Journey to the Center of the Earth 2008

Critics score:
61 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Luke Y. Thompson, L.A. Weekly: As a 2-D movie, or inevitable DVD, it probably fails. As a 3-D experience, though, it rocks. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: If Journey to the Center of the Earth is not a ride, then what is it? One thing it may not be, quite, is a movie. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It would be barely passable under normal circumstances, but in 3-D it's a circus of excellent FX. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Eric Brevig, making his feature directing debut after a long career as a visual effects supervisor, lurches from one CG set piece to the next, though he's helped along by Fraser's easy comic touch. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: The absence of star charisma in Journey denies the audience some focus in a movie that keeps changing backdrops and is ultimately no more than the sum of its wild-eyed parts. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Like its early predecessors, it's a nominally fun trip, but it's tissue-thin and instantly forgettable. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: The real star here is the pair of 3-D glasses you're handed when you walk into the theater. With them, Journey is a kick (if not much more). Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The gimmickry can't lift the boats of a threadbare storyline. What the proselytizers and the investors forget is that if the characters and emotions aren't three-dimensional, the rest of the movie will always look flat. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: I can't tell you how this film looks in 2-D, which is how the majority of the nation's customers will partake of it. I saw it in 3-D. I liked it. It's dopey, but I liked it. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Much of Journey plays like a thinner version of an Indiana Jones movie a" a series not noted for its stoutness to begin with. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: With crisp images and depth that makes you feel you could reach out and stick your hand into the middle of the action, the movie projected in digital 3-D form actually makes that theme-park ride kind of fun. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: That dinosaur looks like it's popping off the screen! Cool! Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Wandering around the earth's stalactite-dripped core exerts a primal appeal even in a dumb kiddie joyride like this one. Read more

Cole Haddon, Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Director Eric Brevig knows he's not really shooting a Jules Verne mind-blower; this is pure blockbuster, and it's a fine specimen. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Journey may be an utterly weightless movie, but in the end it floats rather nicely. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Most of the movie, directed by Eric Brevig, is as daft, outlandish, and speedy as it needs to be, and, for all its newfangled effects, touchingly old-fashioned in its reverence for the Jules Verne novel that inspired it. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It has a just-rebellious-enough kid, just-goofy-enough hero, a cute competent heroine and plenty of bumper-car chase scenes and house-of-shocks surprises. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: The cast hits the right notes. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Unusual for this genre, the script doesn't insult the audience's intelligence, and it mercifully soft-pedals its message about the virtues of reading. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's old-fashioned family-friendly B-movie cheese, served up in this Brendan Fraser/Jules Verne action epic for kids. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: In generating what amounts to a 90-minute theme park ride, the filmmakers lost track of the need to tell a compelling story to supplement the eye candy. Read more

Mike Pearson, Denver Rocky Mountain News: A popcorn movie that delivers precisely what it promises. The dialogue is tepid and the outcome is preordained, but it moves at the brisk pace of a carnival ride, leaving you breathless and ready for another spin. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This is a fairly bad movie, and yet at the same time maybe about as good as it could be. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, A movie that's faithful to an idea, and to a sense of adventure, more than to a specific work. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Journey shows that Brevig knows exactly what visual effects can do -- and more important, what they can't. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Clean, lightweight escapism with a top-notch gimmick. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A virtual theme-park simulation and possibly a milestone of immersive entertainment. Read more

Philip Marchand, Toronto Star: If 3D is indeed the future of movies, we're going to need something more substantial than Journey to the Center of the Earth to convince us. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: If, at this moment, the child next to you grabs your arm and hollers "Duck!", the movie will have been worth the ticket price. Read more

Stephen Garrett, Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Flat and predictable, though the visuals are often striking. Read more

John Anderson, Variety: Probably has the highest screams-per-capita ratio in the history of action-adventure pics, and a better thrill-per-minute deal than most. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: Episodes of Land of the Lost were more inspired. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Journey to the Center of the Earth is terrific family entertainment, an action comedy on a par with Night at the Museum and National Treasure. Read more