User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 221 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 221

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  1. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    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. Expand
  2. Apr 17, 2014
    3
    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.
  3. Apr 17, 2014
    5
    The first half of the film is interesting, and even when the crisis hits, it doesn't go off the rails like so many other films of this type have done. But it really does not know where to go in the final third. The end is highly "blah." Is it worth seeing? Sure. But not something you've got to rush out to see.
  4. Apr 22, 2014
    9
    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.

    THE GOOD:
    -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)

    ELABORATION (¡SPOILERS!):
    -Jargon: "It's based on my code, so I can hack it."
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  5. Apr 18, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is one of the better movies I have seen in years, Don't listen to those negative reviews if you like any science fiction. This movie has great characters the story is very good and its not at all cheesy.
    People might think its cheesy with what seems to be nano particles floating in the air with nano machines which is actually completely possible. This movie makes you question "are you... you?" when you make a copy of yourself is it really still you or a copy and is that not actually you in the first place.
    Plot holes are pretty limited in this movie the only ones I can think of are EMP'S would have been the weapon of choice and even an ai can't break cryptography so people should have been still alright from his influence.
    It does some respect to the whole concept of the "singularity" which is based in reality and people seem to think something like this is not possible when in reality we are heading towards it everyday.

    Also if he was himself how come he took over other peoples body's if it was him he would have known its morally wrong also couldn't he have made a copy of himself and disconnect but still he should be a human right why did he die?

    Regardless this movie was great.
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  6. Apr 18, 2014
    5
    Transcendence was a beautiful movie but its poor script and direction held it down. I was very excited about this movie, I REALLY was. And when the first half kicked in, I was very intrested in Transcendence's ideas and story. But the second half feels rushed and it really gives you a migrane while watching, Johnny Depp is really good in this movie. First Time director- Wally Pfister did a horrible job of balancing characters in the movie, Jack was your typical movie scientist, nothing new. Well, I was disappointed but atleast the fresh story and the acting was good. One time watch for even Depp fans. Expand
  7. Apr 18, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really enjoyed this movie. There is a deep underlying love story going on underneath all the sci-fi elements that has been exposed in the trailers. The beginning literally starts off with a bang and doesn't let go. The ending had me floored for hours after thinking about it. When you have a goal or a vision, sometimes the path you take to get there is not the way you originally planned it out to be. Excellent movie. "Transcendence" definitely transcended into my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Expand
  8. Apr 21, 2014
    9
    One can only enjoy this movie with the mindset. This is not an action movie. This is not an adventure movie. This is not a hack and slash and explosion movie. The actions are only cosmetic and added only as an afterthought.

    This is a movie that dramatize the problems faced in philosophy of mind: does that which behaves as if it has consciousness indeed has consciousness? This is a movie
    that envision the fulfillment of the promise of science to modern man: salvation through technology.

    It is sad to read reviews debasing this movie based on 'horrible action sequences'.
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  9. Apr 18, 2014
    5
    Transcendence is nice with its stunning visuals and complex stories and all, but I can see through it. The truth is that it's a quirky, peculiar movie that acts like its plot is complex, but never fully explains it. Also, sometimes the movie hard for us to understand. "We fear what we don't understand" says Depp. Well, I guess he's trying to make us all fear Transcendence.
  10. Apr 27, 2014
    10
    I dont understand the critic. For me the movie was quite good (although there were some little logical gaps). But in comparising to other filmes in cinema this one is really good !
  11. Apr 21, 2014
    9
    I think this was an excellent film. I went for two reasons. The cast was interesting (and didn’t disappoint), and some critics I trust (most of the time) came in late in the review cycle with “green” level reviews. This movie was neither mindless action nor space opera. It had ideas, which were worked out in a coherent way. My friends and I debated these ideas within the context of the film long after the film was over. But even though it had ideas, this was not a boring film. I fall asleep easily at the movies, even when I have had a good night’s sleep, and this movie held my attention on all levels – ideas and story – throughout. Maybe this film will turn out to be an “Alien” – a movie a lot of critics hated when it debuted (including Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert), but came to consider a classic many years later. I don’t think Transcendence is as great or as original as Alien, but it is a film that should have gotten better reviews than it did and I hope will gain more appreciation in the future. Expand
  12. Apr 20, 2014
    7
    This is a mentally engaging film, not too profound, but enough to make you think about what could happen in a world where humans and computer technology are no longer separate entities. It would be the virtual end of our existence as free willed creatures, and that freedom is compromised more every passing day with the reliance on the internet for far far too much. We are sacrificing privacy and freedom for technology, and probably already have.
    The movie raises more questions than answers, and gives us just one scenario of what could happen. Depp plays a brilliant computer specialist who, shortly before his mortal death from a poisoned bullet, is successful with the help of his wife in uploading his mind and essence into a computer and then linked up to the internet, with very disturbing results.
    His acting is its usual weird soft spoken self, and the cast is a fine supporting cast, including Morgan Freeman. There are things in the film I seriously doubt could happen, but nobody knows for sure what the future holds, so the script's guess is as good as anybody's.
    What is more frightening is the realization that mind control is nothing new, and the vast majority of humanity surrender themselves to said manipulation as they have for their entire existence. Religion is the main culprit, and I could go on forever about that, but politics, social settings, upbringing and the herd mentality that insists we buy the latest fashions, like the same style of dress, music or whatever because everybody around us does are also effective in reducing the independent thinking of most people, and they don't even think about it.
    So, the movie is a good movie in that it does make you think a little bit about our fate and how delicate the balance is between total technology and human emotion and freedom. The enemies of free speech and thought are out there and always have been. It will only get worse, and perhaps a movie about societal capitulation to one or more of these causes would make one think even more. It's not Depp's finest work, and it won't replace a film like "The Matrix" any time soon, but it is worth checking out.
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  13. Apr 18, 2014
    7
    if somebody is much more aware about the present neurology and possibilities towards A.I with that,,, such person really get interested in this flick.....
    Expect for a better movie , if you know something, about future possibilities with current aspect.
  14. Apr 22, 2014
    10
    This film is quite bold, but not to a fault as the "journalists" would have you believe. Its boldness is found mostly in its subject matter and its ALMOST incomprehensibly-deep questioning of what it means to be self-aware. Sure, the movie is daring and isn't straight forward with its motives, but that's what makes a movie more than just changing pictures like a flip-book. When I read the "pro critic" reviews I can't help but feel disheartened at their calling their dislike a result of their incomprehension of the plot points of the movie. While I understand it is an opinion, I also understand that a rational mind does not take one look at something nontrivial and treat it as such. This film, like any great story, leaves deep-seated thoughts that keep you thinking long after the film. Perhaps they are "pro critics" for a reason. After all, they say it doesn't take half a mind to judge but a whole mind not to. Expand
  15. Apr 30, 2014
    10
    This has to be one of the most maligned and misunderstood films to come along in a very long time. This film is two things 1. A love story. 2. A cautionary tale of human mistrust and irrational fear. When you combine these two things, as ever, you have a tragedy. A sad tale of greatness just out of reach due to the ignorance of man yet to be "Transcended". Brilliant piece of cinema.
  16. Apr 17, 2014
    3
    A bloated and boring mess that tries to shove too many bland and puerile ideas through a syphon as narrow as the mind of its screenwriter(s).
    It is not new nor rare that scientists are almost always presented as a mad lot who single-handedly want to take on the world or mold it to their perpetually selfish designs, nor anything new about artists (used loosely in this case) attempting to
    tell audiences of their fears that humans are trying to cross some line only meant for some gods to be treded on. This film is no different, specially on that last thing, only a lot more ham-handed in its urgency to do so by having Dr. Depp say it with the calmest of aplombs, "Do not all scientists aspire to create their own gods?" (paraphrasing the crap) to zero discomfitance from anyone in an audience supposedly made of university students and other fellow scientists in the hall.
    So all of that is normal so far. What is deeply weird is that it also treats as extremists and lunatics the group that opposes the advancements in the technology Dr. Depp is spear-heading, or any person that joins them later on the film for whatever flimsy or implausible reasons (don't bother trying to keep track of where or why allegiances are made or broken, it will only destroy neurons you may prefer to preserve). This could've been the intention of the filmmakers, attempting either a statement that all actions in such a topic live in a grey area or simply as a "surpise" twist device. Whatever the real reason it hardly makes it any better handled.
    The story, although as painfully simple as the lack of understanding of its subject matter renders it to be, is convoluted beyond repair and made utterly impregnable by the enormous amount of cringe-worthy childish ideas and fears it wants to cram in its (cruelly long) duration.
    The cast is wonderful. Any of the main participants is of stature enough to be able to provide some redeeming qualities to almost any bad film, by her/himself. But not even the presence of 5 highly accomplished thespians could accomplish such a gargantuan proposition. The result is something like the delivery of Nachos by a cordon blue cook, those will be the best Nachos ever served but they will still be junk-food.
    I will not bother any one with further examination of the myriad singularity-level plot holes, the sad immaturity of dialogues, topic-handling or character motivations, because the core point of this superficial comment on the film can be summarized with the few next words: Do not bother.
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  17. Apr 22, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Transcendence is a movie thats about making a change, whether that be in a person or with the world. Although i thought that the movie took its pace pretty slowly, but defiantly surely. It shows the connection and love between the two main characters throughout the film who share a love and connection for science and for each other it really makes you care for said characters. It's By the end of the movie, you felt really sad about how much Will really cares for Evelyn, and i felt that the fact that he would do anything for her really shows that. Expand
  18. Apr 18, 2014
    1
    After my screening, I pondered on Facebook if this film is “Showgirls bad” or “SyFy Channel (with a bigger FX budget) bad.” I have to go with the former because SyFy Channel productions, at least those of late (I’m talking about you, Sharknado), strive for so-bad-they’re-fun status. Showgirls, however, takes itself seriously and has since become what it has become. That’s what Transcendence is, and only time will tell if it becomes the Showgirls of its time and genre. Until then, it is nothing more than a throwback to a simpler technological time: 1980s direct-to-VHS schlock. Expand
  19. Apr 30, 2014
    4
    I felt this movie was just ridiculous on every level. The plot had more holes than Swiss cheese and was too far from any hope of reality to begin to be believable. I thought the acting was good and it was not boring, but that is all the good I can say of it!
  20. Aug 6, 2014
    5
    The film has some good ideas but they are executed poorly with the film not doing anything interesting with them. The film is empty with a generic story, thin characters, and is drawn out. There are some nice effects and camera work but that’s not enough for me to recommend this movie. As it is, Trascendence is boring and a snorefest. Bring a blanket and a pillow for this one it’ll put you right to sleep. This movie certainly didn’t “transcend” my expectations for it and I doubt it will “transcend” yours. Expand
  21. Apr 22, 2014
    4
    Johnny Depp plays an Artificial Intelligence researcher, who becomes his own experiment. While it starts with an interesting premise, the whole thing quickly deteriorates into a lot of talk and drama. Some of the futuristic tech is cool, but there are limited special effects and even less action. A disappointment.
  22. May 3, 2014
    8
    Every Sci-Fi movie can be better, of course, but if you grew up on the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits? If you like M. Night Shyamalan films? You'll enjoy this.
  23. Apr 27, 2014
    1
    This is easily the worst sic-fi film i've seen in the past few years. The plot and story are not only confusing, but horribly boring and could put me to sleep with ease. While the casting was solid, the acting was a different story. Depp, Freeman, and Hall all are great actors in their own ways, but their dialogue in this film was stale and showed the worst of them. The movie tried to be like "inception," but ultimately felt like a poorly told version of "Now You See Me." Illogical, boring, and the epitome of a poorly directed sci-fi film. Expand
  24. Apr 17, 2014
    3
    Why weren't you good, Transcendence. I was somewhat looking forward to this movie. Initially, I was very excited, but then the reviews came out and my excitement was stifled. Still, I had faith. This movie is very well shot, with a few really unique editing tricks thrown into the mix. Sadly, that's about all I can praise it for. The plot is dull and really just painfully boring, the acting is pretty stilted actually, which is surprising for Johnny Depp. Overall this was just a huge waste of potential. Expand
  25. May 5, 2014
    7
    This movie is not meant to be a standard shoot and drool movie it was meant to be thought provoking . Cosmos with more of a focus on human emotions unlike Inception which mainly focused on gun-play and interesting visuals.
  26. Apr 22, 2014
    5
    Batman Beyond did an episode like this something like 15 years ago. I would watch that instead. Actually, do yourself a favor and just go watch the whole show. I think it's still on Netflix.
  27. Apr 21, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just saw Transcendence tonight and really enjoyed it. It'll probably do poorly in the box office, following suit with other clever sci-fi movies like The Matrix, because critics and movie goers fail to comprehend and therefore appreciate it first time around. There are some very profound messages in this movie, which includes many biblical references, the end being analogous to the creation story, when humanity rejects God's love and is cast out of the garden of Eden, which is where Rebecca Hall and Jonny Depp's characters end up in the end (the sanctuary), which could raise questions to whether or not this cycle has occurred already or not, when technology reaches the point where total harmony is produced, but is then rejected by us due to our fear of the unknown. The movie will probably take a few viewings to fully appreciate. I am not religious by the way. Expand
  28. Apr 23, 2014
    8
    The acting was good. The movie exercises the mind philosophically, plus makes viewers sympathize with the characters and reasoning behind their beliefs. This movie should not be rated less than a 7 out of 10 and to be quite frank, is one of the few better movies in theaters over the past few months outside of some obvious "high-end" blockbusters that you may have not seen yet. A blockbuster like Captain America: The Winter Soldier in theaters now of course wouldn't compare, but I could definitely say Transcendence is 2nd best to it unless you're into the likes of Disney's Rio movie. Expand
  29. Apr 28, 2014
    7
    Wally Pfister is a great director and is well known for his work with Nolan in the batman series, But does his first movie form the caped crusader a hit....... well sorta of. Transcendence writer Jack Paglen does a great job of writing a unique interesting story while the other actors like Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, and Rebecca Hall help the viewer really connect with the struggles and problems of the plot. That is until the second half of the movie comes around, this is the part that really just lost me.The story just seems to get a little convoluted and a lot of the major plot points were terribly and easily seen before they were even reveled. The story still kept me waiting to see what would happen next but the ending was very bland and was a sorta "well duh, saw that coming form a mile away" ending. Even though this might not be up to the regular standards of director Wally Pfister but its one that you might, want to check out. Expand
  30. May 13, 2014
    10
    Okay I really like this movie, in fact it's one of the if not THE best Johnny Depp movie I've ever watched if you don't count Pirates of The Caribbean. EPICNESS
  31. Jun 21, 2014
    10
    Again thanks for the people that believe in this story, it shows that technology is not artificial, if we humans are organic and from this world, why the technology we create should not be organic and natural, people that meditate is getting connected to the hole cosmos, even the Nobel prize, deepak chopra has demonstrated with physics that ideas are energy, I know common people won't understand this movie like the fight club in its beginning, now in the top ten of imdb, but try to go further in your thinking and feelings... Expand
  32. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    a human can possibly love someone this much.. i mean, infinity, countless and also ..Blind Minded.
    i love the storyline, critics is thing we needed to make anything better.. but, the fact that most people hated this movie, this makes me hate people more ..
    And Also ...
    "How far would you go to save the one you love?"
  33. Jul 30, 2014
    7
    I can't understand critics. Transcendence doesn't deserve so much hate that comes towards it. It's really god. It's great, if you compare it with some "seks tabez" or "trancfunkers". Yeah, it's not so perfect as i expected, unfortunately...
  34. Jul 31, 2014
    3
    A few weeks ago, I attended an early screening of the new Johnny Depp film "Transcendence" and was sworn to secrecy, until now. To a point, the logic and empirical formula of how technology relays information is powerful. We have all asked ourselves the questions of our downfall. These questions are never really asked in the film, but provide an intriguing look at a movie we have seen about three dozen times.
    Whether it's "The Lawnmower Man" or "I Robot", when it comes down to the nitty gritty. Aside from the great cinematography and the visual authenticity, that first-time director Wally Pfister brings to the table. The film "Transcendence" is nothing special. Johnny Depp turns in a mockery of a performance, the man is scrutinizing and scowling on a computer screen the whole movie. Hardly ever do we actually see him move around. The material is muddled and sloppy at best. I find it hard to ask the tough bearing questions, if you have no idea what's going on. Not only that, but "Transcendence" moves at about a snail pace. Running a much longer than needed 130 mins, and the build up to the finale is nothing you really care about.

    "Yesterday, Dr Will Caster, was only human" reads the gigantic poster. Will Caster (Depp) is a hardcore researcher in the field of artificial intelligence. Working diligently to create a stable machine that can combine human emotions with everything in the world. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous. But have also made him the target of extremist terrorist group known as "RIFT". After Will is attacked with a bullet laced with radiation poisoning. Will, inadvertently becomes his own participant into transcendence. Uploading his mind and subconscious into the world. HIs wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Peters (Paul Bettany) don't begun to realize, that Will's hunger for knowledge, quickly becomes a thirst for power.

    Honestly, what could be better than Johnny Depp on the internet? everything. You're taking an astounding actor, with so much capability and talent, and sticking him on a computer screen for 80% of the film. That to me, is just pointless. The character of Will Caster is such a waste of potential. We could ideally learn so much more about him, which is also another downfall of this film. The relationship between Will Caster and his wife Evelyn are never really discussed upon. Sure, we know their feelings and deep love for each other, at times I found that hard to believe. The one bright spot has to be long time cinematographer Wally Pfister, whose work includes all the Dark Knight trilogy for Chris Nolan. The shots are pretty much all there, I mean the look and creativity is genuine. However, the elements of Sci-Fi drip into the overzealousness of an unbearable romantic subplot, and mild acting capabilities.

    "Transcendence" is a movie you want to like. A fictional film that is supposed to be an escapade that can provoke our thought process. Well sometimes it just doesn't happen. I tried to find some illuminating bright spots within the film's core. But deep down, it's all a convoluted mess. That needs to be unraveled before we can truly dissect it. Leading to an effortless conclusion that seemed rushed and uninspired. If you're a huge sci-fi junkie than perhaps you can understand the essence this film is trying to move. For any casual moviegoer, paying upwards of $10 a movie ticket, tread lightly.

    D+

    By: Nate Adams

    Rated: PG13
    Directed By: Wally Pfister
    Studio: Warner Bros.
    Release Date: April 18th 2014
    Run-Time: 130 mins

    Thanks For Stopping Buy.
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  35. Jun 11, 2014
    10
    I think that the majority of people really did not understand this film at all. I get it, This film wasn't a warning against the evils of overzealous technology. It is a warning against fearful, regressive, overzealous, violent, ignorant humans, and how they destroyed their own salvation. It is a warning against going back to the dark ages because of our fears of things that we don't understand. It is a warning against all regressive ideals. Against religion, against fear, against ignorance. Expand
  36. Jul 10, 2014
    0
    I think the most disappointing thing about the film is how freaking anti-climactic it is. Despite an interesting enough plot, You have no emotional investment in this film what so ever. You don't give a crap about the characters because they just go through the motions and there is no real back story to them at all. It's just a painfully straight forward plot that goes through the motions. That's why it's such a disappointing film, So much wasted potential. Expand
  37. Jul 13, 2014
    8
    The story bluffs its way through a lot and the characters would blow away in a breeze, but Transcendence is actually a very fun and interesting sci-fi. Sure, it has absurd bits and uses jargon to fake its credibility, but this still stands as a good piece of sci-fi.
  38. Jul 8, 2014
    3
    Transcendence is completely incomprehensible with a pace that will put you to sleep. No humor, bland acting make for one serious flawed film that offers nothing but heavy eyelids.
  39. Apr 18, 2014
    2
    If ever there was a movie made for IT nerds this is it and if you have to ask what IT is, like I had to, this is not a movie for you. Did I follow the movie? To a certain degree. Is it an easy movie to follow? Not the technical aspects but it being sci-fi you know there will be barren cities and a lot of special effects.

    "Gravity" was special because of the new special effects the
    director brought to the screen but Wally Pfister, in his first movie as a director, doesn't bring anything new in that sense. Johnny Depp is basically reduced to a talking head on a computer screen. Near the beginning of the film he is a top dying computer genius who has been experimenting with an afterlife of making a digital life with the personality, brain and emotions of a human being. He uses his dying to prove the theories that he and his wife, Evelyn, played by Rebecca Hall, have been working on for years.

    I won't go any more into the story as it involves many people who have been shot, knifed or in one or another dying who are not only put back together whole but show Marvel comic book hero strength and powers but the latter is not really a major part of the story or the sci-fi. There are twists and turns that really are meaningless.

    Paul Bittany, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Kate Mara, along with the rest of cast, do a professional job with only Rebecca Hall having a chance to act. Johnny Depp, pardon the pun, calls his performance in. There is no drama, a lame ending with, if you are paying attention, the beginning of the film giving it away.

    Instead of seeing "Transcendence" spend your two hour movie time with seeing "Draft Day" a film without special effects, excellent acting and a plot that will pull you in and pays off.
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  40. May 14, 2014
    8
    It would be difficult for any movie to live up to the premise of Transcendence. Even as a novel the concept would struggle, for without conflict there is no story, and "Man dies, takes over internet, and turns the world into a great place for everyone," just won't cut it. So I wasn't surprised when the movie was more Frankenstein, Swarm, scientists-create-zombie than a science fiction masterpiece. However, there was some fine acting, interesting character development, and foreshadowing, and the ending almost does manage to transcend its limitations. Expand
  41. Jul 1, 2014
    4
    This film had a good story and some great actors, but it didn't reach out to all the potential. The main problems here are, to me, the dumb dialogue (which is filled with probably misused technical terms to make it sound smart) and the focusing, in the plot, on uninteresting folds of the matter, such as the conflict between Depp and Rebecca Hall, and the righteousness of the terrorist organisation. I think it would have been a more interesting film if it had focused more on the skills of the machine, maybe expanding its healing power to the outer world, rather than have it closed in an underground laboratory.

    The cinematography and the special effects are good, and, for once, they're not the main feature of a sci-fi. There are some glorious visual moments, like the solar panel field. The acting is fine, even if by now we are used to a more eclectic Johnny Depp. As I said, the dialogue and the plot are the main failures here. Too bad they count so much.
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  42. Jul 22, 2014
    6
    Well it's worth a watch it does leave a lot to be desired. The cast is top notch and for the most part they live up to their talent but the story just fails to make it better then okay. B-
  43. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    Realistically, I would score this movie anywhere between a 7.5 and 8.0. For comparison sake, I've scored 'Her' 9.0-9.5

    It's a great movie. The movie touches on very real scenarios. Coming from a computer science background, I assure you, scenarios like these will not always remain science fiction.

    Like 'Her', Transcendence also attempts to break the misapprehension that artificial
    intelligence is intrinsically malevolent. Humans are arrogant, and foolish. By that I refer to the innate need to glorify the human brain whilst simultaneously/illogically denying the simple fact that human biology is not the only path to sentience. To conciousness, self awareness, emotion, intelligence. There's nothing inherently special about the human brain that couldn't be replicated in other mediums, including digitally.

    The movie also features superb acting and great visual effects.
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  44. Jul 21, 2014
    10
    Another great Sci-Fi film to add to my favourites; it has a brilliant ensemble cast, this writer, Jack Paglen obviously knows technology, and futurology, and he almost made believe nanotech can be possible irl. the story was fairly simple and not too complex. I love the very last scene, it made me cry happy tears.
  45. Apr 21, 2014
    6
    Having a fantastic cast and interesting plot, Transcendence couldn't live up to it's own standards! The whole premise of the movie is intriguing. Rebecca Hall delivered the best acting of her career! Unfortunately the questions posted by the plot wasn't properly answered! Overall - it's above average
  46. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    The fact that "Sci-fi" movies like 'The Avengers' and 'Captain America' get better ratings shows how under-developed the human mind is. Somehow, Hulk smashing imaginary aliens from another world is more meaningful than how humans fear that they do not understand. There is a lot you can learn about how pathetic the average human behaviour is from the movie. Highly recommended!
  47. May 25, 2014
    4
    You know after watching the teaser trailers for this movie i was really excited to watch it. The concept seemed pretty cool and it had a likable cast but after they started to release the full trailers for the film my excitement dwindled severely. Even though i knew the movie wasn't all that great after reading some of early reviews for it i still went a seen it because i was going with some friends. Honestly though i wasn't expecting the movie to be that boring i was starting to fall asleep half way through its a good thing the movie was only 2 hours long or else im sure i would have passed out.

    Seeing that this is both the director and writers debut i guess this was to be expected but i don't understand why the studio went this way. Sure the directing was decent that i could live with but the script was beyond crap why the studio chose this guy is just beyond me and i'm glad the movie bomb at the box office. Im done watching Johnny Depp movies his last watchable film was Public Enemies and that is 5 years old now and his past 2 films have been complete crap. I wouldn't recommend anyone watching this movie but i know there are those people that "have to watch any new Johnny Depp movie no matter how bad it is".

    Overall i give it a 4.0
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  48. Jul 14, 2014
    7
    Confusing yet intriguing, ace cinematographer Wally Pfister's Transcendence is not quite as good as one would expect, but does offer some level of enjoyment.
  49. May 27, 2014
    3
    Transcendence tries too hard to be a thought provoking techno thriller but gets entangled with itself due to its confusing plot, lack of characterization and slow pacing.
  50. Aug 2, 2014
    4
    Three things really surprise me--1) at one point Transcendence's "screenplay was part of what is known as the Black List, a list of popular but unproduced screenplays in Hollywood." 2) Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman are all characters in the film. 3) Christopher Nolan served as executive producer on the film.

    Why do all these
    things surprise me? Because despite all this, I feel the move ultimately isn't very good. The ideas and concepts of: a almost post-apocalyptic Dystopian world not being able to rely on technology (due to the events at the end of the film); of "the singularity" and "Transcendence"; of radical terrorist "Anti-Technology" groups such as R.I.F.T; of uploading one's consciousness onto a computer or online; of extremely advanced A.I or Artificial Intelligence; of groundbreaking advancements in the fields of medicine, energy, biology and nanotechnology; and the idea of a technological Utopian civilization--all these concepts and ideas (featured in this film) are very interesting but most are not used to the fullest. These ideas and the entire film itself had lots of potential but it wasn't used. I feel this film really could have been as special as The Matrix or Inception, but it wasn't.

    The movie was filled with some star-power. But IMO no one is memorable or relatable. I really liked Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in 2013's "The Lone Ranger", and Depp in “Alice In Wonderland”. But here Johnny Depp is mostly quiet and speaks few lines when in good health, quiet and unsettling when in bad health, and reduced to a presence on a computer screen for most of the movie. At the conclusion of the film, you can feel for and relate to Dr. Will Caster. But for almost all of the film you really can't. His wife is just a pawn, damsel in distress, nervous wreck…whatever the plot needs her to be. Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy don’t do or say mutch.The rest of the cast is pretty boring and it feels like they are there just for a check or just to have some other recognizable actors to promote this film.

    The movie doesn’t make sense some of the time and worst of all “Transcendence” feels boring and it drags on and on. Ultimately, this was supposed to be an action-vehicle for Johnny Depp—but I think it failed. It had too much focus on nice CGI and visuals plus having bankable stars shoehorned in—and not on a good movie. That might work in some cases, but it didn’t in this film. Poor Johnny Depp. (LOL, I was almost starting to forget how he looked like with all the makeup, CGI, and costumes he uses in his many diverse and strange roles).

    If you liked this review, read my other ones on movies, TV shows, and videogames. I have reviewed the 2014 films Sharknado 2: The Second One, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men Days of Future Past, Godzilla, Blended, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Lego Movie, and more. I am actually still trying to find time for other film reviews, such as Robocop, Non-Stop, Divergent, Need for Speed, The Monuments Men, etc. I also review TV shows, such as: Fox's Sleepy Hollow, ABC's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, CW's The 100, Fox's I Wanna Marry Harry, NBC's Crisis, Fox's Gang Related, TNT’s The Last Ship, and more.

    Good bye! Sincerely, AG732
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  51. May 10, 2014
    10
    I just saw this movie without knowing what I was going to expect and, i have to say, i'm now shocked how this had so many bad ratings in various websites and "experts" in movies. This movie is great, is beautiful, is pure genius. At the end of the movie you'll find yourself thinking about everything really. To me, this is more than Oscar material, this could e the movie of my life, only future will decide it.

    I believe that there are many negative ratings because most people didn't "understand" it, didn't get the feeling that I got after watching the movie.
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  52. May 25, 2014
    4
    This is not worth a trip to the cinema like I did, but maybe worth a watch on a lonely rainy day. It became quite long winded and towards the end I was just waiting for the film to end so I could seek entertainment elsewhere.
  53. Jul 3, 2014
    1
    Big hope from Johnny Depp & Morgan Freeman, but this movie is an fail from start. Have no logical actions in what they want to do. This movie was a big disappointment for me, never want to see much movies like it.
  54. Jul 4, 2014
    4
    This movie fails to bring any answers to the questions that it barely asks. The ridiculous scale of what Will is able to do completely anihilates the credibility of the movie anyway. If the action scenes were well-filmed, it could have been enjoyable. But they're not. And the movie is globally not inventive for a Science Fiction movie.
  55. Jul 13, 2014
    8
    Its now become one of my favorite AI movie. This is not for average movie audience but they will like the same concept if it will shot in "Avenger" style action packed flick. We have seen this concept in few movies before but the writer Jack Paglen sum up it in very classy and subtle manner. Johnny Depp was great like always and the rest of cast also done good job. Visual Effects are OK I think they can do better on this side to attract more audience. Expand
  56. Jul 13, 2014
    3
    Terrible movie, nothing new with this.
    The story doesn't evolve, it's boring and way too long not to mention the highly predictable end.
    Good cast but nothing else, nothing stands out in this one.
  57. Jul 19, 2014
    7
    However it has the one of the best cast, Johny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall. Transcendence is not good enough.
    The movie showed many unnecessary scenes which make it little boring. In my opinion boring Transcendence decreasing its rating. But the novel is the best! If you like it or don't like it, This is good for 21 st century people and we need to understand the movies idea. I
    gave 7 to just the novel. Expand
  58. Aug 5, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The special effects are irreproachable, really amazing. And Johnny Depp is really good in this role ! I liked Morgan Freeman too, he's really a great actor.

    But, on the other hand, some details are disturbing :
    At the beginning, I thought that it was a movie AGAINST new technologies, and the abuses to which they can bring... But, ultimately, we discover that it is, in fact, a pro-technology movie. Okay, it's for the planet's protection, for the environment, for the peace in the world.... But Johnny Depp/computer raised an army of "robots" ; he hid the truth to his wife. Until the last minutes of the movie, the director wants to make us take a stand against this "aberration" and, suddenly : "Whoa, it's wonderful, Johnny Depp was in fact a good small merciless machine !!"
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  59. Aug 22, 2014
    7
    Succeeds thanks to it's strong cast, all of whom give excellent performances. It can be slow-paced at times but poses an interesting look at the our current technological landscape and asks some serious questions about where it's headed. Perhaps the way it's asked it a little hokey at times, and it does fall back on some science-fiction plot cliches, but as a whole I found it very entertaining if flawed. Expand
  60. Aug 29, 2014
    6
    Great concept, great cast, great cinematography..absolutely flat delivery. Transcendence has a great thing going out for it, but first time director Wally Pfister maybe an Oscar caliber Cinematographer, but he is no Christopher Nolan, his mentor. The film fell flat in many occasions, despite its intriguing premise and plot points. The pacing is off...when I checked the time, it's only two hours long, but felt like three. It's clearly a missed opportunity. If only Nolan handled this material directly....than this film would came out differently. Expand
  61. Aug 16, 2014
    5
    A interesting concept on technology and computer AI as well as humanity as a whole, it had an interesting ending.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't really save this movie, it's incredibly slow paced and in some spots overly preachy on topics it attempts to reinforce. Many times I found myself wishing it'd hurry up.

    Johnny Depp doesn't really do a good job playing the role of his character
    and most of the other actors fall a little flat.

    Watchable, but in the end not something I'd want to watch again.
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  62. Aug 14, 2014
    4
    Really pretty boring. All of the elements, concept, actors, production values and yet it came across as lifeless. I would have to put the blame on the director for this film not having an iota of suspense. It takes a bad director to make Johnny Depp come across as flat.
  63. Apr 23, 2014
    2
    Such a terrible movie. The film had no concrete story development and lacked character depth. It was borderline preaching. I understand that in modern society we are consumed by technology and we loose interactions with everyone around us, however, the movie clearly also shows how humans are like machines. They operate in one direct order and no clear understanding of one another. It also doesn't value how some technologies can actually help. Expand
  64. Jul 14, 2014
    6
    "During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." This quote from scripture could elude to a possible idea in this movie coming true some day. The global elites of the world have a dream to live forever transferring their mind and/or make their bodies live forever in a feeble attempt to escape Judgement from God. This movie hits on these concepts of mixing man with machine, and changing your DNA into something other than man. The idea of the mark of the beast could be a micro chip that makes you immune to disease and live a long time, bad side is that it makes you become a half breed, a nephilim, and damned eternally as an abomination to the one true God. Although this later idea isn't addressed by the anti-God Hollywood, many of the ideas in the movie are real ideas and some of it could come into being as it is well funded by the wealthy elites of the world. This movie isn't real great, but it was interesting. Expand
  65. Apr 23, 2014
    3
    The idea behind Transcendence is cool, but the execution is really poor. The idea would probably work better as a tv show or mini-series, but the idea is way too large for a 2 hour movie.
  66. chw
    Aug 21, 2014
    6
    Transcendence was a decent film. It was very intelligent, but at parts, to me it appeared to be quite boring. Either way, you've got to see this movie.
  67. Jun 15, 2014
    0
    A sort of Transcendence did occur
    the kind that winds up me cursing
    at how lamb Johnny Depp films have been since he had kids.
    Can't wait for his plastic enlightenment period to end so the
    guy can get his hands dirty, this script was a joke.
  68. Aug 2, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie managed to give form and shape to the concept of the singularity and highlight the greatest flaw in this scenario. Us. Story wise it's quite straightforward and worryingly understandable. A handful of people decide that their opinion towards technology should be shoved down the entire world's throat and kills nearly all scientists and lab-employee within geographic range. I think this about sums up the start and the cause of the entire story. Grasping at her options, she sees her husband actually managed to upload the mind of a monkey. Just like anyone with a lethal disease reading about the latest breakthrough, she wants it used on her dying husband. Despite resignations her hubby's colleague agrees to help. Freaked out that it worked, he bails. Hubby digitized and shortly after uploaded to the internet hubby soon finds out who killed him. He helps the government find his killers and leads them straight for them. And of course the government doesn't arrests them but instead ask them to help them kill the digitized version of the man they already assassinated wait WHAT? Yeah, they get the blessing of another colleague who by just asking one question knows the digi-husband isn't real. (mental note: do not pretend to be the AI as a jest when digitized) The wife is given the stupid ball in the movie, unable to actually tell her computerized husband if he makes any mistakes. Even when asking her she keeps quiet about what she thinks is wrong. So a regular marriage, and like in any marriage, her unwillingness to open up causes her to leave her husband. Except her husband is a supercomputer powered AI running her husband's mind, and hunted by the government trying to blow it up because nobody elected the AI to run things. So where in normal circumstances the wife would just screw around with another guy, she agrees with the military to have them stick a computer virus in her and then run back to digi-husband and give him a case of raging planetary cyber-std as soon as he tries to upload her. Meanwhile our monitor-bound cyberhubbie built himself a brand new body. Wife comes back, sees her hubby as a self-made man and she waivers... But not very long, no matter how real he makes himself, she made up her mind to screw him over and nothing he can do will change her mind. The explosion propelled shrapnel solidifies her choice as she loses consciousness through blood-loss. His previous doubt about his wife's reasons to come back are put aside when he sees her hurt (so much for Joseph Tagger's assumtion he is just a machine who doesn't love. He is clearly letting in a dangerous element. A conclusion that is confirmed when he tells his backstabbing colleague Max Waters who CLEARLY suffers from Stockholm syndrome that he KNOWS there is a virus and that he either can fight the virus or heal his wife. He heals his wife, wife sees all the **** good he is doing to the planet and realizes he's been actively realizing HER plans with AI tech. Solve all the problems, heal the planet ans all that **** we really like to fix but don't because there is no money to be earned by doing it ourselves. The virus takes hold, every villager he had fixed suddenly are sick again and surprisingly alive (soldiers surprised his 'upgrade' hadn't killed them). So his giant plan to fix the whole planet and humanity stops there and then. In the end paradise is murdered for the low low price of the entire internet. A cost we probably were willing to pay even though nobody asked the world. So in the end it seems that a small part of this paradise exists for just 5 sunflowers and a small puddle of nano-infected water in which we might believe just 2 humans reside inside. We're stuck with a world without electronics. Hurray we won. Great movie. Horrible message. Beware science, we will kill you if you try to fix things too fast. PS: I would pay for a part 2 where we actually manage to make paradise work this time. Expand
  69. Aug 3, 2014
    0
    The movie is great,except the end.Why does it have to end like this,its 21 century,computer is taking a part.I hate movies who ends like this.Sorry for my english,I am from Bosnia and Hercegovina.
  70. Aug 4, 2014
    10
    Transcendence is a great movie. I think the reason behind the bad reviews is the gossip around Johnny Depp. Some big name magazines, etc, usually put bad reviews on every johnny depp movie. I was not disappointed at all during this movie. It kept me up late at night thinking about it. There are some unanswered questions the movie gives you, and it makes you try to come up with the reasons. This movie was definately a bold beautiful performance, with some futuristic twists. It does have some drama, and a lot of action, so if you are into that, you would agree. I recommend it to all viewers. Remember, some bad reviews aren't always true. I suggest watching it earlier in the day, if you don't like staying up all night thinking, though. Expand
Metascore
42

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: David Denby
    Apr 27, 2014
    50
    Transcendence is a muddle; it takes more creative energy than this to catch up to the present. [28 April 2014, p.86]
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Apr 24, 2014
    20
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Amon Warmann
    Apr 24, 2014
    40
    While the core concepts of Transcendence and the questions they pose are inherently interesting, the manner in which the themes are explored feels extremely superficial.