Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 184 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can, but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him. Expand
  • Director: Wally Pfister
  • Genre(s): Action, Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 119 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 45
  2. Negative: 10 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 17, 2014
    100
    Transcendence is a bold, beautiful, sometimes confounding flight of futuristic speculation firmly rooted in the potential of today’s technology.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 18, 2014
    63
    Echoing the lessons learned from "HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey," the message of Transcendence is that computers should not be allowed to become sentient.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 16, 2014
    50
    Pfister, who, like his mentor Nolan, adamantly continues to shoot on film (not digital), shows a sure hand at staging scenes, creating visuals and setting a tone -- if only all the diverse elements here fit comfortably under the same tent.
  4. 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]
  5. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 16, 2014
    40
    While Transcendence has tons of money to spend on unpersuasive digital effects and dronelike music, it shows little interest in exploring the potentially tricky benefits of a computer-enhanced intellect; it’s not even in the enjoyable realm of starkly ridiculous Cold War thrillers like "Colossus: The Forbin" Project.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 17, 2014
    40
    Transcendence is nowhere near as elegant, witty, or insightful as "Her." Pfister and the screenwriter, Jack Paglen, grapple ponderously, sometimes oafishly, with the ethical and philosophical issues at stake in the film’s premise.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 17, 2014
    20
    Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 60
  2. Negative: 14 out of 60
  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. 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. Expand
  3. 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'.
    Expand
  4. 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
  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. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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.
    Expand

See all 60 User Reviews

Trailers