Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34
  1. The Sorcerer's Apprentice boils down to "The Karate Kid" meets "Harry Potter," with maybe a dash of "Ghostbusters" to keep it interesting.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Holleman
    A tamer tale of supernatural shenanigans that is far more appropriate for young children than the sometimes too-scary scenes from J.K. Rowling's stories.
  3. 70
    Cage will likely not earn a second Oscar here, but he and director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) make leftovers into fine PG malarkey with their hokey naïveté and prankish hocus-pocus.
  4. 70
    The tone is both goofier and darker than the Potter pictures, and some of the magic battles built around New York City landmarks are eye-popping; there's also a genuinely affecting romance between Baruchel and fetching newcomer Teresa Palmer.
  5. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is too long, and it's ersatz magic, but at least it casts an ersatz spell.
  6. Turteltaub has a workmanlike touch and an easy sense of humor here, and he and his team do a better-than-expected job of keeping you interested in the story, despite it being yet another Tale of a Reluctant Young Man With A Supernatural Hero's Calling.
  7. 65
    Turteltaub strives to show us realistic-looking magic, without realizing he'd be better off if he acknowledged that there's no such thing. Instead, we get human figures that emerge "magically" from swarms of cockroaches and sorceresses who dissolve into dust particles right before our eyes. It's the best CGI money can buy, and who cares?
  8. 63
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a perfectly typical example of its type, professionally made and competently acted.
  9. The CGI is relentless and what you might call reverse-magical: The more we're hit with stuff, the less wondrous it becomes.
  10. As fun as it is at times -- particularly early on -- the longer The Sorcerer's Apprentice goes on, the more the magic wears off.
  11. A frenetic, overstuffed but imaginative fantasy.
  12. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Despite Cage in a snit, it's a likable if functional summer-show.
  13. Big and brash with a fantasia of battles and chases thrown in to keep the young ones enthralled for its nearly two-hour running time.
  14. 58
    Baruchel aside, The Sorcerer's Apprentice contains a few minor delights. One is Cage's surprisingly low-key approach to a role that he could be expected to play over the top.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    The lesson at the core of Goethe's poem -- that powerful spirits are not to be taken lightly, and should only be conjured by those who can control them -- goes out the window, and the mentor-student relationship gets swallowed up in the action. Bruckheimer may be the dark lord of Tinseltown, but he's the Mickey Mouse of this scenario, and the mops and brooms get the best of him.
  16. On the whole, the movie is more Cheez Whiz than wizardly.
  17. 50
    A flavorless family-friendly action-adventure that doubles as memory exploitation. It has nothing to do with either the Mickey Mouse broom sequence of the same name from 1940's "Fantasia'' or the 213-year-old Goethe poem that inspired it.
  18. 50
    The movie isn't so much bad as it is formulaic and uninspired. In some ways, that might almost be a worse sin.
  19. The lively verbal sparring between the good and evil sorcerer-apprentice pairs sustains the movie, but, with a predictable plot, by-the-numbers action-movie jolts and no real sense of wonder, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is really just a pumpkin.
  20. A by-the-numbers, good-vs.-evil tale.
  21. 50
    While Mr. Molina and Mr. Cage supply a measure of well-compensated eccentricity, their labors ultimately serve to emphasize the grinding mediocrity of the enterprise.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Somewhere in recreational value between an afternoon on a San Diego beach and one at a Detroit public swimming pool. Either way, before you know it, it's evening.
  23. Cage is amusingly skanky, Molina is dependably arch, and Baruchel is engagingly down to earth. But do we really need to watch them play out this exhaustingly empty scenario?
  24. 42
    While both actors have been hammier and more hilarious, and neither one overdoes things enough to be notable, they at least seem to be having loads of flailing fun as they conjure up CGI scenery to chew on. And when Apprentice limits itself to their battle, it's generally fitful dumb fun.
  25. "Apprentice" lurches from one been-there-done-that sequence to another.
  26. 40
    Other than the Pottersploitation and presence of current It nerd Baruchel, this fantasy-action-comedy might have been spat out into multiplexes any summer over the previous two decades, yet it would seem like forgettable abracadabra filler regardless of the date.
  27. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    The magic here feels machine-made and depressingly state-of-the-art.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The movie is a clunky, noisy contraption. Director Jon Turteltaub piles on gadgets and devices in the hopes we'll be dazzled enough to miss the story's lack of coherence and charm.
  29. As Balthazar, Cage doesn't disappoint. He's just manic enough to keep the character from becoming too predictable.
  30. Reviewed by: John DeVore
    This booming, cartoonish confection is a transparent attempt to take a property Disney owns rights to, and to try and create a Harry Potter-like franchise.
  31. 38
    A generally joyless pastiche of sorcery history, imitation Potter "chosen one" Messianics and mirthless silliness, it's another in a string of recent black marks against Cage's Oscar-owning reputation.
  32. If there were any brooms in Disney's new Sorcerer's Apprentice they would have to be used to sweep this tired dreck to the curb.
  33. 25
    Cage and Baruchel work hard to stay accessible, but the computer-generated effects come on like heavy artillery blowing away any hint of flesh and blood. The Sorcerer's Apprentice should be rated U for Untouched by Human Hands.
  34. 25
    A two-hour trailer: explosion, shape-shift, chase, wisecrack, repeat. Its most amazing trick will be how it vanishes from your memory before the seat you vacate has stopped moving.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 49
  2. Negative: 5 out of 49
  1. Sep 22, 2011
    Man, is it just me or does Mr. Cage desperately need money? His performance in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is hurried and unusually weak, followed by the idiotic story and dialogue disney motion pictures threw in. In other words, the movie is a terrible blockbuster (LOL, considering the money it earned its not even considered a blockbuster). Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2010
    I found this an enjoyable movie and definitely worth watching the acting from the cast was good and the storyline was satisfactory. i would definitely recommend the movie to people as i can see no reason why anyone shouldn't enjoy it Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2010
    At the start of this film, I wasn't sure if it would be my type of movie but after the first 10 minutes, the film got a lot better and it turned out to be a fantastic film and one that I would watch over and over again. Jay Baruchel was fantastic in the lead role and impressed me. Full Review »