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

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 304 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
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: 53 out of 92
  2. Negative: 22 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. 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 withThis 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. 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.
    Expand
  6. 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 theReally 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. 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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