Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 45
  2. Negative: 10 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Henderson
    Apr 17, 2014
    If you programmed an algorithm to figure out how The Lawnmower Man might be retold by Snake Plissken at the conclusion of Escape from L.A., you'd still wind up with a more recognizably human effort.
  2. 38
    This thoughtful but windy and winded sci-fi thriller shortchanges the science – understandably - and the thrills. The directing debut of “Dark Knight” cinematographer Wally Pfister is a mopey affair with indifferent performances, heartless romance and dull action. It transcends nothing.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 17, 2014
    The real trouble with Transcendence is that it just isn’t all that scary — at least not in the way that it wants to be.
  4. Reviewed by: Charlie Schmidlin
    Apr 16, 2014
    Jack Paglen’s script casts artificial intelligence and its dangers as the central trouble for its ensemble cast, but Pfister chooses to explore it in essentially a two-hour “getting ready” montage.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 24, 2014
    All I can cull is: don't mess with Mother Nature and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Fortune-cookie stuff. Erase All.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 17, 2014
    Transcendence is "Her" for dummies.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 16, 2014
    Lethargic direction, bland visuals, credulity-straining plotting and tin-eared dialogue turn even pros like Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany and Morgan Freeman into sleepwalking bores.
  8. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 16, 2014
    A pointless nightmare of pretentious science fiction twaddle with no plot, no coherence and no heart.
  9. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Apr 24, 2014
    Transcendence is the worst, most portentous, and certainly the silliest big-budget science fiction film since the 2008 Keanu Reeves remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 17, 2014
    Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 81
  2. Negative: 18 out of 81
  1. Apr 19, 2014
    I don't understand why everybody is so negative when it comes to Johnny Depp I went into this film with high hopes and it did not disappoint it had what I was looking for a great story with some action and drama as well this film was very interesting to look at with very good visuals and some top notch actors like Morgan Freeman & Cillan Murphy & Paul Bettany comparing such a film like this to others is just plain wrong I found this movie very good 10 out of 10 and one of the most underrated films I've seen this year. Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2014
    Just watch The Lawnmower Man again. It wasn't very good, but it's better than this garbage. Awesome cast, horrible movie. Even the star power of this one can't save it. Full Review »
  3. Apr 22, 2014
    My girlfriend and I were excited to see this movie for different reasons. I'm currently majoring in Computer Science and I've done a lot of research in the field of artificial intelligence, so I love everything relating to the singularity. I also hate it when a movie promises to deliver something that it ends up failing to deliver. Transcendence was a spectacular (although most certainly dramatized) prediction of what will happen when the human mind and computer processing coalesce.

    -Astounding special effects
    -Great cinematography (directed by Wally Pfister)
    -Pretty good acting from the whole cast
    -Morgan Freeman
    -Realism (not to say there weren't a few "come on" moments)

    THE BAD:
    -Mostly minor plot holes
    -Somewhat misused technical vocabulary (to the untrained ear it probably sounded fine)
    -Copper fences don't insulate all electrical signals, which is a pretty major point
    -The ending could have been better (by which I mean more fortunate)

    -Jargon: "It's based on my code, so I can hack it."
    Full Review »