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Transcendence (2014)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 18 April 2014 (USA)
2:33 | Trailer
A scientist's drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.


Wally Pfister


Jack Paglen
2,706 ( 78)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Will Caster
Rebecca Hall ... Evelyn Caster
Paul Bettany ... Max Waters
Cillian Murphy ... Agent Buchanan
Kate Mara ... Bree
Cole Hauser ... Colonel Stevens
Morgan Freeman ... Joseph Tagger
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Martin
Cory Hardrict ... Joel Edmund
Falk Hentschel ... Bob
Josh Stewart ... Paul
Luce Rains ... Roger
Fernando Chien ... Heng
Steven Liu Steven Liu ... Chiu
Xander Berkeley ... Dr. Thomas Casey


Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can...but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him. Written by Warner Bros.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Yesterday Dr. Will Caster was only human See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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UK | China | USA



Release Date:

18 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Transcendence: Identidad virtual See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,886,386, 20 April 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Continuing his outspoken advocacy for the use of film stock over digital formats, Cinematographer Wally Pfister not only chose to shoot the film in the anamorphic format on 35mm film instead of on a digital camera, but also finished the film photochemically, refusing to use a digital intermediate. See more »


The doctor at the hospital says that the bullet which hit Will contained "an isotope called Polonium". Actually, Polonium is a chemical element, while an isotope is an atom with the same number of protons of a chemical element, but a different number of neutrons. See more »


[first lines]
Max Waters: They say there's power in Boston. Some phone service in Denver. But things are far from what they were. Maybe it was all invevitable. An unavoidable collision between mankind and technology. The Internet was meant to make the world a smaller place. But it actually feels smaller without it. I knew Will and Evelyn Caster better than anyone. I knew their brillance. Their dedication to what they believed in. And to what they loved.
See more »


References Person of Interest (2011) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Like watching a 'magic eye' picture
2 September 2014 | by bowmanblueSee all my reviews

Have you ever looked at one of those 'magic eye' pictures? They're those pictures made entirely of coloured spot and *supposedly* if you stare at them and relax your eyes in just the right way then you'll see some magical sort of picture contained within. Well… Transcendence is a bit like one of those.

I stared at the film for nearly its two-hour runtime and I'm pretty sure there was something magical contained in there somewhere. I just wasn't sure of what I'd seen.

For a start (in case you didn't know) Transcendence wasn't a commercial success. Despite it's a-list cast (think Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman), it wasn't that well-received. One reason – that anyone thinking of watching it should know – is that Johnny Depp's face was used heavily in the film's marketing. Therefore, his legions of fans naturally assumed that this was a 'Johnny Depp film.' It isn't. Not really. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to mention that he dies about twenty minutes into the film. That's integral to the plot. For he plays a computer genius who is experimenting with artificial intelligence and, after his death, has his consciousness transferred into a machine. And, as the saying goes… with disastrous consequences.

So, what little we see (and hear) of Depp is largely his face on a computer screen throughout most of the film. And that didn't go down too well with those people who had gone to see the film just because he was in it.

Without wishing to give too much away about the story, I thought it was quite an original idea overall. It was just executed in a bit of an odd way. You're never really sure what sort of film you're watching. Yes, it's heavily sci-fi and there's a fair amount of 'romance' thrown in there between the computerised Johnny Depp and the lady he 'left behind' when he died. Then you have various sub-plots surrounding those who don't trust this new 'human-machine-intelligence' hybrid and have set about bringing it down. Those scenes are reminiscent of an action movie. Then there's the overall 'dystopian-future disaster movie' feel to it. All of this makes it a bit uneven.

If you've heard it's a 'bad' movie, then you've heard wrong. It's not bad. It's just not what most people want because it never really settles on one type of genre for long enough to establish itself. Sci-fi fans will probably get the most out of this as it doesn't have enough 'Johnny Depp' in it to be considered a Johnny Depp movie. It doesn't have enough action in it to be considered an 'action movie' and it doesn't have enough romance in it to be considered a 'romance movie.' However, no matter what the ingredients are, it's still quite an interesting, thoughtful movie. It's probably not actually as 'mainstream' as most people think it's going to be, so you'll need your quiet, contemplative head on when you sit down to spend a couple of hours with Johnny Depp's virtual incarnation.


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