'Tomorrowland': What the Critics Are Saying

Britt Robertson stars alongside George Clooney as they embark on a treacherous mission to uncover the secrets of a mysterious world caught between space and time.

A teenage girl (Britt Robertson) discovers a pin that has the power to transport her to a mysterious world caught between space and time. She seeks out the help of an inventor (George Clooney) to embark on a treacherous mission to uncover the secrets of the world known as Tomorrowland.

The film is directed by The Incredibles and Ratatouille director Brad Bird and also stars Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy and country singer, Tim McGraw

The Walt Disney Studios' big-budget sci-fi film is set to rule the Memorial Day box-office — though it is a gamble for Disney, it will likely gross $40 million-plus for the three-day weekend and in the high $40 million range for the four days with a chance of hitting $50 million.

Read what the top critics are saying about Tomorrowland:

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy calls the film, "A big-budget, futuristic, effects-heavy, star-driven, fantasy-oriented, audience-friendly, beautifully made, would-be summer tentpole looks something like a freak, not to mention a semi-risky proposition, because it is not part of a franchise. But that’s how it is in the summer of 2015 for Tomorrowland, a sparkling work of speculative fiction (and wishful thinking) that could not be more 'Disney' in the old-fashioned sense, but is dominated by its philosophical thrust against social pessimism and disenchantment. Theoretically, the required ingredients for a big summer hit are mostly present and accounted for, but the considerable question remains as to whether the mass audience of the moment is ready to embrace an inventive but less overwhelmingly Marvelous adventure fantasy than is the current norm."

He also asks, "How many sci-fi/fantasy films of recent years have climaxed with anything other than massive conflict and conflagration? Whatever the number, Tomorrowland is one of the few to place far more emphasis on talk than action, which is what will probably contribute to what, for some, will make for a softer experience than the genre norm. The film’s general coolness and vision of a potentially serene future reminds more of Spike Jonze’s Her than of anything in the Marvel, George Lucas or James Cameron-derived worlds, not to mention other far more violent ones. As thoughtful and sympathetic as the intentions are here, perhaps it all goes back to the point often made about Dante: What do people read and remember? Paradiso, Purgatorio or Inferno?"

The New York Times' A.O. Scott writes, "Its enormous lapses in narrative and conceptual coherence — its blithe disregard for basic principles of science-fiction credibility — would be less irksome in the fantastical cosmos of animation. And it would look better, too. Tomorrowland looks less like a magical city of the future, or even the Disney environment it’s meant to evoke, than like an unusually clean and efficient airport, or the shopping mall beyond the multiplex where you’re seeing the movie."

Chicago Tribune's Christopher Borrelli adds, "The film is pointedly an argument against apathy, a consistently beautiful vision that conjures a future better than the one we expect. Just as Disney himself could both market optimism and swallow it, Tomorrowland ingeniously weaves the theme park's bottomless sense of invention with a plot about our loss of confidence in the future." The movie "zooms past too quickly, becoming a mash of good intentions, a little too on the nose with its message of social responsibility and possibility to let its jet packets soar."

The Guardian's Steve Rose notes, "It’s unlikely Tomorrowland will launch another smash-hit franchise like Pirates — it’s a little too wholesome for that. But it would be uncharitable to dismiss a family movie that’s genuinely trying to save the world. Tomorrowland deals with threats far closer to the real world than, say, rogue superheroes or alien robots. It understands that utopia and dystopia are two sides of the same coin. ... But if its diagnosis of what’s wrong with the world is ultimately simplistic and rather hokey, there’s still some truth to it."

Read More 'Tomorrowland' Premiere: Stars Reflect on Past, Present, and Future of Disneyland

The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern writes, "this fractured futurist fantasy waits until almost the very end for a robot to describe an important stretch of the story that didn’t make it to the screen. The whole film is an argument about nothing less than the future — can we fix our troubled world or not? But for all of its vaulting ambition, its sumptuous eye-feasts and its leapings back and forth in space and time, Tomorrowland never comes together as coherent drama in the here and now." He concludes, "What this film eventually chooses to be is a flat-footed celebration of the dreamers and doers who will make our future bright. It’s a polemic in favor of positive thinking."

comments powered by Disqus