The Island

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 611 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 611

Where To Watch

Stream On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling

User Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jun 12, 2011
    6
    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.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
  5. Aug 13, 2016
    5
    The first half is terrific and incredibly smart, but the second half devolves into a series of explosions and action movie cliches and is more along the lines of what one would expect from Michael Bay. It is tragic because you can see the good movie get blown up in one of the many explosions and if anything is heartwrenching here, it is the loss of the dearly departed quality film.The first half is terrific and incredibly smart, but the second half devolves into a series of explosions and action movie cliches and is more along the lines of what one would expect from Michael Bay. It is tragic because you can see the good movie get blown up in one of the many explosions and if anything is heartwrenching here, it is the loss of the dearly departed quality film. Instead, the film's second half kills the first half by being poorly written and incredibly formulaic. The first half, on the other hand, introduces a very interesting world with a compelling premise. Here, the acting is very good and mystery abounds as you try to figure out the secrets behind the world. As the film progresses, however, it turns out this one is just a redo on previous science fiction films and it has nothing up its sleeves but fool's gold. Plus, Michael Bay's hard on for explosions is overwhelming in the second half, which is really too bad because I could have still enjoyed a wholly derivative science fiction film with such good acting, production design, and special effects. Sadly, I did not get this and instead got a loud, bombastic action film that only Michael Bay can make. For action junkies, The Island should deliver the requisite explosions. For others, shut it off after an hour. Expand
  6. Jan 4, 2013
    6
    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 goodI 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
  7. Jan 4, 2016
    6
    18, 25, 36, 59, 46, 12. No, not lottery numbers. Opening weekend figures (in millions, naturally) for Michael Bay's six movies to date. And yes, they're in order. That slightly stinky 12 is for The Island, Bay's first film away from super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and under Spielberg's DreamWorks umbrella instead. So much for Bay's `Trust the box-office' philosophy. It seems US audiences18, 25, 36, 59, 46, 12. No, not lottery numbers. Opening weekend figures (in millions, naturally) for Michael Bay's six movies to date. And yes, they're in order. That slightly stinky 12 is for The Island, Bay's first film away from super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and under Spielberg's DreamWorks umbrella instead. So much for Bay's `Trust the box-office' philosophy. It seems US audiences were somewhat underwhelmed by the wham-bam auteur's latest offering. Or maybe they were just confused by the trailer (The Island! There is no island! Oh, okay then).

    Which is a shame because this isn't bad at all. It may not live up to its Bay with brains pre-release hype (who said that?) but there's much fun to be had from Logan 5's - apologies, Lincoln Six-Echo's - misadventures. Sure, there is a sense of déjà vu to nearly every scene (It's Logan's Run, it's THX 1138, it's... Minority Report!) but the whole thing's slick and enthusiastic enough for that not to matter too much.

    The first 40 minutes, in fact, are distinctly un-Bay - calm, almost foreboding, as Lincoln, courtesy of a small moth, a large dose of curiosity and some sage advice from booze and porn fan McCord (Steve Buscemi) starts to doubt the reality of The Island and question the nature of his own existence. Which, to be fair, you would do too if you lived in the perfume commercial Lincoln and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) find themselves in.

    All desaturated colours and whooshing doors, white spaces and cold architecture, it looks like the setting for a moody sci-fi parable. But remember, this is a Michael Bay film...

    Why are we here? What's it all about? Are we simply pawns in the greater scheme of things? These are all questions that might have been asked. Unfortunately, if they were, they were drowned out by the sound of helicopters. Because after the promising build-up, it's time for a chase scene. And for Bay, that means helicopters. Lots of them. The man seems to have a fetish for rotor blades that rivals Tarantino's love of feet. From now until the end of the picture, you're never too far from some whirlybird action.

    So, following the now-accepted Hollywood wisdom that more is more, the resulting mid-section is made up of action sequences. Some of them are breathtakingly fun, such as the freeway race where Lincoln deters the pack of chasing bad guys by offloading mammoth railroad wheels into their path (picture Bad Boys II's car carnage - only bigger). Or the bit where our heroes ride a flying motorbike through an office block (don't ask...).

    But there's only so much action you can take before videogame syndrome takes over and whole minutes pass before you realise you haven't been paying any attention.

    The final third goes on far too long but does calm down a bit. Well, actually, not much, even though the leads gamely try to keep the audience locked in. McGregor is excellent, especially in the scenes with his sinister other self. Whether required to be naïve and driven or sleazy and assured, he manages both with aplomb. While Johansson's two tasks are to appear vacuous and/or stunning. She also manages both. Especially the stunning.

    All the supports are solid. Buscemi, predictably. Duncan, with little material but a gutwrenching scene that is genuinely unsettling. Meanwhile, Djimon Hounsou has clearly been instructed to bring some gravitas to proceedings, which he almost manages despite a paucity of decent dialogue. Even Sean Bean's not bad (until he has a bit of emoting to do near the end).

    The problem, essentially, is the script, which, while slick, has no soul. Writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci previously worked on TV's Alias and, as with that show, what resembles a layered plot is ultimately revealed to be just layers of gloss.

    For the most part, this almost suits the ad-slickness of a film where the cinematography feels like it's all been done in Photoshop. But there are a couple of clunking moments where Bay tritely alludes to gas chambers and concentration camps. Like DreamWorks' other recent offering, the shoed-in allegories sit uncomfortably in what is otherwise decent popcorn fare. Unlike War Of The Worlds, however, The Island does maintain a sense of humour. And is not totally without insight into the human condition: as McCord wisely says, "Never give a woman your credit card."

    Superficially smarter than previous Bay movies, this is still big, stupid, spectacular fun. Shave off half an hour and you could add a point or two.
    Expand
  8. LingX.
    Jul 22, 2005
    5
    It was bad for the first part then it becomes worse when things started to blow up. it could have been better if it was bad boys 3. and too much sponsors made the film kinda funny.
  9. SteveB
    Jul 31, 2005
    6
    What could have been really good sci fi was ruined by two blaring plot holes and obnoxious full screen product placements. I really really wanted to give it a chance, but sprained my eyballs from rolling them back into my head too much.
  10. JayE.
    Jan 10, 2008
    6
    The film is like a watered down of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Watered down int the sense that it borrows many of scenarios of the Huxley's book but avoids the deeper political, social, educational, philosophical, class division themes that Huxley uses so skillfully - replacing them with a pretty shallow narrative of the sanctity of human life and the corruption of those The film is like a watered down of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Watered down int the sense that it borrows many of scenarios of the Huxley's book but avoids the deeper political, social, educational, philosophical, class division themes that Huxley uses so skillfully - replacing them with a pretty shallow narrative of the sanctity of human life and the corruption of those who would exploit it. The villains of Huxley's novel are far more complex. They are not motivated by petty greed but by a philosophical conviction in the appropriateness of their actions. This makes their actions and the world they create all the more macabre and compelling. As entertainment not so bad a movie. But I was just left feeling - wow wouldn't it be great if Huxley's novels were reproduced properly and not just squeezed in to the Hollywood formula. Entertainment does not have to be mindless. Deep social commentary does not have to be boring. Expand
  11. CarolAnn
    Jul 19, 2005
    4
    Very timely and interesting premise. Not enough intelligent dialog and too many computer generated special effects. Too Long.
  12. BobT.
    Aug 6, 2005
    5
    Hollywood não resiste à tentação e acaba sufocando boas idéias com excesso de efeitos, explosões e perseguições em demasia. Pena.
  13. JonathanZ.
    Oct 3, 2005
    6
    Oh, Michael Bay. Beloved director of such cinematic masterpieces as Bad Boys II. Despite that, seeing the previews for his latest romp filled me with no small amount of hope, so I rushed off to see the sneak preview. (I left the theater having enjoyed myself.) Recently, however, I saw the theatrical release with a group of friends, and I found myself with mixed feelings... If you know Oh, Michael Bay. Beloved director of such cinematic masterpieces as Bad Boys II. Despite that, seeing the previews for his latest romp filled me with no small amount of hope, so I rushed off to see the sneak preview. (I left the theater having enjoyed myself.) Recently, however, I saw the theatrical release with a group of friends, and I found myself with mixed feelings... If you know Bay, you know that car chases, gunfire, and things blowing up usually take priority over everything else--including of course, believable characters and an intelligible plot. Which is why I was so shocked to find that the first portion of the film is a well done science fiction parable along the lines of Brave New World. Yes, it does draw heavily (or "rip off," as we like to say in the business) from a ton of other cinematic sources, not the least of which being Logan's Run. For a while, I was blessedly unaware that I was watching a Michael Bay film. Even the score was whimsical and moving, not the generic pulse-pounding shlock that usually goes for a soundtrack in an action movie. Sadly, however, all good things must come to an end, and after about an hour, the film takes a total schizophrenic turn and starts focusing on explosions and loud noises rather than anything remotely approaching intellectual. Certain sequences were included just because Bay thought they'd look cool, I'm sure of it. The requisite "passionate" scene was totally nonsensical, because we'd been told that the main characters had no sense of gender awareness. I'm not saying the first part is perfect, but it trumps the second by a long shot. If you do watch the movie, just be prepared to switch off your higher functions for the latter hour and a half. Expand
  14. JohnB.
    Jul 16, 2005
    6
    This cloning movie is easy to follow and makes you wonder where in the world are we headed - in real life.
  15. JZ
    Jul 21, 2005
    4
    You have seen this all before. And in a shorter version too. Take some elements of Logans Run, a dash of Blade Runner, a tad of Coma and a hint of Matrix and you have The Island. It runs about 20 minutes. I am sure it will be fine as a sunday DVD when you are hung over to watch.
  16. JustinC.
    Jul 25, 2005
    5
    Very,very,very cool concept, but they could've done a whole lot better with everything else.
  17. TheTruth
    Jul 26, 2005
    5
    This mediocre movie is a complete and blatant rip-off of Michael Marshall Smith's novel "Spares". I don't even see how they can get away with such thievery. Anyway, read the book... it is brilliant and much better than the movie. The writers should be ashamed of themselves for such obvious plagirism
  18. JohnM
    Aug 15, 2005
    5
    I'm a reprehensible film snob, and NEVER go to "blow-em-up-real-good" action pics -- but after an extraordinarily stressful couple of weeks at work, I needed desparately to numb my brain. As such, this movie works perfectly. Scarlet wields a mean nail gun, and the Dwell magazine-style sets were cool to look at. And if you're able to completely turn off the part of you that is I'm a reprehensible film snob, and NEVER go to "blow-em-up-real-good" action pics -- but after an extraordinarily stressful couple of weeks at work, I needed desparately to numb my brain. As such, this movie works perfectly. Scarlet wields a mean nail gun, and the Dwell magazine-style sets were cool to look at. And if you're able to completely turn off the part of you that is repulsed by hopelessly sexist dialogue ("Don't EVER give a woman your credit card"), then you might find the underlying story to be just intriguing enough. Expand
  19. NateH.
    Feb 13, 2007
    6
    It is one of those movies that I wasn't sure I liked, and I was fairly sure was not quite good, but nevertheless remained in my mind for days afterward. Worth a rent.
  20. AndyT
    Dec 23, 2005
    5
    A familiar life is not what you think it is plot that turns your mind upside down but you'll forget about the next day. Some good action. Plot moves a little slow. almost bored me with the is it going to end yet?...Not terrible but not worth anything more than a rent.
  21. MelissaM
    Dec 27, 2005
    5
    If you can get past the stupid premise, not a bad action movie. Could have been bettter and definitely not Ewan's best work.
  22. dannyl.
    Jul 21, 2005
    5
    Scarlett Johannson - soooo hot. Rest of movie -- not so much. Worth seeing? Just for Kendelee and the explosions. Save your money.
  23. PatC.
    Oct 23, 2006
    5
    Keeps going and going until finally it gets nowhere. The jerky editing makes the action scenes incoherent. The plot works, but seems forced.
  24. JeffM.
    Jul 16, 2006
    6
    The opening third (i.e. the intelligent sci-fi portion) would have been a lot more interesting had they not given away essential plot points in the trailers & publicity. I could watch Scarlet Johansson sleeping and still be engaged, but when the director rips off his own car chase sequence from Bad Boys 2 and doesn't even make the effort to actually improve upon it, you're in The opening third (i.e. the intelligent sci-fi portion) would have been a lot more interesting had they not given away essential plot points in the trailers & publicity. I could watch Scarlet Johansson sleeping and still be engaged, but when the director rips off his own car chase sequence from Bad Boys 2 and doesn't even make the effort to actually improve upon it, you're in for a long movie. Expand
  25. JerryB
    Jun 28, 2009
    5
    Please will you people stop typing what the movie is about let em watch it. Give your rating and keep it moving.
  26. Sep 14, 2015
    4
    Probably one of the most entertaining Michael Bay movies, but it's still a lackluster effort, with dumb dialogue, convoluted plotting and bland characters. A lot of things are dumb in this movie, like the whole concept of stranding people on a large facility and killing them for... what again? Surreal chase scenes overshadow fine performances from Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor, andProbably one of the most entertaining Michael Bay movies, but it's still a lackluster effort, with dumb dialogue, convoluted plotting and bland characters. A lot of things are dumb in this movie, like the whole concept of stranding people on a large facility and killing them for... what again? Surreal chase scenes overshadow fine performances from Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor, and bloated cinematography make it another bombastic, derivative sci-fiction thriller, that's not short of mediocre.

    Final Score: 4.5/10
    Expand
  27. Apr 22, 2015
    4
    This summer, a surprising preponderance of popcorn fare has resonated with ham-fisted political overtones, from blockbusters that put George W. Bush's words into the sneering mouths of villains to The Island, 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.

    An
    This summer, a surprising preponderance of popcorn fare has resonated with ham-fisted political overtones, from blockbusters that put George W. Bush's words into the sneering mouths of villains to The Island, 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.

    An overblown update of the 1979 cheapie Parts: The Clonus Horror, Michael Bay's first film without partner-in-crap Jerry Bruckheimer casts a slumming Ewan McGregor as a suspiciously spunky clone bred and engineered to be docile and unquestioning, so that he may one day achieve his life's goal of being picked to live in a blissful utopia called "The Island." McGregor and his peers occupy a Brave New World complete with requisite funky-ass tracksuits and fresh new sneakers, but what good are phat new kicks if they only come in one color? Such is the nature of McGregor's particular hell, whose antiseptic white interiors and orgy of shameless product placement suggests the bastard progeny of Stanley Kubrick and a high-powered team of viral marketers. Clearly a world in which a dude cannot kick back with a sixer of Budweiser, a porterhouse steak, and a Maxim is no kind of world at all. Like any red-blooded American clone, McGregor longs for more and better consumer choices, so he and his dim-witted platonic friend Scarlett Johansson bust out of the cloning facility and head to Los Angeles to find his human doppelgänger.

    As usual, Bay stages the action at a breakneck pace that's never frenetic enough to obscure his film's plot holes and logical lapses. For instance, the cloning facility's evil overlords have created an elaborate cover story to keep the clones from knowing that they're being harvested for parts, but not one sophisticated enough to keep the naïve McGregor from easily uncovering its sinister secrets. McGregor similarly makes the leap from oblivious man-child to James Bond-like man of action within days, a development for which The Island can only find a half-assed rationale. McGregor at least fares better than Johansson, who, in her thankless role as the vapid clone of a supermodel, trades in her usual prickliness and fierce intelligence for a doe-eyed look of perpetual confusion. Johansson's dumb-blonde turn can perhaps most charitably be described as a feature-length homage to Suzanne Somers, though Johansson scores only marginally more screen time than her overworked stunt doubles. Clonus was forgotten by seemingly everyone other than MST3K—and, apparently, The Island's screenwriters. For all its sound and fury, The Island deserves the same reception.
    Expand
  28. Dec 21, 2015
    5
    The Island was a bubbling action film , excellent photography, interesting plot , but it was a bit boring insurance screenplay Michael Bay still not replenished until after the Transformers sequel but fell again.
  29. Apr 25, 2016
    6
    The island may be enjoyable for teen viewers, because of the thriller, action, love, sex and, of course, explosions that Michael Bay brings us again. But that's exactly what it is: another simple film that brings a message difficult to indentificate because of the many explosions and simple interpretations, with simple love and colorless story-telling.
  30. Aug 13, 2016
    6
    It’s the year 2019, and Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) is one of several hundred survivors of a cataclysm that left the whole world contaminated, save one place — the eponymous Island. This lush retreat, Lincoln and the other refugees are promised, will one day be their home. For now, they’re kept in a lavish but sterile research facility, where authorities force them to wear identifyingIt’s the year 2019, and Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) is one of several hundred survivors of a cataclysm that left the whole world contaminated, save one place — the eponymous Island. This lush retreat, Lincoln and the other refugees are promised, will one day be their home. For now, they’re kept in a lavish but sterile research facility, where authorities force them to wear identifying wrist bracelets; their moods, diet and metabolism are carefully monitored; and male-female “proximity” is strictly forbidden.

    Suspicious by nature and prone to prophetic nightmares, Lincoln finds his worst fears confirmed after Starkweather (Michael Clarke Duncan), selected by random lottery to go to the Island, instead winds up on a slab. When his friend and burgeoning love interest, Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), is the next one to win the lottery, Lincoln grabs her and together they stage a jailbreak. Alarmed by the breach, sinister mastermind Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean, adding another to his gallery of villains) hires a mercenary (Djimon Hounsou) to hunt them down.

    One of the small charms of “The Island” is that its test-tube protags, far from being hardened heroes, are a pair of brainwashed innocents, sealed off from the outside world and generally lacking in social smarts. McGregor exploits this most winningly, affecting an earnest gee-whiz streak and speaking his lines in a boyish, slightly higher register.

    Faring not so well is Johansson, usually the subtlest of actresses, who in her first major action role has been encouraged to make a shrill, bombastic spectacle of her character’s cluelessness.

    Another downside of Lincoln and Jordan’s ignorance is that by the time they realize what’s up — that they’re walking “insurance policies,” raised only to supply organs for their genetically identical owners — auds will have long since figured everything out.

    While the essentially surprise-free narrative plays catch-up, there’s little to do but sit back and admire Nigel Phelps’ gleaming production design; the biotech facility, in particular, suggests a cross between a day spa, a spaceship and a maximum-security prison. Yet even here, Bay’s direction zips along at such an unmodulated rush, so eager to get on with the next set-piece or expository line of dialogue, that auds will have precious little time to soak up the images, much less allow their potentially troubling implications to deepen and resonate.

    Setting and premise conjure countless visual and thematic echoes from other films, including “The Matrix,” with its paranoid dystopian vision and roomful of sticky birth-pods, and even “The Truman Show,” with its 24-hour surveillance cameras and megalomaniacal controller. One scene, featuring an army of mechanized, eye-scanning spiders, is lifted straight out of the more convincingly futuristic “Minority Report.”

    The references feel thoroughly secondhand; Bay ultimately is interested in the science and ethics of cloning only insofar as they provide a backdrop for all the vehicular chaos he’s set to unleash. (Ancillary moral: Clones are human, too.)

    In terms of spectacle, pic is a pileup of kinetic mayhem, as Lincoln and Jordan’s first actions in the real world include dodging bullets, destroying several police cars and crashing a hovercraft into a skyscraper.

    Yet for all the vertiginous camera movements and ace visual effects, the action remains tension-free and largely incoherent, thanks to attention-deficit editing by Paul Rubell and Christian Wagner.

    Scribes Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci save their best lines for the superbly snarky Steve Buscemi, as a facility staffer who comes to the clones’ aid (and has a priceless exchange with “Ghost World” co-star Johansson in the process). And pic has sly fun with Lincoln’s and Jordan’s “owners”; former is played by McGregor in an effective second role, while latter is glimpsed in Johansson’s real-life Calvin Klein ad. Other product placements, particularly by Aquafina, are too numerous to mention.

    “The Island” is no paradise. In his latest exercise in sensory overkill, producer-helmer Michael Bay takes on the weighty moral conundrums of human cloning, resolving them in a storm of bullets, car chases and more explosions than you can shake a syringe at. 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.
    Expand
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. Starts off an aggressively derivative sci-fi thriller, then morphs into an above-average chase melodrama.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.