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Watchmen (2009)

R  |   |  Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  6 March 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 361,000 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 1,213 user | 444 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Buchanan (as James Micheal Connor)
Mary Ann Burger ...
John Shaw ...


In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated. The reunited heroes set out to prevent their own destruction, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot. Written by evan murphy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


We were supposed to make the world a better place. See more »


Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watchmen: The IMAX Experience  »

Box Office


$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£3,243,001 (UK) (6 March 2009)


$107,503,316 (USA) (22 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Director's Cut) | (Ultimate Cut)

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite being referred to as such in the movie, none of the characters in the comic are named, or are ever involved in a group called, 'The Watchmen'. That title is simply used as an allusion to the 'Juvenal' phrase 'Who watches the watchmen?', which appears throughout the comic as well as the movie. In the comic, the group was called the Crimebusters. See more »


Moloch's copy of Allen Ginsberg's "HOWL" on his night table briefly changes orientation. Initially, you see the letters right side up; then upside-down (and closer to the bed); then back again. See more »


Dr. Manhattan: I feel fear, for the last time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gerard Butler is given second opening credit in the Ultimate Edition (on the fuselage of the airplane in the montage), due to him playing the part of the pirate in the 'Tales of the Black Freighter' segments. See more »


Written and Performed by Dominic Frontiere
Courtesy of Overture Enterprises Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Watchmen is a fascinating graphic novel adaptation that deserves to be seen by anybody that likes their movies complex, dark, and absorbing.
14 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watchmen is the long-awaited graphic novel adaptation that has for a long time been deemed un-filmable. There have been many different points over the years where this movie was supposed to be made, which always ended up not happening. But now Watchmen is finally here in all its glory, and it's probably the best adaptation possible of this complex graphic novel. The story takes place in an alternative 1985, with Nixon beginning his third term as president, and the streets of New York are gritty, dark, and violent. Within New York lives a group of costumed heroes that used to be loved by society, but are now hated by practically everybody. One night a depressed retired hero named The Comedian is murdered by a masked person that breaks into his apartment. Another hero named Rorschach, who wears a mask with shifting ink blots, believes that someone is picking off costumed heroes to begin their own agenda of destruction. Rorschach begins investigating and hunting down the person that is responsible for The Comedian's death. Meanwhile we meet another hero who glows blue, and has almost literally become a God. His name is Dr. Manhattan, and although he has the power to save the world he won't do it because he has lost many of his human emotions. The other main costumed heroes are Night Owl and Silk Spectre, who begin to fall in love amid the chaos of their secret lives. Any other attempt to describe the complex plot of this movie would be nearly impossible.

Watchmen was an extremely complex graphic novel filled with a lot of flawed costumed characters, strong plot, powerful sense of style, and also contained a world that seems a little too close to our own. The movie carries every one of these elements in the best way it possibly could. It stays true to the novel, and only changes a few details. The memorable characters are very well portrayed and acted as well. Dr. Manhattan (the giant blue guy) is played very well by Billy Crudup, who manages to keep the character interesting despite his emotionless attitude. Malin Akerman (Silk Spectre II), Patrick Wilson (Night Owl II), and Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt) are also very good in their roles. However the two actors that truly help add depth and a real sense of anger to the film are Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Rorschach was probably my favorite character because technically he's not really a hero at all. He's a psychopath with harmful and destructive behavior, even though in a way he's trying to do what he believes is right for the world. He is a fascinating character with his shape-shifting mask full of ink blots that mirror his personality.

The movie takes place in 1985 and mimics what was happening back then. Watchmen's story revolves around the threat of nuclear war and global destruction, and the characters mostly try to do the right thing for the world but have trouble seeing the point in doing so. This is a great film that stays true to the original graphic novel while transitioning its style, characters, chain of events, and storyline from page-to-screen the best it possibly could. However if you're not familiar with the source material you may find yourself confused by this movie. It's not like The Dark Knight where everybody that goes to see it knows who Batman and the Joker are. These characters are not as famous as those types of household name characters, and may be hard for someone's whose never read the novel to understand. Personally I only read a few chapters before I saw the movie, and I thought the movie was incredible. I always give a movie props for not taking the easy way out by spoon-feeding everything to the audience. The book, as well as the movie, was daring by taking of the risk of being complex and making you think for a change. Watchmen is a great movie, and despite its long running time of 163 minutes, I never found it boring at all. Watchmen is a fascinating graphic novel adaptation that deserves to be seen by anybody that likes their movies complex, dark, and absorbing.

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