The X Files: I Want to Believe 2008

Critics score:
31 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Only a fan would be inclined to tolerate this dunderheaded mystery. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: As a movie, it doesn't add up to much; as another glimpse at two characters who remain fascinating, it's worth seeing. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: This latest, and presumably last, X-Files installment is not an unpleasant way to pass a couple of hours, provided you, too, want to believe. But you have to want it pretty badly. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: Why resurrect one of the most beloved pop-culture phenomena of the Clinton era, after six years on the sidelines? The hopelessly tardy new X-Files sequel I Want To Believe never provides a compelling answer to that question. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: The ingredients are still there for what made people love the series in the first place. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: The truth is, indeed, still out there. And when Carter finds it, may he heed its wisdom: Let go. Read more

Jan Stuart, Los Angeles Times: By the time Carter and co-writer Frank Spotnitz throw in cartoon Russian villains and a risible plot point involving same-sex marriage, it's hard to figure where they, or their movie, is coming from. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The story is both a muddle and a drag, having to do with stem cell research and regeneration and missing limbs and a fraught psychic, and that's enough detail for the purposes of this review. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: The truth is, they're boring now. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: David Duchovny's Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully are still chastely in love, the world is as dark and doomy as ever, and Billy Connolly, as a scurvy priest who may or may not be a visionary, steals the acting honors. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Was this stuff always this bad? Or is this simply the fabled 'worst episode ever?' Read more

Eric D. Snider, As a TV episode, it would be unmemorable but OK. As a theatrical feature requiring paid admission and a two-hour time commitment, uh, not so much. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The writers know these characters -- the believer seeking the truth no matter how outlandish; the religious skeptic with her own rock-hard belief in science -- and the actors step into their roles without missing a beat. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The way the film marries its subplots will keep audiences off balance, which is exactly right for an X-Files movie. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson do slip comfortably back into the roles that made them superstars in the 1990s, but the movie itself from director and X-Files series creator Chris Carter never feels like anything more than an extended episode. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Most important, we get to see two gifted actors passionately revisit the roles that may forever define them. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: The X-Files: I Want to Believe is atmospheric and moves briskly, but it's basically TV writ large. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: A movie that benefits from -- but doesn't make very good use of -- the history and the chemistry between its stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Gloomy and serpentine, with a pointless chase sequence and a couple of big revelations about what Mulder and Scully have been up to on a personal level, The X-Files: I Want to Believe will make believers of no one who's not already a diehard X-phile. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Rather than providing a springboard to a movie franchise, this film puts the final nail in The X-Files' coffin. Mulder and Scully can now fade into pop culture history. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I make it sound a little silly. Well, it is a little silly, but it's also a skillful thriller, giving us just enough cutaways to a sinister laboratory to keep us fascinated. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Carter doesn't try to meet or exceed fans' expectations so much as create an intimately scaled dramatic universe for his fiercely beloved characters, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, to inhabit, circa 2008. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: In the end it's all about these very full and rewarding lead characters. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: The problem with the movie's semisupernatural crime plot isn't that the resolution is completely outlandish; it's that the outlandishness is insufficiently grounded in pseudoscience. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Low in budget, inspiration and excitement, the film feels less like a bigger, better, widescreen reworking of the old goblins-and-G-men show than a forgotten script agonizingly stretched to feature length. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Though the mood of The X Files: I Want to Believe remains consistently funereal, the storytelling is all over the place. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Astute readers will note that I have abstained from making cheap cracks about the I Want to Believe title, an almost superhuman feat given this movie's abundance of sheer nonsense. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: For the uninitiated, The X Files: I Want to Believe may seem as musty and forbidding as one of those dank secrets that Mulder and Scully were forever digging up from some backyard, or fetid swamp, or their own aching hearts. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: Read more

Nigel Floyd, Time Out: Lazy plotting, so-so performances and squandered ideas lead to only one diagnosis: there is no compelling reason to keep this moribund formula on a life-support machine. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: There may be no going back, as much as we might want to believe otherwise. Read more

Brian Lowry, Variety: Director/franchise creator Chris Carter gives devoted fans plenty of small moments to swoon over, but the appeal should be limited beyond those fervent loyalists. Read more

Hank Stuever, Washington Post: With simple sanity and a refreshing lack of flash, Mulder and Scully capably lay out the dull evidence: Our big summer movies are part of a plot to trash our minds. I want to believe Mulder and Scully are correct. Read more