Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  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. 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. 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.
  6. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is too long, and it's ersatz magic, but at least it casts an ersatz spell.
  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. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Despite Cage in a snit, it's a likable if functional summer-show.
  12. 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.
  13. A frenetic, overstuffed but imaginative fantasy.
  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. A by-the-numbers, good-vs.-evil tale.
  16. 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.
  17. On the whole, the movie is more Cheez Whiz than wizardly.
  18. 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.
  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. 50
    The movie isn't so much bad as it is formulaic and uninspired. In some ways, that might almost be a worse sin.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    The magic here feels machine-made and depressingly state-of-the-art.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. As Balthazar, Cage doesn't disappoint. He's just manic enough to keep the character from becoming too predictable.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  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
    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.
  34. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 53
  2. Negative: 5 out of 53
  1. AlanG
    Jul 16, 2010
    This movie is awesome!! Screw the critics!! Its definetly better than Airbender. Bring on the sequels!
  2. dang.
    Jul 19, 2010
    Where do they find these male leads these days?? jay barawhatever reminds me of the kid in spider man: wimpy. jay has pharynxy, nasal, sinusy Where do they find these male leads these days?? jay barawhatever reminds me of the kid in spider man: wimpy. jay has pharynxy, nasal, sinusy voice ... positively put me off my kettlekorn. maybe hollywood is trying to get back to when leading men didn't need looks (edward g robinson, et al)... at least the women are still hot, tho i have some mixt feelings re cursing, increasing displays of cleavage, the f and other questionable initialed words... next time i'm sneaking in some cracker jacks. Full Review »
  3. 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,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 »