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Watchmen (2009)

Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
In 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.

Director:

Zack Snyder

Writers:

David Hayter (screenplay), Alex Tse (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
270 ( 72)
11 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malin Akerman ... Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II
Billy Crudup ... Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman
Matthew Goode ... Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias
Jackie Earle Haley ... Rorschach
Jeffrey Dean Morgan ... Edward Blake / Comedian
Patrick Wilson ... Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl
Carla Gugino ... Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
Matt Frewer ... Moloch
Stephen McHattie ... Hollis Mason
Laura Mennell ... Janey Slater
Rob LaBelle ... Wally Weaver
Gary Houston ... John McLaughlin
James M. Connor ... Pat Buchanan (as James Micheal Connor)
Mary Ann Burger Mary Ann Burger ... Eleanor Clift
John Shaw ... Doug Roth
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Storyline

It's 1985 in an alternate reality. The Watchmen - comprised of the Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl II, Ozymandias, Rorschach and Silk Spectre II - are a disparate band of masked superheroes, modeled after the Minutemen, who were masked superheroes of a generation earlier, most of who are dead or afflicted by the ravages of life. The Comedian belongs to both groups. Despite the activities of the Watchmen leading to the west winning the Vietnam War which in turn has kept Richard Nixon in the White House, Nixon has now outlawed masks, resulting in the Watchmen disbanding and going into retirement, most hiding their Watchmen past under their human identities. However, the Comedian, in his human persona of Eddie Blake, and Dr. Manhattan - former physicist Jon Osterman who obtained his superhero powers through a scientific accident which almost killed him - now work for the government. Dr. Manhattan's powers in particular have kept a watch over nuclear proliferation, as he is able to stop... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 8 mins) The shooting of President John F. Kennedy in the movie is framed exactly like the famous Zapruder Film of Kennedy Assassination (1970), the only authentic footage of the assassination. In the foreground, just as Kennedy is hit, you see an actor playing Abraham Zapruder with his camera. See more »

Goofs

(at around 10 mins) Some of the floating credits are reflected in Neil Armstrong's helmet. The back of the letters (or the reverse side) is what is facing the helmet. The reflection of the reverse side (or, the reverse of the reverse side) would show the text properly oriented. Therefore, both the credits and the reflection should appear as readable; the reflection should not appear backwards. See more »

Quotes

Rorschach: You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do.
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The Indian release was also dubbed into Hindi language. This version (certificate #VFL/2/20/2017-MUM) is heavily edited to obtain a U/A (parental guidance) rating, and runs for 131 minutes and 33 seconds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Space Jam (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
My favorite movie ever?
8 March 2009 | by budmasseySee all my reviews

For over 25 years now, I have cited Blade Runner as my favorite movie of all time. After seeing Watchmen, I may have to reconsider.

First, I'm glad I went to see the movie alone. I've heard so many comments focused on a blue dick, or the length of the movie, or some other such nonsense, that I'm sure watching it with someone would have been a constant barrage of commentary and complaint. And no, that's not Javier Bardem.

Yes, the movie is long; nearly three hours. But, unlike the dreadfully insipid Titanic, at the end of this movie I wasn't asking for those three hours of my life back. And, as with all such movies, you must be able to look beyond the literal.

Watchmen is iconic and iconoclastic, deconstructionist and revisionist, laden with allegory and allusion. Consider, for example, the character Ozymandias. I'm wondering how many people who viewed the film ever even heard of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem by the same name. The character even quotes the poem on a plinth in his Antarctic lair. The allusion is amazing. Here's the full quote;

And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Clearly one must see the allusion to the work, in this case, of a superhero who hopes to leave mankind a lasting legacy, but realizes in the back of his mind that everything is eventually lost in time. Ozymandias was the first poem I ever examined from an expositional point of view, and I was blown away. The use of it in this movie is equally impactful.

Then there is Dr. Manhattan, named, of course, for the Manhattan Project, which yielded the atomic bomb. His character is an allegory for God, and his relationship with man mirrors the apparent detachment with which God sees suffering in the world He created. The deity reference is reinforced often, and one thinks of Oppenheimer's citation of the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Vishnu takes on a godly form and says, "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

In an expository scene in the second act, Dr. Manhattan has a sort of recollection of his life. His account is dizzyingly elliptical, since he does not see time as linear the way others do. This scene has the lyrical feel of my favorite piece of fiction, Alan Lightman's almost unbearably beautiful Einstein's Dreams, and the reference to Einstein cannot be ignored.

But the real beauty of Watchmen is the moral diversity of its superheroes. Each is flawed in different ways, allowing us to inhabit different ethical perspectives, intellectually at least, and witness their consequences. Everything from Rorshach's refusal to compromise, which makes him a doomed fugitive, to the ultimate compromise envisioned by Ozymandias, who can dispassionately evaluate scenarios where millions of lives are sacrificed, calls into question our most cherished beliefs. Where does it leave you? Well, that's for you to decide.

From a purely entertainment perspective, Watchmen is stunning. The visuals are state of the art, and do not suffer from the sort of mental rejection I have for some movies that present too many special effects to swallow at once as reality. And Watchmen doesn't suffer from Hollywood's apparent fascination with camp in comic book movies. Camp works to some degree in Spiderman, since he's a somewhat humorous character to begin with. But the excess of camp rendered the Fantastic Four sequel unwatchable. Watchman proves that superheroes can use more subtle forms of humor, such as irony, without devolving into camp for cheap laughs.

And the music, oh, the music. If you didn't grow up in the 60's and 70's, you will surely miss some of the impact, but don't worry. Even a second hand recollection of such iconic tunes will suffice. I am reminded of the painfully awful Across the Universe, which couldn't even pull together a decent movie built around the greatest catalog in modern music. Watchmen does it in spades.

I LOL'd, I cried. The people in the theatre applauded at the end. I vowed to wait 24 hours before writing a review to see if my euphoria passed. It hasn't.


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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watchmen: The IMAX Experience See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,214,334, 8 March 2009

Gross USA:

$107,509,799

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$185,382,813
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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