6.3/10
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556 user 373 critic

Transcendence (2014)

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

Director:

Wally Pfister

Writer:

Jack Paglen
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Popularity
2,368 ( 163)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains a lot of comic book movie actors and actresses. Johnny Depp was in From Hell (2001), Morgan Freeman, Josh Stewart and Cillian Murphy were in the Dark Knight trilogy, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall were in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Bettany was also in Priest (2011), and Kate Mara was in Zoom (2006) (indirectly related to comic books) and Fantastic Four (2015), and also had a small role in Iron Man 2 (2010), as a role of U. S. Marshal, at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie, Will Caster is putting up a copper-netting to create a zone where there's no wireless signals. This is called a Faraday Cage and would not work as depicted - it needs to be a complete cage of thin copper-mesh, not just a web that's hanging from some poles. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Connections

Referenced in Dissident Prophet: Live in Birmingham (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill)
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User Reviews

 
When I'm Gone, Keep Moving Forward
19 April 2014 | by CowherPowerForeverSee all my reviews

After 12 years working with the legendary Christoper Nolan over the course of seven films, renowned cinematographer Wally Pfister takes his first shot at directing. While the film is not on the level of quality his former boss is use to putting out, this film does provide a nice launching pad to what could be a nice career as a director.

The story was written by Jack Paglen, a virtual unknown, who hit it big when his script for this film landed on the The Black List for its amazing work. While I have not read that original script that Paglen wrote, the script in this film was not bad at all. Director Wally Pfister likely changed some aspects here and there as scripts do get molded when they are set out to be filmed. The final script for the film starts out strong, however it does leave you scratching your head in a few places. The final half hour or so of the film doesn't hold up as well as the first ninety minutes of the film either. Likely because we are rushed deep into the plot with soft development.

The directing, lead by Wally Pfister, is fantastic. As I was watching this film on the large IMAX screen I was amazed by the amazing shots and visuals he had filmed. He has had so much experience over the years working with an amazing director that his eye for detail really shows off here. However he was not the perfect director in this film. The acting department clearly proves that. While Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Freeman deliver great performances in the film, veteran actor Johnny Depp is completely depthless. Of course this is nothing new to followers of his career over the years. Depp's heart is not in his acting as it once was, and unless he is playing a certain character, we are left with average at best acting.

An aspect of the film I truly loved was the score. Composed by Mychael Danna, who has done a lot of great work over the course of his career, delivers an amazing score. As the film flows by you can feel his score bringing much needed depth. I would personally rank this score on the level with one of my other favorite composers, Hans Zimmer. If you are watching this film in IMAX, that is just another added bonus as you will really fall in love with the score with the amazing sound IMAX delivers.

Overall, newcomer to directing, Wally Pfister, has a solid start to his career. The film is not perfect as it does have some key problems, but these problems aren't major, and the story is very enjoyable overall. I would also recommend watching this film in IMAX. With so many IMAX movies these days, mostly in 3D, it is a breath of fresh air to see a normal IMAX movie without wearing glasses. The sound and images are amazing on the giant screen, and its truly worth the extra money. While some don't like to rush out to the theater on a weekly basis, for those of us who go regularly, this is a must see right away. The rest should have no problem waiting until it comes to rental.

7/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | China | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Transcendence See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,886,386, 20 April 2014

Gross USA:

$23,022,309

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,039,258
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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