Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 34
  2. Negative: 10 out of 34
  1. At heart, this is an old-fashioned monster flick decked out with Hollywood's full battery of high-tech visual effects. It's as goofy as it is gory -- stay away if you don't like in-your-face mayhem.
  2. The filmmakers' decision to go with prosthetic enhancements rather than CGI gives the snouts, fangs and snapping jaws a refreshingly tactile look.
  3. However much Underworld recycles elements from other films, it carries us into a well-constructed, convincingly scary world worth visiting.
  4. It's Shakespearean in its political machinations and closer to "Saving Private Ryan" and "Starship Troopers" than to "Dracula" or "The Howling."
  5. 67
    It is the perfectly cast Beckinsale who lifts Underworld out and away from the film’s many moments of silly gravitas and steers it into a truly interesting take on the whole vampires 'n' werewolves genre.
  6. Has one other thing in common with "The Matrix Reloaded" -- too much story, too many angles.
  7. 63
    As murky and derivative-looking as the film is, it moves with an authority that pummels you into submission.
  8. 63
    An example of a vampire movie for the new century -- stylish, gothic, gory, and loud.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    63
    Riddled with ammunition for what Alfred Hitchcock called the "Plausibles"--those poor-sport moviegoers who insist on pointing out a movie's inconsistencies instead of simply enjoying the ride
  10. 60
    The funny thing about all this is that a half-hour into Underworld I couldn't wait for it to be over. When it really was over, I couldn't wait for the next installment. Go figure.
  11. Visually it's wild fun, since fledgling feature director Len Wiseman started off in production design, and creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos's diverse credits span from "Godzilla" to "Stuart Little." Yet with Underworld's guilty pleasures come copious clinkers, from its nuts-and-bolts narrative foundation to Wiseman's inability to direct actors beyond cartoonish interaction.
  12. 50
    It's so impossible to care about the characters in the movie that I didn't care if the vampires or werewolves won. I might not have cared in a better movie, either, but I might have been willing to pretend.
  13. 50
    A loud and relentlessly overstated B-movie, and yet not entirely stupid.
  14. Though it sometimes feels as if it's four hours long, Underworld has going for it an intriguing fantasy premise, an eventful plot and a look that is diverting, if finally a bit monotonous.
  15. All of this is accomplished with buckets of blood, but almost no sense of flesh: It's hard to recall a more sexless vampire flick.
  16. By the end, I was starting to ponder questions like, If a vampire mates with a lycan-vamp hybrid, which parent will have to convert?
  17. 50
    A slick disappointment -- though there's much unintentional humor to be enjoyed.
  18. Alas, as is often the case with lower-end genre movies, the story cooked up by Wiseman and his friends, actor Kevin Grevioux and the film's screenwriter, Danny McBride, is decidedly less important than the look of the film and its influences.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Takes itself so seriously that it never has fun with its shopworn genre elements.
  20. Beckinsale delivers even if Underworld doesn't quite manage to follow through on its initial promise.
  21. 40
    So clotted with back story that the Romeo and Juliet-style romance between a warrior vampire and a reluctant werewolf never has a chance to breath, Len Wiseman's revisionist horror tale is all look and no bite.
  22. 40
    Beautiful in its dark, contrasting blues and blacks, Underworld is nonetheless a remarkably humorless movie, and not even the adroitly hammy Bill Nighy, as the vampire king, can leaven the overwrought seriousness of it all.
  23. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    40
    Achieves only loudness, aggressive confusion and one of the silliest head-splittings in film history.
  24. This is the silliest horror movie I've seen in years, though some of the special effects are pretty good.
  25. A hollow, relentless mess.
  26. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    30
    There's too much pretension in this film. Lots of intense stares into the camera. Lots of uncomfortably hip clothes. Lots of pompous names for themselves.
  27. 30
    Not since "Battlefield Earth" pitted overacting, nine-foot-tall Psychlos against puny man-animals has there been an interspecies match-up this perversely uninteresting.
  28. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    30
    125 minutes is a long time to stare at a movie that's basically in bleached blue-and-white with occasional splotches of brick red. The palette reinforces the monotony of the storyline.
  29. 30
    Plays less like a novel re-imagining of a classic if campy narrative than a drearily self-conscious exercise in Know Your Film References.
  30. 25
    "Your incompetence is most taxing," says the chief vampire (Bill Nighy). A line that pretty much nails this rusty Blade.
  31. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    25
    Could use script transfusion, or at least a few quarts of levity.
  32. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    25
    Neither side is worth rooting for in this ridiculous blood feud, which features some of the year's most laughable dialogue.
  33. Reviewed by: Alex Pappademas
    20
    Speedman's such a nonentity here I worried that the theater air-conditioning would blow him off the screen.
  34. It needs a wooden stake AND a silver bullet through its script.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 80
  2. Negative: 15 out of 80
  1. Jun 26, 2014
    10
    Kate Beckinsale has her best role in Underworld. The movie has astute characters, a complex plot, state of the art effects. All of the elements of Underworld equal a classic action movie with vampires and werewolves battling for supremacy. Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2012
    7
    Yea I know this review is a lil' late but I got to tell you, I'd rather watch this film ten times in one ago without breaks then sit through 1 film of the terribly Twilight Saga series. PROS: Kate in cat suit, Good acting, cool character design, an interesting intake in the Vampire vs Werewolf phenomenon and did I mention Kate in cat suit?
    CONS: Forgettable side characters, occasional effy writing especially in filler scenes, anti-climactic looking Hybrid. Seriously I expected something really awesome and cool but no its just a muscular guy with black skin and eyes, pretty simple and lame
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 2, 2011
    9
    Not my kind of vampire movie. Especially the fact that they've given them guns. Its not the worst though. It has the action packed thrill to it though. Full Review »