The Time Machine

Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 33
  2. Negative: 9 out of 33

Critic Reviews

  1. The film, in its early going, also has a nice light humor about it, and an engaging, albeit tragic, love story.
  2. For the most part, it's imaginatively staged and consistently entertaining.
  3. Delivers a thoughtful what-if for the heart as well as the mind.
  4. A revisiting of George Pal's 1960 adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel. Pal's take on the book was visually delightful and occasionally clever; this one is always workmanlike and mainly pedestrian.
  5. 60
    Machine makes its look-to-the-future-not-the-past message as clear as a Grammy acceptance speech, but as an exploration of regret and the elusive quality of time, it falls well short of "Memento," another film starring a sad-eyed Pearce.
  6. Amazingly stilted before accelerating into its exciting finish.
  7. 60
    The Time Machine is, for the most part, a handsome, pleasant entertainment.
  8. As old-fashioned movie fun, this isn't bad, even -- especially? -- when it skirts the edge of silliness, and it's better than the 1960 George Pal version.
  9. There's something wrong with a time-travel movie that allows an audience's interest to drift so that we have time to worry over where he's parked, and whether he remembered to take his key.
  10. Deliberately quaint and old-fashioned, a once-over-slightly exercise in nostalgic wonder directed by the British-born great-grandson of H.G. Wells, who treats the spirit of his ancestor's novel with literal-minded fealty.
  11. Weirdly disjointed and uncertain as to tone.
  12. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    50
    The best thing about the new film of H.G. Wells's The Time Machine is the machine.
  13. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    The film has no spirit of inquiry -- no spirit at all, really.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Drab as it is, the movie is not impossible to endure -- in part because the concept has a timeless appeal.
  15. 50
    Most of Wells' details are there, and so is the basic premise, but the soul of the thing -- the point -- is missing.
  16. 50
    The Time Machine is stupid -- too stupid for the impressive special effects or the competently directed action sequences to wash away the bitter taste.
  17. It's a movie that robs the story of its politics and point and never really matches the charm of the '60s film.
  18. 50
    In the new film, it's personal tragedy that provokes the journey, not social upheaval or even scientific curiosity -- which, predictably, makes for a story that's at once more familiar and less interesting.
  19. The last 40 minutes descend further and further into nonsense, until we're in an underground grotto where Jeremy Irons plays a furry, cannibalistic albino with psychic powers and super-strength.
  20. If Welles was unhappy at the prospect of the human race splitting in two, he probably wouldn't be too crazy with his great-grandson's movie splitting up in pretty much the same way.
  21. 40
    This uninviting and pallid version, starring Guy Pearce, is intent on grinding all the sharp edges off the original story, in effect making the movie childproof, so no one can get hurt touching it.
  22. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Breaks down when it gets to the distant future, which in this case isn't a good place to be stranded.
  23. They STILL didn't get it right this TIME.
  24. 40
    The film's two saving graces are the time machine itself -- a gorgeous, whirling array of burnished copper and blazing light -- and the CGI-created rise and fall of New York City.
  25. 38
    A witless recycling of the H.G. Wells story from 1895, with the absurdity intact but the wonderment missing.
  26. Wells' vision of the distant future is cartoonishly simplistic without the subtext of British class consciousness that informed the novel.
  27. So tedious it's almost worth watching to see just how bad acting, inadequate direction and most important, a criminally crass and unimaginative screenplay can make so little out of a proven idea.
  28. 38
    The movie gives us a time machine that resembles a twin-engined Mixmaster and a script that was tossed together inside one.
  29. 33
    While there are some glittery bits in it, the film is frustrating, cluttered, inelegant and garish.
  30. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    30
    Joyless and largely witless sci-fi fantasy.
  31. If you want a movie time trip, the 1960 version is a far smoother ride.
  32. 20
    If it's remembered at all, it will be as a time capsule of early-21st-century blockbuster cowardice and redundancy.
  33. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    10
    I’m getting fed up with classic films being remade or ruined by being turned into “Special Editions” that are less than special.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 34
  2. Negative: 8 out of 34
  1. Mar 20, 2012
    5
    There were some interesting moments in this film. At times it was a lot more exciting than the original, but that is simply because it isThere were some interesting moments in this film. At times it was a lot more exciting than the original, but that is simply because it is newer. But overall, its pretty bad. I would rated a 3, but it visually held my interest longer than that. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2015
    4
    This movie is somewhat disappointing. It started a little good, (beginning of spoiler) with the guy building the time machine to go to theThis movie is somewhat disappointing. It started a little good, (beginning of spoiler) with the guy building the time machine to go to the past and save his girlfriend from a terrible death (ending of spoiler). Then he built it and then we saw a incredible scene of him going into the future. Sadly, when he does arrive to that far future it's just terrible. A horrible story that I didn't care about, terrible script, and mediocre performances. I wanted to see more future, more utopias, more technology, but it just showed a tribe of non-evolved people from the future, and a whole story related to that.
    I am just very disappointed about everything in the movie, except the time travel itself. I found it cool and interesting, and it made me think about paradoxes and that stuff.
    Real score: 5.5
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 27, 2014
    6
    it aims to be bigger than it can be, but overall it isn't a completely cheesy waste of time. I just wish they would have shed more light (noit aims to be bigger than it can be, but overall it isn't a completely cheesy waste of time. I just wish they would have shed more light (no pun intended) on the uber morlock. that was the most interesting part and it only lasted 5 min. Full Review »