User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 247 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 247

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  1. Sep 12, 2014
    The 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!
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    One of the best science fiction movies I've seen in my life. Good performances and a spectacular argument.
  3. Sep 24, 2011
    Its always the same thing for Michael Bay; the picture's big, but the result is small. "The Island" is no better.
  4. Jan 27, 2012
    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.
  5. Sep 28, 2011
    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
  6. Jul 5, 2013
    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.
  7. Aug 27, 2010
    The movie takes a controversial biological/ethical issue and handles it with all the tact and seriousness of a Goosebumps serial. In the end its nothing more than a prolonged futuristic chase scenario with lots of color filtering (did they really have to make the ENTIRE movie look orange and blue?) It's a shame, because there were a lot of talented actors at work here...
  8. Aug 8, 2011
    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.
  9. Jun 12, 2011
    I hate to admit that I actually have a Michael Bay guilty pleasure but I do. This movies running time is a little long but this is only because the movie actually takes the time to develop the story and characters. Wait what! character development what's that? It's actually refreshing to see a movie that took the time to make you care about the characters. The acting was also very strong. You do have to love Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor was incredible and you never go wrong with Steve Buscemi in anything. The only complaint was that during the action scenes the camera work was kinda crazy. Over all a great flick and well worth the watch. Expand
  10. Oct 18, 2014
    Actually I liked the first part of the movie better, it was more moody, and the second one was traditional Michael Bay's pew-pew bang-bang action with "sentiments". Still, an okay-ish sci-fi movie overall.
  11. Jan 4, 2013
    I would say that the first half of the movie is extremely good and well thought out, adding a really nice sci-fi'esque atmosphere. But, then the big plot twist happedns halfway through and it becaomes yet another generic Michael Bay action flick. A real shame. Overall: Had the potential to something unique and great, until it decided to sell out for cheap thrills. The movie is still good and enjoyable, but a disappointment in the end. Expand
  12. Sep 15, 2013
    Great movie! Ewan Mcgregor amazing as always! The movie is an amazing aspect on a conflicting issue the world has been debating. All the bad reviews don't get it and think its only a movie about running, when truly it is more than that. It's funny, curious, and entertaining!!
  13. Jul 29, 2014
    This film wants to make some strong points, but wastes most of its time on action sequences and uninspired dialogues. McGregor and Johansson are quite promising, but do not actually deliver. Except for great-looking visuals, "The Island" overall just scares away its potential.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Starts off an aggressively derivative sci-fi thriller, then morphs into an above-average chase melodrama.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    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.