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Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 216 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all the inhabitants of this carefully constructed environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to "The Island" -- reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the plant -- until he makes a terrible discovery that everything about his existence is a lie. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. 75
    The Island runs 136 minutes, but that's not long for a double feature. The first half of Michael Bay's new film is a spare, creepy science fiction parable, and then it shifts into a high-tech action picture. Both halves work.
  2. Bay's movie couldn't be more timely; whatever you think about this subject, you might admire his attempt to come to grips with it in a summer blockbuster.
  3. Make no mistake: This not high art. But it does its job without insulting our intelligence or unpleasantly jangling our nerves.
  4. 50
    As usual, Hollywood hitmeister Bay is more interested in blowing stuff up than in addressing deep questions like the morality of science and the false myths of civilization, and these explosions go on for over two hours.
  5. 50
    Unfortunately, The Island grows dumber as it goes along, gradually disintegrating into a generic good-versus-evil spectacular that not only defies all known laws of gravity and physics, but also suffers from the lack of morality that plagues Bay's films.
  6. 50
    For a slick pop entertainment, more than the usual quotient of timely ideas rattle around between the relentless product placements and futuristic geegaws.
  7. 20
    If you find yourself at "The Island" I have only three words of advice: Vote yourself off.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 119
  2. Negative: 26 out of 119
  1. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    One of the best science fiction movies I've seen in my life. Good performances and a spectacular argument.
  2. Sep 28, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just rewatched The Island yesterday, and it reaffirmed my belief that it's one of Michael Bay's best films. The central message behind the film might be obscured by all the overblown **** crazy action scenes, but I believe it's an important one and I'm glad he got it out there in a mainstream film. It's no Never Let Me Go, but the marriage of action and speculative fiction worked for me. The one issue I have with the film is the black mercenary who turns good at the end. That felt completely ridiculous and unearned. This guy comes into the film and has his men murder McCord, murder a couple of hapless police officers, and he himself mistakenly murders Tom Lincoln. Yet at the end of the film, he has this sudden change of heart, does a complete 180, and gets to walk off smiling into the camera at the end with an "Oh, you feisty clones... you whippersnappers you, go and have some fun, you've earned it!" expression. That was complete **** **** you movie, I'm not gonna applaud this man. If he'd actually shot who he'd intended to, he wouldn't be looking at Lincoln Six Echo kissing Jordan Two Delta at the end there, because Lincoln would be dead. Expand
  3. Jul 5, 2013
    7
    Michael Bay is not a name that is frequently associated with films that are particularly profound. The Island doesn't buck this trend entirely, but does more than enough to cement its place as his most cerebral work to date.

    The science fiction aesthetic at work here is by far the easiest with which to suspend disbelief. The environments are futuristic, but not so much so that the world feels alien at any point. There are, however, some issues with consistency in the dates given for when these events are taking place, but the specifics are not where the film's magnetism lies.

    The story is centred on a moral dilemma, posing a number of philosophical questions in the process. It also taps into a topical discussion on the implications of growing replacement organs and the kind of scenarios that this might lead to. The breadth of the exploration isn't particularly far-reaching, but is mostly responsible for the more intelligent elements of the film. It gives the rest of the action a weightier feel, preventing this from becoming just another explosive romp completely devoid of a brain. It won't keep you up at night, but the plot is sturdy enough to provoke at least some contemplation as the narrative plays out.

    There is a noticeable shift in pace after the initial scene setting has been done, the action set pieces coming thick and fast. Bay tends to split opinion as a film-maker, but there can be no doubt that he is very good indeed at what he does. There are sometimes criticisms levelled that the sequences he brings to the screen are somewhat repetitive across movies (think highway chase scenes with cars being flipped like Matchbox toys and a skyscraper's worth of breaking glass). There may be some credence to this, but for me, it doesn't make it any less breathtaking to experience when the picture is in full flow.

    As for the performances, all concerned put in decent displays, with the highlight being Steve Buscemi. His ability to carry a scene is just as potent here as it has ever been, bringing some light relief in the process and pushing the movie forward. The remainder of the supporting cast also throws up some pleasant surprises, the childlike attitude of a few of the characters affording ample opportunity for the actors to have some fun.
    Expand
  4. Aug 8, 2011
    5
    Before I start the review, let me just say that I'm not a Michael Bay hater (I absolutely love his Transformers movies). However, this movie has to be one of Bay's weakest films. Product placement didn't fit well in the future setting, Ewan McGregor freaks me out when speaking with an American accent, and the ending was kinda weak. Which is unfortunate since the plot did have interesting concepts. Expand
  5. Sep 24, 2011
    5
    Its always the same thing for Michael Bay; the picture's big, but the result is small. "The Island" is no better.
  6. Jan 27, 2012
    5
    The Island is a well acted but plain action picture, that never seems to get anywhere. Once again, Michael Bay has failed to impress me, although it is good compared to his other films. Expand
  7. Dec 13, 2013
    0
    Save yourself two plus hours and just in your own eyes while having a car screech in your ears for two hours.

    A bad rip off of Logan's
    run+ never let me go Expand

See all 119 User Reviews

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