Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic 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. It's got a hot premise, some cool sets, attractive stars and action that lets up only when it thinks you're about to surrender.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    75
    Bay's best film since "The Rock."
  4. The movie is more about how many things Michael Bay can smash up -- lots. That might not be a talent most people respect, but it gets through to people anyway, and here Bay does it exceptionally well.
  5. 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.
  6. Starts off an aggressively derivative sci-fi thriller, then morphs into an above-average chase melodrama.
  7. Glossy, witty eye candy with some moderately chewy stuff in the middle. This lavish, exhaustingly kinetic film is smarter than you might expect, and at the same time dumber than it could be. It's an impressive product: a triumph of cloning that almost convinces you that it possesses a soul.
  8. The final third...is so overblown and anticlimactic that it finally gets you thinking about empty profundity and loose ends.
  9. Make no mistake: This not high art. But it does its job without insulting our intelligence or unpleasantly jangling our nerves.
  10. 63
    Bay's strength as a filmmaker, the reason his superficial yet entertaining productions can never be completely ignored, is that he appears to lack shame. He'll blow anything up and run anybody over. The moral complexities don't matter to him. He just wants to stage spectacles, appreciate very good-looking people, and assert his cowboy aesthetic.
  11. 63
    There's enough fun to be had that it's almost possible to ignore the stupidity of the story and the cavity that replaces character development.
  12. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    63
    Scarlett Johansson looks lovely and hasn't much to do besides that, McGregor only starts having fun when he's playing the "original" of his clone.
  13. As the careening cars go splat, splat, splat, the director's vision of the future looks like a cheerfully mindless combination of two extremes of carnival entertainment: demolition derby and whack-a-mole.
  14. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    60
    Like its slack-jawed clones, The Island is full of energy and incredibly pretty but burdened with only the minimum of smarts.
  15. 60
    This is pure essence of Bay--it's big, it's loud, it has no context, and if you show up tanked, I'm sure it's really quite poetic.
  16. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    60
    There is nothing wrong with the action sequences beyond their sheer length and number. They're in the "Road Warrior" mode: hyper-fast and vicious.
  17. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    60
    Frenetic actioner about refugees from a genetic cloning plant starts off intriguingly, burns up its ideas in the first hour and pads out the rest with joltingly repetitive action sequences.
  18. Classic Bay, except it's missing the crass director's fine-tuned rhythm, his feel for adrenaline, his breakneck edits and sense of humor.
  19. The first half is high-quality science fiction, the rest is a high-tech chase adventure with a gleeful yen for destructive thrills.
  20. 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.
  21. The Island could be read as a metaphor for societal ills (commercialization, conformity, pharmaceutical overkill) if it weren't so shamelessly dumb. And dumb it is.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    This frenzied fiesta of firepower is about cloning people for spare parts, but the movie is a clone itself. Possessing no new ideas, it reworks and borrows from such films as "Blade Runner," "The Matrix" and "Logan's Run."
  23. 50
    Like "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," The Island is the kind of suicidal high-concept movie increasingly prevalent these days: a film so thoroughly pre-conceived and pre-sold that most audiences know more about what's going on than the characters do for half the movie.
  24. 50
    For a slick pop entertainment, more than the usual quotient of timely ideas rattle around between the relentless product placements and futuristic geegaws.
  25. The Island begins with a whimper of interest as a cool-hued, cautionary exploration of the ethics of cloning, and ends, in a hail of product placement, with a dumb bang.
  26. 50
    The Island walks a weird, wobbly line between being stupid, falsely fattened-up entertainment and a picture that just might have possibly been made by a person with a brain -- a scrambled one, but a brain nonetheless.
  27. 50
    Nary an original idea abounds in The Island.
  28. 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.
  29. Chases, crashes and explosions are thick on the land in the second half of this movie, but though they are expertly done, their size, frequency and increasing disconnection from what was once a coherent story leave you feeling pummeled rather than exhilarated.
  30. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    For all the menace of its techno-prattle, its implicit boosts for humanism and its swell production design, the picture is finally a bore. Sci-fi was more powerful when its special effects were cheap and crude, its ideas simple but potently stated.
  31. The best thing about The Island is this: Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, buffed and dressed in sparkling white, wondering how and when to kiss each other.
  32. Steve Buscemi supplies the only spark of intelligent life in this numbingly flat universe, despite the fancy gadgets, the high-speed chases, and a skyscraper collision reminiscent of the World Trade Center attacks.
  33. Reviewed by: Michael Ferraro
    40
    What makes this movie so inadequate is that there are some moments in it that could have been really worth watching.
  34. 40
    An overblown science-fiction epic in which ostensibly unthinking, unfeeling stem-cell-like entities not only think and feel, but look and act like glamorous movie stars.
  35. 38
    A borrowed idea -- hello, "Blade Runner," hi there, "Matrix" -- but an idea nonetheless.
  36. If you like "Maxim," you will love The Island. It is glossy. It is expensive. It has lots of slick ads for Aquafina and Cadillac.
  37. Comes on like an overproduced coma, and leaves you comatose by the end. In between are 127 minutes of intermittent chaos that feel like a lifetime.
  38. 20
    If you find yourself at "The Island" I have only three words of advice: Vote yourself off.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 123
  2. Negative: 27 out of 123
  1. Sep 12, 2014
    9
    The movie starts mysterious, naivë, and when it comes to Lincoln Echo Six: curious. The people living safe from "contamination" are happy andThe movie starts mysterious, naivë, and when it comes to Lincoln Echo Six: curious. The people living safe from "contamination" are happy and satisfied, and do not question their lives. After all, they are being kept safe from the poisonous world outside, and someone who's lucky might win the lottery and get to The Island - a last surviving location outside their home. To them, it is paradise.

    This is where the movie begins. Lincoln (well acted by Evan McGregor) pushes the boundaries and in the end finds a small proof that something is not as it seems. Things escalate fast.

    In an attempt to save his female friend, they both shake loose from the limited thinking they have been previously pushed into and reach out for freedom they never knew they didn't have.

    The movie is full of action and discovery. It looks and sounds absolutely amazing, and the characters are well portrayed and their growth into their full potential can be seen.

    The movie delivers its idea just as brilliantly as it is supposed to. Sure, the end is the usual, but at least they didn't ruin it with too much sappiness.

    Definitely watch this one!
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    One of the best science fiction movies I've seen in my life. Good performances and a spectacular argument.
  3. 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.