300 2007

Critics score:
60 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 300 is at its best when it settles for purely visceral thrills. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The movie should've been called Ode to a Grecian Ab. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The disconnect between the human actors and the digital backgrounds is more pronounced here... Because classic Hollywood cinema is so rich with epic images of antiquity, this can't help but seem chintzy. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: It also pits millions of fans of brainless violence against a gallant band, or so I choose to think of us, who still expect movies to contain detectable traces of humanity. Read more

Mark Rahner, Seattle Times: Despite the fantastic visuals, action and sometimes rousing story, the needle flickers between grandiose and laughable -- in part because the film takes itself sooo relentlessly, slow-motion, music-swellin', see-you-in-hell seriously. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Watching 300, there's the arresting sense of eavesdropping on another time. Read more

Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Call 300 the New Age sword-and-sandal epic -- a Hercules movie for the computer age. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Part of the fascination of the Thermopylae story is that it really happened, and it helped define real heroism. There's nothing remotely like reality to be had in this film. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: In creating the ultimate movie for sword-and-sandal blood-spatter fetishists, director Zack Snyder scores on the spectacle side -- 300 looks amazing -- but his mechanical story line and over-the-top melodramatics don't support the action. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: There's a stale, synthetic airlessness about the movie. Imagine a large cast trapped in a series of spectacular screensavers. It could be ancient Greece. It could be somebody's hard drive. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Snyder's 300 certainly has its share of the latest toys, but they make for a better coming-attractions trailer than a full-length theatrical film. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Does the film stay faithful to the Miller and Varley's vision? Indeed it does -- to a kunch! Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: The kids just want to have fun. Many of them will. But what does that say about another Greek contribution -- Western civilization? Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Just about everything in this pea-brained epic is overscaled and overwrought -- it's a cartoon trying to be a towering triptych. The dissonance between the film's heroic ambitions and its grindingly coarse treatment is rather amusing. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: [Gerard Butler's character] charisma is elusive. He vigorously enunciates like a summer stock player doing Shakespeare. But the writing's overblown. And locating the requisite sorrow in this tale of heroism is an afterthought for Snyder and co. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It is undeniably exciting and awe-inspiring; but it also lacks a sense of tactile warmth, a crucial core of reality. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: This is dazzle for the head, not the heart. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: For once, the Larry King quote machines who supply the advance blurbs to the studio for their marketing campaigns will be correct. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: 300 is about as subtle as a spear through the head. But it's also shamelessly entertaining, and not a bad way to make time move a little faster. Read more

Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News: Unless you like human shish kabob, don't spring forward. Fall back. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Put bluntly, the movie's just too darned silly to withstand any ideological theorizing. And 'silly' is invoked here, more or less, with affection. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: A muscle-magazine fantasy crossed with a video game and an Army recruiting film. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: History is inconveniently complex. And so we get Frank Miller's version, in which everything is simplified to the point of porridge. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: It's impossible not to be moved by its nearly nonstop visual assault. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Keeping in mind Slate's Mickey Kaus' Hitler Rule -- never compare anything to Hitler -- it isn't a stretch to imagine Adolf's boys at a 300 screening, heil-fiving each other throughout and then lining up to see it again. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: 300 is about as violent as Apocalypto and twice as stupid. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: 300 was as pathetically puerile as I had expected. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: A full-blooded, testosterone-spiked shot glass that you down in one ferocious sitting. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 300 may not offer masterful storytelling in a conventional sense, but it's hard to beat as a spectacle and that makes it worthwhile viewing for all but the most squeamish of potential audience members. Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: It is excessively, cheerfully violent -- and it is gorgeous to behold. It looks like the world's most sophisticated and expensive video game, and I mean that in a good way. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: 300, even with its impressive vistas of computer-generated soldiers, is just a throwaway epic. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: A mythic ode to righteous bellicosity. In at least one way, the film is true to the ethos of ancient Greece: It conflates moral excellence and physical beauty (which, in this movie, means being young, white, male, and fresh from the gyms of Brentwood). Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: If the movie's neocon message is as thin as a politician's excuse, that's to be expected. But what's surprising here is that the sights are just as meagre. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It's most definitely a Spartan movie, yet it's really all about wretched excess. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: It might have been one of the great all-time mad, bad movies but for one thing - it's just sooo boring. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: As to this pumped-up spectacle's other aims, it's anybody's guess: selling gladiatorial chest-beating as beefcake erotica? Combining a movie and its own video-game spin-off into one package? Being both a dessert topping and a floor wax? Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The battle sequences are filled with grotesque spectacle: They start off entertainingly ferocious, then grow numbing with stylized spraying blood and severed heads. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A blustery, bombastic, visually arresting account of the Battle of Thermopylae as channeled through the rabid imagination of graphic novelist Frank Miller. Read more

Nathan Lee, Village Voice: Frankly, it's the slavish, frame-by-frame devotion to Miller's source material that's the problem. That explains both the risible screenplay and why the movie, for all its liberation from the real world, never takes full-winged flight. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: It's kind of a ghastly hoot, and while I suppose it does no harm, it also contributes nothing. It's a guilty unpleasantness. Read more