Pompeii 2014

Critics score:
28 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, ChristyLemire.com: Is it wrong to root for the volcano? Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: No matter how much lava is afoot, there's always time to impale one more person with a sword. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A campy guilty pleasure that serves up a "Gladiator'' knockoff as an appetizer to the impressively flame-filled main course. Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: All elements of the ancient catastrophe are rendered with the most up-to-the-minute CG technology. So the special effects are first rate. The story they serve, not so much. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: While hardly high art, "Pompeii" certainly recognizes what mass audiences want from a "Game of Thrones"-style sword-and-scandal saga, delivering especially high marks as either a sudsy indulgence for teenage girls or beefcake offering to gay men. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: Like its director's horror hybrids, Pompeii values self-determination over survival, which makes for better, brisker, less convoluted genre storytelling. Read more

Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic: One of the most bloodless films to ever kill thousands of people in a fell swoop. Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe: You wonder if Paul W.S. Anderson is a director who might feel disrespected. Read more

Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader: Narrative has never been Anderson's strength; the story here is a corny overhaul of James Cameron's already-corny Titanic. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com: Pompeii has as much to do with realism and history as the average gas station has with gourmet cuisine and fine dining. If you're hankering for something substantive, you'll leave hungry. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Pompeii, the new historical-kitsch disaster movie, raises the question: Is there something about ancient classical settings that inspires actors to act badly? Read more

Jordan Hoffman, Film.com: Oh my sweet Jove it is boring. Read more

Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter: A kitschy apocalyptic peplum whose visual epiphanies -- of which there are definitely a few -- cannot outdo a B- (or C- or D-) grade scenario that will have lots of eyes rolling by the time the big stack finally blows. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: Part sword-and-sandal spectacle, part disaster epic, "Pompeii" accomplishes its ambitious agenda to largely engrossing effect. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Pompeii is half sword-and-sandal epic, half disaster movie and all guilty pleasure. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's a spectacle all right - but mostly just of a lot of people, some of whom should know better, making an utter ash of themselves. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: If there were a hint of a sense of play or humor in the filmmaking, beyond a briefly amusing moment of comeuppance for a foppish slaveowner, Pompeii might be a fun February diversion instead of a dull, eye-rolling slog. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: This lumpen adventure with a misguided romance buries anything in the disaster-flick genre that might have been a blast. Read more

Miriam Bale, New York Times: In "Pompeii," Mr. Anderson's latest 3-D extravaganza, and his first film without Ms. Jovovich since 2008, he seems to be without visual focus. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Pompeii is a big, glorious, cheesy mess. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Pompeii is a fascinating mystery, with enormous possibilities that the movie utterlyignores. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A mindless but watchable fondue pot of high-calorie visuals and ready-made plotting ... Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The drama is deadly but the volcano's a blast, making Pompeii something less than the complete disaster you might expect. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: If only Pompeii had been entrusted to a more entertaining hack than Anderson; this is the guy, after all, who decided that The Three Musketeers really needed a blimp battle. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Parmageddon is nigh in this cheesy action melodrama that feels both overheated with plot developments, yet strangely curdled from a lack of histrionics that might have redeemed it as fun trash. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Pompeii is a Titanic wannabe with a romance between a rich girl and a poor boy set against a natural disaster. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: Unlike most city-go-smash setpieces, this is vibrant and surprising, only occasionally rote, the shots of screaming crowds and raining fire a skin over the heart and muscle of a story better told than many. Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: More fun than any civilization's fiery extinction should ever be, Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii 3-D is gloriously exciting kitsch - a poor man's Titanic crossed with an even poorer man's Gladiator. Read more

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: Harington transformed his body for the role, but here's the real disaster: His startlingly defined six-pack abs are the most memorable part of his character. Read more