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Watchmen (2009)

R  |   |  Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  6 March 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 360,707 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


A world at peace. There had to be sacrifice. 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?


Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never curse. See more »


The director's cut, and the source novel, show how people know that Doctor Manhattan has gone to Mars, and eliminates "continuity errors" regarding his and Laurie's poses there. See more »


Janet Black: Doctor Manhattan as you know the Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face analogizing humankind's proximity to extinction, midnight representing the threat of nuclear war. As of now it stands at four minutes to midnight. Would you agree that we are that close to annihilation?
Jon Osterman: My father was a watch maker. He abandoned it when Einstein discovered time is relative. I would only agree that a symbolic clock is as nourishing to the intellect as photograph of oxygen to a drowning man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The company logos are black-on-yellow, with text set in Futura Condensed, the font used for titles throughout the graphic novel and film. See more »


99 Luftballons
Written by Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen (as Joern-Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen) and Karlo Carges (as Carlos Karges)
Performed by Nena
Courtesy of Epic Records and Sony Music Entertainment Germany (GmbH)
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Stays True to the "Big Joke," But This May Confuse Some.
3 March 2009 | by (New Orleans, Louisiana) – See all my reviews

Before anyone sees this film, Zach Snyder should be given a pat on the back. He did what a dozen directors struggled to do for twenty years: he made a Watchmen movie. It seems unthinkable that anyone could properly put the greatest graphic novel of all time on the screen. But Snyder has done pretty much that.

While it is not Alan Moore's Watchmen, it is the closest thing that anyone else could have put on the screen. Snyder approached the material with enough reverence that fans of the comic will appreciate the film. As Snyder has openly declared, the final act does include significant changes, but the alterations that take place fit better on the big screen than the original ending would have. It works because it cuts down on a lot of the necessary back story which Snyder could not include.

Even though many pages of the book were not included, Snyder did take the time to try and preserve other information by including short "historical" sequences in the fantastic opening title sequence. By this point, viewers will also have had a chance to appreciate the stellar, and time appropriate, soundtrack. Unlike the hard rock recordings the Snyder chose for the background of 300, Watchmen's background fits the tone and mood of most of the scenes. The only questionable choice was the selection of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," not because of the recording, but rather its awkward placement. Some may also question Snyder's inclusion of gore not present in the book. While the comic does include it's share of violence, Snyder did overtly change several scenes to be more violent. These changes, while flashy on film, may disturb squeamish moviegoers. However, changes aside, Snyder has captured the essence of the book and packaged it in a beautiful 2 hour and 40 minute delight. Overall, it is a satisfying film experience for someone familiar with the source material.

But this might be a different experience for anyone who does not know the book. There is a lot to digest, and the overwhelming visuals may distract some moviegoers from the bigger picture. The interaction of these unique characters remains an integral point to understanding this film, and when the book was pared down for the movie, the relationships of the masked adventures became a bit more forced. The best part of the comic was the glimpse of what is "beneath the hood," and we have less of that in Snyder's adaptation. Additionally, the ending, while simplified, is still a bit convoluted.

Fans and those previously unfamiliar with Watchmen should go in with an open mind. Snyder has performed what Doctor Manhattan might deem a miracle, so it may take more than one viewing to truly appreciate this unique adaptation.

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Which cut? joshua_maddock
I just want to know why this film isn't liked as much. drawlife
# 3 On My Top 10 Superhero Movie List... jlrucilez
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Should this have been released after Avengers? thedarklantern
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