'Oblivion': What the Critics Are Saying

4:37 PM PST 04/19/2013 by THR Staff
Universal

Film reviewers weigh in on Tom Cruise's post-apocalyptic thriller.

Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo and Morgan Freeman star in Joseph Kosinski's action-adventure film Oblivion, which he adapted from his unpublished graphic novel of the same name.

The Universal pic has critics saying essentially the exact same thing: Oblivion's visual effects are to be applauded, but its story is lacking.

Despite the luke warm reviews, the film on track for a $35 million opening weekend, according to estimates. The movie has scored a 55 percent on Metacrtic and a 59 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

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The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy writes that Oblivion has a "captivating beginning brimming with mystery and evident ambition" but the film, ultimately, "falls somewhat short of the mark."

Read what more top critics have to say about the film below:

In his Time review, Richard Corliss writes that there is a disconnect between Oblivion's inventive visuals and unemotional narrative.

"But the biggest collision in Oblivion -- one Kosinski may not have intended -- is between the feverish action scenes and the slowness, we might say torpor, of the rest of the film. For all the shouting and swooning, characters don’t connect; and by the end, when all the clones and drones are accounted for, science-fiction entropy has given way to audience ennui."

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Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty says that impressive visual effects cannot compensate for the film's hackneyed plot. 

"Thanks to Kosinski and cinematographer Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi), Oblivion has enough special-effects artistry to keep you distracted for a while. But all the eye candy in the world can’t mask the sensation that you’ve seen this all before…and done better."

USA Today critic Claudia Puig writes that Oblivion lacks story and onscreen chemistry, saying, "neither the sci-fi or the vague political commentary are involving. And while Cruise's character is given two romantic interests, the actor doesn't connect with either."

In his two-star review, Rolling Stone's Peter Travers likens Oblivion to a formulaic hodgepodge of other futuristic/post-apocalyptic films, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Wall-E  and Planet of the Apes. Travers goes onto say that the film "feels arid and antiseptic, untouched by human hands. Bummer."

Oblivion opens Friday, April 19.

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