The Thing 2011

Critics score:
35 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel:A decent cast and a pristine glacial setting are wasted on a movie of alien transmutations and alien dissections that lacks urgency, or even a sense that's its very cold in Antarctica.Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com:It's full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter's film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke.Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe:Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen and company deliver lean suspense, and they update the Carpenter crew's gnarly alien-shapeshifter effects skillfully enough to remind us why the concept captures geek imaginations.Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly:Solves the mystery of what happened to the Norwegian research team that was all but wiped out at the beginning of The Thing.Read more

Kathleen Murphy, MSN Movies:How can you dial up the bone-deep terror that comes from failure of faith in the humanity of your friends and colleagues if you never distinguish real from cardboard people?Read more

Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times:Where the earlier film pulsed with precisely calibrated paranoia and distinctly drawn characters, this inarticulate replay unfolds as mechanistically as a video game.Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today:Part horror film, part space thriller and all gore-fest, the movie ends up being a lot like its protagonist: a mess of a monster that stretches itself too thin to scare much.Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times:It's a series of "Boo!" moments that add up to less and less as director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. piles on more and more of them.Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club:For a film that takes place in such a cold locale, it all feels awfully warmed-over.Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic:It lacks any sense of warmth. Which might be an odd criticism of a horror movie set in Antarctica, but there you have it.Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:An entertaining, well-acted oozefest.Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News:It's not rocket science, but The Thing does offer solid cheap thrills for the slick gore crowd, proving once again: Horror doesn't have to be horrible.Read more

Eric D. Snider, Film.com:It's the horror equivalent of one of those cheap, straight-to-video animated sequels that Disney's always putting out: same title, same story, none of the inspiration.Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter:After the gradual build-up, for which director Heijningen relies more on inevitability rather than any demonstrable skill at generating genuine suspense, the payoff seems rote and completely out of step with everything that's come before.Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald:There is absolutely nothing in this prequel/remake that improves on the first film or negates it in any way.Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger:Like its alien star, the new "The Thing" mimics its prey slavishly - yet still can't quite reproduce its spark of life.Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR:Like The Thing itself, the film seeks to ape the form and behavior of something genuine, but you don't need a fancy test to tell that this is a shoddy replica.Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News:In terms of scares, this old-fashioned "Thing" is better than most new things.Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post:This movie is basically a sno-cone "Alien" or "Predator" and we've seen nearly a dozen of those.Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer:The problem with the new film is that rather than explore the story from a fresh angle, it follows, virtually beat by beat, the events of the Carpenter film.Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews:As monster movies go, however, this one is better than the drivel we are normally subjected to and, by taking itself seriously (rather than adding comedic punctuation), it allows for tension and scares.Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com:"It's big on the grotesquery but short on genuine scares."Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:This version of "The Thing," directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., provides such graphic and detailed views of the creature that we are essentially reduced to looking at special effects, and being aware that we are.Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:One gut-busting death after another, terror giving way to tedium.Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle:It's an imperfect facsimile, guilty of borrowing too many ideas from the earlier film, and then executing them with differing results.Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch:The geographical isolation still produces shivers, but the repeated motif no longer resonates.Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic:The line between homage and apery is a fine one, and The Thing teeters on it at times.Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail:It's no great thing, just a better Thing than expected.Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out:Efficient enough for newcomers perhaps, but never that chilling, and the predictably dull CGI underlines how far movie magic has regressed in the past couple of decades.Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star:A prequel to a remake, the latest Thing may be set in a very cold climate but it's far from chilling.Read more

Rob Nelson, Variety:The new Thing, helmed by first-timer Matthijs van Heijningen, nods deferentially to John Carpenter's still-scary cult film while displaying little comprehension of what made it work.Read more

Brian Miller, Village Voice:John Carpenter should approve of this reasonably respectful and tough-minded prequel to his 1982 The Thing.Read more

Sean O'Connell, Washington Post:Here's the thing about the new "The Thing." It isn't as satisfying as the old "The Thing." And it's nowhere near as enthralling as the vintage "Thing," which inspired every other "Thing" to follow.Read more