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Pacific Rim

8/10
Action . Adventure . Science Fiction . Sci-Fi
 

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed-up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

 
Actors: Idris Elba , Charlie Hunnam , Charlie Day , Ron Perlman , Burn Gorman , Rinko Kikuchi , Max Martini , Robert Maillet , Robert Kazinsky , Larry Joe Campbell
Directors: Guillermo del Toro
Country: USA
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Matt Zoller Seitz
RogerEbert.com

If I were nine years old, I would see the monsters-versus-robots adventure Pacific Rim 50 times. Because I'm in my forties and have two kids and two jobs, I'll have to be content with seeing it a couple more times in theaters and re-watching it on video.


Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times

Pacific Rim gives big, dumb and loud an exemplary name and summer audiences something to cheer.


Lou Lumenick
New York Post

There’s no shortage of brains, brawn, eye candy, wit and even some poetry in this epic battle between massive lizard-like monsters and 25-story-high robots operated by humans.


Robbie Collin
The Telegraph

At first, watching Pacific Rim feels like rediscovering a favourite childhood cartoon – but del Toro has flooded the project with such affection and artistry that, rather than smiling nostalgically, you find yourself enchanted all over again.


Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com

This is a noisy, chaotic, technology-crazed 21st-century action film, but also one made with tremendous excitement, vigor and heart, along with a myriad of wonderful details.


Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Guillermo del Toro is more than a filmmaker, he's a fantasy visionary with an outsized imagination and a fanatical specificity, a creator of out-of-this world universes carefully conceived down to the smallest detail. His particular gifts and passions are on display in the long-awaited Pacific Rim and the results are spectacular.


Ty Burr
Boston Globe

Pacific Rim is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer — a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.


Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York

Every monster-movie archetype is here, from nerdy scientists (Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) to hard-stare leaders (Idris Elba) with a penchant for 11th-hour inspirational speeches. (Watching the former Stringer Bell bellow about “canceling the apocalypse!” is one of those great, giddy pleasures you didn’t know you needed.)


Matthew Leyland
Total Film

A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans.


Jordan Hoffman
Film.com

It is one of the better dumbass sci-fi action movies to come down the pike in quite some time.


Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice

Pacific Rim is big and dumb in a smart way.


Ian Buckwalter
NPR

Director Guillermo del Toro knows that the charm in the clash of scale - or armor-plated titans isn't necessarily tied to the low budgets and laughable production design of those guilty-pleasure TV shows. And with Pacific Rim, he cracks the code.


Liam Lacey
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Of all this year’s loud, over-long summer action movies that, in various ways, simulate the experience of having a tin bucket placed over your head and being struck repeatedly with a stick, it must be said that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is by far the most entertaining.


Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

What pulls us over the rough spots is the mind meld between del Toro the artist and the child inside him. They both want to astonish us. Geeks everywhere, salute.


Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Pacific Rim shares much with the Mexican filmmaker's "Hellboy" franchise - jokey and comic book-y, full of muscular tableaus with huge squads of people coming and going (and running for their lives).


Marc Mohan
Portland Oregonian

Idris Elba exudes the requisite militaristic authority as Raleigh's commanding officer, and Rinko Kikuchi is his determined partner in mecha mayhem.


James Berardinelli
ReelViews

There's not a single original moment to be found in Pacific Rim's 130-minute running time, but that doesn't much matter because the familiar beats are conveyed with maximum expertise intended to provide a visceral experience.


Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

It's closer to the hammering "Transformers" aesthetic than expected. Yet the weirdness around the edges saves it from impersonality.


A.A. Dowd
The A.V. Club

Yet for all its expensive grandeur, almost too epic even for the vast canvases of IMAX, Pacific Rim is unmistakably a Del Toro creation.


Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

It is a ridiculously entertaining (and often just plain ridiculous) monster-robot movie that plays like a gigantic version of that “Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots” game from the 1960s, combined with the cheesy wonderfulness (or should it be wonderful cheesiness?) of black-and-white Japanese monster movies from the 1950s.


Dana Stevens
Slate

Coming out of Pacific Rim I felt energized rather than enervated, excited to describe certain nifty details of the film’s wacked-out imaginary world to friends, maybe even ready to … sit through certain parts again?


A.O. Scott
The New York Times

Pacific Rim, with its carefree blend of silliness and solemnity, is clearly the product of an ingenious and playful pop sensibility.


Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

It’s not the best movie of the summer, not by a long shot, but if there’s such a thing as smarter dumb fun, this is probably it.


Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter

To kill time between action set-pieces, del Toro has done an above-average job of avoiding tedium via some flavorsome casting, passably interesting plot contrivances and, above all, by maintaining strong forward momentum. Unlike so many similar crash-bang action spectaculars, this one feels lean and muscular rather than bloated or padded; the combat is almost always coherent and dramatically pointed rather than just splashed on the screen for its own sake.


Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

There’s no denying Pacific Rim is the best film of its kind. It remains to be seen whether the film’s epic clawing and clanking satisfies a pent-up demand equal to its ambitions.


Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly

In a sense, Pacific Rim winds up being not enough of a Guillermo del Toro movie. It's more like a mash-up of "Real Steel" and the "Transformers" pictures. Which is a shame, because the idea is undeniably cool.


Eric Kohn
indieWIRE

Too in love with itself to ever totally go off the rails, Pacific Rim doesn't qualify as the first full-on dud of del Toro's career, but it's hard not to get the sense that something's missing.


Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

A big, lumbering, rock ’em, sock ’em mash-up of metallic heft and hyperbole, a noisy, overproduced disaster flick that sucks its characters and the audience down a vortex of garish visual effects and risibly cartoonish action. And you know what? It’s not bad!


Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

It’s the cinematic equivalent of a kid playing with his toys and smashing action figures together, except del Toro does it with more grace and imagination than most. There are long sequences in this movie that merit that most overused of terms, “awesome.”


Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The movie is an eyeful, especially in 3-D, but even with humans at the helms of the machines, it’s a hollow exercise in homage.


Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Del Toro’s robots have weight and mass, and their epic, Hong Kong-smashing fights with the four and six-legged, clawed and horned monsters are visually coherent, unlike the messy blur of the “Transformers” movies. There’s a light, humorous feel to “Pacific Rim” because the science is silly and logic takes a flying leap.


Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Guillermo del Toro doesn't rise above the obligations of staging a film of this sort as a multi-level video game, a stylish but programmatic ride toward an inevitable final boss battle.


Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve

Pacific Rim never amounts to more than the sum of its setpieces, but it delivers on the promise of its premise.


Tom Huddleston
Time Out London

If Del Toro is pitching for an audience of 12-year-old boys (and we do mean boys: this is old-school macho), he’s done a bang-up job. Still, there are times when Pacific Rim could be the work of any jobbing Hollywood director – the warmth and idiosyncracy that characterises Del Toro’s finest work, from Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy 2, is absent.


Andrew Pulver
The Guardian

Pacific Rim's wafer-thin psychodrama and plot-generator dialogue provides little for the human component to get their teeth into.


Ian Nathan
Empire

Del Toro is giving scope to a boyhood lust for mayhem, the multi-million-dollar equivalent of kicking over sandcastles and torturing insects. There is something infectiously juvenile in that.


Anthony Lane
The New Yorker

It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered — long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.


Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

The Kaijus make zombies look like wusses, so at least the fights in this film are battles royal. But overload sets in early, and it all turns into battle boring.


David Edelstein
New York Magazine (Vulture)

Pacific Rim made me marvel at the technology of movies, but never the magic of them.


Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

"Could be worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Pacific Rim, but my head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.


Richard Corliss
Time

You get 45 minutes of awesome encased in 90 minutes of yawnsome.


Lawrence Toppman
Charlotte Observer

All performances remain irrelevant in the face of such expensive, explosive combat and destruction, and there the film excels: You will feel blown back into your seat, starting 40 seconds into the story.


Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist

If your basic movie needs demand a little bit more -- logical premises; interesting, marginally original characters; dialogue that doesn’t reek of throaty, aspirational monologue after monologue -- Pacific Rim will leave you feeling hollow and wanting.


Justin Chang
Variety

Although assembled with consummate care and obsessive attention to visual detail, Pacific Rim manages only fitful engagement and little in the way of real wonderment, suspense or terror.


Claudia Puig
USA Today

The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots.


Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

If this is the best we can do in terms of movies - if something like this can speak to the soul of audiences - maybe we should just turn over the cameras and the equipment to the alien dinosaurs and see what they come up with.


Rex Reed
New York Observer

An hour and 20 minutes into this two-hour-and-11-minute endurance test, a hungry Kaiju attacks the city of Hong Kong and eats the neon signs of every Cantonese restaurant in Victoria Harbor. It’s sort of worth waiting around for.


Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

Laudable as its world-building is, the film drags not just in its interminable middle hour, but also during the redundant monster-on-mechawarrior smackdowns.


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