2012 2009

Critics score:
39 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

A.O. Scott, At the Movies: Even though this movie's running time of two and a half hours is about one hour too long, there's still some pretty cool disaster stuff on the way. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: I quite enjoyed the experience, at least the first five or six hours of it. 2012 is not simply the last disaster movie you ever need to see. It's the last movie you ever need to see. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: There are times when 2012 feels as if it is not going to end until 2012... Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: (Many) will decry "2012" as a plotless, illogical, cliched, demented popcorn flick (because it is), but this is that rare case where the apocalypse, at least in terms of big-budget blown-up spectacle movie-making, is hardly the end of the world. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Despite the frenetic action scenes, the movie sags, done in by multiple story lines that undercut one another and by the heaviness of its conceit. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This oafish epic about the End of Days -- as predicted by the Mayan calendar -- operates in a dead zone roughly equidistant between parody and idiocy. Read more

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times: Hollywood's most successful one-trick pony, Emmerich claims to favor "human stories" over end-of-the-world spectacle, but watching 2012 is like watching a sausage machine explode. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Independence Day began a game of landmark-destroying one-upmanship. Here, Emmerich takes the competition global, but the soundtrack's organ-rattling low-end makes a deeper impact than the film's visuals. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel...like I have a headache. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: A state-of-the-art multiplex three-ring circus whose special effects stagger the senses and play like a video game, whose human drama aims for the cosmic and lands waist-deep in the Big Silly. Read more

Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader: As you might expect with director Roland Emmerich, the movie isn't a patch on the trailer. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: This is fear-mongering, sentimental, horror show shtick, but it's also fairly competent, making 2012 a work of awful efficiency Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Cusack, with his one-of-the-guys face and his nice way with child actors, does creditable work as an Average American Dad trying to put things right. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: 2012 is the rare case of a bad film that I'm nevertheless obliged to recommend you see. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Sets a goal and slamdunks it, squeezing in so much fun that by the credits, I'd forgotten about Woody Harrelson's turn as a pickle-chomping AM radio meteorological messiah. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: [Nothing] will give you more respect for how difficult it is to be an actor than watching top talent like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt struggling to treat the film's ungodly language and situations with perfect seriousness. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: Preposterous? You bet. But 2012 delivers the disaster-movie goods better than any other popcorn movie we've seen since the '80s. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: 2012 is so long, and its special effects are at once so outrageous and so thunderously predictable, that by the time I lurched from the theatre I felt that three years had actually passed and that the apocalypse was due any second. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Actors say silly lines with deadly seriousness. Exposition is wielded like a sledgehammer. All you can do is grit your teeth and wait for the next wave of destruction. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: I could fairly describe the 2012 plot as follows: The highest-paid members of an indifferent cast survive the massive floods and giant fireballs that cause our planet's destruction. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Only a movie critic without a sense of humor would question whether you could really drive a limo straight through a collapsing skyscraper...or whether the Dalai Lama really owns a pickup truck. Read more

Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer: 2012 is reminiscent of yesteryear '80s shlock-tastic blockbusters -- total popcorn entertainment with ridiculous dialogue and impossible situations and special effects that will boggle the brain for a good two-plus hours. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Are we meant to applaud when skyscrapers topple and ships capsize, with tiny digital faceless bodies plummeting into the void? You make the disaster this real and it's not entertaining or chilling. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: I found myself reaching for a phantom video-game controller to help Our Heroes and Heroine defy certain death. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: If, as is believed in certain fringe circles, the world will come to an end in 2012, at least there will be no more movies like this one made. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This is fun. 2012 delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Beware 2012, which works the dubious miracle of almost matching Transformers 2 for sheer, cynical, mind-numbing, time-wasting, money-draining, soul-sucking stupidity. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: The effects are expensive-looking and impressive enough while you're watching them, although whatever awe they inspire doesn't last long: When you've seen one Washington Monument fall to bits, you've seen them all. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: People talk about "formula" almost always as a pejorative, but formulas get to be formulas because they work, and there's something to be said for a formula picture done almost to perfection. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Films of this sort are plotted shish kebab style: disaster, change of scenery, new disaster. But on the level of spectacle, 2012 is top-notch. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Guilty pleasures don't come guiltier than 2012. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: As always in Emmerich's rollicking Armageddons, the cannon speaks with an expensive bang, while the fodder gets afforded nary a whimper. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Perhaps writer-director Roland Emmerich was hoping for a so-bad-it's-good cult status with his latest disaster flick. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Any sentient viewer will be able to predict every lumpy twist of this ludicrous, fitfully enjoyable movie. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: Bigger, louder, crazier and more wildly exhilarating than anything previously attempted. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: [J]ust as the cyclones and tsunamis of The Day After Tomorrow ultimately succumbed to a bad case of narrative frostbite, 2012's ludicrous thrills begin burning themselves out by the movie's midpoint. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The movie is an undeniable visual spectacle, but just as unequivocally a cheesy, ridiculous story. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: On any level other than as sheer visual sensation, 2012 is a joke, for the simple reason that it has no point of view. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: The two-hour-and-40-minute 2012 is overstuffed with special-effects, but the Curtis clan's mad dash out of town is the closest the movie gets to actually being fun. Read more

Dan Kois, Washington Post: The crowning achievement in Emmerich's long, profitable career as a destroyer of worlds. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: For too much of the 2 1/2-hour 2012, the end is not near. Read more