(I) (2013)

Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
San Francisco Chronicle
After a slow start, this is the rare film that gets better as it goes along. The story, about two scientists working in a post-apocalyptic New York, deepens and builds an intense rooting interest. The action sequences are too much out of a video game, but this is intelligent science fiction -- and it benefits enormously from Tom Cruise in the lead role.
It's a visually arresting movie. But as the plot layers are peeled back, and we're given one answer after another, Oblivion actually becomes less interesting.
Oblivion is an absolutely gorgeous film dramatically caught between its aspirations for poetic romanticism and the demands of heavy sci-fi action. After a captivating beginning brimming with mystery and evident ambition, the air gradually seeps out of the balloon that keeps this thinly populated tale aloft, leaving the ultimate impression of a nice try that falls somewhat short of the mark.
Glaringly indebted to several earlier works and the film overall remains beholden to one established brand above all others: Tom Cruise.
Oblivion occupies an awkward no-man's-land between escapist space adventure and heady science fiction, but it's neither thrilling enough nor intellectually stimulating enough to satisfy devotees of either.
By the end of the film, Leo is beginning to sound suspiciously like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Robotic, and more than a little peeved.
Oblivion is a slick spectacle - seeing the humorless but ultra-fit Tom Cruise wrestle with himself might be worth the price of admission alone.
Oblivion has enough special-effects artistry to keep you distracted for a while. But all the eye candy in the world can't mask the sensation that you've seen this all before...and done better.
For all the bells and whistles - an electronic score by M83, a screen-busting Imax presentation and Cruise going full throttle - Oblivion feels arid and antiseptic, untouched by human hands. Bummer.
Kosinski's ultimately underwhelming film leads nowhere. As its palpable sense of dread - well-sustained in a gently cascading first hour - gives way to dead ends, this Omega Movie shoots itself in the foot.
The mystery posed by Oblivion as a whole is why its mysteries are posed so clumsily, and worked out so murkily.

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