Transcendence

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Metascore
42

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

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 340 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. The New Yorker
    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: 46 out of 97
  2. Negative: 22 out of 97
  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. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    The fact that "Sci-fi" movies like 'The Avengers' and 'Captain America' get better ratings shows how under-developed the human mind is.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
    8
    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 ShyamalanEvery 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
    6
    Having a fantastic cast and interesting plot, Transcendence couldn't live up to it's own standards! The whole premise of the movie isHaving 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. 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
    "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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  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 theThis 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
    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

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