Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 29
  2. Negative: 12 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    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.
  2. A fun afternoon for preteen moviegoers that has just enough charm, humor and game- for-anything actors to keep parents halfway interested as well.
  3. 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. 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. 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: David Rooney
    The story rarely gets fired up to "maximum thrust," to use the rocket-speed parlance of its heroes.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Fun at times and tedious at others, it's an action-adventure fantasy aimed particularly at gadget-loving boys.
  13. 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. Making a live-action version of Thunderbirds is like rounding out the edges on a Picasso painting to render it more realistic.
  15. 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.
  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. 40
    Aside from a couple of rescue set pieces that bookend it, the film is strictly low-wattage in terms of action.
  18. 38
    Watching a misfire like Thunderbirds illustrates how impressive the "Spy Kids" movies are.
  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
    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."
  21. 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.
  22. This live-action feature actually has less of a pulse than the puppet version.
  23. 30
    Kids of all sizes and genders are going to be disappointed.
  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. 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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. May 8, 2015
    I saw the original thunderbird puppets and this movie. I cannot call myself a hardcore fan, but that is not really required to comment on theI saw the original thunderbird puppets and this movie. I cannot call myself a hardcore fan, but that is not really required to comment on the movie.

    The movie is on itself nicely made. The special effects, the cars, etc are good. The acting is good, like Milady Penelope her acting. A English lady with style and can dish out a punch when required.
    The movie has tasteful jokes.

    If you like movies and do not require a huge dose of violence, but a movie that is enjoying and can be watched by the younger audience, have a look.
    Full Review »
  2. Maddie
    Sep 27, 2005
    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 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 »