and off-balance. knew it, and Signs did it, too. (So did The Village, but a little less so.) The Happening? Total screwup. Where the camera should cut away, it doesn't. Shyamalan completely jettisoned any hope of creating an atmosphere that keeps the audience off balance. Instead, the film goes for splatter-gore shock value, and it goes way over the top. Where there used to be finesse in these films, all that is present in The Happening is the most pedestrian, hamfisted attempt to rattle the audience. What should have been a shocking nature-doesn't-like-us film ended up being Maximum Overdrive with trees. The sad part is that the plot had some actual ability to work; it didn't have to be a self-parody, but the absolutely classless, talentless writing doomed it. Characters were wooden and unconvincing, but NOT because Mark Wahlberg or Zooey Deschanel did a poor job; they did well with what they were given. The problem is that they were given drivel. Wahlberg was, well, Wahlberg. He really doesn't have a lot of gears as an actor, but he is dependable. Deschanel turned in a surprisingly touching and believable performance which was quite out of place in this pile of junk. (Allow me to clarify: the surprise was not that Zooey Deschanel could turn in such a performance; we know she can. What's surprising is that she was able to do that with this bucket of sludge script.) So, frankly, when you get right down to it, you do not watch The Happening because you want a cerebral, atmospheric thriller. You watch it because...well, frankly, I can't think of a reason to watch it deliberately. Maybe if you're a fan of splatter-horror. But for everybody else, there are much better things to watch. Much better. A sorely disappointed 2 out of 10 for the total misfire that was The Happening. Expand
  6. Nov 8, 2012
    This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot, once you figure it out, is so stupid you will not believe that someone actually approved this to be made into a movie. The movie moves along at a droning pace, just like most M. Night Shyamalan movies. Usually, this is acceptable to me because the payoff is worth it, like The Sixth Sense. In this case I was painfully bored until I figured out the ridiculous plot twist and by that time I was ready to call it quits.

    Mark Wahlburg is generally an okay actor but in this film I think even he realizes how stupid it is and just gave up. The rest of the acting doesn't really matter because you will have lost interest long before judging it.

    The only reason I even gave this movie a 1 is because I actually endured it till the end, otherwise it would have been a 0. You will miss nothing by not seeing this movie, except for the regrets of wishing you had not wasted 2 hours of your life on it.
  7. Aug 27, 2010
    More proof that M. Night Shyamalan is, indeed, a one-trick pony that relies on the same techniques in every film. Whereas some of his other movies occasionally have good acting and cinematography to pick up the slack, this movie has nothing. It's just crap. Expand

See all 353 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg: All Films Considered

    Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg: All Films Considered Image
    Published: August 3, 2010
    The co-stars of this week's "The Other Guys" are hoping that the new action-comedy breaks them out of a slump. We look at the best and worst films of their careers to date.