Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. A diverting mix of insight and spectacle, human and superhuman. This machine is built for kids, but rarely do words like "noble," "Hollywood" and "rawkin'" all apply to one movie.
  2. The fantastic and at times deliciously nihilistic world of X2 is fully, believably three-dimensional.
  3. 89
    An altogether more viscerally engaging film, from its relentless pacing and slam-bang effects work to the fine, appropriately heroic score by John Ottman. That the movie has an obvious gay subtext neither adds nor detracts from the film’s smashing popcorn appeal.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    One of the things that makes this movie such a great rush is that while you’re watching it, it seems a good deal more subversive than it really is.
  5. 88
    Captures the feel of a first-rate comic book. It puts the pop back into Pop Art: It blows viewers away with a blast of kinetic energy.
  6. A follow-up with as much artistic integrity, complexity, humor and well-designed action as the original.
  7. X2 sparkles with a lightness of spirit that was missing from ''X-Men.''
  8. It also boosts the punch of the movie that so many of its action scenes evoke the Iraqi War news footage of the past month, and the "X-Men" premise -- people persecuted because their difference makes them seem threatening -- carries even more relevancy and weight than it did three years ago.
  9. 80
    Directed with depth, efficiency, and wit by Bryan Singer, the film suffered only from a tendency to seem like a setup for an even bigger movie...Fortunately, bigger usually equals better here, and when it doesn't, it equals just as good.
  10. 80
    Funny, reasonably crazy, and unpretentiously faithful to its source.
  11. Brisk and involving with a streamlined forward propulsion, it's the kind of superhero movie we want if we have to have superhero movies at all.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    My chief complaint is that these mutants are a little--well, vanilla. I wish the X-Men had a touch of kinkiness to go with their weird abilities.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    About twice as good as the original...bigger and more ambitious in every respect, from its action and visceral qualities to its themes.
  14. 75
    A summer firecracker. It's also a tribute to outcasts -- teens, gays, minorities, even Dixie Chicks. It's not without thought or feeling, except when its mind gets bent by the gods of box office. Then it's craven and empty.
  15. 75
    Perhaps in the next generation a mutant will appear named Scribbler, who can write a better screenplay for them.
  16. This movie lets the characters and tropes borrowed from the original Stan Lee comic live and breathe.
  17. 75
    A sleek, rousing contraption, a comic-book movie with a sense of playfulness, a welcome streak of humor and just the right touch of gravity.
  18. 75
    As irresistible as movie-theater popcorn - a lavish, reasonably intelligent, well-acted sequel with kick-butt effects that outdoes its predecessor, 2000's "X-Men," in almost every department.
  19. As it is, most of X2's action is restricted to the Northeast Corridor, with a climactic face-off in the western Rockies, where, in typical blockbuster fashion, everything goes kablooey and ka-bam.
  20. 75
    Visually, X2 is a sight to behold, with impressive special effects and a dynamic sense of place.
  21. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    The combat visuals that follow are as powerful as those of any war film.
  22. 70
    In some ways, X2 is an obvious improvement on its predecessor: It looks more expensive, and its special effects seem to swoop out of nowhere...But "X-Men" was undoubtedly the most elegiac comic-book adaptation of the past few years.
  23. Mr. Singer and his collaborators grasp that comic books, for all their obligatory fights and explosions, are at bottom about their brave, troubled, impossibly muscled characters.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Wants to contain multitudes -- high ideals and high tech, the poignant and the silly. Doing so, it becomes a lexicon of modern filmmaking. It could be its own creature: Super-Generico. That's not the worst thing for a movie to be, but it's not quite Marvel-ous either.
  25. 70
    As in the first movie, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are trotted out periodically to add a little gravitas.
  26. 67
    An engaging spectacle of energy and special effects built around a doomy mood and an ensemble cast vigorously pursuing a story line that isn't nearly as snazzy as the dressing.
  27. A substantial improvement over "X-Men," in many ways, especially in visual and specialeffects departments.
  28. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The longer the movie goes, the more its 133 minutes prove wearing. The story tries to develop a love angle between Jackman and Janssen, but it doesn't begin to take. And the finale is particularly weak.
  29. 63
    It's scenic, confidently directed and performed, dutiful, faithful, revelatory, informative, and largely involving. Rarely, however, is it any fun.
  30. There's a continuing delicacy to [Singer's] direction that gives the audience room to breathe and reason to linger. This may not be a grownup movie but -- unlike the Star Wars franchise or the Batman sequels -- it is a movie that grownups can watch minus the requisite bottle of Excedrin.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 330 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 102
  2. Negative: 3 out of 102
  1. MatthewL.
    Mar 14, 2004
    Excellent, better than the first film...
  2. Sep 21, 2011
    "X2" is a rare movie that bests its prequel "X Men" with stunning visuals, violent but watchable fighting sequences, and its ability to add new characters and develop their own stories. Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2013
    Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor and a benchmark for comic sequels in general. Full Review »