X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009

Critics score:
38 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: I was definitely disappointed. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: A chaotic headbanger, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is saved from pure flat-footed blockbuster franchise adequacy by six things, three of them on Hugh Jackman's left hand, three on his right. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: If you're not a die-hard X-Men comic-book fan, you're going to be lost, and if you are a die-hard X-Men comic book fan, you're going to be disappointed. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Jackman's committed performance keeps the movie on track, though Huston and Schreiber are strictly on autopilot. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The direction, by Gavin Hood is a case study in mismanagement: of anger, rage, demonic howls that grow into howlers, Olympian camera angles and, above all else, the mismanagement of an unusually personable star. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Perhaps this was the wrong X-Man to command an entire movie. Somebody find Jackman a role in which he gets to smile, and wake me up when Ian McKellen's back to terrorizing the X-world. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: A couple of halfway decent action scenes do little to distract from the story's mounting ludicrousness, or a conclusion that's only a little more satisfying than a projector breakdown. Maybe. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: While packed with effects and action, without the attention to story and emotional investment present in such films as The Dark Knight and Ironman, Wolverine ultimately doesn't rise above its comic-book roots. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Wolverine feels enslaved to its many masters - Marvel Comics, Hollywood, and the young men who devour their products -- never sidestepping the deja vu it inspires. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Whatever actually happened, the explosions all go off on time, which in a film like this is all that really matters. Read more

Mick LaSalle, Houston Chronicle: Wolverine is supposedly a comic book movie, and yet it violates one of the tenets of comic books: It doesn't delineate and particularize Wolverine's special powers. Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: Serviceable but inescapably redundant. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: How does all this play out for those of us -- i.e., me -- who have not been staying up nights fretting over the origins of the X-Men and Women? The answer is: Fairly well. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Summer's first tent-pole flick is a dulled outing. It may assuage the die-hard fan, but it's doggedly routine. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: How do you make mutants dull? Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Heroes and villains clash, then rise up to clash again, just because that's what X-Men do. The truth is, it doesn't matter Y. Read more

Laremy Legel, Film.com: You won't be upset you saw it, you'll have some fun, you'll see Wolvie beat the living hell out of a helicopter. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: Sadly, Wolverine's journey is one long run-the-gauntlet scenario, with people pounding on him from all sides until he emerges at the other end as the lone-wolf amnesiac bound for membership in the X-Men gang. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Shorthand and heavy-handed. Like Wolverine himself, it operates without clarity or rules. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Jackman's charisma breathes the fire into Wolverine, not the rather pedestrian script or the by-the-numbers action. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A satisfyingly crunchy action flick. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Alas, there's nothing quite memorable here: much of the combat is just a whirl of movement photographed up close. As the X-Men series has progressed, the startling poetic extravagances of the first film have given way to flesh-pounding clumsiness. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: If it's truly an 'Origins' tale, as advertised -- well, where are the explanations? Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR.org: Those movies where people get sent to an island somewhere, then discover that everyone's a clone, or a reactor is melting down? Imagine all of that happening at once, only everybody is indestructible. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: [A] slice-and-dice superhero fiasco. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A super-buff Jackman gets to explore the character in more depth than previously and Liev Schreiber, as his brother, makes a dandy bad guy. Read more

Sara Vilkomerson, New York Observer: Did the plot points stick in my head five minutes after leaving the theater? Not so much ... but I know I was having fun while watching. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: There's little of the seen-it-all, wise-guy acerbity that made his character in the X-Men trilogy stand apart from his fellow mutants. Here, he just glowers. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: In terms of tone and content, Wolverine is a nearer match to Daredevil than Iron Man, but its box office gross will undoubtedly be closer to the latter. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I have been powerfully impressed by film versions of Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Iron Man and the Iron Giant. I wouldn't even walk across the street to meet Wolverine. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: A transparent attempt to squeeze a faltering franchise for its last drop of box-office juice. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com: The problem with Wolverine isn't that the mythology is detailed and potentially confusing. The bigger issue is that "Wolverine" is so uninvolving that you might not care whether you remember what happened 10 minutes ago. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Even by the standard of a fourth-in-a-series summer blockbuster, Wolverine is remarkably lame. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A crude blunderbuss of a superhero movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine proves that the greatest supervillains confronting Marvel Comics' shape-shifters, lycanthropes and mind-readers are clumsy directors and sloppy screenwriters. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The cliched script doesn't develop the secondary characters or the critical theme of the mutants' alienation. (Several of them don't even have any dialogue.) Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Suitably filling, if not always nutritious. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The whole thing would collapse under the weight of its own pretensions were it not for the considerable acting prowess of Jackman and Schreiber, who know how to give good growl. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Wolverine doesn't rise above the level of familiar competence. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: With some dire blue-screen effects, dizzying tonal instability and a total absence of suspense or originality, 'Wolverine' is something of a disaster. Read more

Christopher Orr, The New Republic: Though Jackman is capable, as always, in the title role, there's no real weight to his travails, which play more as exposition than tragedy. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Jackman invests his fierce character with a cheeky attitude, clear-eyed intelligence and inherent decency, compelling viewers to care about his metamorphosis. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: This brawny but none-too-brainy prequel sustains interest mainly -- if only fitfully -- as a nonstop slice-and-dice vehicle for Hugh Jackman. Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: Most of the action is a mere replay of a single sequence: Wolverine and Sabretooth galloping toward one another, two immortal bros locked in eternal combat. Certainly feels like it. Read more

John Anderson, Washington Post: Wolverine is full of angst, and yet it has virtually all the humanity wrung out of it in an effort to create a live-action cartoon. Read more