Total Recall 2012

Critics score:
30 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Questions, questions nip at Len Wiseman's Total Recall like so many rats at the feet of a sleeping hobo. The big Why is Why bother? Read more

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle: For all of its dazzlingly rendered cityscapes and nonstop action, this revamped "Total Recall" is a bland thing - bloodless, airless, humorless, featureless. With or without the triple-bosomed prostitute. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: Wiseman directs his film as if it's a shark... But really, it's more of a carp, shiny and pretty but fat and dopey, fed on nothing but scavenged leftovers. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: This premise contains the seeds of an interesting economic and political allegory, but the ambitions of the filmmakers - Len Wiseman directed a script by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback - lie in the direction of maximum noise and minimum sense. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The remake has no grace notes, or grace, no nuance, no humanity, no character quirks, no surprises in the dialogue and no humor ... Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Wisemen's film is a soulless mess, reminiscent of the unwatchable "Matrix" sequels, while Verhoeven's movie remains a dazzling carnival. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: Its only evident passion is for excessive lens flares. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's big and it's loud, but ultimately not much more than that. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: In the end, here's the worst sin of this slick, high-octane memory play: It's forgettable. Read more

Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader: The new version, with its humorless dialogue and Farrell's smoldering performance, suffers from a self-seriousness that undercuts any genre pleasures. But the action is thrilling and the futuristic setting superbly realized. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The talented and fiercely physical Biel's musculature is more expressive than most of the dialogue. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Director Len Wiseman is good on action, and Patrick Tatopoulus's dystopic production design is within hailing distance of Blade Runner, his chief influence. But essentially this is a big-screen video game. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Whatever tug Total Recall has on the imagination comes from the vague sense we've seen it all before. And seen it better: from Christopher Nolan's Inception to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: If you share its desire for straight adrenaline, the ride works. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Those who buy a ticket to Total Recall may not go in expecting a generic Bourne sequel, but that's about what they'll be getting - just set in a Blade Runner universe made of giant gray Lego blocks. Read more

Jordan Hoffman, Like a novelty cover band, Wiseman's "Total Recall" [goes] through a checklist of "things you have to do if you do a 'Total Recall.'" Read more

Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter: Engaging enough, although not entirely satisfying from either a genre or narrative standpoint, lacking both substance and a degree of imagination. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The fun is fun while it lasts, it just doesn't last long enough. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: After a rousing setup, this visually striking remake falls back much too heavily on its action roots, with one chase scene after another and another. After a while, it's tedious. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: The new Total Recall fails on the most basic levels: Its characters are dull, and its action is duller. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Farrell is confident and competent regardless of the situation; there never seems to be any real threat of him coming out alive. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "Total Recall" is a toned-down, smoothed-out version of an amped-up, bug-eyed classic. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The effects look great, but is that even worth noting when smart high-schoolers can make monsters on their laptops? What movie's effects don't look great these days? Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: The new Total Recall is a series of set pieces whose CGI environments trump narrative logic. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: There's something sadly poetic about a movie dealing with disappearing memories that vanishes from your mind while you watch it. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: I kept thinking: "Yes, that was surprising to me in 1990." Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Strip away the video-game visual effects, the endless chases and zero gravity shootouts, and Total Recall comes down to this: What is reality? Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: One of the great advantages of remaking a movie is being given the opportunity to correct problems - something not attempted here. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Casting and visuals are an upgrade, but we get far too many action sequences and not enough of the mind games. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "Total Recall" is well-crafted, high energy sci-fi. Like all stories inspired by Philip K. Dick, it deals with intriguing ideas. It never touched me emotionally, though, the way the 1990 film did, and strictly speaking, isn't necessary. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The Total Recall reboot is a futuristic fiasco, two hours you'll never get back - and every minute is a bad memory. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, "Total Recall" is a doggone good time, with a bunch of nifty technical and visual flourishes, competently managed plot twists and elegant, Wachowski-esque action choreography ... Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: This is a taut, serviceable sci-fi thriller with a couple of neat visual ideas, and if you're not familiar with either the Schwarzenegger version or the original story, the brain-bending twists alone will take you a reasonably long way. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: There's plenty to excite the eye, but the mind remains unboggled. It's all visuals and no vision. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The richly constructed first hour is so superior to any feat of sci-fi speculation since "Minority Report" that the bland aftertaste of the chase finale is quickly forgotten. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: I was no particular fan of the first Total Recall, but I confess that this flat, by-the-numbers remake made me a tad nostalgic for its bombastic preposterousness. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Today's Total Recall does nothing to tarnish the image of yesterday's - 22 years from now, I expect it to be hailed as a classic. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: 'Total Recall' is Hollywood at its worst: pointless, witless, and so very unnecessary. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Soulless, bombastic and numbingly repetitive... Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Crazy new gadgets, vigorous action sequences and a thorough production-design makeover aren't enough to keep Total Recall from feeling like a near-total redundancy. Read more

Chris Packham, Village Voice: Where Paul Verhoeven's original was testosterone-stupid and, therefore, fun, Wiseman's film is just boring-stupid. Read more

Jen Chaney, Washington Post: While it may not be a fully realized take on Dick's forward-thinking work, it's still a far better film than the Verhoeven version. Read more