Lucy 2014

Critics score:
66 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Wesley Morris, Grantland: This movie worries that humanity is wasting its potential, which is a bizarre fear for a movie that has this many nonsensical shootouts. But that's what on Besson's mind: the Big Bang and bang-bang. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Besson keeps the pedal down for 90 breathless minutes, sprinkling the road with dry wit but occasionally taking detours into beautiful, quiet side streets. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: It's gleefully bold, visually adventurous, often funny, strikingly concise -- the whole heart-pounding tale is over in 90 minutes -- and 100% entertaining. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It's both a fascinating and a ridiculous idea, but one that's fun to watch, particularly as Besson wisely keeps the film trimmed to a quick-as-a-lightning-bolt 89 minutes. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The summer's best, coolest, juiciest, smartest action movie. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Scarlett Johansson and writer-director Luc Besson make an effective duo in this agreeably goofy sci-fi thriller. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: The sheer weirdness of Lucy's imagery ... prevents it from registering as run-of-the-mill summertime "dumb fun." Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: "Lucy" is insane, makes very little sense, doesn't stand up to scrutiny and is an absolute blast. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Wait, wasn't Bradley Cooper here in 2011's "Limitless"? Yes, but "Lucy" takes the concept into eerier and more visually baroque territory than that much-underappreciated genre film. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: No one has ever accused French action director Luc Besson of thinking too hard, and this frantic exercise in pseudoscience and goofball metaphysics is best enjoyed by following his lead. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: I know we're supposed to think that Besson's daffy cinematic calisthenics are entertaining because at least they are not boring. But I was bored. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "Lucy" may be scientific hogwash, but it does raise all sorts of questions you rarely find in a shoot-out flick. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ This goofily enjoyable but ultimately forgettable techno-thriller plays like a cross between Transcendence and La Femme Nikita with a bit of Hong Kong-style action and low-rent 2001-era Stanley Kubrick thrown in for good measure. Read more

Jeff Labrecque, Entertainment Weekly: By the time the film exhausts itself-in a brisk 89 minutes-it feels like there's literally nowhere that Lucy and Besson can't go, no boundaries, no laws, no logic. Just go with it. Read more

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter: Besson's script offers neither the well-drawn character dynamics nor the clear motivations of a decent comic book origin story; and as it is quickly clear that no baddie has much chance of stopping Lucy, action sequences carry little weight. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Part philosophical/scientific treatise, part action movie, a film that goes from mayhem to boredom in a heartbeat. Read more

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly: Feigns depth, but what lingers is Besson's regressive belief that even the most intelligent woman on earth can't figure out how to get her way without a miniskirt and a gun Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: At first, it's dazzling. Besson forgets, however, that he's promised us pulp entertainment and instead delivers a serious treatise on next-step metaphysics. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: For Besson devotees who sat stoically through "The Lady" (or patiently during that endless "Arthur and the Invisibles" series) "Lucy" is a trippy return to form - to mind-twisting stories, to rocket-propelled camerawork, to eyes-wide-open dreams. Read more

Chris Klimek, NPR: Lucy is a welcome reminder of just how much Besson's wry sensibility as a filmmaker adds to movies like this. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: But because Besson is so limited in his vision, she resembles a gorgeous robot more than a fascinatingly evolved human being. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Buoyed by Ms. Johansson's presence, Mr. Besson keeps his entertainment machine purring. He may be a hack, but he's also a reliable entertainer ... Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: In the showiest sequence, Lucy's body starts exploding into bursts of confetti. Even then, Johannson holds everything together. She's the rare actress who brings conviction and clarity to flights of fancy. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: A dynamic melange of conflicting genres balanced on a high wire of pure irony. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: A sci-fi yarn that ponders the meaning of time and the importance of evolution while occasionally throwing in some shootouts. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: What starts as a bats--- female revenge fantasy ends as a bad LSD trip. Talk about a buzzkill. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Does it make sense? Not at all. Is it boring? Not that either. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: You can scoff at Besson's philosophies and hypotheses, but to do that would miss what's in front of you. "Lucy" is an impeccably realized vision of Besson's view of things. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The film, repeating a widespread myth, asserts that the rest of us muddle through on just 10 percent of our cranial horsepower. Besson's target audience seems to be somewhere lower than that. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With such an empty core, it's hard to love "Lucy," but it's also hard to change the channel when it promises wisdom with just a spoonful of Vitameatavegamin. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Besson has made very, very bad films in the past, but this is the first time he has presented one so idiotic that the only way to properly convey its flaws is to enumerate them. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: It's a funny thing how smart and stupid often seem so similarly mechanical in movies, but thanks to Johansson's performance, we have a fizzy cocktail of a film that blends both ingredients. Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: No one onscreen has the answers to the lofty questions Besson poses and, despite all the dizzying and splendid imagery of the film's closing frames, it's patently clear that neither does he. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Once your heroine has become one with the universe, it's hard to get worked up over a dude with a gun, even if it's Oldboy. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: Lucy is not about to win any prizes from Mensa ... but this isn't quite like any other blockbuster you'll see this year. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: The funny thing about all these sub-Matrix shenanigans is that they're genuinely meant to stoke thought and reflection. Frankly, though, few movies have left me feeling as shorn of gray matter. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: The director knows his way around a camera, and you can argue about the merits of the storyline. But the dialogue often sounds like it was produced by a primitive computer: Hammy and clunky. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A stylish action thriller that is equal parts dazzling and ludicrous. Read more

Chris Packham, Village Voice: Scarlett Johansson carries the film effortlessly, bridging Besson's narrative and logical ellipses by fully embracing his crowd-pleasing intentions and convincingly depicting Lucy's psychological transformation. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: An outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style. Read more