Hancock 2008

Critics score:
41 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: In this highly superheroic summer of Iron Man and the forthcoming The Dark Knight, Hancock can offer only an A-list headliner in a D-list project. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: As popcorn movies go, this is fleet, funny, and even thoughtful: its central question, nicely underplayed by director Peter Berg, is why power and altruism never seem to intersect. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: A new movie that makes the previous pandemonium seem downright restrained. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Since The Pursuit of Happyness, actor-producer Smith has made no secret of his desire to make movies that entertain in that big-studio way but also dig deeper. Hancock is a rousing measure of that intent. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: The final third seems all shot in a strange blue light that makes even the gorgeous Theron look consumptive, and is, in a nutshell, no fun at all. Aren't Fourth of July movies supposed to be fun? No fireworks this time, Will. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: It's worth it just to see a ready-made Superman-sized superhero in action without all the baggage of decades of retellings and reworkings; even looking at familiar faces working through a familiar genre, it's nice to be surprised for once. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: A ton of potential, but ultimately a mess. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: What does one say about a movie that wants laughs from a shot of one inmate's head up the derriere of another? Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: It's a strange feeling to see the summer's most promising premise self-destruct into something bizarre and unsatisfying, but that is the Hancock experience. Read more

Joe Leydon, Houston Chronicle: Credit must be paid to director Peter Berg for pulling off such a tricky balance of such diverse elements while delivering an impressive and affecting superhero adventure with as much heart and soul as sound and fury. Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: Train wrecks are intrinsically spectacular, and Will Smith's new movie offers a doozy. Two of them, in fact. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The strain of messianism in Will Smith movies is becoming ever more pronounced. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Hancock is the sort of Fourth of July cinematic fireworks celebration Hollywood dreams about but rarely achieves. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Hancock the jaunty, jokey riff on the screwed-up inner emotional life of a traditionally ironclad superhero becomes Hancock the icky lesson in the importance of personal responsibility, loyalty, and continued family togetherness. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The promise is dangled yet never developed. Rather, the narrative slips into a backstory that alternates between confusing and contradictory. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Part of the joke lies in seeing a megawatt star embrace his inner grouch with fantastical blunders, and part of the anticipation lies in seeing Hancock become, well, Will Smith. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: The dynamic between the sullen Smith and sincere Bateman may be the best thing in the Peter Berg's movie, but it's a tough call because the whole popcorn fest is flat-out fantastic. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: A peculiar and occasionally charming poke in the ribs of the superman myth. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Director Peter Berg knows the difference between cartoon violence and the real stuff, and Hancock mixes both to good effect. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: The superhero genre screams for a makeover, or at least a smart deconstruction, but Hancock isn't that movie. It just ups the foolishness ante. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Hancock suggests new visual directions and emotional tonalities for pop. It's by far the most enjoyable big movie of the summer. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: With great power comes great -- irresponsibility. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: There's a great idea here, but it's buried within a muddled story that lurches between dark comedy and maudlin drama. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Leaving behind the laughs for schmaltz, Hancock chickens out at the last minute, lurching toward a cop-out happy ending that gives every indication of having been reshot at the behest of test audiences. Well, at least you won't be bored. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Passable if profane, Hancock chugs along right up to that when this comic superhero engine goes off the tracks, and pretty much off a cliff. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Thanks to Smith, it's a story about movie stars -- and why the multiplex-going humankind needs to have them kicking around, too. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Hancock is a hodgepodge of intriguing ideas that, if developed further or presented as more than throw-ins to a confused production, might have made for a unique superhero film. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Hancock is a lot of fun, if perhaps a little top-heavy with stuff being destroyed. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: It's the sort of role Smith ought to be able to pull off easily. But even his superpowers apparently have their limits. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: As delivered by director Peter Berg, Hancock is never as serious or funny or poignant as it could be. And despite clocking in at a reasonable running time, it has a big sag in the middle that nothing could have fixed. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: As soon as the hero becomes another wounded demigod brooding on rooftops, the movie loses its sting. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Almost any moviegoer should be able to find something to enjoy, but it's hard to imagine anyone liking this mishmash from beginning to end. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Hancock is still worth seeing, if only for a glimpse of what might have been a truly innovative idea. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Smith's pictures deliver familiar pleasures; they work with efficiency but not inspiration, honoring the time-honored movie platitudes that will neither shock nor stretch an audience. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: What starts out with a sense of quirky fun loses direction and devolves into a mishmash of story lines. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: This misguided attempt to wring a novel twist on the superhero genre has a certain whiff of The Last Action Hero about it. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: It doesn't take itself as seriously as it should, and undercuts a final act that should have and so could have packed a mighty emotional wallop. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: The problem is that director Peter Berg, aided and abetted by Smith and Theron and third banana Jason Bateman, seem to have made it literally, not realizing its out-of-whack tonalities and grotesque plot twists were meant to be played for laughs. Read more