Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 29
  2. Negative: 12 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    75
    A fun afternoon for preteen moviegoers that has just enough charm, humor and game- for-anything actors to keep parents halfway interested as well.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    When all is said and done, the movie's a steaming plate of corn -- and, indeed, that's part of the pleasure. Myles, though, delivers a fine comic performance with no strings attached.
  3. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    70
    Smartly written by William Osborne and Michael McCullers, Thunderbirds expertly targets kids. Yet parents won't be entirely bored.
  4. 70
    This special-effects-crammed action blockbuster is not rocket science. It's more like rocket fun.
  5. Reviewed by: Allison Benedikt
    63
    It's a pretty entertaining, extremely good-looking cinematic blip--not important, not outstanding, but better than a lot of PG stuff that attempts to reach both parents and their 8-year-old kids.
  6. A standard, gadget-crazed exercise in whiz-bang adventure with its tongue lodged deep inside its cheek.
  7. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    58
    Without fail its upbeat cheesy wholesomeness is always good for a smile.
  8. Director Jonathan Frakes keeps the tone just this side of tongue-in-cheek.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    50
    Kids are most likely to be entertained by this live-action offering, although baby-boomer fans of the series will appreciate how closely it hews to the show's foundation.
  10. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    50
    It's clean and cheerful entertainment, blithely piggybacking on a beloved classic. No wonder Anderson washed his hands of this project - the filmmakers tampered with and trampled on his magic formula.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Fun at times and tedious at others, it's an action-adventure fantasy aimed particularly at gadget-loving boys.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    50
    Making a live-action version of Thunderbirds is like rounding out the edges on a Picasso painting to render it more realistic.
  13. 50
    The production design is phenomenal, reproducing the series' swinging '60s decor and techno-geek flourishes, from the launch pad under the swimming pool to Lady Penelope's pink roadster, which turns into a mini-plane.
  14. 50
    The trouble is, the kids seem to be in one earnest "After School Special"-type of movie, while the adults occupy a retro-futuristic world more like the original TV show.
  15. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    50
    The story rarely gets fired up to "maximum thrust," to use the rocket-speed parlance of its heroes.
  16. 40
    Thunderbirds is devoted to the principle that character and story are but rude interruptions to the real order of business, an endless display of profound vehicle fetish.
  17. Reviewed by: Kevin Crust
    40
    Aside from a couple of rescue set pieces that bookend it, the film is strictly low-wattage in terms of action.
  18. 38
    A movie like this is harmless, I suppose, except for the celluloid that was killed in the process of its manufacture, but as an entertainment, it will send the kids tiptoeing through the multiplex to sneak into "Spider-Man 2."
  19. 38
    Beautiful Brit actress Sophia Myles ("From Hell") is so arch, canny and amusing as the posh, pink-obsessed spy Lady Penelope, it's as if she is acting in the movie this should have been.
  20. 38
    Watching a misfire like Thunderbirds illustrates how impressive the "Spy Kids" movies are.
  21. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    30
    Kids of all sizes and genders are going to be disappointed.
  22. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    30
    As the dapper Lady Penelope, Sophia Myles tries to infuse the enterprise with some "Charlie's Angels" verve, but she's only one life vest, and the movie is a downed plane.
  23. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    30
    This live-action feature actually has less of a pulse than the puppet version.
  24. The action is snappy and quick, but why does this youth-targeted adventure pit white male heroes against a trio of villains comprising a black man, an Asian man, and an ugly woman?
  25. Not only achingly dull, it has no respect for its origins.
  26. 20
    With its eye-popping color palette and surreal sense of ever-heightening melodrama, Thunderbirds comes across as "Spy Kids'" poorer British cousin.
  27. Reviewed by: Alan Niester
    0
    Simply put, this is a bad, bad film, this summer's answer to last summer's "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman." A dog for the dog days of summer.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Maddie
    Sep 27, 2005
    10
    I thought this was a fantastic film. It was so cool. The theme tune by Busted (I have to admit, I'm a fan) was "F.A.B." and I've been trying to find it on C.D. for ages! Full Review »