User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 302 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 302

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  1. Sep 3, 2014
    4
    Nothing more than a fable tasteless to hide a message: progress is evil!
    Acting and CGI are ok but the script remain so dumb from the beginning to the end ... :(
  2. 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.
  3. Nov 10, 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
    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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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. Apr 17, 2014
    2
    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
    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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  12. 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.
  13. 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 terroristThis 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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  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 whatAfter 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
  17. 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 beThis 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
  18. 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 actingWhy 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
  19. 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 seenA 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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  20. 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.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
  21. 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 withYou 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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  22. 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.
  23. 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
    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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  24. 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 alsoSuch 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
  25. 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.
  26. Sep 7, 2014
    1
    [RUS] Я только зря потратил деньги, когда пошёл на этот фильм. Это отстой и мусор. И я не догоняю, как в нём мог сняться сам Джонни Депп. Он шутил в Пиратах Карибского Моря, помогал в ковбою в Одиноком рейнджере. Но Превосходство-это просто ужас. Я ожидал расчленения, убийства и поцелуев, а получил фильм про науку и будущее. Одним словом этот фильм отправляется в отстой и я о нём не[RUS] Я только зря потратил деньги, когда пошёл на этот фильм. Это отстой и мусор. И я не догоняю, как в нём мог сняться сам Джонни Депп. Он шутил в Пиратах Карибского Моря, помогал в ковбою в Одиноком рейнджере. Но Превосходство-это просто ужас. Я ожидал расчленения, убийства и поцелуев, а получил фильм про науку и будущее. Одним словом этот фильм отправляется в отстой и я о нём не слышал.
    [ENG]I only wasted money, when he went on this film. It sucks and debris. And I did not catch up, as it could have been shot himself, johnny Depp. He joked in the Pirates of the Caribbean, helped the cowboy in the Lone Ranger. But the Superiority is awful. I was expecting dismemberment, murder and kisses, and received a film about science and the future. In short, this film goes to crap and I never heard of him
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  27. 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.
  28. Aug 30, 2014
    0
    Badly Written!!! Badly Produced!!! I just don't know. JD has never been in such a boring movie. Worst new release I ever paid for. His acting talents are so WASTED in this dead production. JD get it together and feature in something more attuned to your acting abilities. :(
  29. Nov 27, 2014
    1
    One of the most boring and uninteresting movies I've seen in years. I had very high hopes for this movie and I ended up struggling to stay awake within the entire runtime. They waste what could have been the most thought provoking movie of the year, what a disappointment.
  30. Dec 28, 2014
    2
    The one good performance by one of the supporting characters isn't enough to save this boring, bland, uninspired, and plot-hole filled mess of a disappointment.
  31. Feb 21, 2015
    2
    Somehow, not bad. Unfortunately, one has the impression that the film is low budget. I guess this is because the actors (Depp, Freeman) have engulfed most budget. Particularly clearly makes: 8-15 extras. This gives the overall character of The Asylum production. It really am very sorry for the film, he is otherwise rudimentary really good.
    That's what happens when you want to enhance a
    Somehow, not bad. Unfortunately, one has the impression that the film is low budget. I guess this is because the actors (Depp, Freeman) have engulfed most budget. Particularly clearly makes: 8-15 extras. This gives the overall character of The Asylum production. It really am very sorry for the film, he is otherwise rudimentary really good.
    That's what happens when you want to enhance a movie with stars and starlets, but which because of their salaries backfires. Looking good rather ambitious actor do it for 1/5 of the salary (probably still $ 4 million salary). For example, a government sends 3 or 7 soldiers in the face of such a threat is really girlish naive.
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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.