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

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6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 308 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 himDr. 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
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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: 52 out of 92
  2. Negative: 23 out of 92
  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 disappointI 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. 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 ofI 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
  3. Sep 6, 2014
    8
    The movie seems flawed. It struggles with an AI/Grey Matter concept core, and several overlaying plot elements which don't make an immenseThe movie seems flawed. It struggles with an AI/Grey Matter concept core, and several overlaying plot elements which don't make an immense amount of sense to me. After realizing that the movie was flawed, I found watching it to be thought provoking and enjoyable. Expand
  4. 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. AA 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) Expand
  5. 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,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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  6. 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 powerJust 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. 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
    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 92 User Reviews

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