Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Let's start with the fact that Hemsworth stars as the world's most brilliant hacker. Let that sink in for a moment.
It has a decent ludicrousness and Mann's one-of-a-kind talent for using digital photography and naturalistic light to complicate and invigorate anonymous spaces.
New York Post:
There's way too much cyber in this movie, but at least there's some thriller, too.
Wall Street Journal:
The premise is interesting, and certainly timely, though the film feels assembled from used components.
An interminably long and not very thrilling cyberthriller whose high point is an arty blue-lit shot of Chris Hemsworth wearing nothing but an electronic ankle monitor.
Michael Mann strains to keep up with the times with this au courant but visually muddled, dramatically clumsy cyberthriller.
It has a lot of raw energy, and raw energy goes a long way in a movie that mostly consists of people typing and pointing at screens.
"Blackhat" is a mess of a movie from Michael Mann, a would-be cyberthriller slowed by stupidity and sabotaged by a stunningly silly subplot.
There might be catharsis in it for, say, someone who's fallen victim to identity theft, but it's a pretty cozy vision of cyberspace.
J. R. Jones,
Nobody can top Mann's urban night scenes, with their oily neon and skyscraper light grids, but for the most part this plays like Heat without the heat.
I wouldn't mind seeing some of the scenes and images again, as part of a highlights reel divorced from the material we're meant to care about.
Christian Science Monitor:
Given our brave new cyber world, someone in Hollywood is going to have to come up with a better way to do it. Watching actors tap out code as big buzzing screens of digital data flash on the screen just doesn't cut it.
Dallas Morning News:
Perhaps the Sony hackers should have skipped The Interview and tried to shut down Blackhat. Then again, they never said they had anything against abject boredom.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com:
A dim-witted, dullard of a thriller about hacking and terrorism for profit that has one saving grace: timeliness...Being current only gets you so far when the script is techno-babble nonsense and the acting is as wooden as the Sequoia National Forest.
Occasionally, Mann shows flashes of the sort of springloaded action set pieces he was once hailed for ... But mostly they just come off as warmed-over parodies from a onetime master aping his own style.
The fluency of Mann's direction and the slow-burn chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tang Wei counterbalance the more ordinary, and not always involving, procedural elements.
Los Angeles Times:
Technology may have changed, cyber-crime may be all the rage, but the narrative song remains the same in films like this, and it's a tune this director knows by heart.
In terms of both its global locales and cast, few movies have been as riveting in their exploration of the friend/enemy relationship between China and the U.S.
Another silly cyber-thriller, almost saved by an intense Hemsworth and some bruising action.
Hints of a quasi-apocalyptic chill seem arbitrary-neither symbolic nor dramatic. The effect is like watching software run itself.
New York Daily News:
The movie's smart ideas are overlaid with dull, standard-issue moments of people typing on computers or pursuits through crowded streets.
Stock markets, bank accounts, and NSA sites aren't the only thing being hacked in Blackhat. The whole thing reeks of hackery.
Despite being overlong, Blackhat is mostly engaging.
Break down the film, and it's just a Western in digital drag. Put Mann on the case, and you're in for high-style gamesmanship. Short attention spans need not apply,
San Francisco Chronicle:
"Blackhat" is pretty much nonsense, which Mann directs with such misplaced energy and with such little natural instinct for the material that, for most of the running time, the movie's problems seem entirely his fault.
The movie's most depressing feature is its naked pandering for overseas box office. If there's one thing worse than appealing to the lowest common American denominator, it's appealing to the lowest common global denominator.
Globe and Mail:
About as thrilling and current as a first-generation Atari game system, an exercise in sleek redundancy where words like "malware" and are supposed to generate shivers of excruciating anticipation.
Mann also used to have a much better feel for action, in movies like Heat, Collateral and Manhunter, than he exhibits here.
Such a massive fiasco that it's hard to know where to begin analyzing it.
Go ahead and call this silly, but that's missing the point.
Michael Mann's Blackhat is supposed to be a hack attack thriller. Instead, it is a bloody bore.
Blackhat is a tedious, preposterous and incoherent cyberthriller that is anything but thrilling.
It's acceptably entertaining while you're watching it. But how depressing that Michael Mann should settle for being acceptably anything.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Mann would rather be coasting the canals or stewing over crime scenes. The definiteness of computers seems to stymie him. For all his digital resources, his existentialism is analog.