The Island

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 606 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 606

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User Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. LarryH.
    Dec 6, 2005
    8
    Liked the visuals, liked the pace, loved the message.
  3. KenK.
    Jul 19, 2005
    9
    I loved this movie. It was a movie I had been looking forward to all summer. I thought the premise was great: People living in a sealed and controlled facility under the pretense that the outside world is decimated and uninhabitable when in fact they are clones created for the sole purpose of supplying spare, viable organs for their original counterparts. I think the actors are wonderful. I loved this movie. It was a movie I had been looking forward to all summer. I thought the premise was great: People living in a sealed and controlled facility under the pretense that the outside world is decimated and uninhabitable when in fact they are clones created for the sole purpose of supplying spare, viable organs for their original counterparts. I think the actors are wonderful. Ewan McGregor is a cool guy and Scarlett Johansson is hot! The direction of the film was kinetic and even so, it was un-Bay-like. There weren Expand
  4. 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.
  5. Harry
    Jul 22, 2005
    1
    Another summer clunker which had promise and disintergrates before your very eyes. I am glad it is about cloning because it has stolen every idea from other movies it has cloned. What a joke. About thirty minutes too long when it gets totally ridiculous. Avoid at all costs unless you had a lobotomy or wish to check your brains in at the door.
  6. PaulT.
    Jul 22, 2005
    8
    A solid summer action yarn. If it's pathos and angst that really strokes your noodle, this ain't your fare. But Ewan and Scarlett make a charismatic and compelling duo, and there are some pretty solid moments and great action sequewnces. The tension never lets up, and the tone manages to stay sufficiently sardonic to pose the question of whether or not our heroes will come to a A solid summer action yarn. If it's pathos and angst that really strokes your noodle, this ain't your fare. But Ewan and Scarlett make a charismatic and compelling duo, and there are some pretty solid moments and great action sequewnces. The tension never lets up, and the tone manages to stay sufficiently sardonic to pose the question of whether or not our heroes will come to a happy or ironic ending. Expand
  7. Luigi
    Jul 23, 2005
    0
    If you like this I would recommend a lobotomy.
  8. JimM.
    Jul 24, 2005
    8
    I loved this movie! It's a good sci-fi, no it's not totally "original," but what sci-fi is? Has a little bit of Logan's Run (a sci-fi classic), and the Matrix. Like other sci-fi movies in this genre, it presents an artificial soceity (of clones) who are pacified with a mythical reward called "The Island" (e.g., heaven). Ewen McGregor is great (better acting than Star Wars). I loved this movie! It's a good sci-fi, no it's not totally "original," but what sci-fi is? Has a little bit of Logan's Run (a sci-fi classic), and the Matrix. Like other sci-fi movies in this genre, it presents an artificial soceity (of clones) who are pacified with a mythical reward called "The Island" (e.g., heaven). Ewen McGregor is great (better acting than Star Wars). There are two parts to the movie, the first part is a futuristic sci-fi, and then when the heros escape it becomes a good action flick, with some of the best action/chase scenes I've seen (and I'm not an action movie buff). The special effects and soundtrack are great. Don't listen to the sour critics who don't get it... it is a good movie. Expand
  9. DaveB.
    Jul 27, 2005
    7
    Way better than that poor excuse for a movie called Revenge of the Sith. What ever happened to having fun at the movies. Everybody seems to over analyse movies these days. You go into a movie by a director like this and u get what u pay for.....explosions and more explosions. If u want some serious movies go to some film festival with all the rest of the non-fat, double foam latte Way better than that poor excuse for a movie called Revenge of the Sith. What ever happened to having fun at the movies. Everybody seems to over analyse movies these days. You go into a movie by a director like this and u get what u pay for.....explosions and more explosions. If u want some serious movies go to some film festival with all the rest of the non-fat, double foam latte drinkin', SUV drivin' morons. Expand
  10. ChadS.
    Jul 28, 2005
    8
    In the hands of another director, "The Island" would feature only one scene in which The Walking Stem Cell Research Extrapolations have to skirt capture from the authorities. Precious running time is wasted on smashing stuff (weights instead of cadavers this time), which normally wouldn't seem so jarring in a Michael Bay film, but this time, there's a self-awareness to the In the hands of another director, "The Island" would feature only one scene in which The Walking Stem Cell Research Extrapolations have to skirt capture from the authorities. Precious running time is wasted on smashing stuff (weights instead of cadavers this time), which normally wouldn't seem so jarring in a Michael Bay film, but this time, there's a self-awareness to the action scenes. It's as if Bay is saying, "When can I stop being a science-fiction nerd and start being me, the real me?" "The Island" engages you in thought, and then Bay gives the older audience some time-outs later in the film, as to remind them that Hollywood makes films for teenage boys. But Bay's "improvements" doesn't really hurt the film's intriguing premise. This is because the filmmaker seems to exhibit some unbeknownst constraint, and a goodly amount of fidelity to the screenplay in the film's first half. "The Island" tells such a great story, even a caveman couldn't louse it up. Expand
  11. ibrahimC
    Aug 25, 2005
    2
    I've seen cadillac, puma, msn...advertisements, not a movie. I regret.
  12. MohammedR.
    Sep 16, 2005
    8
    Very good movie. The first half of the movie is somewhat slow. But the rest is action packed. The movie works well together as a whole.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. AMovieFan
    Mar 21, 2007
    9
    Probably the best futuristic thriller I've ever seen. While movies I've seen like Minority Report and The 6th Day have dealt with similar subjects but none have really hit home as much as this movie has. Surprisingly intelligent for a film from Michael Bay, (a director known for mindless action movies) and always moving, this movie provides a very scary, cool little world in the Probably the best futuristic thriller I've ever seen. While movies I've seen like Minority Report and The 6th Day have dealt with similar subjects but none have really hit home as much as this movie has. Surprisingly intelligent for a film from Michael Bay, (a director known for mindless action movies) and always moving, this movie provides a very scary, cool little world in the first hour, and the movie continues to fly when the characters leave this world and enter a futuristic Los Angeles. Definitely worth watching, it's really a very fun movie, and one that's really powerful. Michael Bay should do more films like this one (although unfortunately, this film's lack of domestic box office success may encourage him not to,) and I hope this movie found an audience somewhere because it's a great movie, really worth seeing. Big thumbs up to the music, as well. Expand
  16. 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.
  17. AnthonyF
    Jul 16, 2009
    9
    The Island is so well put together I forgot who or what it was ripping off. This is Michael Bay's second best film and it is put together nicely. Sci-fi fans with love the first half and hate the second and action movie goers (like me) with praise the second half and will appreciate the first. This is a well constructed action packed thriller which exists for no other reason but to The Island is so well put together I forgot who or what it was ripping off. This is Michael Bay's second best film and it is put together nicely. Sci-fi fans with love the first half and hate the second and action movie goers (like me) with praise the second half and will appreciate the first. This is a well constructed action packed thriller which exists for no other reason but to entertain. Expand
  18. ShaneFischer
    Dec 14, 2005
    9
    I just dont understand how people can actually say this is a bad movie. Fine it's more action than SciFi. Who cares?? Its a great action movie. Plus Scarlett looks fantastic.
  19. tammy
    Dec 16, 2005
    9
    A movie about clones.. the action is so real than most movies i have seen. must watch it!
  20. [Anonymous]
    Dec 16, 2005
    7
    This is Bay's 2nd best movie. Not all the action thrills, but enough of it does. The issues over human cloning and human worth are well presented, as well as some themes from the Matrix and 1984. It bests all but the Rock. It's not as good as it could've been, but for once, Michael Bay proves he's capable of something more ambitious than his usual material.
  21. GregT.
    Dec 19, 2005
    7
    A sci-fi flick with a different plot line. Interesting.
  22. JohnS.
    Nov 11, 2007
    9
    Obviously not a film that ignorant, average to low IQ people enjoy. The message of the film is that YOU, yes you, right now, in this life of yours, are a product. You are owned. It's an eye opener. See Zeitgeist the movie for details.
  23. Jul 12, 2015
    10
    I believe this is the first 10 i've given a movie. i liked it enough to purchase a DVD copy of it. Bay is known for his action and he certainly delivers here. This is a very unique plot line that has not been explored before. Scarlett Johansson is the most beautiful i've ever seen her in a film, Sean Bean is as intense and excellent as ever. Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout,I believe this is the first 10 i've given a movie. i liked it enough to purchase a DVD copy of it. Bay is known for his action and he certainly delivers here. This is a very unique plot line that has not been explored before. Scarlett Johansson is the most beautiful i've ever seen her in a film, Sean Bean is as intense and excellent as ever. Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, definitely in my top 10 of all time. Expand
  24. 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
  25. 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
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  26. Apr 21, 2016
    8
    I never would have expected this but Michael Bay of all directors has managed to create a genuinely great science fiction story with a consistent cyber-punk aesthetic, interesting story, and some admittedly over the top but ultimately entertaining action set pieces. Considering this director has repeatedly shown that he's got little to no understanding of how human being act, creatingI never would have expected this but Michael Bay of all directors has managed to create a genuinely great science fiction story with a consistent cyber-punk aesthetic, interesting story, and some admittedly over the top but ultimately entertaining action set pieces. Considering this director has repeatedly shown that he's got little to no understanding of how human being act, creating emotionally stunted human being with purposefully child-like outlooks who are forced to face up to the reality that they exist only to be abused and taken advantage of by the rich and powerful, in the name of greed; that was a challenge I never would have expected him to live up to.

    This is hardly new concepts, it's a downtrodden repressed underclass of people breaking the shackles of their oppressors and fighting back against corporate greed story; it's a classic and in many ways that's what makes this work so well. The two main characters are particularly well written and the subtle hints of a romance sub-plot are handled both with restraint and dignity, which was especially shocking.

    This film is great fun and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone, but anyone who enjoys action, sci-fi, or particularly the cyberpunk sub-genre; this is a film you're absolutely love.
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  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.
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  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. Dec 11, 2015
    7
    If there are lots of flashes and bangs, and smoke and fire, either your car has just rear-ended a Pinto or Michael Bay has made a new movie. Sometimes, both are disasters. In the case of The Island, 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. This is a non-interactive video game demo crossedIf there are lots of flashes and bangs, and smoke and fire, either your car has just rear-ended a Pinto or Michael Bay has made a new movie. Sometimes, both are disasters. In the case of The Island, 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. This is a non-interactive video game demo crossed with an amusement park ride. It offers plenty of thrills but nothing else. It looks and sounds good, but satisfies only on the most primal level. For some, this will be enough. Calling The Island a "popcorn, old-fashioned summer movie" is fair, but it's also sad, since it could have been more. But movies that aim low rarely achieve any kind of altitude.

    For Michael Bay, this is an opportunity to strike into new territory. This is the first directorial outing in which he has not been partnered with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. It isn't apparent - the movie is just as loud and action-oriented as anything he did with Bruckheimer. In Bay's canon, The Island ranks second - behind the filmmaker's only truly good movie, The Rock, but ahead of such memorable epics as Armageddon,Pearl Harbor, and Bad Boys II. The Island, like Bay, delivers what's expected, and not a thing more. And, although it engaged me during most of its two-plus hour running length, I left the theater feeling a hollow and even a little let down.

    To the extent that it takes place in a futuristic setting, The Island functions as science fiction. Really, though, the 2090 locales are just excuses to make things look a little more exotic. The central conceit - cloning - turns into a plot device. Despite the richness of the premise, which asks a number of bio-ethical questions, there is little room for complex moral conundrums once the adrenaline starts pumping. And, for a movie that opens in a field of ideas, it comes as a disappointment to learn that the conclusion is just a big fight with lots of things blowing up. (Rumor has it that the original script, penned by Caspian Tredwell-Owen before Bay became involved and brought in Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, was more thoughtful and intelligent than the final project. Tredwell-Owen is remaining mum about his opinion of the final product, probably because Dreamworks paid him $1 million for the rights.)

    The Island is reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall, which used science fiction ideas as a backdrop for lots of fights, chases, and other assorted excitement. Overall, Recall did a better job, at least in the story department. The action is superior in The Island, but that's probably to be expected, since the bar has been raised considerably since 1989. Others may be reminded of The Matrix and Minority Report, but The Island isn't in the same league. Those two movies were the complete package - not only did they follow through on their tantalizing ideas, but they offered a near-perfect mix of adrenaline and testosterone. They leave The Island bobbing far in their wake.

    As disposable entertainment, The Island does what it is supposed to do. There are two remarkable car chases (one featuring oversized barbells), flawless interaction between two identical McGregors (one with an American accent, the other with his proper one), some really big explosions, and enough sequences to make a video game designer smile. Don't expect filet mignon with The Island; this is hamburger. If Martin Scorsese is a fine steak house, then Michael Bay is MacDonald's. And watching the movie is akin to eating in that place. It's fast, greasy, and fills an immediate need, but you'd better have the Rolaids handy for the indigestion that follows.
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  30. Mar 26, 2016
    10
    I really enjoyed this film. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johannson were both great, as was Steve Buscemi. Truly a new favorite. It has a bit of sci fi, romance, and humor built into it. A must see!
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
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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.