(2013)

Critic Reviews

64

Metascore

Based on 48 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
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.
100
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.
100
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.
88
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.
80
Pacific Rim is big and dumb in a smart way.
80
It is one of the better dumbass sci-fi action movies to come down the pike in quite some time.
80
A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans.
80
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.)
75
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.
75
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).
75
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.
75
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.
70
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.
67
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.
63
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.
63
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.
60
Pacific Rim's wafer-thin psychodrama and plot-generator dialogue provides little for the human component to get their teeth into.
60
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.
50
"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.
40
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.
38
The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots.
25
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.
25
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.
20
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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