The Bourne Legacy 2012

Critics score:
55 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The overall tone is familiar, refried, redundant. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ...there are excellent performances and a few really first-rate suspense-set pieces... Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: By the time Rachel Weisz, as a scientist called Dr. Marta Shearing, showed up in a lab coat, I stopped trying to parse every plot twist and just went with the action flow. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Can a Bourne-again movie succeed without Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, without Bourne himself, and without a Robert Ludlum book as the production's turn-by-turn guide? Yes, it can. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A brisk and challenging film. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It's ultimately not quite satisfying. It's a quick, tense trip, rather than a thrill ride. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: The Bourne Legacy rebottles much of the chemistry that Damon and Franka Potente shared in the first film, like an us-against-the-world Stockholm syndrome. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Taken on its own terms, "The Bourne Legacy" is a pretty good action thriller. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The best thing that can be said about "The Bourne Legacy" is that Renner will survive it. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Narratively it's a pretzel, half-baked. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Gilroy has been around the franchise from the start, and he finds a satisfying medium between the previous directors' disparate styles, the cool jazz tones of Doug Liman and the shaky-cam faux-documentary approach of Paul Greengrass. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Renner and Weisz work well together as two hunted souls who initially need each other for utilitarian reasons. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Gilroy keeps the Bourne mythology firmly intact while moving it forward, and leaves the door open for just about anything in the future. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Gilroy, who as a screenwriter has shaped the movie saga from the beginning, trades the wired rhythms established in the past two episodes by Paul Greengrass for something more realistic and closer to the ground. The change is refreshing. Read more

William Goss, One analyst spits out that "he's Treadstone without the inconsistencies." It seems that Legacy is Bourne with some added in. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: The series's legacy is lessened by this capable but uninspired fourth episode. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Structurally, yes, it's loaded with all the lies, schemes and high-tech trickery that are staples of the espionage genre. But a deeper, more individualistic source of tension propels the film along. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Complex, unexpected and dazzling, alternating relentless tension with resonant emotional moments, this is an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The last half-hour of the film is one enormous action sequence in Manila that must have been exceptionally difficult to shoot and even harder to edit together. It's also hard to sit through. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: This is a talky, draggy thriller, muddled by flashbacks and woefully low on action. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: The new movie continues the Bourne tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, but when the series lost its star it lost most of its soul. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's twists and turns and nothing else. And fast and furious as it may be, if this is the best this once-smart series has to offer, this is no legacy. Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: Gilroy, who's had a hand in writing the previous three films in the franchise, cleverly overlaps the events of this chapter with those of The Bourne Ultimatum. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: He won't erase any memories of Damon, but Renner's turn is strong enough to stand on its own. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Renner and the audience deserve better. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A momentum-driven thriller that depends less on star power than on epic action sequences. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The Bourne Legacy is one of Alfred Hitchcock's "refrigerator movies," in that it succeeds pretty well "in the moment" but starts to fall apart when considered in retrospect. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "The Bourne Legacy" is always gripping in the moment. The problem is in getting the moments to add up. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The Bourne Legacy is dwarfed by the three smash Bourne movies that preceded it. But for summer movie night escapsim, you could do worse. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, "The Bourne Legacy" is a lean, clean killing machine that supplies some dark, late-summer thrills and chills and breathes new life into a seemingly extinct franchise. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It all but squanders Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, although with actors less appealing, "The Bourne Legacy" would be even worse. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: The movie's last hour or so squanders these rich narrative possibilities in an incoherently plotted, generically action-packed anticlimax. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: "The Bourne Legacy" makes the most of its inheritance and sets the stage for a long, rich genealogy to come. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: It bodes well for the future of the franchise that Renner and Wesiz share not only a gripping predicament but something more important: chemistry. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Perhaps the most interesting question arising from The Bourne Legacy is just how long the filmmakers hope to trade on the Bourne name without any, you know, Bourne. Read more

Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail: Bourne fans will find much to enjoy about The Bourne Legacy, even if they are forced to do without the title character. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Gilroy's a fine writer - he also penned Michael Clayton - but without the discipline of an action veteran like Greengrass to rein him in, he indulges his weakness to over-explain things. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Seeing a Bourne film for the plotting feels like reading Playboy for the articles, but if that's your thing, this is your movie. Read more

Nigel Floyd, Time Out: Shares crucial DNA with the earlier films but is drawn from the shallower end of the gene pool. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: The verbal heavy-lifting gets ridiculous in light of the silliness of the story's X-Men-ready genetic-mutation plot. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: Subbing character actor Jeremy Renner into a franchise that requires Matt Damon-caliber magnetism, series scribe Tony Gilroy takes over the helming duties with an overlong sequel that features too little action and an unnecessarily complicated plot. Read more

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books -- they've been Van Halenized, with an abrupt change of frontman and a resulting dip in personality. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Gilroy has brought characteristic taste and skill to a nearly impossible task: embracing the past without completely erasing it, thereby creating an invitingly complicated and open-ended future. Read more