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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 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.) Collapse
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: 96 out of 139
  2. Negative: 27 out of 139
  1. PaulD.
    Oct 17, 2005
    Awesome movie...nuff said.
  2. Sep 20, 2014
    Michael Bay has never had much attention. Many of his movies are classics. Bad Boys, The Rock and
    The Island are all amazing movies.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Expand
  3. Jul 21, 2014
    The island is an excellent science fiction thriller with amazing special effects and an ingenious plot.
    The acting is decent from every actor
    and the movie's breakneck pace never ratchets down. Expand
  4. TheElusivePossom
    Aug 30, 2005
    [***SPOILERS***] This film seemed to emerge from thin air, and based on positive hear-say from my friends alone, I decided it would be one worth catching. Before even entering the cinema however, I was given negative feedback concerning the movie by two of its patrons: an elderly woman and a female member of staff with a strong foreign accent I couldn't quite place at the time. Having seen the film myself, I have concluded that the elderly woman was in way beyond her depth of understanding in terms of a film depicting the future, and the member of staff, who had suggested I "check out Unleashed with Jet Li" instead, was clearly just stupid, because "The Island" is a brilliant film: a perfect blend of gripping plot, epic action and jaw-dropping visual effects. The use of real brands such as MSN and Cadillac worked well to enhance a realistic portrayal of the future world. Other touches were particularly commendable: in the viewing I saw, amongst the adverts preceding the main feature was one advertising a perfume starring Scarlett Johanssen. Imagine my surprise and delight to...(SPOILER) see the very same advert appear on a big screen during a scene in the film, revealing the real Scarlett's occupation as an actress! (END SPOILER). The acting of Ewan McGregor is pleasing (on both accounts ;)) as is the Machiavellian nature of Sean Bean's role. There is comedy here, as well as some moments of real sadness that you can see coming, yet are still moved by. The film, however, is by no means flawless: the loose ends are tied about half-way through, letting only the relentless yet predictable climax remain. Also, I take issue with anyone who is the victim of a side-on collision with a heavy goods vehicle, who then steps out of the car with perfect make-up. All in all, this movie is one of the golden releases this year, and much better than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I regret seeing to an unholy level. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. JayE.
    Jan 10, 2008
    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
  7. AngryMan
    Jan 23, 2006
    What the hell was that?! I'm getting really ****** off with the whole world of film making, as well as with that surprisingly large proportion of people who sincerely believe that stuff like this is of a high standard. I guess it's a sign of the times we're living in. 1 point goes to all those whose combined efforts resulted in me paying to rent this **** and suffer it for 30 minutes before swiching it off in disgust. Expand

See all 139 User Reviews