Kitsch looks marvelous, but that's the problem: He looks a little too marvelous. He's all sexed up with little to do.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Messy and chaotic ... but also colorful and kind of fun.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
The villains are overwrought and the design of Mars is surprisingly bland.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Gets off to such an incoherent start that it takes almost the entire, interminable two-hour-plus running time to catch up.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Against the odds, "John Carter'' is itself pretty amazing - an epic pulp saga that slowly rises to the level of its best imitations and wins you over by degrees.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The achievement of John Carter is that it takes the elements worn to nubs by everything from Star Wars to Avatar to TV's Fringe and makes them fresh again.
Mark Holcomb - Village Voice
While "John Carter" is undeniably silly, sprawling and easy to make fun of, it's also playful, genuinely epic and absolutely comfortable being what it is. In this genre, those are virtues as rare as a cave of gold.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
A deadly heaviness brings Disney's would-be epic down.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
For me, this is the first movie of its kind in a very long time that I'd willingly sit through a second or even third time.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
David Denby - New Yorker
The action sequences are generally well-executed, but they're too much of a muchness. CGI makes them seem too facile and not tactile enough.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The major problem here is one of rooting interest. I hate to sound like a mogul, or a focus group ho, but at the center of this picture is a flat, inexpressive protagonist played by a flat, inexpressive actor.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The books offer enough material for several movies, which seems to be the root of the problem here: the movie is so overloaded with exposition that the situations have little room to develop.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
There's something generic about the digitally rendered Martians (whatever their stripe and skin tone), and there's a corniness to the dialogue that keeps the audience from any kind of emotional attachment to the Tharks and Zodangans and their ilk.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's hard to believe Pixar's founder would have signed off on this project. The film is as overcomplicated, bloated and crash-prone as a bad-old-days Microsoft release.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"John Carter" is a huge bore.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Somehow, despite that boatload of talent, the movie never really comes together.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
To watch John Carter is to wonder where in this jumbled space opera one might find the intuitive sense of wonderment and awe Stanton brought to Finding Nemo and Wall-E.
Peter Debruge - Variety
It's hard to care about anything going on in this shapeless would-be franchise, which lurches from scene to scene without building any real excitement.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
It looks as if Disney simply borrowed and recycled the sets of Prince of Persia and Gladiator, adding leftover props from The Phantom Menace and Cowboys and Aliens.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Where John Carter continually gets it right is pacing, levity, and breadth of story.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
As one of Pixar's star players, Stanton is an experienced cinematic storyteller, which is why it's disappointing that his first live-action project is so unwieldy at times.
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
It isn't bad so much as innocuous, $250-million worth of innocuous, framed by a decent start and a solid finish but sagging through the long middle like a cheap mattress.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
You can feel Stanton struggling to bring the confidence, wit and style of "Wall-E" and "Finding Nemo" to bear upon this leviathan, but he can't quite pull it off.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
This middle section, in which both Carter and the audience get a crash course in the politics, history, and theology of the Red Planet, is the movie at its most imaginative and most fun.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Suffers from a convoluted plot and an anticlimactic resolution, but hits enough high notes along the way to be enjoyable.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Although the result is quite a mishmash, dramatic coherence prevails over visual flair...
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
Yes, there is life on Mars in "John Carter," and it's deadly dull.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Proceeding in fits and starts, and flats and stops, John Carter has some zesty set pieces but no rooting interest.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
It's sometimes wondrous and often amazingly goofy.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
It starts with a great story - of love and politics, time travel and mystical pathways between planets - badly sucked dry.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Even if Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume series is adapted by its three screenwriters into a nonsensical mess, then it should at least be a visual feast, right? Hardly.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
This wannabe epic is forgettable, bland and way too long.
John Hanlon - John Hanlon Reviews
They should have just let their freak flag fly and said, "To hell with it, here's 100 minutes of John Carter punching aliens."
Will Leitch - Deadspin
"John Carter" is certainly an interesting idea for a film, with a power struggle on an alien world and an outsider affecting the balance, but sadly it never ends up fully working.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
If Cecil B. DeMille were alive today and given the chance to direct a special effects-laden fantasy adventure on Mars, he might have made something similar to Andrew Stanton's visually stunning epic "John Carter."
Justin Craig - FoxNews.com
A mightily entertaining, oft-cheesy, oft-soaring spectacle packed with more pulp than Florida's finest fruit.
Erick Weber - NECN
One of the best sci-fi fantasy films in a long, long time.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
Once John Carter gets past laying out the specifics of the various Martian cultures and tensions, it settles into a pleasant groove that recalls the old Saturday afternoon serials.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
It's one of those big-screen enterprises that doesn't leave much residue (not to mention pleasure) once its moved on to conquer its next audience.
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
Not as bad as you've been lead to believe . . .
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
John Carter is a visual delight at times, but the classic story is tiresome and the characters are largely unmemorable, leaving a cold, only occasionally thrilling experience.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
An undeniable disaster...of marketing. Join me on a tour of media headaches, and why they don't necessarily reflect the quality of the movie itself. [Blu-ray 3D]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Under Stanton's care 'John Carter' is the kind of tremendous fun-filled film that's worth going to the theater to see.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
John Carter is for fans of pure, joyous, escapist, adventure cinema. Seeing John Carter unfamiliar with the text; it's very clear that the original text has influenced a hell of a lot of Sci-fi flicks that we've seen before.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
OK, they botched the title. But not the movie itself.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Ambitious and often unwieldy, but savory in its construction and earnestness. John Carter is sadly undeserving of its flop status.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Nothing here as inspired as the Lightsaber, but there's no Jar Jar Binks either.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Isn't the disaster some industry observers predicted, but it's not the high-gloss masterpiece some of us hoped for either.
Matt Singer - ScreenCrush
I understand John Carter likes being on Mars (superpowers + hot, intelligent princess). I just don't want to be there with him.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The film is far from perfect. Sometimes it's silly. But, the action and the atmosphere make this a world worth exploring. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
John Carter is an instant classic... Disney should be ashamed of themselves for treating Mars like a red-headed step planet.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
A bloated sci-fi epic from Disney that's made watchable by swell effects, passable performances and those little dashes of humor that reassure us that the filmmakers know this is all a lark.
John Carter aims at Mars, but misses
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Over-produced, overlong and too violent for young children, but it isn't lacking in marvelous special effects, occasional magic and general entertainment value.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall.E) could easily have found himself feeding the belly of a turkey too fat to support its own legs - slow, clunky, stupid - but manages to keep a spectacular beast of a movie fast-footed.
Luke Buckmaster - Crikey
Manages to overcome an inflated running time and occasional bouts of cuteness by remembering and embracing its pulp fiction roots as an 'interplanetary romance.'
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The finished entity feels like a rip-off of a film that ripped-off several rip-offs of Carter's own ancient source material.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
...the movie's disappointingly flat atmosphere [is] perpetuated by Kitsch's competent yet bland work...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Therns, Tharks and Thoats, oh my! If Taylor Kitsch had brought even an ounce of charm, charisma or humor . . .
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
an awesome folly, a misguided project of genuinely enormous proportions that feels like exactly what it is: an impersonal product of franchise-hungry corporate culture
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Romance, action, humor, and even some philosophical gristle: Is war a cosmic constant? Is anything worth fighting for?
Neil Pond - American Profile
[Provides] dumbfounding sci-fi vistas in admirable quantity if not quite in creativity.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
With this production budget, you'd think someone in the creative chain might have detected that there was too much dramatic dithering in the screenplay, but entertainment factors survive.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Fails to transcend the generic.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
While possibly impenetrable to the casual viewer, the picture succeeds as grand entertainment, with dazzling technical achievements and wonderfully exaggerated performances of galactic heroism.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
One of the things I liked about this movie is that it has nice little touches of humor. The visual effects (I saw this in 3D) are quite convincing. The acting is effective.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Ignore the naysayers, this is a very enjoyable action adventure
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Great fun as we endure scrape after scrape in this wild, near-hallucinatory landscape, and director Stanton finds the right balance of cheerful solemnity and cheeky humor.
Burl Burlingame - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
The effect is strangely pleasing.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
It is fascinating to spend time with this visualization of Burroughs's Mars/Barsoom.
Mark R. Leeper - Mark Leeper's Reviews
a narrative that skips as deftly through time and space as its protagonist leaps over the Martian desert.
Anton Bitel - MovieScope
Director Andrew Stanton injects the hokum with a lively sense of fun and leads Kitsch and Collins pull off their far-fetched roles with gusto.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
John Carter will be hanging from those man-teets alongside animators for Treasure Planet in the new Disney World attraction: Hall of Disappointments.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
With a narrative as flat and barren as the red martian landscape, John Carter is a big-budget sci-fi spectacle that fails to excite or entertain.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
... great fun ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
It was nice watching an adaptation that stands on its own two feet. This movie hugged me with all four arms. It is not as great, or epic as it wants to be, but it is thoroughly enjoyable.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Busily adventurous, packed with exotic creatures and boys-in-the-sandbox playfulness, and altogether kind of fake.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
A film version of John Carter has been in the works since 1931. That means Hollywood has had 81 years to get a decent script together and this is the best they could do?
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
The movie is poorly staged and mind-numbingly tedious.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
It's too bad that Burroughs' ideas don't seem quite as fresh now that others have outraced Carter to the big screen.
Dan Lybarger - MovieMaker Magazine
Based on a 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, John Carter is an overlong, muddled mess of a film that should've waited another hundred years for a good script.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
There are some fantastic sights in John Carter, but there's also a lot of overkill, with Stanton and crew often cluttering up the visuals with the deranged frenzy of George Lucas retooling his Star Wars sagas.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
I felt like there was this awesome party going on that I just didn't have an invitation to. It seems that if you'd read the books, this would have been awesome.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
There's no surer-fire way for a film to ink its own $250-million obituary than by contrasting itself to two of Hollywood's most titanic films when it only has half the heart, soul and story of either one.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
There is no real sense of connection between human and alien - like between the Na'vi and Jake Sully - that would have pulled John Carter out of the grandiose B-movie league.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
Disney and director Andrew Stanton may have dusted off the creaky franchise and wrapped it in $300 million worth of 3-D digital effects, but the final product still feels like ancient history.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
This is truly a story I'd rather go to the library and read then watch again.
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
It's got the schmaltz and grandeur of the 80s Clash of the Titans but little of the warm wonder that made that spectacle such an addiction.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
We waited a century for John Carter to appear on the silver screen. A few extra months probably would have done this film good in terms of tightening the narrative & creating a more entertaining experience.(Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
The reported $250 million price tag for John Carter gives one pause. I suppose one could argue that masterpieces have no price. Then again, John Carter is no masterpiece.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
For all of the love and money lavished upon John Carter it ends up feeling a touch musty and overly familiar.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
This hodgepodge falls together neatly, because we know the film will go exactly where we want it to go, right down to the intervention by a faithful, comic animal sidekick (a Pixar specialty).
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Confusing and, at times, positively frustrating, John Carter is a film that screams too much post-production tinkering. During the screening, I actually turned to Film Fix co-host Jeff Marker and asked him if we had missed a reel.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
Mars-based action epic has strong fantasy violence.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
If John Carter was a date, you would be running off to the bathroom to call a friend, so the friend would call you ten minutes later with an "emergency", so you could get away.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Fortunately for viewers, the film is directed by Pixar sensation Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E), and the visual effects are, literally, out of this world.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
Surprisingly humorless, unevenly jumbled fantasy - Blame it on solar flares!
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Directed and co-written by Andrew Stanton of "Finding Nemo," "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc." fame, the fun but sometimes confusing "John Carter" may launch the next big sci-fi-adventure franchise.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Please fight somebody, John! At least it'll stop them from talking.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
...an impressively designed world that lacks the danger, wonder and sexiness needed to become a classic. Frankly, the movie seems too epic for Stanton's talents.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Though messy and overlong, it's an enjoyable throwback to the movie spectacles of a more innocent age.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
'John Carter' is the best-looking 3-D sci-fi adventure since 'Avatar.' At a reported $250 million plus, it certainly cost enough.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Chega a surpreender que uma narrativa tao absurda em essencia tambem possa ser tao lenta e frequentemente entediante.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
John Carter is a science-fiction epic worth cheering, one where however much they spent, it all went to throw amazingly huge and awesome things onscreen in the service of a story that some are actually calling too complicated.
Luke Y. Thompson - Nerdist
John Carter is a product of a simpler time, when sense of adventure was paramount, and the film has this in spades.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
John Carter is an absolute romp.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A thoroughly entertaining adaptation of Burroughs's second most famous literary creation, with enough adventure and humor to satisfy all but those who are wholly dead inside.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
Since its story inspired every mainstream fantasy right up to Avatar, John Carter may seem a little old-fashioned, but it's a solid piece of fantasy entertainment that's equal parts corny and poignant.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The entire story behind John Carter is the essence of high concept, especially in the day and age it was originally created... a blast of a film.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Comical Woola, a faithful dog-like creature that travels at Road Runner superspeed, steals every scene. He's the 'John Carter' equivalent of Uggie, and the movie, sad to say, needs him.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It isn't that John Carter is bad, it's just really mediocre. And mediocrity is deadly in this genre.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
John Carter, a rousing science-fiction adventure adapted from Edgar Rice Burroughs' early 20th-century pulp novels, is a rare bird that's at the same time strikingly modern and engagingly old-fashioned.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
At times the spectacle is captivating, but it's always just a bit too silly.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
The filmmaker is up to the challenge, staging some taut action sequences and seamlessly weaving together live action with animated elements and tons of visual effects.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Director Andrew Stanton, making his first live-action feature after the successful Pixar animated films FINDING NEMO and WALL-E, hasn't been able to bring anything very new to the familiar story of battles among rival forces on another planet:
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Big-budget adaptation of a pulp favorite delivers epic scale and effects, but skimps on entertainment.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Stanton should go back to making machines talk. He puts much more humanity into them than he manages to extract from Burroughs, even with all that nostalgia working for him.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
"John Carter" enthusiastically remains a pulp story at heart.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - San Francisco Examiner
John Carter's hard-to-follow story and terrible dialogue leaves it on par with that cheesy Flash Gordon remake from the 1980s.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Visionary and philosophical, with the sort of complex allusions to death, immortality and the destruction of civilizations that you don't expect from a $250 million film.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
Wall-E and Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton must shoulder the blame for this over-bloated disaster. It's impossible to care about the protagonists, played by the helplessly wooden Kitsch and Collins.
Adam Bub - MovieFIX
Whenever the fighting stops and two people have to stand and talk, all the air goes out of everything. Suddenly it feels as if we're in an empty theater, watching a dusty old sword-and-sandal epic.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Despite occasional moments of silliness, the old-fashioned sense of adventure and brilliantly rendered aliens elevate this above other derivative big-budget sci-fi fare.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
"John Carter's" biggest miscalculation is the casting of Taylor Kitsch as Carter. He is too soft and wooden. He lacks the gravitas needed to be an inspirational leader, no matter how high or far he can jump in Barsoom's lesser gravity.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
There's a delightfully unfashionable cheesiness about John Carter, a film for all the family, but in particular sci-fi fantasy geeks and older gentlemen who have never been able to relinquish the spiffing derring-do of Burroughs.
Kate Muir - Times [UK]
While we can still marvel at the amazing sights laid out before us, it is imperative that we never lose sight of who's who and what's at stake. That turns out to be a tall order.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Go for the spectacle, go for the fun, just don't expect anything as significant as the impact made by Burroughs' books.
Joshua Tyler - Giant Freakin Robot
Saturday afternoon matinee fun. Think Conan the Barbarian clashing with the gods of Clash of the Titans who are conquering Mars, Gladiator style.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
all that's missing is a senate debate and a pod race.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
While John Carter never completely solves its numerous problems...it does provide several sequences of rousing sci-fi spectacle.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
This is an old-fashioned movie told with cutting-edge technology and while it is easy to be cynical about such a lightweight plotline, it is refreshing to see a movie that approaches its subject with an authentic, wide-eyed sense of wonder.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Director Stanton has yet to find his rhythm in this new-to-him discipline. Though the 3D Mars-scape and fantastical creatures offer fun viewing ... he can't quite conquer the human beast.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
The most indelible performance in the film is not, strictly speaking, a performance at all. Rather it is Woola, a six-legged Martian hound who rather resembles a cross between a bulldog and a fetal gila monster.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
John Carter is arriving late to the party, after George Lucas had already pillaged the source material and squeezed it for every dollar it was worth. Stanton has created a sci-fi adventure that feels both old hat and sub-par.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
There's material here to sustain a solid franchise if the demand is there.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
I just had fun at John Carter. Stupid, old school, science fiction fun. It's the kind of science fiction that doesn't get bogged down in the science part and fully embraces the fiction.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
There's a lot of coming and going in 'John Carter,' and most of the time I wasn't exactly sure where they're coming from or going to.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Often feels silly but only occasionally fun.
Matt Pais - RedEye
All of these characters, and the richly detailed backdrops, are utterly immersive and lifelike - even without the completely unnecessary 3-D.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
This lavish production of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burrough's space adventure has much to recommend it.
Karen Krizanovich - Radio Times
"Carter" is so good-natured, and so goofy, that it's hard to completely dislike. But impossible, I think, to understand.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A cheesy looking (the 3-D adds nothing to the picture) quasi-epic filled with dullish characters and chaotically staged action scenes.
Soren Anderson - Seattle Times
For Pixar prodigy Andrew Stanton directing and co-writing, it was obviously a labour of love. But for two hours, as with any problem birth, we get more labour than love.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
At its best, it recalls Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark in the way it joins of-the-moment technology with the sturdy rhythms and easy thrills of an old B-movie.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Stanton is gleefully committed to letting this universe run wild on a big screen. The film's best qualities are its gigantic, densely packed, slightly loopy world-building and its unironic senses of humor and fun.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
"John Carter" may not be a perfect movie, but it's one where you can safely plunk down your money, grab your box of popcorn and come away reasonably satisfied when the closing credits roll.
Charlie McCollum - San Jose Mercury News
A true thinking man's thrill ride.
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Director Andrew Stanton...admirably decided to keep the material wedded to its time, but he can't get around the fact that his Tharks resemble Jar Jar Binks and the whole enterprise resembles last year's "Conan the Barbarian" remake.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Stanton's work here is competent on an epic scale; everything from the performances to the look of the film is perfectly fine, but there's a crushing dullness to it.
It's easy to be fascinated with how John Carter looks, but it's difficult to get emotionally involved.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Doesn't do anything we haven't seen before ... yet somehow it feels credibly ripped from a larger mythology rather than being cobbled together from spare parts.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
There are more than a few moments that hint at the fantasy classic this might have been. See it in 2D.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Sets a high standard for the event movies to follow.
Dominic Corry - Flicks.co.nz
Playing the princess, whose name is Dejah Thoris, Lynn Collins is a revelation. I'm not just talking about those costumes (Dejah-view!) which she was clearly born to wear.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
John Carter is so eager to please that, despite its overblown execution, it still manages to feel intimate and fun.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
The effects aren't up to blockbuster standards and the story goes nowhere slowly
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Whoo, baby, where do we begin? Maybe with a math equation: John Carter = Battlefield Earth + Dune over Prince of Persia times $250 million, the reported cost of this underwhelming fantasy.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Like any template, it has the skeleton but is missing the meat.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Disney bet a whopping $250 million on this becoming its next big franchise, and personally, I'm hoping audiences fall for this displaced yet dashing Southern gentleman and his newfound life abroad.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
It takes a while to get going and is about half an hour too long, but "John Carter" has some spectacular visuals and well-staged action scenes.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
For all the visual pizzazz and gee-whiz athleticism, it's a bloated bore.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
"Thank God that's over with!" one character utters near the end of "John Carter." No spoken words have ever been truer.
Even genre film lovers have standards, and "John Carter" doesn't meet them.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kitsch...makes for an excellent hero, even managing to make a loincloth look like this year's must-have item.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Like its four-armed Tharks and its ten-legged Calot, this adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of sci-fi novels has too many moving parts for its own good.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Incredibly well made and heroically performed. It also really delivers when it comes to creating a strange alien world.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
I felt as if someone had dragged me into the kitchen of my local Greggs, and was baking my head into the centre of a colossal cube of white bread.
Stanton's screenwriting skills are, on this evidence, slightly below those of George Lucas, so there's plenty of clunky exposition and such inadvertent laugh-lines as: 'I would lay down my life for Helium.'
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
I liked it, and if you're a sci-fi/fantasy fan, you'll probably like it even more.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The visuals are stunning, the battles are exciting and the supporting cast is strong. Why, then, did Disney stupidly do everything they could to ensure that it would fail?
Daniel M. Kimmel - Sci-Fi Movie Page
It looks fantastic and youngsters may find the exotic universe compelling enough but the result is sadly soulless and unexciting.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
There's nothing to see, nothing to think about, nothing to care about, and nothing to feel, just emptiness. The emptiness is never filled over the course of 132 long, barren minutes.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
The overriding feeling with John Carter is that there is an epic film to be made from this material, but this just isn't it.
David Jenkins - Little White Lies
Amazing how little a century of anticipation and $250 million buys out these days
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
It feels less like a revival of a classic saga than a rip-off twice removed. Almost everything on screen is old hat, and the few details that have remained fresh for the past 100 years haven't been imitated for good reason.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
There's a lot of hokey fun in old pulp stories like Burroughs', but John Carter fails to capture any of that charm.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
An oft-confusing, occasionally silly mega-expensive thrill ride that, for sheer audacity, is the biggest thing to come down the cinematic pike since Avatar.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Like watching a storm; yes there are flashes of lightning but most of the time you're just staring at boring grey clouds. After enduring the 132 minutes of John Carter tug-of-war it's not a complete win for team terrible but pretty damn close.
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
Beautifully-realized visuals nearly make up for the well-worn story in this Disney adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs character.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
It's like sinking into a 3D bog of unending-and surprisingly dull-confusion.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
Not your grandfather's John Carter.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
Kitsch, best known for TV's "Friday Night Lights," proves able to front a movie. The Canadian is as reliable as "Avatar" lead Sam Worthington, with a mix of good looks, brawn and generic heroism.
Jon Niccum - Kansas City Star
The difference with Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean is that most of their action is memorable and filtered through a charismatic hero who fills in the downtime. The flat turns the story takes make it more The Adjustment Bureau meets Spaceballs.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
It overcomes the adversity of cliche by being exciting and mildly intelligent, with a sufficient amount of humour and heart.
Matt Neal - The Standard
...has more personality than anyone should rightly expect from a two-hour-plus, CGI-heavy, sci-fi fantasy epic.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
More likely to dazzle your average 12-year-old than summon your own inner child.
William Goss - Orlando Weekly
30% less story would have been really helpful and made for a better film. At least for people who are not just watching something they have already imagined in their heads.
David Poland - Movie City News
John Carter manages to be a ridiculous amount of fun, even if you are immune to the charms of Taylor Kitsch running around in what amounts to a stylish loincloth.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Director Andrew Stanton has a strong sense of what makes "adventure" adventurous, helping John Carter encapsulate everything about a great time at the movies.
Matt Patches - Hollywood.com
The film is at least half-an-hour too long and is often as dull as Will Smith's repulsively silly Wild Wild West.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
An adventure that feels real and fantastical at the same time.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
Beautifully designed and impressively directed, this is a thoroughly enjoyable, emotionally engaging space opera with an intelligent script, strong characters, terrific special effects and superb performances from Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Aside from a few inspired vistas and alien life-forms, John Carter is as deadly dull as its basso-voiced, beefcake slab of a star.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
It's both abrupt and languorous, a wall-to-wall exhibition of design work where nobody had the basic decency to make sure the designs were good.
Jaime N. Christley - Slant Magazine
Lavish and lengthy, it has the spectacle and spirit of a Saturday matinee movie but not its fleetness or fun.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
A terrific time at the movies. Comes a lot closer to being on-par with the beloved sci-fi movies of our youth than most modern blockbusters.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Though ambitiously mounted and sporadically enthralling, the live-action debut of Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton is a sci-fi spectacle that's just not very spectacular.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
[A] dreary Disneyfied inconsequence [that] features all the bigotries of century-old pulp fiction and none of the romance, neither the sexual nor the adventurous kind.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Kitsch is not just flat; he's practically flat-lining as Carter, so uninvolved does he seem...he's so laidback that he might as well be watching this movie as acting in it.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
A very entertaining, unusual and loveable mess.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Director Andrew Stanton said he hoped to create a timeless adventure, and I wholeheartedly believe the man has succeeded.
Gregg Katzman - UGO
Just about every sci-fi/fantasy/superhero adventure you ever loved is in here somewhere.
Dan Jolin - Empire Magazine
Some of the ideas may be wonderful, but there is such chaos on screen, it is hard to decipher what is going on much of the time
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Arid, barren Barsoom is a dull environment for a sci-fi blockbuster, and the consequences of the conflicts happening on screen are small. John Carter just never pulled me in.
Sean O'Connell - CinemaBlend.com
A handsome new sci-fi adventure that feels rather familiar. Enjoyable enough while it lasts, John Carter is big on ambition and disappointingly short on action.
Jonathan Crocker - Total Film
The story veers between interesting, boring and borderline incomprehensible.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
John Carter is a fantastic fusion of old-fashioned adventure excitement and modern blockbuster spectacle. In short, it's wonderful.
Stephen Lambrechts - IGN Movies AU
Lynn Collins's feisty Dejah Thoris is the best kick-ass sci-fi princess since Leia
Dave Golder - SFX Magazine
It's hard to imagine many children or adolescents sitting through this big-budget ($250 million) but uninolving Star Wars knocokoff
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Often spectacular, with stunning action and thrilling moments, it's a film that captures the pulpy, swashbuckling sensibilities of Burroughs while updating much of the whiz bang for an audience a century older than the original novels.
Richly imagined, robustly performed, and directed with the evident enthusiasm of someone who's been dreaming about Barsoom his whole life, 'John Carter' is a gem.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
When John Carter moves up the gears it's an accomplished blockbuster packed with pulse-racing action.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Perhaps the sequel - if we ever get there - will fill in the gaps and expand on John Carter's legend now all the expositional heavy-lifting has been done. But is that an acceptable excuse for an epic to be this underwhelming?
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
John Carter is a fun blockbuster. There is fun in its action scenes, in its jaw dropping imagery and especially in its surprising sense of humour that Andrew Stanton melds well with its brand of sci-fi spectacular.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
"Lovingly Made Pulp Fantasy With Boring Human Characters"
Rob Beames - What Culture