(2004)

Critic Reviews

58

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Although this first chapter in a three-part tale is inevitably overburdened with back story, it ends on one hell of a cliff-hanger.
70
Los Angeles Times
Director Timur Bekmambetov has combined two things that never connected before. He's taken a glossy Hollywood-type fantasy thriller about the battle between supernatural forces of good and evil right here on planet Earth and infused it with a homegrown, distinctively Russian soul.
60
Variety
Russian-made pic displays pro technique and visual imagination on a par with, if not better than, Hollywood frighteners, but with a distinctive Slavic accent.
60
Village Voice
Despite its cheesy blood and thunder and ludicrous "Sunshine Makers" metaphysics, this is the funniest apocalypse I've seen since George Romero's "Land of the Dead."
60
In the final act, the movie dons a more human face and commits to an absorbing tale of crime and punishment, albeit pushing the fatigued message that you can't always tell light from dark these days.
50
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The ending is a huge letdown, doing little besides setting the stage for the sequel… But for a good hour and change, the film is a big toy box that teases you out of the Gloom.
50
The A.V. Club
The filmmakers don't seem to realize that if a movie with a mythology this groan-inducingly convoluted doesn't have a sense of humor about itself, the laughs are going to come anyway. They just won't be of the intentional variety.
50
The film may be a mess - narratively muddled and crammed with many more vampires, shape-shifters and sorcerers than one movie can handle, but it bursts with a sick, carnivorous glee in its own fiendish games.
40
The Hollywood Reporter
Everything today's young audiences are conditioned to want: incessant noise, jumpy editing, torrential music, shallow, overblown characters and sheer emptiness at its core. Imagine yourself trapped inside a two-hour video game, and you've got the Night Watch experience.
0
Entertainment Weekly
A fractious fiasco: whiplash camera movement set to raging blasts of death metal, a story so incoherent it made me wish I was watching, instead, the collected outtakes from Van Helsing.

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