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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 269 Ratings

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  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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: 50 out of 86
  2. Negative: 20 out of 86
  1. Apr 19, 2014
    I don't understand why everybody is so negative when it comes to Johnny Depp I went into this film with high hopes and it did not disappoint it had what I was looking for a great story with some action and drama as well this film was very interesting to look at with very good visuals and some top notch actors like Morgan Freeman & Cillan Murphy & Paul Bettany comparing such a film like this to others is just plain wrong I found this movie very good 10 out of 10 and one of the most underrated films I've seen this year. Expand
  2. Jul 1, 2014
    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! Expand
  3. May 3, 2014
    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. Expand
  4. Apr 21, 2014
    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 Expand
  5. Apr 22, 2014
    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. Expand
  6. May 25, 2014
    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
  7. Jun 15, 2014
    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.

See all 86 User Reviews