Angels & Demons 2009

Critics score:
37 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies: We're left to wonder, who in the Vatican can really be trusted? And also, will Ron Howard continue to make movies about a character who comes alive on the page, but sputters on the big screen? Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: A slick, speedy thriller that cuts between mystery and murder at an agreeable enough tempo to make two hours go by. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Angels & Demons, without being particularly good, is nonetheless far less hysterical than The Da Vinci Code. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: How dark the con of Ron that he can so vividly simulate thought in what is truly an intellect-free enterprise. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The streets of Rome haven't run this red since the Inquisition. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: A movie that's more streamlined and action-packed than the original. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: An odd kind of a slog that manages to keep you partially engaged, even at its most esoteric or absurd, despite an endlessly excitable choir and Hans Zimmer's pitiless score. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Angels & Demons slips away pretty quickly after you've watched it, in the way of most blockbuster movies, but it's diverting enough while it lasts. Read more

Jonathan F. Richards, Why are quality pros like Howard and Hanks involved in this enterprise? Do they need the money? Angels and Demons is sure to make plenty. But their artistic souls will do hard time in purgatory for it. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: At half the length, and with half of Hanks' sneering pretension, this would make a pretty terrific action film. Anyone up for just plain Demons? Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Credit where it's due: Director Ron Howard, also back from Da Vinci, keeps things moving fast enough -- the clock is ticking, after all -- that you don't linger over the implausibility of the story. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Howard simply isn't as good a filmmaker as Brown is a blissfully terrible writer. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Nail-biting, God-fearing and unfolding at a breakneck pace -- a little like The Da Vinci Code on celestial speed -- ultimately everything wilts under the weight of the complicated story lines of its many saints and sinners. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: At one point Hanks can be glimpsed gasping for air, mid-endless-sentence. Has there ever been a flatter movie character played by a more innately likable star? Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It's too lurid, too long. Too much is telegraphed. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Angels and Demons is an OK action film, but only the humorless will find it heretical -- or educational. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Howard seems to count on audience goodwill toward Hanks carrying over to Langdon, filling in the hero's many blanks. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: [It's] not anti-Catholic. It is, however, anti-exciting, anti-sense and anti-involving. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Angels & Demons barrels along with a confidence -- and, more fundamentally, a pulse -- missing from director Ron Howard's first encounter with the best-selling novels of Dan Brown. Read more

Laremy Legel, Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Its twists, turns and revelations are just as ridiculous as those in the first film -- perhaps even more so -- and it breezes through arcane details with just as much dizzying speed. Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: Saying that Angels & Demons is a lot better than its predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, is like saying that this swine flu outbreak isn't nearly as bad as the last. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: A future camp classic. Where Howard wants us to make the sign of the cross, we're slapping high fives. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The result is dizzying enough to make you think you're entertained, although the moment you stop to think about Angels & Demons for even a second, the movie becomes ridiculous and preposterous enough to be laughed off the screen. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Ultimately, the film tries so hard to strike a balance that it ends up standing stock-still. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: If these movies made any damned sense, the public response might be no more than a yawn. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Angels and Demons is a truly handsome production, seamlessly mixing real locations with beautifully detailed sets. There are a few good performances here, and some thrills. Yet there's a flatness to the plotting. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: Presumably in response to criticism that The Da Vinci Code was static and talky, director Ron Howard has made Angels & Demons frantic %u2014 and, well, talky Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: You won't remember many of the stops after the movie ends, but at least you'll enjoy the ride. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Angels & Demons has some exciting sequences, a spectacular ending with a terrific twist and a grounding in the debate about science versus religion that could hardly be more timely. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's doesn't quite pay off, but Angels & Demons does a much better job of balancing the blasphemy and blood, heresy and heroics that were Brown's ticket to eternal wealth if not eternal life. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Howard's fluid camera movement, Salvatore Totino's old master-ly cinematography, and the Gregorian rants of Hans Zimmer's score cannot redeem the Hardy Boys plotting of Dan Brown's source material. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: This movie takes preposterousness to new levels; there are times when the proceedings become so ludicrous that one is tempted to laugh aloud at the sheer audacity of the plotting. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This kind of film requires us to be very forgiving, and if we are, it promises to entertain. Angels & Demons succeeds. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Ron Howard's follow-up to the stiff, stately 2006 The Da Vinci Code, might have been classy, entertaining junk -- if only it were entertaining. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: If nothing else, Angels & Demons proves that, as McGuffins go, a cylinder of antimatter is more fun than the Holy Grail. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Even though the sluggish Da Vinci Code is an easy act to follow. There's not a moment of inspiration on display here, but ample craft and professional technique. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The problem here, as in The Da Vinci Code, is that the puzzles don't invite the viewers' involvement. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Though complete redemption of Brown's fiction may not be possible, Howard's new film at least represents an upgrade from a mortal to a venal movie sin. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Like its predecessor, Angels & Demons manages the miraculous feat of seeming to plod while racing at breakneck speed, the tempo set by Hans Zimmer's blusterous score. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: As transparent as this device is, Angels has elemental satisfactions in its blend of movie genre that could appeal to wide segments of the audience. Read more

Hank Sartin, Time Out: Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: The re-creation of St Peter's and the Sistine Chapel on the Hollywood backlot is a production achievement, yet the movie's about as exciting as looking over someone's shoulder while they finish a crossword. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: [T]he film does not conclude with Langdon being elected Pope himself, but, watching the spiraling inanities of the last 20 minutes, one might be forgiven for thinking it would be the next logical step. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Angels & Demons is better, though not by much, than 2006's Da Vinci Code. The story, however, is less interesting and even more far-fetched. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Read more

Ella Taylor, Village Voice: The movie clips along, tricked out with state-of-the-art hardware and a hotter, brighter partner for Hanks. Read more

John Anderson, Washington Post: What the movie is supposed to accomplish -- laying out a fairly complex mystery in a way that creates suspense -- is precisely what it doesn't do. Read more