The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008) Poster

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5/10
Meh
symbioticpsychotic2 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As a true fan of the series, I was somewhat disappointed with this entry into the franchise. It doesn't bother me that it had nothing really to do with the mythology, no conspiracy, no alien replacements, no Doggett, no Reyes.

What did bother me, however, is that it didn't have much else either.

I honestly went in with a completely open mind, and came out unmoved, from an 'event' that should have moved me.

The script was very flat and lifeless. The acting was stale and uninspired (due to the script no doubt). The plot, long and not punchy enough to deserve who slow it played out. And the climax (and I use the term loosely) was really flat. There were no 'spikes' in this film, when 'spikes' are the reason we watch. If anything, I would have to rate this among the more average episodes of the show. Indeed, it actually felt like an episode that had been blown out to a 2 hour run time. In and of itself, that's not a bad thing, just make the content something worth watching.

The Good: Seeing Mulder and Scully again. Bless their hearts. Seeing the location type across the bottom left hand side of the screen. Ahh nostalgia. Hearing the signature theme for a brief moment. And, the opening scene was quite good, interesting and gripping.

The Bad: It stops right there after that first scene. The reasons for Mulder's return to the FBI are unsound. Mulder and Scully are both wanted by the FBI. Mulder on the run from his sentence to death. I don't believe for a moment that the FBI would drop charges to save one Agent, considering no one in the high positions believed in his work anyway. There were too many nods and winks for the fans. If Carter had maybe have spent less time naming things after previous writers and directors and more time focusing on writing a tight script, things may have been different. The script had too much emphasis on Scully's patient, and not enough emphasis on what was actually happening in the main story. Scully was really whiny. And it annoyed me that she brought up Samantha. Mulder was a little bit weak, and somewhat boring, he did not have the spirit and gusto that he had in the show. It was not scary. It was barely dramatic. It was not engaging, and unfortunately I really never asked the question "what's going to happen next", or how are they going to solve this?" But rather, when will this speed up. It is only my die hard fan-ship of the show that made me not ask myself "When can I go home?" Although, I did have free tickets, so it would have been silly to leave. And the inclusion of Skinner was an obvious fan treat, and completely irrelevant to the plot.

I hate the fact that I didn't like it. It should have been an event. And it wasn't. I'm not disappointed, because I got to see my beloved Mulder and Scully again. But I wasn't impressed.

An unfortunately low 5/10 :(
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4/10
Chris, Chris, Chris....
mercuryix-129 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw X-Files: I Want to Believe. There are too many other people beginning their reviews with "I Wanted to Believe It Would Have Been a Decent Film", for me to do the same.

However, that is how I, like many others, felt tonight. There was laughter during the serious scenes, and no laughter during the briefly "comic" moments. Not a good sign when the audience is tittering during moments of anger or tears between the main actors.

After it was over, I wanted to buy Chris Carter a beer, sit down with him, slap him in the head and say "Chris..... what happened?" Chris wrote some great episodes, but as the series ended it got weaker and weaker. This movie plays like a subpar episode from one of their weaker seasons. It's as if Carter had proved the old cliché that a writer only has so many stories in them, and when they're gone, they're gone. I don't want to believe that, but it's hard to dispute it in this case.

Duchovny and Anderson are first-rate, as always; they are the only reason people would watch this movie; no-one else could say these lines and hold interest.

Watch this movie only if you want to see them as their characters, and discard any need for coherency or plot, let alone logic; because you won't find it.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS (NOT THAT IT MATTERS):

The main villain in this movie is a 50 year-old Russian delivery man, who outruns the younger Mulder, outwits him, is played as if he's the unstoppable Alien throughout the series, when he is really only a.... 50 year-old Russian guy with no special powers. Then, at the very end, after getting away after every gruesome crime, he gets whacked in the noggin with a wrench from a woman and goes down. End of villain. The movie ends shortly thereafter.

The "hero" of the movie is a retired pedophile priest. Making this schmoe a "pedophile" just to make him unpalatable, was unnecessary, and insensitive to those who have actually been molested as children. It was a very cheap and easy way to make the guy disturbing to audiences, and Carter is smarter than to use such a cheap device.

SPOILER ALERT: (again, not that it matters): The entire plot, as ludicrous as it sounds, boils down to this:

A 50 year-old gay Russian dude who is part of an illegal organ-snatching ring wants to save his gay partner by stealing body parts; when that fails, he plans to have his head grafted onto a woman's body. That's it. I kid you not. When you see the movie, you will see this is exactly the plot. You will also want to join me in slapping Chris Carter in the head. After all this time, this is the best he can come up with? It is a cross between a Russian Dr. Frankenstein movie and Hairspray.

MOST LUDICROUS MOMENT AWARD: Again, the shame here is on Carter, not Duchovny. He actually has Mulder go into a room full of the people he knows have been abducting and cutting up women for body parts, armed with.... a wrench. That's right, a wrench. He staggers around (he has a head injury) saying "Stop! Just Stop what you're doing! Do any of you speak English??" Then a 70 year old Russian doc hits him with a hypo gun, knocking him out. This is the guy who went toe to toe with unstoppable morphing aliens in the series. Now he's dumb enough to get hypo'd by a guy on social security. Everything after this point was pure farce, and you feel insulted that you were expected to take any of it seriously.

The plot holes are too giant to describe. Save that for a guy that used to live on the cell phone, it doesn't occur to Mulder to use his phone when he finds out where the bad guys are. Oh yeah, he does, but his car gets rammed so he drops it. Then, when he wakes up hours later in his car, he still has his phone, but doesn't use it.

But wait, Skinner arrives anyway! And he has some of the dumbest lines in the movie as he and Skully try to find Mulder randomly in the dark! OK, I give up..... there's no describing it.

The Truth Is Out There, and it is this: Any member of the audience tonight that was laughing during this movie could have sat down, and in two weeks, written a treatment that would have turned into a better movie than what Chris Carter and Spotnitz wrote. If you are a fan, you will leave the theater with the same feeling; and you will be correct.

Yep, this...thing with two heads was written by two heads. Which is probably why you will see two-headed things in this movie.

As for myself, I Don't Want to Believe. I Don't Want to Believe that Carter would write something this bad, and this insulting to not only the die-hard X-Files fans, but for Duchovny and Anderson to perform.

I can't end without saying something directly to Carter, though I know he won't ever read it: Come on, Chris. You know you could have written a better and more compelling (and more coherent) script than this. You should have vetted it, found out how bad it was, scrapped it, and started from scratch with a new script with higher stakes and more meaning for your audience. Your audience deserved better, and your legacy deserves better.

(Cue mournful X-Files music at end......)
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4/10
That's why episodes last 45min not 2h
Crt Karlin31 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Lot of spoilers - do not read if you haven't seen the film yet.

I've seen the film a few minutes ago and I have to say I really didn't like it. First of all, what the hell is Xzibit doing in there? He should stick to pimp my ride, there he sucks just a little less than in the new X files film. I don't think much better of Amanda Peet, but she couldn't suck more than Xzibit (well i suppose she does in real life, if Xzibit is't one of the bad-guy-turned-good father Joe's altar boys), she should make a romance-comedy, not X filed, well there was a lot of romance in this film, but not with her involved... Scully and Mulder resembled themselves from the old days, no comment on that, a good performance, and of course, you can't mess up Skinner, there's no way; the scene where he enters the plot line was one of a few good ones. Father Joe is also pretty good acted, he seems that he's sorry, but should have been more psychotic, that's my opinion, Billy Connolly was a victim of the c**p story. All the Russians were bull's excrement. The Russians don't have the technology! The Chinese do! Finished with the acting, let's get to the storyline. It sucked. Even more than Xzibit. I would've given it 5 stars, if Xzibit wasn't there, so with him in the film, not even 4 stars for the plot. There's barely something that you could call paranormal... Bleeding from the eyes? Bah... Psychic powers? That's chewed up already... Head transplant? That was fun for a minute, but where's the rest? At least the two-headed dog was fun, but didn't get enough screen time. Maybe all of the Xzibit's parts could go to the cool dawg...dog... They should at least have thrown in some aliens, doesn't matter where, couldn't make it any worse as it is. As mentioned, there was romance between Mulder and Scully. To much of it. Unnecessary and boring. That's all I have to say about it. Russian gay love story (including the body transplant) was kind of fun at moments, but nothing shocking or disturbing or at least a little bit scary as one would expect from X-files. Why should he transplant all of his body? It would be enough if he'd just get the vaginoplasty, just like Mr. Garrison did. The parallel story of Scully working in a hospital wasn't interesting either and barely had any connection with the main one. What was Mulder doing all that time? Growing beard? The snowy scenery was beautiful, the film well shot and cut. At least that was good about it. All in all the film was below my expectations (which were low before seeing it) and at least it's not better than the last Batman, which I've also seen, I kind of expected (hoped) that maybe it would be, as I certainly didn't like the Dark Knight, but that doesn't have any connection with the movie i'm commenting on. If you don't like church, go see it. If you don't like gay people, go see it. If you like gay people, go see it. If you like Sicko, go see it. If you like Saw, watch it again, don't waste time on this, it's similar, but not as direct, you won't like it. If you like Extreme Makeover, go see it. If you like Pimp my ride, stick to that. If you like X files, skip this film.

Sorry for my English.
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3/10
disappointed
alejogutierrez15 September 2008
The film is boring, the plot is very simple (like this comment). There isn't action or scary moments. I think that Chris Carter (the director), Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter (writters)had forgot that x-files is supposed to be a sci-fiction movie. This movie was like view a bad and long episode of the TV series but worst.

The ambient and the music is perfect, the characters are very well, like always. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are the perfect couple. They act like real FBI agents, but the emotional scenes are quite unpleasant (like always).

The film isn't enough to satisfied any fan of the x-files series.

I felt disappointed.
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4/10
In Memoriam of the X-Files series
mario_c19 August 2008
The X-Files Series is dead, and this THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE is its burial ceremony! My hopes weren't very high but I was expecting something better after all these years. Make a second film for that? Why? Any regular episode of the series is better than this "large episode"… The fans of the series might like it and I don't blame them, but in fact I think this film was totally unnecessary.

Well, the main topic of the plot ("the Frankenstein doctor"…) is not bad, but all the rest is not that good, at all! The film is too slowly paced, the action scenes are just a few and not well done, the main characters are truly old and wasted, and there's a subplot that seems to increase nothing to the movie except drama, cheap drama!

Rest In Peace X-Files Series…
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4/10
100% Disappointed
ssilvamty11 August 2008
I was reading some comments about this movie and One guy said it was Great! Later, I understood why. He just had watched 3 chapters before this movie. So, for him it was a logical, interesting movie. For people who is a real fan of this series is a total disappointment. The characters could have been "John and Mary Smith" and nothing would happen. This is not even an "X File". It is not related with any of the cases that we used to watch neither with any of the characters we used to see. This might have been just a "regular chapter" from the series. There are ANY spectacular scenes like in the first movie. This is just a plain, boring, movie and Mulder and Scully are there just by chance. I think this could have been more successful if the story would be about two FBI characters and avoiding Mulder and Scully. I feel cheated.
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8/10
Not as bad as people are making it out to be
kimberly_ann25 July 2008
Honestly, I thought this was a good film. I'll even go so far as to say a great film. I really think that Chris Carter, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson delivered what they had promised to. All along, throughout the post-production and press campaign we've been told that this is a creepy story with Mulder and Scully's relationship at its core. Well, that's what it is ... plain and simple. I really think that all the negativity and people's harsh reviews are from false and hyped up expectations of what this movie is supposed to be. If anything, you should just try to walk into the theatre with an open mind.

But I almost think some people who reviewed this film, saw a different film than I did ...

1. I read a review in which the person said Gillian Anderson's acting was awful. That is false. It is quite the contrary. Gillian Anderson is probably one of the strongest aspects of this movie. Every time she's in a scene, you're captivated.

2. I had read that Mulder and Scully don't show up in the film until 45 minutes into it. False. Scully appears in the 3rd scene - so what? no more than 7 minutes? - and Mulder directly follows.

3. Someone complained about an irrelevant and torturously long scene where Mulder fills up his gas tank. This doesn't happen. He goes to a gas station, gets out of his car, and goes into a store.

4. Lastly, it was rumored that the actors where flubbing up their lines all the time. Okay, even if they did, that wouldn't end up in the final film. Obviously they do multiple takes for a reason. The lines are solid.

This movie is not boring. The surprises are there. It may not be scary in a 'horror film' sort of way where things are jumping out at you every 2 seconds, but it is scary. The acting is amazing. Gillian Anderson on her own is a joy to watch, but when you put her in a scene with David it's either going to break your heart or melt it. The supporting cast won't let you down, and neither will the storyline. It's not paranormal in the sense of freaks and monsters, but religion and God. It's very much in the fashion of "All Things"; seeing the signs and following them. Finally, it is just excellently put together. Whoever edited this film did a phenomenal job! The inter-cutting and juxtaposition was out of this world.

GIVE IT A CHANCE, FOLKS.
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2/10
What were they thinking?
barnes-18320 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was not an obsessed fan of the TV show, but I certainly was a fan. The show was spooky, funny (dry humor but humor none the less) and had wonderful chemistry between the leads.

Problems with this film The biggest problem: the characters in this film say and do things with no respect to the nature of their characters. One day Scully pushes and manipulates Mulder to take on this case. He resists, but Scully is hell bent on convincing him to take the case. OK, fine. This leads me to believe that the Scully character wants Mulder to take the case. Then, 48 hours later, she decides that Mulder is obsessed with the case (he is working more than a 9-5 in order to solve it) and she tells him that he must drop the case or she will leave him forever (I think they are married, or at least the next best thing). Huh? One day she feels strongly that he take the case, 48 hours later she is willing to nix her entire marriage to him because he has been working overtime for the last 2 days? What does this tell us about Scully? That random motivations flit through her mind with no rhyme or reason and that she acts on them impulsively? If that is what she is, how can the audience sympathize with her? How could Mulder deal with her as a wife? How could there be screen chemistry between a man and a random motivation generating machine? The thing is, any random 10th grader would not have made this mistake if they were hired to write this script.

Problem #2: The cinematography was what you would expect from a moderate budget TV show, not a movie. It had the look and feel of a normal TV episode and yet was worse than nearly all the episodes of year 1-7.
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5/10
No Country for Old X-Files
The world is a greatly changed place since the heyday of "The X-files." Back in the late 1990's the TV show was at its height and tapping into the shared fears of the day: fear of the unknown, fear of the impending millennium, and fear that something larger than us (the government or alien invaders) was up to no good. Flash forward to the year 2008 and we know all that hubbub about the millennium was for nothing, our government has been up to no good for years, and it's not space invaders we need to worry about but other people terrorizing us. The murky, gloomy, grim style of "The X-Files" is now the norm with feverish and dark films like "There Will Be Blood" and "The Dark Knight" tapping into the mindset of culture today from opposite ends of the film spectrum.

Apparently creator Chris Carter didn't realize his baby was irrelevant now. His only mission should've been to please the faithful. If he wanted to revive his series on film, he had best stick to the labyrinthine alien mythology that still has some die-hard fans buzzing, or at the very least deliver a fun stand-alone monster-of-the-week style flick that would make fans jump in their seats. With "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" he does neither of those things. Instead, he gives us a story where Mulder and Scully come out of hiding to work on a case where the FBI are using a psychic criminal priest to help locate a missing agent and track down a potential serial killer. The plot fits more into the mold of his far less popular companion series "Millennium" than it does to "The X-Files." Apparently Carter wanted to please no one except perhaps himself.

The weirdest thing about the film is that it isn't all that bad. Carter as a director lays on some decent atmosphere (with all the global-warming defying snow and some eerie nighttime shots) and creates some palpable tension as the horrors of the case grow grimmer. The chemistry between Mulder (a lazy but effective David Duchovny) and Scully (an amazingly fully ranged and emotional Gillian Anderson) is still there, and Anderson's performance is especially gripping. Billy Connolly, cast against type, gives an interesting turn as the corrupted priest searching for redemption through his visions that probably would've garnered an Emmy nod had this been a very special two-part TV episode. Also good is Amanda Peet, looking smashing in her smart FBI pantsuits.

Most interesting is the story arc given Dana Scully. I honestly had stopped watching the show after the sixth season, and aside from the mythology storyline that built up to the first film released ten years ago, I recall some of my favorite episodes being the ones where Scully questioned her faith and struggled with reconciling her Catholicism with her scientific approach to the paranormal investigations. This is again explored here, as Scully, always the skeptic, so desperately wants to believe in something. However, it's an odd choice for Carter to focus on this internal human drama when he should be focusing on how to bring fans back into the fold. It would've been an interesting and compelling layer had Carter not been so inept with the rest of the plot.

In the end some fine performances and a moody atmosphere do not add up to a good time. Eventually it becomes an uncomfortable and anachronistic creep-fest that plays like the type of suspense thriller that ruled the roost in the mid-1990's after films like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Seven" made police detection and serial killing popular entertainment. Well, it's 2008, Mr. Carter, and it's time to wake up from your prolonged nightmare that was rendered uninteresting in 2001.
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1/10
one of the worst movies i've ever seen
putrescent_stench1 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have been a huge X-Files fan since the first episode. I even read the comics put out by Topps and the novels by Charles Grant and Kevin J. Anderson. I loved the first movie, "Fight the Future." Even though I had heard people disparaging the film because it wasn't connected to any larger mytharc, I thought that would be fine because some of the stand-alone episodes are my favorites (Pusher, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, etc.). Even the worst episodes were entertaining in some way, so what could go wrong? As I found out, many things could go wrong. Bad writing. Cliché and forced dialogue. Plot holes. Awkward and unfunny humor. Really bad story. Transparent parallels that felt cheap and unentertaining.

The theater I was in was pretty full. It was 3 days after opening night. I sensed that most of the reactions around me were similar to mine. People were laughing, but not at intentional jokes. Sometimes the actions of the characters just seemed stupid. Like towards the end, Mulder comes into the villains' lair yelling "Stop! Don't do that!" People were rolling in the aisles.

I could tell a few minutes into the movie it was going to be bad. When Mulder initially refuses to help with the case, then sees a picture of his sister and that totally changes his mind, I thought to myself, "Uh-oh, this might be bad." I kept hoping for improvement, but it was not forthcoming.

There really wasn't a single scene in this I can say that I liked. The dialogue was so stilted, unoriginal, and unorganic that I wondered if Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz had paid some fanfiction author to write this. I take that back; there's fanfiction that's better than this.

The villains being gay Russian organ harvesters/mad scientists is just so lame and boring. I mean this is the X-Files, where's the paranormal? Sure there's a supposedly psychic pedophile priest, but that didn't work too well and was the only weak connection to the X-Files. Why did the FBI really need Mulder so badly? And let's remember that the conflicted/complex psychic character had already been done - and much better - in "Beyond the Sea." Add in a silly Bush joke (I'm no fan of Bush but it just seemed such a cheap shot and so out of place) and a pointless 15-minute Skinner cameo (the only point people cheered in the theater), and you can see why this is so poorly made. Never in my deepest pessimism would I have imagined that this film would have been so bad.

I haven't the slightest idea where Carter and Spotnitz were coming from. They wanted to make Mulder and Scully look more mature? Less "waving his gun at the heavens?" like Mulder says in the first movie? They could have done it better than this. Scully berates Mulder for still looking for his sister? After all these years, she still thinks it's about that? The parallel between Mulder's obsession with finding the truth and Scully's obsession with helping the sick boy, Christian (subtle name), was so hit-you-over-the-head. And "Don't give up"? So profound.

They tried to address issues like the Catholic priest sex scandal, why God allows suffering, gay marriage, and even the existence of God - but it's done so hodge-podge and shallowly that it comes off like a bad movie-of-the-week drama.

I could say so much more. I'm going to go back and watch some episodes of the series. I will never watch this movie again or buy it on DVD. It doesn't even deserve to be associated with the greatness of the series.

EDIT: After 7 years, I went back and watched it, after hearing a small but growing fanbase of the movie argue for its merits. I had pretty much the same reaction, unfortunately, and couldn't find any merits to it, despite trying my hardest. At least there's the revival mini-series, X-Files Reopened, coming up. I'm looking forward to that, and hope they can go on as if the second movie never happened.
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3/10
Rubbish
roowonkenobi14 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot believe people are actually giving this movie a good score. The only excitement was seeing Mulder and Scully again. The plot was awful, truly awful. Russian scientists trying to save their bud with Dr Frank type science. What was the point of the stem cell story. catholics are totally against it so why would Scully be able to practice it in a Catholic hospital? Anyone who has watched the series over and over like me will be completely disappointed. All those classic episodes Home, Tombs, Our Town etc etc blow this rubbish out of the water. The first film was great with the black oil, bees and alien involvement. A great start with the cavemen fighting the alien in the ice.

What does carter provide for us in this movie - xzibit and Billy Conolly - please save me.

There was very little for fans (apart from a pointless reference to Mulders sister, the pencils in the ceiling and Mulder's nut eating) and nothing for non-fans.

You know you have a bad movie when there is another pointless scene trying to poke fun at George Bush? Didn't realise this film was written by buds of Michael Moore. Concentrate on the film not politics. Only losers enjoy that sort of rubbish.

A complete disaster and Chris Carter should be ashamed. It shows the guest writers really carried the series.

The only bonus was i got a free DVD of the 1st movie at the cinema!!
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1/10
The Truth is It's AWFUL!
raypdaley1821 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Anyone rating this higher than 1/10 either works for Fox or is so much of an idiot (for idiot read "gullible X-Files fan who'll buy anything with the shows name on it") that they actually think this is a good movie.

This is a truly awful movie. It starts out with an unknown woman being chased by 2 unknown male assailants for an unknown reason. Are you starting to see a pattern of unknown stuff? Anyway the FBI contact Scully who is working as a Doctor at a Catholic Hospital to help them find a missing FBI agent but they want her to help them find Mulder (who is wanted by the FBI but we're never told why) as its his kind of case, something weird.

It turns out Scully is living with Mulder (are they married?) so the movie has already jumped the shark as the whole point of their relationship in the series was always a "will they, won't they" and left open to debate.

Mulder is sucked back into a world he'd been away from and goes off to meet the man helping the FBI to find their missing agent, Father Joe (played by Billy Connolly) who is a disgraced and defrocked Priest having been discovered as a Pedophile (you'll get numerous references to his having "buggered Alter Boys") but is also a supposed psychic who is getting visions.

His visions never lead them to the missing agent, instead we go through a world of kidnap, organ harvesting & stem cell research before finally discovering the missing agent (who is found by Mulder) and some very questionable Frankenstein style surgery.

The films plot is far too complicated with characters who you never really learn about getting killed but you won't really care anyway, making it very difficult to follow what little plot there is. The end resolution is pretty crap as well, Father Joe dying. Your also unsure if Scully's patient is ever cured and if Mulder & Scully reunite.

Mitch Pileggi is brought back as Skinner and even he can't save this god awful film. There isn't enough that doesn't confuse to make a clear understandable film that has an actual ending. I didn't even realise Xzibit was playing the Agent who was constantly doubting Father Joe's abilities as it doesn't look like him at all.

I'd wait until this is released on DVD and watch it with the commentary on, it might make the film a bit easier to follow & understand. Otherwise steer well clear, its really awful.
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1/10
It Stank
gwendolynZ3 August 2008
Chris Carter thinks he can dump a trash script that was sitting in his TV-series-reject stockpile on die-hard XFile fans. There were at least 5 occasions during the film where I was questioning the logic of the story and by the end, was still waiting for explanations that never were delivered.

My opinions (no facts, just educated guesses!): 1) CC wanted to milk his cash cow without spending time crafting a new screenplay. 2) Because of the profit & success of the first film, either CC made sure his contract stated to leave him alone and not staunch his "creativity", or the studio gave CC carte blanche & never sent a "suit" (executive) to check on what he was doing. 3) Gillian & David D. got suckered into this - because they signed on to do a package deal (two or three films) and had no say on the script. 4) X-File fans will still turn out for another film, because they love the Mulder & Scully characters. I am very sorry to write such a diatribe, but it was extremely disappointing.
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2/10
Not the sequel anyone wanted
Gm726 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
To put it simply, this movie sucked. I had such high hopes for this movie especially considering the amount of time that has passed since the last movie (and the seasons with Mulder & Scully together), but none of my expectations were met.

This movie to me felt like a long TV episode and a bad one at that. There are two main plots within this movie that, with the exception of Scully being in both, have nothing to do with each other, and neither plot is worthy of being on something titled "The X-Files". The only real paranormal things in this movie are Mulder's beard and the psychic's eyes bleeding.

What was even worse is that there was no climax to this movie. NONE. The climactic scene was there, but the events happened so quickly that if you blinked you easily missed where the climax should have been.

The only reason to see this movie is to see Mulder, Scully, and Skinner all on the big screen again. There's no other reason to see it.
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1/10
Seriously?
SarahTeee5 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, so having watched all 9 seasons and the first film, I was really looking forward to this, as was my husband. I went in expecting a good film - the first film might not've been amazing, but it was watchable, and it fit in with the series, and I figured what with the huge wait for this one, they must've been taking their time and getting a great script together, because surely they'd want to prove wrong all the people who rubbished the first film?

I think maybe they waited too long to do another movie. I think maybe Chris Carter forgot what The X-Files used to be about, forgot what exactly it was that made the show so great. Yeah, the episodes were weird, and yeah some story lines strained belief, but they always offered so much to back it up that it got you thinking, and it always had an enthusiasm in the characters that just made it enjoyable regardless of believability.

Pet peeves of the movie: 1. No follow on from the end of season 9 at all. 2. "Come back, all is forgiven." Never realised Mulder was that blindly trusting. He's a wanted man. He never even bothered to make sure that the offer was on the level, just took their word for it - the word of a government he's never trusted. 3. The focus was all wrong...instead of focusing on the case and the background and giving us details to involve us and catch our interest, they focused on Mulder and Scully's relationship, except that there was zero chemistry between the two, and they even tried, unsuccessfully, to add back some of the will they won't they tension from the series with Scully's half-hearted threats of "I'll leave you". 4. The bad guys weren't even scary - they were stolen from over half the horror films currently out there, kidnapping with sick experiments seems to be par for the course when going for shock value these days, so shame on Chris Carter for following the crowd. 5. Even the ending was half-hearted - less than 10mins of one of the main characters from the series - surely Skinner deserved a bigger role? Basically it just left us feeling cheated.

I really tried to like it, I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't an X-file. Give Mulder and Scully's characters different names, and it just becomes another in a long line of preachy films about letting science go to far, and religion, - and seriously? Making the paedophile a good guy? What kind of message is that sending out?

Shame on you Chris Carter.
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7/10
A Nutshell Review: The X=Files: I Want to Believe
DICK STEEL24 July 2008
It's not hard to imagine how time flies, when you realize that one of your best loved television series of all time had already ended its run, and you reminisce the times back when one of your weekend nights revolved around sitting in a bunk with your army mates, all glued to what Chris Carter had conjured as adventures for the two best known goggle box FBI agents, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). While we always needed to crank up the volume to try and make sense of the murmurs involving shadow governments and secret conspiracies, our favourite episodes almost unanimously were those one-off ones, so called the "monster" episodes.

And it's been 6 years since The End, and 10 years since the first X-Files movie hit the screen. While that movie was intricately linked to the major conspiracy thread, this movie, as the trailer led us to believe, was a one-off monster episode, or so I thought. While it's indeed a one-off episode, it's no monster of an episode in the mould of those in the television series, though it really felt like an extended, stand alone episode which gave us a slightly more in depth look at the dynamics of our beloved duo, especially what happened to them in the last few years they went off the FBI radar. But as the saying goes, you can't put a good man, and a lady, down for too long.

This is a story about obsession. As we all know, Mulder's obsessed with everything X- classifiable, and in the years of absence, here comes an opportunity for a breath of fresh air when Agent Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) comes knocking to seek his expertise, as the FBI now has a case on their hands and a psychic, convicted pedophile of a Catholic Father Joseph Crissman (Billy Connolly) who volunteers key information to help in that case. The FBI isn't sure if Father Crissman is a liar, or worse, connected to the crime, and hence Mulder's help is to be their lie-detector. Naturally with religion and her usual cynicism in the mix, Scully is disgusted by the sheer presence of the religious felon, and thus set the stage for some conflict with her beau.

Like an old, quarreling couple who can't seem to give way to each other, their philosophies clash as their interests - Scully battling the hospital system to save her young chronically ill patient - differ, and threaten to pull the couple apart. He thinks that she's not being supportive of his venturing into an X-case even though they're now civilians, while she thinks he's latching onto Father Crissman to use his prowess, if proved true, to find Samantha Fox. Which I thought would probably make an excellent sub plot, but alas the potential was dangled like a carrot in front of us, and then went totally off tangent.

Don't expect any big sets or intricate subplots here, as it really looked like it's done on a shoestring budget, with the look and feel of a typical classic television episode, a two-parter in fact. There are strange aberrations of course, but all these go unexplained, and you know they're just going to be glossed over since everything will be wrapped up by the time the end credits roll. However, there are adequate moments to keep you at the edge of your seat, and some developments do enough to leave your mouth gaping wide open, especially those involving extreme medicine.

David Duchovny does look more comfortable reprising his role as Mulder, but Gillian Anderson, as interviews have revealed, required a lot more time trying to get back into character, and this uneasiness unfortunately shows on screen. The chemistry's still not lacking, but given that their respective characters have aged and grown more comfortable with one another, gone are the tensions between them, though the problems that surface here did try to rekindle some of the opposition they felt during the course of their long running series.

Chris Carter and X-Files regular scribe Frank Spotnitz did incorporate a nice surprise in the movie, so do keep your eyes peeled as you will silently cheer when it happens. But I thought what was a ghastly way to bid farewell, was the little coda toward the end of the credit roll, which somewhat signals the finale of everything, though in a very out of place manner. Anyhow, this X-Files movie episode isn't going to win any new fans over, but for X-philes, I'd bet we're probably just satisfied already with our heroes appearing in celluloid one more time, that no matter how wafer thin the plot is, it's not going to dampen our collective fan spirit.

And to thank our lucky stars that Mark Snow's iconic theme song, didn't get played in the movie under the horrific techno rendition.
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1/10
An elongated version of one of the worst X-Files TV episodes
bgamovies29 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Four long-term X-Files fans went together on opening night and all of us hated it (a younger-30's-couple and an older-50's-couple). Weak plot, way too much gore, nothing to do with aliens or smoking man, and a lot of cheesy dialogue and acting. Although it's billed as a stand-alone film, anyone unfamiliar with the series or even the previous film would definitely be confused. It watched like a very slow and tedious slasher film.

We were all willing to suspend belief for a good X-Files cause .... but honestly! Russian villains grafting a dying man's head to their female victim's body in a run-down warehouse in West VA?? Come on. And Scully, the now full-time surgeon, actually googles the experimental brain surgery technique that morning so she can perform the life-threatening procedure on a dying child.

The best thing any one of us could say was that Scully looked even better than when she was young and that she did the best that could be expected with such awful material.

Chris Carter, et al, what were you thinking?
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8/10
Better than your average MOTW...
KillerK199125 July 2008
The Good: - Duchovny, Anderson, and Connelly all deliver excellent performances. Mulder and Scully are still fun to watch. - The atmosphere of the show is very much kept intact. - The surprise appearance of a series regular is a great addition to the finale of the movie. - The Scully Subplot was done very well. - The few action sequences are well done. - It explains what happened to Mulder and Scully.

The Bad: - Xzibit's character is as one dimensional as a piece of paper. - The plot is very weak due to it being incredibly simplistic. - It's slow pace will turn off many. - It feels made for T.V, almost exactly like an episode from season 7. They should've made it a 2 hour special on T.V instead. - It's way more of a Drama film than a Sci Fi thriller, which is misleading since the previews showed otherwise.

Overall: I had mixed thoughts when leaving the theater. Though it was slightly disappointing and underwhelming, it was still a good movie, especially for X Files fans. Duchovny and Anderson have not lost a step and deserve either another season to close up the series or another movie. I'm leaning more towards the former, as the movies have illustrated that Carter excels far more in a T.V environment.
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A welcome return for Mulder and Scully
ametaphysicalshark25 July 2008
"It's here! It's here!" shouts Billy Connolly's mysterious, questionable, and apparently psychic Father Joe Crissman in the film's opening scene, and although he is talking about something much more grotesque than the return of "The X-Files", the words clearly echo the thoughts of every last X-Phile awaiting the return of Mulder and Scully, of "The X-Files", and, as surely everyone hoped, something to make up for the many hours wasted on the show's astonishingly mediocre final season.

If you do not enjoy "The X-Files" you will not enjoy "I Want to Believe". That is a simple fact. Although this film was marketed as a standalone feature requiring no prior understanding of the series, the final product is quite far removed from one of the more straightforward standalone episodes, and is actually more about characters and themes than the plot itself, which is not on its own very good.

What it comes down to in the end is whether or not I was satisfied when the credits started rolling and UNKLE's excellent version of Mark Snow's theme started playing. The answer is yes. "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is not entirely satisfying as a straightforward thriller. It is not entirely satisfying as a procedural or as a medical drama. It is, however, satisfying when the disparate elements come together to form the thematic core of Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz's solid screenplay, and although the journey to the ending is occasionally frustrating, preachy, and even downright annoying, the end result is worth it.

Nobody can rightfully accuse Carter and Spotnitz of writing a hurried screenplay. If anything, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is too preoccupied with including as much as possible on a thematic level. This film could have been a tight, thrilling 90-minute film if they had decided to go that way. What "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is, is a combination of various sorts of episodes into one feature film. If you crave a straightforward, scary thriller you will inevitably be disappointed, because that simply is not what this film is about, regardless of what Carter himself might tell you. When the film comes together as a whole at the end, the X-File (or in this case, not so much) itself couldn't possibly matter less. The title, which seems frustratingly awkward on paper, is incredibly fitting once you have actually seen the film.

"The X-Files", also known as "Fight the Future", released in 1998, was a mythology-based story with plenty of action. It was "The X-Files" in blockbuster mode. Although it satisfied many fans I found it rushed, inconsequential, and severely lacking in substance. While "I Want to Believe" may feature a main plot that often feels like a sub-plot, and one that is quite far from being the most inventive or exciting Mulder and Scully have ever dealt with, it feels like a more complete film. What is lacking in thrills, scares, and action, is made up for with outstanding character moments and an effective thematic core.

Chris Carter's feature debut as director, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" provides some solid visual moments in addition to some misguided decisions. All in all Carter keeps the film moving at the slow but involving pace of most episodes and the prelude to the film is a very well-executed scene.

The performances are uniformly outstanding except for Xzibit and Amanda Peet, who are both not given much to do. Billy Connolly's understated performance is a masterclass in acting that is quite possibly one of the best male performances of the year thus far, and Duchovny and Anderson slip back into the roles of Mulder and Scully (albeit an older, slightly different Mulder and Scully) with no problems whatsoever.

The film features several outstanding scenes, the final conversation between Mulder and Scully in the film, and Scully's late-night confrontation of Father Joe (a stunning scene, really), stand out as the finest. Carter provides the romantics much to swoon over but never allows the romantic plot to become cheesy or overpower the remainder of the film. The film is far from completely serious, as there is much humor here and a lot of treats for the fans including some very, very pleasant surprises and small references to the series (the latter taking place mostly in Mulder's office at the start of the film). Also look for a bizarre but funny gag involving J. Edgar Hoover, George W. Bush, and Mark Snow's "X-Files" theme.

"The X-Files: I Want to Believe" is an atmospheric thriller that while flawed and certainly not providing a definitive "X-Files" experience, is much better than 1998's "Fight the Future", and an enjoyable return for Mulder and Scully which encapsulates much of what made "The X-Files" so addictive- humor, drama, great characters, and an excellent musical score.

7.5/10
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1/10
Absolutely disappointing!
ankewolbert26 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
My husband and I are big X-Files fans, watched the whole series, loved all episodes, including the last ones (we even have an "I want to believe" poster in our living room) and we were looking forward to watching this movie.

Unfortunately, after watching it, we were so disappointed that we couldn't stop blaming Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz for such a stupid and empty plot! We watched it until the last second, still hoping that in the end they would show a hint for a next movie, and when I mean a hint I wanted to say: a UFO, or an alien, or anything supernatural... but not, after the credits they simply show Mulder and Scully waving goodbye to the camera! This probably was a goodbye to the fans! It's over, all the mystery, excitement, etc. :(

The NEGATIVE points about this movie:

  • bad uninspired story;


  • we didn't have the feeling of "what comes next" or "how they will solve this" at any moment (in fact we were looking forward to returning home, because it was too boring);


  • no mystery, UFOs, aliens, supernatural or conspiracy;


  • there is no X-file case, but a normal crime, only involving a psychic ex-priest to find the victim; what is hardly a believable reason to "bring back" Mulder to an FBI case;


  • the appearance of Skinner was short and pointless;


  • well, it shouldn't carry the title "X-Files", it was only to attract the audience; even for a simple thriller the story was too bad and without coherence.


The POSITIVE points about this movie:

  • Duchovny's and Anderson's acting;


  • Seeing Mulder and Scully again;


  • Sometimes some references to the series;


  • the soundtrack.


...

Summing up: waste of time and money!

WHAT WE REALLY WANT TO SEE IS A CONCLUSION TO THE LAST EPISODE!!!
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5/10
Weak, there is no point to it
Kristine30 July 2008
The X-Files, one of the most famous television shows that ended in 2002, had a movie in 2000, just came out with a sequel. To be honest, I was wondering why, I know that there are still fans that are shaking to see their favorite agents back, but the story was weak and felt like another episode, just an extended one. Now I did enjoy The X-Files series, I also did like the first X-Files film, so I felt like maybe this was going to be big and have an exciting story, but instead we have just another episode that is trying to have the Saw edge and gross people out. We also have some added characters that are just weak, for example Xzibit as a one dimensional character who is just flat and typical, also, it's Xzibit, I don't know what casting director was thinking "he's perfect", no offense to this guy, but he should stick to his day job. David and Gillain are also off track and don't have the same chemistry as they did in the series.

Fox Mulder has been requested back by the FBI to help them with a case of missing female FBI agents, he meets a priest/pedophile/psychic who is also helping the FBI out with the case. Dana Scully has decided to stay with her current career as a doctor who is struggling to save a little boy's brain disease. But Fox wants her back in work with him and together they discover the darker world that is happening with these missing FBI agents and the Russian black market.

The X Files: I Want to Believe is over all not a bad movie by any means, but it's at this point that it seems like the writers were not even trying. Also with David and Gillain, I like to call this movie The X Files: I Want a Paycheck, because they just didn't put their hearts into this and you can tell very much, I thought David hated the series, you think he would have been more stubborn or at least would have read the script first before the paycheck. As far as for the fans, I'd recommend that you just do the matinée, it's not a full price ticket movie, it's just an extended episode, the ending is anti-climatic and this was just pointless.

5/10
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1/10
Incredible that they could produce such rubbish!
HIGHERMODALITIES3 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What resulted was a dreadful waste of 1:40 hours of my life that will never be replaced. I sat there slap faced through shock and disappointment at the audacity of the director, (Chris Carter) who has basically sold us out and conformed to main stream acceptance, to underestimate our intelligence as viewers to actually think that this would be worth anybodies time. Basically Chris Carter here has just capitalised on the reputation that this once brilliant series formerly had. What one had grown to enjoy with the X-Files franchise during the 90's was dramatically and rapidly obliterated in this one sitting.

The flair of drama intertwined with mystery revolving around paranormal subjects of great scientific interest and which had done well to intrigue the general public was diluted severely to a mere love story between Moulder and Scully. The story/plot was pathetic, worse than any of the episodes of the actual series! The acting was lame, especially from the actor Xzibit who played agent Mosley Drummy as the sceptic in the whole affair that was played out, amateurish was not the word.

I looked on wide-eyed with disbelief at how appalling this was. Scully's character was one i just wanted to smack with a reality check, still the sceptic who needs logic to deal with any phenomena remotely strange, despite the experiences Scully has dealt with, one would think that this act was well worn out. Basically a bog roll film of the highest calibre, after watching this film you will not want to believe ever again in your life. X-Files will never recover from this poor excuse for a movie. I hope what you made from this Chris was worth it.
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1/10
The X Files: I Wanted To Leave
nconstab3 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Supernatural Occurrences: NONE Government Cover-Ups: NONE A Greater Truth For All Mankind: NONE A Passion For Collecting a Paycheck: YES

This film unfortunately is a far distant cry in comparison to the once great TV series known as "The X Files". Predictable, painfully derivative, soulless, and boring; this story is Touristas meets Fargo in order to create Frankenstein's Monster. Catholicism and Stem Cell research try to fit its way in but just added to more stupid convolution.

I wanted to leave within the first 10 minutes of this film when the FBI was trying to find ex-agent Mulder at great lengths because they found a psychic ex-priest that has visions of where certain murders and kidnappings take place. It is standard for any local Police Department to use psychics and it is pretty common; so I asked myself why is this believable? There has to be more, right? Maybe I should stay and keep watching because something better must happen! This entire movie should not have been made no matter how much I like to see aging stars at least working in these fetal film times. Another movie green lit because someone knows someone and someone owes someone a favor and the producers (accountants) had at least the franchise name to work their numbers, predictions, charts and graphs. I hate you Hollywood. What a load of usual crap.
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8/10
I can't point out anything bad, but nothing really stands out.
heyuguys198825 July 2008
I think my title says it all. Really, I was entirely entertained the entire way through. I'm not going to give away the story because this film was marketed wonderfully. Going in, thanks to great marketing, you won't (shouldn't) know anything about the plot and this helps create a real sense of mystery. By now you know it has to do something with psychics but you really have no idea.

The writing, just like the show, is pitch perfect. The character development between Mulder and Scully is never off and they even introduce new characters. These characters aren't great (I suppose at times Xibit is kind of annoying) but they work pretty well to move the story along. This film also does something many movies have a hard time doing and thats creating sub plots that don't fall flat. There's a great sub plot involving a boy with a terrible disease, and its emotional and you never don't care about his fate even though it isn't the central focus of the story.

The acting is great. Duchovney and Anderson both flourish as the main characters while newcomers Amanda Peet and Xibit (is he trying to pull a Rock on us and change it to his birth name?) do their job admirably but never steal a scene from the real stars of the film.

I know I have a ton of great things to say about this movie and, yes, I loved it. I'd rank it among the greatest summer films this year (for those wondering Dark Knight and Iron Man both trump this). This is on par with how I felt about The Incredible Hulk, which I also loved. I just can't say that it's great and honestly I'm not sure what it is. Probably that it felt like a really epic episode.

This feels right at home in the series and it's a real relief to say that because it could've been good but not at home within the series.

I give this film a B.
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3/10
I'm watching it now and not feeling good about it.
Mag-139 July 2009
OK, sexual problems or not, I adore David Duchovny. And the Scully/Mulder romance is always sweet.

But when Scully is first approached to get Mulder involved with the missing FBI agent case, she acts as if she's going to a stranger's house. You get the feeling she and Mulder haven't seen each other in years when she walks into his house. And yet, midway through the movie, she says that they are living together.

And when the girl's car is forced off the road by the truck--the cops don't notice that her window was broken in backwards, or that there is paint on the side that the truck hit.

And the hospital's administrator-priest says he is determining medical practice by appealing to "the highest authority" and an entire conference table of doctors, Scully included, don't protest.

And the "Russians" are using German words. "Verstehe." And why would Scully care why the bugger priest said "Don't give up." Why does she get so immature about it? Like she needs his approval or recognition. Isn't she more together than that after all these years? And when they're chasing the Ruskie through town, have they never heard of shooting him in the leg? OK, now i'm going to finish watching this preposterousness because I'm in a hotel with limited cable.
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