Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. The truth is, the mystery pales next to the best "X-Files" plots. But fans will appreciate sly references to past episodes, an unexpected appearance from an old friend and the still-poignant bond our heroes share.
  2. 60
    Please Chris Carter, bring us X-Files fans back to where we belong. If there is to be another movie, and there damn well better be, return us to our beloved mythology.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    An okay paranormal mystery, with solid work from the regulars – but please Mr Carter, next time, could we have liver-eating mutants or post-modern comedy like the really good episodes of The X Files?
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    60
    For the uninitiated, The X Files: I Want to Believe may seem as musty and forbidding as one of those dank secrets that Mulder and Scully were forever digging up from some backyard, or fetid swamp, or their own aching hearts.
  5. Older and sadder, Mulder and Scully are no longer sure they've got the energy to even ask if the truth is still out there. And it feels as if Carter is skeptical, too.
  6. Does nothing so much as stir up a pining for the show in its prime -- a darkly imaginative and wonderfully weird thing -- though it is always nice to see old friends, however mellowed by age they turn out to be.
  7. 50
    An exercise in mediocrity. It's curious how little of the TV series' charm and appeal can be found in this uneven, plodding excuse for a reunion.
  8. The story is shockingly ordinary. The movie plays like an extended mediocre episode of the X-Files TV show or, for that matter, even a contemporary crime series such as CSI.
  9. 50
    Atmospheric and moves briskly, but it's basically TV writ large.
  10. 50
    The whole enterprise suffers from tired blood.
  11. 50
    Worst of all, not once does Mulder answer his cell phone to hear those immortal lines: "It's Scully. There's been another death."
  12. 50
    In not knowing who it needs to please, I Want to Believe pleases no one.
  13. 50
    The problem is that only a fan would be inclined to tolerate this dunderheaded mystery.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    The warming glow of nostalgia only goes so far, with one's level of forgiveness likely dictated by where they reside along the "X-Files" fan continuum.
  15. The story is both a muddle and a drag.
  16. Overall, the film plays like an improbably skewed but comparatively routine criminal procedural that would have served the original show well as an extended season opener or sweeps-week contender.
  17. Anderson, who's turned Brit in a number of TV series and films, including "Bleak House" and "The Last King of Scotland," is compelling in her white lab coat and surgical scrubs, and she brings some real tenderness to her tete-a-tetes with Mulder.
  18. 50
    A taut, well-acted, not very scary, not very hard to figure out serial-killer mystery.
  19. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    The problem with the movie's semisupernatural crime plot, though, isn't that the resolution is completely outlandish; it's that the outlandishness is insufficiently grounded in pseudoscience.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    It feels like a wan version of the show -- one that has lost its otherworldly edge.
  21. 42
    Carter and his underachieving cohorts have seldom given cultists less to believe.
  22. Baggy, draggy, oddly timed and strangely off the mark, The X-Files: I Want to Believe is the generally bad-news follow-up to the show’s first feature-film incarnation, "The X-Files."
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 90
  2. Negative: 26 out of 90
  1. Mar 6, 2015
    7
    A curiosity rather than a success as The X-Files tries a standard killer thriller rather than the paranormal/extraterrestial world that workedA curiosity rather than a success as The X-Files tries a standard killer thriller rather than the paranormal/extraterrestial world that worked so well in the series. Elevated by strong performances from Anderson, Duchovny and Connolly, this outing is enjoyable for fans who will still hope for more of the weird and wonderful should there be a third big screening outing. Full Review »
  2. Aug 25, 2014
    8
    If I didn't know this was an X-Files movie, I wouldn't view it as one either.

    For a fan of X-Files, this was like... one of those files
    If I didn't know this was an X-Files movie, I wouldn't view it as one either.

    For a fan of X-Files, this was like... one of those files that was done in between the hot stuff.

    The plot was good, the acting great as usual, the characters "sound", and the movie looked great altogethert; nothing unexpected. The story itself, though, seemed to take off from nowhere. It makes it easier if you finish the series first, then watch the movie, because some of the things Mulder and Scully refer to take place very late in the TV-show.

    The sense of uncertainty of what had happened in the past helped to create an illusion that time had passed after Mulder and Scully last worked for FBI. Probably that was what they wanted to show, too; they had both moved on, yet in Mulder's case, there is no turning one's back to the X-Files.

    David Duchovny definitely looks older. Gillian Anderson, who has never been at a top of my list, actually managed to pull this one off very well, and looked quite stunning.

    All in all, a steady movie with action and tugging back and forth with the plot in a traditional X-Files style, but if you're looking for a supernatural thrill, this really isn't it.

    Also, now that I take a look at it, I have no idea why this one is rated PG-13; there are some very detailed, gruesome moments (let's call them medical experiments).
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 15, 2014
    5
    The second take on the X files proves to be a definite disappointment, Especially for true fans of the series. I want to believe it's a goodThe second take on the X files proves to be a definite disappointment, Especially for true fans of the series. I want to believe it's a good movie. I do. But It's just not good. Full Review »