User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 114
  2. Negative: 51 out of 114

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  1. Dec 18, 2014
    1
    i know frank miller isn't on best form these day but after seeing this you really have to ask what was going through his head when this project came up. It takes everything bad about frank millers writing in one excruciating film with some of the worst dialogue and cinematography i have ever encountered and frank clearly can only direct when he has support which wasn't present here. thisi know frank miller isn't on best form these day but after seeing this you really have to ask what was going through his head when this project came up. It takes everything bad about frank millers writing in one excruciating film with some of the worst dialogue and cinematography i have ever encountered and frank clearly can only direct when he has support which wasn't present here. this really should be in a lot more worst comics lists than it is right now Expand
  2. Aug 14, 2013
    3
    The noir atmosphere is nice to look at, but a weak script stuffed with cheesy dialogue and prosaic characters, make this film a tragic misfire for the mastermind behind Sin City, Frank Miller.
  3. May 24, 2013
    4
    Coming hot on the heels of the fantastic Sin City and 300 I went into The Spirit expecting something of similar quality, unfortunately I was left disappointed.

    It's not all bad of course. As with Frank Millers other comic book adaptations The Spirit is beautifully shot using the same techniques employed in Sin City and with the likes of Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and Stana Katic on
    Coming hot on the heels of the fantastic Sin City and 300 I went into The Spirit expecting something of similar quality, unfortunately I was left disappointed.

    It's not all bad of course. As with Frank Millers other comic book adaptations The Spirit is beautifully shot using the same techniques employed in Sin City and with the likes of Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and Stana Katic on show it certainly features one of the most attractive casts ever seen on the big screen. Gabriel Mecht is also entertaining in the title role making a refreshing change from the usual burdened superhero.

    For every positive however there is a negative. Frank Miller's decision to direct the movie himself (his feature film debut) can be seen as mistake from the very start. Poorly paced throughout the film never quite decides what it is trying to achieve. One minute it wants to be a 'wacky' comedy the next it is trying to recreate the gritty film noir style of Sin City. It is just about possible to piece together a plot but the film does its best to stop you and as a result it is very difficult to become invested in what is going to happen to any of the characters (other than rookie cop Morgernstern, but thats only because she is played by the always fantastic Stana Katic).

    The performances, even from well established actors such as Samuel L Jackson, are also incredibly uneven. Again the blame for this must lay at the feet of director Miller as the majority of the cast have proven their acting credentials on numerous occasions in other movies.

    In the end while The Spirit may be a visual feast it is just too much of a mess to be thought of alongside the best comic book adaptations of recent years.
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  4. Aug 12, 2012
    1
    I'm not denying that Frank Miller is extremely talented at telling a story on the page, but he has no talent whatsoever at telling any kind of story on film, especially when he can't lean on a talented filmmaker like Robert Rodriquez. Nearly every key cast member is either wooden (Gabriel Macht and Eva Mendes) or looks hugely embarrassed (Samuel L. Jackson), the script such as it is, is anI'm not denying that Frank Miller is extremely talented at telling a story on the page, but he has no talent whatsoever at telling any kind of story on film, especially when he can't lean on a talented filmmaker like Robert Rodriquez. Nearly every key cast member is either wooden (Gabriel Macht and Eva Mendes) or looks hugely embarrassed (Samuel L. Jackson), the script such as it is, is an appalling, indistinct mush of puns and cliches, and the action is laughably cartoony. It's also one of the campest films I've ever seen, not in a fun, self-aware kind of way, but in a clumsy, tone-deaf and unintentionally hilarious kind of way. For much of the film it feels like Miller is mercilessly parodying himself, but doesn't seem to have realised it. At least Scarlett Johansson and Stana Katic in their supporting roles seem to have realised that he film is utter garbage, so over-act their socks off as an evil secretary-from-hell and a stiff but passionate rookie cop respectively, which is kind of fun to watch. It may well be the worst comic book movie of all time - worse than Elektra, worse than The Fantastic Four and worse than Batman & Robin, in fact worse than an amalgamation of all three. If Frank Miller insists on stepping behind the camera again, then he should at least have the decency to ruin his own intellectual property rather than someone else's, as he did here with Will Eisner's comic from the 40s. I implore you, Mr Miller, step away from the camera before you do any real damage. Expand
  5. Dec 31, 2011
    3
    You got to be **** kidding me. What was Frank Miller thinking? Did really think if he used beautiful visuals over a screwed up story he could get like, what, a oscar? If he was, then man, he's thinking WRONG.
  6. Aug 25, 2011
    1
    In one scene in The Spirit, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johannsson (the only two actors in this movie who are at least having fun with their performances) appear decked in Nazi uniforms, while the movie's hero is strapped to a dentist's chair, and a Turkish-style belly dancing, moves around him. While I don't remember Turkish-style belly dancers from Marathon Man, but I do rememberIn one scene in The Spirit, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johannsson (the only two actors in this movie who are at least having fun with their performances) appear decked in Nazi uniforms, while the movie's hero is strapped to a dentist's chair, and a Turkish-style belly dancing, moves around him. While I don't remember Turkish-style belly dancers from Marathon Man, but I do remember dentist Nazis, so I understand the relation between those seemingly random props. What do I not understand? Well, what does Marathon Man have to do with a crime-fighting superhero, and what in the movie lead up to this? You could make an entire three season game show on why scenes in The Spirit are the way they are. All this is is Frank Miller masturbating to his own sense of self-interest. While Miller attempts to advance his strengths and recapture the excellent work he did in his early days as a comic book writer, he is too fascinated with his own desire to have women dress in revealing outfits and have his hero spew out pretentious narration about the city turns him on. Frank, I loved The Dark Knight Returns, but you have lost it! You're just trying to every conceivable idea for style that floats into your head, paying no respect to the source material (I never read The Spirit, but I think that it is important to honor your source material), and just assuming that if you merge it with this needlessly dark, half-joking, over-sexualizing bullcrap, it will be great. Expand
  7. Jun 12, 2011
    1
    This movie was a convoluted **** hole of bad writing sub par acting and bad directing. None of the characters are remotely likable, the attempts of humor fall miles short. This first 45 minutes of the movie are just a series of 1 liners. The only thing that helps this movie is the 1 second you get to see Eva's back side. I full heartedly thank god I only spent $3 on this movie becauseThis movie was a convoluted **** hole of bad writing sub par acting and bad directing. None of the characters are remotely likable, the attempts of humor fall miles short. This first 45 minutes of the movie are just a series of 1 liners. The only thing that helps this movie is the 1 second you get to see Eva's back side. I full heartedly thank god I only spent $3 on this movie because anymore and I would have had to punch a baby. If you have the option to see this movie or be stabbed to death, think twice about life. Acting 3/10 writing 1/10 directing 1/10 Overall 1.5/10 Expand
  8. Dec 2, 2010
    0
    The visual style was done to death in Sin City and without the input from experienced co-directors Miller makes a film that the studio should have canned after test screenings instead of inflicting it upon the rest of the world. Worse than toothache.
Metascore
30

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 24
  2. Negative: 15 out of 24
  1. It is truly a mess.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    30
    Plunges into a watery grave early on and spends roughly the next 100 minutes gasping for air.
  3. 50
    There are good things to be said about The Spirit, but not enough of them to outweigh the bad.