Transcendence

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 329 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 329
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  1. 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 youThe 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
  2. 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 twoGreat 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
  3. Sep 5, 2014
    6
    This one got a bad wrap from critics. I thought it addressed very interesting points on developing society and its reliance on technology. That being said the ideas and plot were also backed by some solid acting. I wasn't sure what to expect out of Johnny Depp but at the least he is capable of providing solid movies without them needing to be in an alternate dimension or just a veryThis one got a bad wrap from critics. I thought it addressed very interesting points on developing society and its reliance on technology. That being said the ideas and plot were also backed by some solid acting. I wasn't sure what to expect out of Johnny Depp but at the least he is capable of providing solid movies without them needing to be in an alternate dimension or just a very twisted and wacky world. Bit odd how I'm saying that about this movie but I think in this day and age the sky is the limit. Who knows what we will be able to do 10 years down the line with a computer. Sure, its a tired story line in most cases. But I think this is one of the best if not the best in the technology threatening humans type movies. Better than Eagle Eye for sure. Definitely worth a watch. Expand
  4. Nov 13, 2014
    5
    "Transcendence" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: It is an interesting concept and is an idea that keeps your interest for the balance of the film. The cast is good and chock full of people (Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy) I personally enjoy watching. Halfway through, the film becomes exceptional and seems to be heading in an amazing
    "Transcendence" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: It is an interesting concept and is an idea that keeps your interest for the balance of the film. The cast is good and chock full of people (Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy) I personally enjoy watching. Halfway through, the film becomes exceptional and seems to be heading in an amazing direction.

    The Bad: Sadly, it all falls apart and becomes somewhat silly. As the lead character "transcends", he becomes capable of things that are more than a little far-fetched. They just went about five steps too far. The ending was also not overly satisfying.
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  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 aTranscendence 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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-
  10. 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
  11. 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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  12. 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.
  13. 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 ... :(
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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"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
  20. Sep 6, 2014
    6
    I'd basically echo the sentiments of most others who rated this betw 5 and 7. But let me add that a sci-fi premise like this can't be properly expressed in a 2hr span. There are WAY too many character and plot development compromises that have to be made and that's why so many of us were disappointed. This topic would be best served via television mini-series, maybe 6-eps. And this isn'tI'd basically echo the sentiments of most others who rated this betw 5 and 7. But let me add that a sci-fi premise like this can't be properly expressed in a 2hr span. There are WAY too many character and plot development compromises that have to be made and that's why so many of us were disappointed. This topic would be best served via television mini-series, maybe 6-eps. And this isn't the only time such a poor presentation decision has been made; it happens all the time unfortunately: Divergent, Her, and Noah come to mind as those that should've been TV mini-series vs film. Expand
  21. 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
    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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  22. Dec 10, 2014
    6
    This movie is just like some 90s B-class fiction, while the core story is nice, it lacks logic sometimes. The great cast is combined with overall boringness and blandness. This movie could be good, but it isn't.
  23. Sep 8, 2014
    6
    If anything, I really love the idea behind this movie. It's just a shame it barely even scratches the surface of what it could do with its premise.

    Aside from Depp and Bettany, none of the other cast are really that remarkable. Even Freeman feels tacked on and completely needless. Probably cast just to get a big name up on the poster. The story really drags at first but once it does
    If anything, I really love the idea behind this movie. It's just a shame it barely even scratches the surface of what it could do with its premise.

    Aside from Depp and Bettany, none of the other cast are really that remarkable. Even Freeman feels tacked on and completely needless. Probably cast just to get a big name up on the poster.

    The story really drags at first but once it does start kicking into gear, it feels a bit formulaic and predictable. I will give the writers credit for taking a pacifistic approach to the subject material. Far too many Terminator and Space Odyssey wannabes.

    I will not fault the effects as they are pretty damn cool most of the times. But then again a bit lazy at others.

    Overall:
    Transcendence is by no means a bad movie or disappointing. The best word I could use to sum it up: Underwhelming.
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  24. Jun 12, 2015
    4
    Visualmente bueno, pero no deja de ser una mala y aburrida película, y el final como de costumbre predecible, ¿en que momento Johnny Depp dejó de ser trascendente?
  25. 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.
  26. Jan 27, 2015
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Johnny Depp plays a intelligent scientist who is trying to make technology better, he and his wife Evelyn advance AI (basically they are trying to make technology better, then they all of a sudden make a break through), when Will Caster is at the university talking to the people in the auditorium, he basically describes what he is trying to do with internet/technology also he describes " Transcendence" then something happens to a lab (which morgan freeman was in the lab). Then caster gets shoot! by someone who is part of Kate Mara's group then his consciousness gets put in a hard drive in one program, then extinction and the world at stake! including extinction; Rebeca hall ( Caster's wife) after she programs Will , Kate Mara's group tries to go after Evelyn cause they hate Caster's ideas, and when Evelyn takes off with Will into a small town that has a science lab. When Caster is in the program he controls way way way way way way to much that goes behind our universe that's what Kate Mara was trying to stop. Director Wally Pfister (cinematographer of Christopher Nolan since Momento, Insomnia, Dark Knight, Inception), his first directorial debut is this "thing." Pfister has the potential of showing majestic cinematography and significant effects. But the way he visualizes characters is pathetic and uninteresting like Morgan Freeman or Cillian Murphy. Screenwriter Jack Paglen has described something that does not make sense story, but the story is entertaining it's magnificent. Rebeca Hall's character is so idiotic that's why this movie is stupid. Grade B- Expand
  27. chw
    Aug 21, 2014
    5
    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.
  28. Oct 14, 2014
    6
    A movie that have an interesting proposal and a well-constructed script with some very good performances from Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany. A good proffer for the genre of Sci-Fi. (63 - 100)
  29. Dec 9, 2014
    5
    Transcendence is a sappy, uninteresting sci-fi that fails to hit on any of its enticing themes. A smart premise, filled with psychological, paranoia-inducing themes, results in a slow, dragging narrative that survives on the unique visual style of director Wally Pfister. Even the dialogue and script are incredibly boring for such an appealing premise.

    The characters are less than
    Transcendence is a sappy, uninteresting sci-fi that fails to hit on any of its enticing themes. A smart premise, filled with psychological, paranoia-inducing themes, results in a slow, dragging narrative that survives on the unique visual style of director Wally Pfister. Even the dialogue and script are incredibly boring for such an appealing premise.

    The characters are less than memorable, which is not the fault of the cast who all deliver decent performances, particularly Rebecca Hall. The film attempts to survive on the appeal of Johnny Depp, but not even he can help carry a story this dull. In the end this movie had the potential to be great, but results in a lacklustre, sappy narrative. Transcendence will be remembered as the film when Johnny Depp skyped in his performance.
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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.