The Island 2005

Critics score:
40 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: As is inevitably the case with Bay films, The Island goes on long after we have become exhausted from all the breathless fun to be had in high-speed chases and dodging fireballs. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The Island grows dumber as it goes along, gradually disintegrating into a generic good-versus-evil spectacular that not only defies all known laws of gravity and physics, but also suffers from the lack of morality that plagues Bay's films. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: [Bay's] best film since The Rock. Read more

Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune: Classic Bay, except it's missing the crass director's fine-tuned rhythm, his feel for adrenaline, his breakneck edits and sense of humor. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: Once they're outside -- in a dispiriting vision of our near-future -- Bay falls back on his old playbook, creating more mayhem per square inch than in all his other movies combined. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: You have Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, these terrific actors reduced to saying, 'Go, go and duck' and hanging from buildings and all that stuff. And it just falls apart. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: At its best, The Island is like a Michael Crichton movie without Michael Crichton's smarts. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: As usual, Bay stages the action at a breakneck pace that's never frenetic enough to obscure his film's plot holes and logical lapses. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: A high-concept movie that director Michael Bay turns into Bad Boys III: Send in the Clones. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Frequently thrilling. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Degenerates into a fearsome chase movie. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Its tale was more tame and thoughtful when Steven Spielberg, having done the related Artificial Intelligence, pitched it to Bay. But Bay, being Bay, punched it up, hiring script doctors to mainline some action. Read more

Paul Clinton (, The Island isn't the best sci-fi thriller out there this summer but it's enjoyable. Read more

Michael Booth, Denver Post: Like the first half of Minority Report, Bay's movie creates an entire new world, making us believe it and dread it at the same time. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: The Island begins with a whimper of interest as a cool-hued, cautionary exploration of the ethics of cloning, and ends, in a hail of product placement, with a dumb bang. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Michael Bay has made a movie that makes you ponder matters more meaningful than how cool that last car chase looked. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: A loud, steroidal adrenaline-pumper in which Bay proves yet again that when it comes to smashing, crashing and blowing things up real good, he has few equals. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The Island, which belabors itself for about 45 minutes before you have any idea what's afoot, is a clone itself - of Coma, a '70s medical thriller that once seemed so far-fetched it had to be sci-fi. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The story splicing isn't any smoother than the movie's own awkward bio-engineering, and by the film's finale it's hard to care much about any of it. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: Theaters showing Michael Bay's futuristic thriller The Island won't be offering any money-back guarantees. They just need to be sure they have enough popcorn on hand. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: This lavish, exhaustingly kinetic film is smarter than you might expect, and at the same time dumber than it could be. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Bay's action is flashy enough to compensate for some of the shortcomings of the script. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Calling The Island a 'popcorn, old-fashioned summer movie' is fair, but it's also sad, since it could have been more. But movies that aim low rarely achieve any kind of altitude. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The first half of Michael Bay's new film is a spare, creepy science fiction parable, and then it shifts into a high-tech action picture. Both halves work. Whether they work together is a good question. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, The Island is nothing so dull as a total failure. But it has enough surprises up its clingy white sleeve to make you wish it were better. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: On its own terms, The Island is just fine. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: As futuristic nightmares go, The Island is pretty appealing. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Like War of the Worlds, The Island is essentially a chase movie where the actors' job is to look good and keep moving. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: If The Island qualifies as cheese deluxe even by Michael Bay standards, it's because it's the only one in his lavishly decadent oeuvre that actually pretends to trade in ideas. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Despite all the firepower, the movie is only sporadically exciting. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: In his latest exercise in sensory overkill, producer-helmer Michael Bay takes on the weighty moral conundrums of human cloning, resolving them in a storm of bullets, car chases and more explosions than you can shake a syringe at. Read more

Dennis Lim, Village Voice: For Bay, restraint means not dropping a fireball on a large urban center within the first act. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: As pretty, very human stars, McGregor and Johansson put the main sizzle into The Island, since we've seen this plotline, and this Brave New World, in better sci-fi films. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: If you find yourself at The Island I have only three words of advice: Vote yourself off. Read more