That's exactly what the film feels like: a 48-year-old kid playing with gigantic action figures in the world's most expensive sandbox. Unfortunately, his deep-rooted passion never quite makes the leap from his imagination to the screen.
Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment Weekly
Some of those catchphrases are mildly clever. The lab coat mumbo-jumbo is amusing. The noble sentiments touch sweet chords. And who does not delight in seeing a robot punch a dinosaur every now and then - or pretty much constantly for two hours?
A.O. Scott - New York Times
This is Godzilla meets Transformers, with elements of the lesser Star Wars movies, all awash in thunderously loud, non-stop demolition.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
That humanistic touch is pure del Toro, and it makes all the difference in Pacific Rim, whose own whirring, glowing heart doesn't belong to any machine but to the director himself.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
A titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Pacific Rim is just the kind of big-ticket sci-fi adventure you'd want del Toro to make -- provided you'd want him to make one at all.
Stephanie Zacharek - Village Voice
As gripping as watching a Transformer toy battle in a bathtub with a rubber dinosaur.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
My head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
It is possible to applaud Pacific Rim for the efficacy of its business model while deploring the tale that has been engendered -- long, loud, dark, and very wet. You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
It's closer to the hammering "Transformers" aesthetic than expected. Yet the weirdness around the edges saves it from impersonality.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Another marathon of cacophony and cliche.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Pacific Rim looks great. It's one of the rare 3-D features that probably delivers more in the large-screen, stereoscopic format - severed Kaiju limbs, comin' at ya!
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
While the concept isn't original enough to make this an evolutionary leap for the genre, it's a glorious tribute to B-movie fire and fury.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Del Toro is reveling in blockbuster cliches at the same time he's pounding them into the pavement, and somehow that self-consciousness lets us all in on the joke.
Tom Long - Detroit News
It's big and loud and kind of dumb and predictable. The difference is that, in del Toro's hands, it's meant to be.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
You could make another film for half the budget in the time it takes to roll the end credits for CGI imaging. There's stuff to look at, but doesn't anybody care that it doesn't make a word of sense?
Rex Reed - New York Observer
The squarest, clunkiest and certainly loudest movie of director Guillermo del Toro's career, a crushed-metal orgy that plays like an extended 3D episode of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" on very expensive acid.
Justin Chang - Variety
The extinction of mankind has loomed again and again over Hollywood blockbusters the past couple of years, though never anywhere near as entertainingly as in "Pacific Rim.''
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Even if you smirk at the plot conceit of mind-linked humans inside skyscraping robots fighting blockbuster sea beasts, the technical prowess on display can't help but impress.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
They don't let 14 year-old boys direct multi-million dollar feature films, but somehow Guillermo Del Toro has channeled the interests, attitudes and fears from that mindset with a clarity that far surpasses contemporaries like Michael Bay.
Jordan Hoffman - Film.com
There's not much more to "Pacific Rim" than its principle reference points, which Del Toro clashes together with a chaotic fervor on par with the battles at the movie's center.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
After a long cycle of action movies in which the protagonists spend most of their downtime introspecting about their heroic obligations, Pacific Rim is something different: a heart-warming team-building exercise.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
I was having so much fun I lost track of where the line between good-stupid and bad-stupid might lie.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Pacific Rim's ability to make monster-walloping feel fun again will no doubt make Atlantic Seaboard (or maybe Mediterranean Coastal Region) as inevitable a follow-up as the return of the Kaiju through that pesky underwater portal.
Dana Stevens - Slate
It's the perfect summer spectacle, with giant robots pounding on monsters, monsters stomping on cities, and the kind of mayhem that only big theaters with big screens and big sound systems can truly convey.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A better-and-smarter-than-average humans-vs.-monsters spectacular.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
Though it's made by an obviously gifted director and will likely please devotees of the genre, it ultimately feels very short on character and long on noise, noise, noise.
Jocelyn Noveck - Associated Press
You get 45 minutes of awesome encased in 90 minutes of yawnsome.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Pacific Rim, thank the gods of cinema, is the work of a humanist ready to banish cynicism for compassion.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
A ridiculously entertaining (and often just plain ridiculous) monster-robot movie that plays like that "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" game from the 1960s.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
In a field rife with impostors and poseurs, Del Toro, like his mentors, is the real deal. It's good to have him working his magic again.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
It's brilliant. I couldn't keep the smile off my face the whole way home.
The humans battle the kaiju both intellectually and physically, although it doesn't take long to realize that Pacific Rim is really only concerned with the latter.
Del Toro lives and breathes this stuff like mythopoetic oxygen.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Dumb fun done smart.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Pacific Rim is a cut above the standard-gauge heavy-metal blockbuster, with less cynicism, more soul, a wealth of visual detail and a desperate pulse of intelligence beneath the mayhem. But it's still profoundly silly.
There's so much onscreen, so much suggested but not explored or explained, almost like jam-packed Harvey Kurtzman panels from classic MAD magazines, detailed by the likes of a Romanek or Tarsem.
The action is spectacular, but the thinly characterised humans who pilot the robots in mind-synched pairs inevitably get dwarfed. And without vivid heroes to root for, after a while the humungous robot-monster smackdowns lose their impact,
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Del Toro is a dreamer. He's a visionary. If you give him a pile of money to make enormous robots fight enormous monsters at the end of civilization, he will work to make Pacific Rim a movie that makes you feel all the enormousness.
Pacific Rim is a special-effects behemoth, a toy franchise with a deafeningly loud movie attached -- Transformers with an A-level.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Michael Bay has made three Transformers movies, and he hasn't done one yet that was as much fun as this.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Pacific Rim is, as you might expect, a visual extravaganza brimming with lush colors, state-of-the-art CGI effects and the promised robots on monsters hard-core fights to the death.
Roth Cornet - IGN Movies
In essence, Pacific Rim features a series of Godzilla monsters battle an ever dwindling number of Transformers, layered over the plot from Independence Day, only dumber.
Giles Hardie - Sydney Morning Herald
From a pure fan-boy perspective, this film packs in a great deal of energy without feeling like a stale Michael Bay film. Guillermo del Toro mixes playful energy with outstanding effects.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Bro, it comes down to this: if you can't turn the brain meat off and sit back and enjoy Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba beating the crap out of some monsters then, dude, you're the monster.
Rob Boylan - Orlando Weekly
Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is awesome, scary, weird, exciting, exuberant, and ridiculous -- basically everything you want from a sci-fi action movie.
Cammila Collar - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Feels like it's always struggling to break through the screen-if only to grab you by the scruff of the neck and drag you in.
- Film Comment Magazine
There was a time when I would have considered Pacific Rim the greatest movie ever made. But then I turned 12.
M. Faust - ArtVoice
Pacific Rim is the perfect example of how to make an effective summer blockbuster. It has heart, brains and enough action and explosions to shock and awe just about anyone.
Jeremy Lebens - We Got This Covered
A blockbuster of substance and depth...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
The plot is well designed considering how silly the movie really is. Credit that to Guillermo Del Toro. He obviously put a lot of though into the picture, but it's still a basic action film, and the selling point is giant robots battling giant monsters.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
If it sounds kinda fun, please know it is, with those aforementioned scientists (TV faces Charlie Day and Burn Gorman) creating some laughs with their goofy nature of oneupsmanship.
...a punishing ordeal that just might mark the nadir of the modern big-budget blockbuster...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Impossivel deixarmos a sala de projecao sem uma sensacao clara de caloroso retorno a infancia.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Fueled by an ambition that channels enthusiasm for characters and narrative details above the high-octane action, and driven by visual effects that are a compliment to those traits rather than a distraction.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
the attention to social detail, as well as the film's visual punch, makes Pacific Rim more than a monsters-on-the-rampage movie--although it is certainly that, as well.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
It's del Toro's squarest, least interesting film. It's as if the sense of fun and wonder collapsed beneath the gargantuism of the budget, in an esthetic equivalent of the square-cube law that makes the story's monsters impossible in real life.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It's stupid but I liked it.
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
My inner 10-year old thought "Pacific Rim" was totally cool, engaging and entertaining. My current, outer 45-year old thinks it best not to think too hard about the plot.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Monster action with minor smarts...the fatigue factor sets in early, especially without much humor and only corny asides available to balance the onslaught.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
It's the movie Transformers should have been, treating the lizard-brain appeal of a fight between humongous critters with the respect it deserves.
Margot Harrison - Seven Days
A movie that both distills and perfects the tradition from which it's drawn.
Michael Burgin - Paste Magazine
Giant robots and ugly sea monsters stave off disaster for Del Toro's latest
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Beyond the brink but an entertainment just the same. If you have the same reaction I did about the time issue, you may start thinking you'll never get home. But, once you do, you'll have a lot to talk about.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Guillermo del Toro delivers on the special effects but the plot is a little weak.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
In many ways this is the best giant monster film ever made. And in many ways it should have been better.
Mark R. Leeper - Mark Leeper's Reviews
Visually stunning, this example of spectacle over story is hampered by a terribly cliched script and poor performances
The project is too simple-minded to take very seriously.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
The film's visuals are so intoxicating that just living in the movie's world is entirely worthwhile, even if it's not the most dramatically compelling place to be.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
What makes Pacific Rim work -- and work far better than it probably has any right to -- is the way del Toro embraces the movie's deliberately corny tone.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"This does lack a little soul, but it hardly matters, as the full-throttle, uber-monstrous fun more than makes up for it."
David 'Mad Dog' Bradley - Rip It Up
PACIFIC RIM transports you into a world that could have been conceived by a 12-year-old boy. This movie is a total kick ass nerdfest that has nothing but love for the material it's tackling. Del Toro has made the best blockbuster of the summer!
Austin Kennedy - Film Geek Central
A mixture of popular action genres, with robots, mind-melding and monsters. There is a nice mix of elements. The heroes include a woman and two nerdy scientists. It is not just simple explosions, anger and testosterone.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
As I watched Pacific Rim I could literally feel myself shedding IQ points the way Kate Hudson sheds a big lunch in the bathroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
What contemporary American audiences probably don't realize is how many movies today are being made in America with the foreign audience uppermost in mind.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
Facile, fast-paced film-turned-video game...with a weak story and rather uninteresting heroes.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
In 'Pacific Rim,' there's a little bit of Godzilla and a sprinkling of World War II-era combat movies mixed with a little bit of what you might call Transformers from a gifted-and-talented class.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Of its many failings, the biggest drawback to "Pacific Rim" is the sci-fi fantasy's presentation as anything other than children's movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A whole lot happens in Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro's hybrid of just about every major cinematic genre. And none of it means much.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
Del Toro's visual sensibilities have survived his transfer from the arthouse of Pan's Labyrinth, but his interest in plot quirk or character originality has not.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
Guillermo del Toro infuses this monstrous undertaking with just what it needs -- a little heart.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
Entertaining enough silliness.
As adventures in mechanised mayhem go, the picture does, of course, crush the Transformers franchise into iron filings.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Is this going to give me enough of a story and enough characters to carry the amount of rocket-punching and monster-bashing that I want to see? The answer is yes.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
A pic made for those who can appreciate the sophisticated special effects over all else.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
...never quite tingles your brain the way superior science fiction can.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
While I can't quite convince myself that it is the equivalent of a four-star meal that some of its geeking fan boys want it so desperately to be, I concede that it is, at the very least, edible.
Kenneth R. Morefield - Christianity Today
A massive-scale battle royale between robots and monsters that doesn't fail to entertain.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
... follows the ID4 formula to the letter; swap fighters vs. flying saucer action for mechs vs. monsters and enjoy.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Del Toro generally manages to keep triumphalism at bay, avoids solemnity, gives each nation a fair share of the limelight and cheerfully embraces the mock seriousness that such films insist on.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
In an American summer season of less-than-stellar efforts so far, Pacific Rim is not the worst of the bunch but it is clearly the film that falls furthest from its inherent potential.
Simon Foster - Screen-Space
Undoubtedly the worst big-screen film since M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender...To put it bluntly, Pacific Rim deserves the derision usually lumped upon Transformers 2.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
Perhaps we should just be grateful that a director with any kind of artistic sensibility took this on.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
Del Toro's love letter to otaku everywhere is kept from perfection by doltish dialog and overly dark battle scenes, but Pacific Rim is an incredibly enjoyable blast of summer fun worth seeing on the largest screen possible.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
...the great demolition derby that Guillermo del Toro has been working towards.
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
Harryhausen and Honda are gods to del Toro, but the movie he's produced in their honor has less in common with their disarming flights of fancy and more with the assembly-line blockbusters that are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from one another.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
I hope Pacific Rim is a huge hit. Because we need a ton more movies like it.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
Awesome in a whole lot of different ways. Don't see it in IMAX, though.
Stephen Silver - EntertainmentTell
For those who wondered how Del Toro would handle a big budget tentpole, Pacific Rim is his response, a 30-story middle finger to Universal for pulling the plug on AtMoM.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
Yes, as a critic, I can find things to pick apart about "Pacific Rim," but ultimately I was won over by the visceral thrills and the giddy delights of Del Toro's sleek homage to the monster movies of his youth.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
By no means a jaegerbomb, but not the TKO some of us may have expected from our beloved visionary. Adjust expectations and enjoy the big, dumb brawl.
Brian Juergens - AfterElton.com
Hopefully come Oscar time, the Kaiju are recognized for their outstanding performances in this high-class art film.
In a summer that's been dominated by spectacles that feel small and self-contained despite the enormous wads of cash thrown at the screen, this is the first movie to come along that thinks big.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
It's an original work with the spirit of every Godzilla movie you've ever seen and every giant robot fight you've ever imagined. And it's a hell of a lot of fun.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
But could it follow After Earth and The Lone Ranger into the currently raging bonfire of box-office despair?
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
Staci Layne Wilson - Inside Horror
A war movie in the grandest tradition, set in a rich new fictional universe that we're going to be talking about for a long time.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
So audaciously, shamelessly, and hypnotically cacophonous that you have no choice but to give yourself over to it.
Mark Keizer - Alt Film Guide
It has enough bombast and vigor for 100 summer movies, but it also has a firm grasp on what makes genre storytelling work, and it's del Toro's true love and respect for Kaiju that holds Pacific Rim up, even in its most predictable moments.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
It's as if Del Toro neuro-linked with a robot and then couldn't figure out how to work the controls -- and so watched impotently as the machine made the major creative decisions.
Exciting and stylish director del Toro's loving send up of the monster movie wears its cheesy veneer as well as the gargantuan armor surrounding the film's robotic heroes. I give it a "FIX" rating.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
Excessively repetitive throughout the 131-minute running time, Mexican-born Guillermo Del Toro directs as if he's got a career death wish.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Big, dumb and loud in all the very best ways.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
If it's human drama you like ... you'll be less richly served.
David Sexton - This is London
Del Toro does these creations and the action involving them no favors by shooting so much of them in virtual close-up...
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Guillermo del Toro clearly intends to invoke the warm nostalgia of crappy-fun Japanese fare and grindhouse cinema, while repurposing the aesthetic for the modern digital age.
John Serba - MLive.com
This is the monster movie we've always wanted.
Paul Chambers - Movie Chambers
Pacific Rim is the Godzilla movie that should have been.
Kirk Baird - Toledo Blade
Suffers the same syndrome as Tim Burton's Ed Wood: maybe it's disrespectful to make a probing movie homage to goofy source material.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Movies With Butter
Why did this consummate labor of love have to be so dumb - so clunky and hollow and poorly-acted? Why does it feel so incomplete?
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
All the unpredictability of professional wrestling plus the magic of synchronized Stairmasters -- that's what I got out of the vaunted spectacle of Pacific Rim.
Michael Sragow - Orange County Register
...Pacific Rim is rather generic, familiar and cliche-ridden; ambitious ideas and spectacular designs wrapped up in a banal and tediously told story that's as clamorous, loud and disorienting as any Michael Bay movie...
Rodrigo Perez - The Playlist
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
Heavy handed, heavy jointed, lacquered with heavy use of 3D and bulked up by long stretches of heavy machines swinging around heavy globs of concentrated CGI.
Luke Buckmaster - Crikey
Pacific Rim will tickle every Godzilla and Neon Genesis Evangelion loving fiber in your body. Guillermo del Toro has created a giant monster infested ecstasy that will send chills up your spine.
Chris Sawin - Examiner.com
There are long sequences in this movie that merit that most overused of terms: "Awesome."
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
The dumbed down summer blockbuster of all dumbed down summer blockbusters
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The movie's main drawing power is also its strongest weakness. Del Toro knows what the audience wants to see, but he doesn't build to it, or make us earn it. You want fights, oh we'll give them to you - every ten minutes.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Impressive CGI, but loud, long, inane and bland with many plot holes and tedious action sequences that are more exhausting and underwhelming than exhilarating. It fails to display the brilliance of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
It won't steal any real estate in your heart still occupied by Gamera, Ultra-Man or those weird times when Godzilla battled King Kong or his own mecha-doppelganger, but it can stand proudly next to them and belch nuclear fire all day long.
Dave White - Movies.com
For "Pacific Rim" to work we have to believe in this future world...and we do.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
A morass of metallic mayhem.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
Many of us have almost a primal fondness for seeing two big things tear each other apart, and if Pacific Rim doesn't do much else, it certainly taps into that.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
But whatever, this movie has giant robots fighting giant monsters! Bam! Pow! When the chips are down, del Toro delivers the goods as he holds literally nothing back in this all-out sensory assault.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Del Toro's not filming a beer commercial; he's making epic action art.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Certainly one of the most eccentric and imaginative films of the summer.
Justin Craig - FoxNews.com
When I remember the summer of 2013, this is the movie I'll think of. A first-rate sci-fi adventure that made me feel all giddy inside.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
It should have been something special, and all we got was more of the norm.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
Its visual achievements notwithstanding, Pacific Rim's greatest breakthrough may be that it's the first Hollywood blockbuster to sport a title less descriptive of its plot than of its intended market.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
From the time this sucker started I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face that was so wide my cheeks are still killing me hours later, It'll make you feel like a kid again.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Pacific Rim has its creator to thank for elevating it above so many similar and forgettable action blockbusters, through sheer creativity, love and force of will.
Kofi Outlaw - ScreenRant
The adult in me might wonder how beings from another universe don't blink out of existence entering one with entirely different cosmic constants... but, then the kid in me says to myself, "Shut up, brain! Giant robots and alien godzillas!"
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
There really is something different this time around, and it is not just the sophisticated special effects.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
The fights are well-staged and there's just enough interstitial humanity among boxing matches to keep things from getting monotonous.
Cary Darling - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
It's a clunky piece of irony, but Pacific Rim is a celebration of analog made possible by digital technology.
Katherine Monk - Canada.com
The most spectacular visual effects of the year. Del Toro is a master. May be the greatest monster movie I have ever seen.
Pete Hammond - Movieline
The film appears to emerge from a weirdly indeterminate cross-cultural sludge, a homogenised, vaguely imagined zone in which the monsters are, for me, bigger but blander than in the classic Japanese monster movies of old.
Del Toro has a whopper of a story on his hands, but his unique storytelling sensibility feels muffled by the demands of genre contrivances and a bigger-is-better aesthetic.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The action quickly becomes repetitive and del Toro and Travis Beacham's screenplay is so humourless and cliche-riddled that the cast buckle under the strain ...
Emma Simmonds - The List
Del Toro brings no pretense to Pacific Rim. He's simply making the most massive, relentlessly cool movie he can make until a studio accountant brings him to a full-stop.
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
Unlike many enormomovies in which one special effect fights another special effect, "Pacific Rim" never loses sight of the human dimension.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Pacific Rim might not be the worst large-scale blockbuster of summer 2013, but it's the one that seems proudest of its stupidity
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
"Pacific Rim" creates its own language and its own mythology, and the result is one gloriously entertaining vision that leaves us in wide-eyed wonder.
Randy Myers - San Jose Mercury News
A jumble of grating caricatures shouting dopey lines at each other in a film with no real sense of cause and effect. It was like watching a nerd play with his dolls for two hours.
Vincent Mancini - FilmDrunk
A huge movie, investing in a deafening sound design and extended presentations of mass destruction. In del Toro's sweaty hands, the chaos holds a little more appeal than the average summer blockbuster entry.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
Inadvertently makes the case that extinction might not be so bad... If this is the best we can do in terms of movies - if something like this can speak to the soul of audiences - maybe we should just turn over the cameras to the alien dinosaurs
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
For all its expensive grandeur, almost too epic even for the vast canvases of IMAX, Pacific Rim is unmistakably a Del Toro creation.
A.A. Dowd - AV Club
Hard to fathom that a movie filled with 2,500-ton stars can carry so little weight.
Jon Niccum - Kansas City Star
Godzilla, eat your heart out.
Soren Anderson - Seattle Times
Director Guillermo del Toro, master of thoughtful horror in the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone, gives himself over entirely to his inner 11-year-old.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
If you're 10 years old, or just want to feel that way for a couple of hours, "Pacific Rim" provides everything you need except the Twizzlers.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A blockbuster that redefines the term overkill.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
It's a shame the story couldn't carry some of the heft of the hulking battlebots, but then I guess when the giant Gundam starts battling Godzilla, no one's curious about how they feel. You just stare, mouth agape, at the impressive display in front of you
David Berry - National Post
"Pacific Rim" is a little too long, a little too silly, and a little too underwritten, but for all that, it serves up a healthy portion of good old-fashioned guilt-free punching.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
At last, a blockbuster that delivers the goods!
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
This movie will no doubt prompt comparisons to a Power Rangers episode or the next installment in Michael Bay's overwrought Transformers franchise.
It's about lost shoes and bloody noses.
Victoria Alexander - Las Vegas Informer
Monsters, robots, grand heroism and a few clever jokes: Sounds like a perfect Saturday afternoon to me.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
The movie is an eyeful, especially in 3-D, but even with humans at the helms of the machines, it's a hollow exercise in homage.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A wonder that makes your eyes pop and jaw drop ... that rare beast, a movie that demands you get out of the house and see it on the biggest screen possible.
Matt Pais - RedEye
If you smile at the thought of giant robots fighting giant monsters, del Toro has crafted a cinematic love letter specifically with you in mind. Those not immediately sold on the premise should sit this installment of Rock'Em Sock'Em robots out.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
It lasts more than two hours. And there is nothing endearing about it.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
More "Transformers" than "Cloverfield." Where is the terror? Where is the suspense? Where is the beauty? The majesty? The sense of loss? "Pacific Rim" is a pretty, dumbed-down shell of a movie. It could have been so, so much more.
The spectacle is distancing and even though it may have been unintentional, there is subtext in Pacific Rim and it is not fun.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
A big chunk of the film's entertainment value is figuring out where writer/director Guillermo del Toro got his ideas.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Pacific Rim" stomps all over the rubble of old Japanese creature features, scorching away much of the rubber-suited fun of those early atomic age fancies.
Greg Evans - Bloomberg News
It's actually a weird relief to see a summer actioner with the nerve to just say, "This is how this fantasy world works, take it or leave it, we have monsters to punch." It makes Pacific Rim the summer's most authentically comic booky movie/
Joe Gross - Austin American-Statesman
It's dumb because it's about giant monsters fighting giant robots. But it's awesome because, well, it's about giant monsters fighting giant robots.
Matt Neal - The Standard
A movie with tremendous visuals, extraordinary production design and just enough humanity to keep it honest.
Anders Wright - San Diego Union-Tribune
A hyperactive gothic science fiction film that dazzles with epic scope and heroics
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
There's no denying Pacific Rim is the best film of its kind. It remains to be seen whether the film's epic clawing and clanking satisfies a pent-up demand equal to its ambitions.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Who cares about silly things like logic and sharp dialogue when you've got Charlie Day mind-melding with Kaiju and Jaegers using ships as clubs to swat down the nasty beasts.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Pacific Rim is shiny and big and eager to please, but its originality can't save it from feeling as derivative and empty as any cobbled-together remake.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Pacific Rim knows what sort of film it wishes to be; it is that film, and much more.
Matt Zoller Seitz - RogerEbert.com
The epic-scale battles between the towering robots and massive monsters are a huge part of this film's spectacle quotient and often achieve pop-visual grandeur.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Pacific Rim isn't bad. It's just that del Toro's attempt to go from a visionary weaver of fantasy to a merchant of summer schlock feels as mechanical as the giant Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
Rick Bentley - Fresno Bee
Like most monster movies, Pacific Rim is at its best when humanity has been all but forgotten, reduced to a puny abstraction.
Mike D'Angelo - The Dissolve
A sense of delight envelops the film. It's as if (director Guillermo) Del Toro had channeled his inner little boy from his playroom.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Though we may have seen bits of this and that in previous sci-fi adventures, the ingredients haven't ever been steeped together quite like this particular briny bouillabaisse. Soup's on ... enjoy.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
If you ever wanted to see a movie that is nothing but giant monsters battling giant robots, this is it.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A large-scale love letter to Japanese sci-fi, but also an accessible blockbuster imbued with delightful eccentricities amid its broad elements.
Josh Slater-Williams - The Skinny
A 'Power Rangers' on steroids with an inane plot, cliche-ridden dialogue, cardboard characters and stilted acting.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The best thing about this massive blockbuster is the way it updates the classic Japanese monster movie to the 21st century, with a first-rate cast and staggeringly good effects.
Rich Cline - Contactmusic.com
The deliriously demented 1960s Japanese show 'Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot' proves to be a stronger influence on 'Pacific Rim' than any Godzilla movie.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
... Not only the movie of the summer, it's one of the best sci-fi action/adventure epics ever made.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Sensory overload is the order of the day, Pacific Rim packing a punch with its bold and bright colour palette, sheer size and mega volume.
Steve Newall - Flicks.co.nz
The film, without a fresh or un-borrowed idea in its head, is exhausted before it begins.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Giant robots vs. alien monsters, with a side of Charlie Day. What's not to like?
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
The powers that be wanted to see giant robots battling giant monsters, and thus that's what we get, in spades. 'Pacific Rim' isn't awful, it's just another example of squandered opportunity. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
While Pacific Rim functions as a fairly enjoyable popcorn flick, it's lacking any real substance.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Far better than "Avatar"...one of the best films of the year.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
A big budget spectacle where every dollar is up on the screen, a boy's adventure tale told by a man who never ever wants to grow up (and hopefully, he never will).
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Giant robots are the last hope against an alien invasion in Guillermo del Toro's affectionate tribute to monster movies.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Pacific Rim is not a very good movie. That's not to say that a lot of people aren't going to have a lot of fun watching it.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Sci-Fi Movie Page
There's not a drop of irony in del Toro's film, nothing cynical..I find it all kind of refreshing, in a time where sarcasm and meta are the ruling attitudes.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
del Toro playing it safe but with ease.
Matthew Sorrento - Film International
I know we all wanted a robots versus monsters movie, but we don't need to accept a mediocre one. In fact, it's even more imperative we hold out for better.
Fred Topel - CraveOnline
When Guillermo del Toro gets the freedom to transfer so much from his increbidle imagination onto the IMAX screen, I would follow it anywhere.
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
Monsters fighting robots in the wrong hands can be a gigantic let down but with del Toro at the helm, it becomes the quintessential summer movie experience.
Kristian Harloff - Schmoes Know
consider that the primary screenwriter on the piece is not del Toro, but the guy who wrote the remake of Clash of the Titans.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
...picture Ripley suited up all "Tron"-like to take on an alien in a suit the size of a Manhattan high rise....deserves to be seen on the big screen - the bigger the better.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
An endlessly raucous and wonderfully entertaining piece of grade-A eye candy from one of the few filmmakers I trust implicitly.
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
Monsters versus robots .. with no room for characters or story or anything other than shiny metal and roaring bulk.
James Rocchi - ScreenCrush
'Pacific Rim' delivers the goods without firing on all cylinders
Matt Patches - GeekNation
It's by no means a bad film...but there's not a trace of Del Toro's compellingly off-kilter dabs on it.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Disappointing robots vs monsters blockbuster that features spectacular special effects but is let down by poor acting and a painfully dull script.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
... the grace of movement established goes a long way in showing what is so wrong about the hyperkinetic animation employed in every Marvel Universe film. The Kaiju universe deserved and received more reverence than that ...
Matt Kelemen - AspectRatio.us
Let me just be blunt: anyone who excuses this movie on the grounds that the action is cool - not that there is anything wrong with that, and I mean it - needs to forfeit the right to ever again complain about Hayden Christensen, Shia LaBeouf or Megan Fox.
Luke Y. Thompson
Pacific Rim is an awesome good time that will leave you cheering. It's one of the few perfect summer films in existence. See it on the big screen. Yes, even pay the extra for 3D. Bask in its fun and glory.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
Pacific Rim proves that when the pilot of the film is a smart, switched-on filmmaker, even a loopy blockbuster about robots fighting monsters can have heart, brains and charm.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
Countless times audiences have seen mass destruction Hollywood style, but rarely do the characters match the strength of the special effects and Pacific Rim features the year's best.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Dude wanted to make a "Godzilla" movie. Married to a "Tranformers" picture. With a little "Starship Troopers" and "Independence Day" and "Hellboy" mixed in.
How many of these recent blockbusters have made you feel 12 years old again? Not a whole lot, but thankfully, Guillermo Del Toro has nailed that feeling of pure wonder and amazement with Pacific Rim.
Stephen Lambrechts - Neon Maniacs
PACIFIC RIM speaks the disaster language of the original Godzilla, yearns to be in the same league as Star Wars; but unfortunately its style over substance ethos delivers Transformers results.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
If Del Toro is pitching for an audience of 12-year-old boys (and we do mean boys: this is old-school macho), he's done a bang-up job.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
What isn't to like about Pacific Rim? This bludgeoning 3D creature feature is a slick bit of movie mayhem.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
Guillermo del Toro's epic homage to classic-era monster movies is a triumph of consumate design and old school romanticism.
David Jenkins - Little White Lies
Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" is as clear and celebratory an expression of what film at its most creative, earnest, and exuberant can achieve as any in recent memory, and one of the very best films of 2013.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
Though everything we see is pure, pleasurable comic-book absurdity, Del Toro somehow lends a plausible humanity to the proceedings, one lacking in most of this summer's city-destroying blockbusters.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Glorified Power Rangers specials don't need to unfold over 131 endless minutes.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
A huge, CGI-heavy popcorner that still feels personal. Come for the epic monster-on-mecha showdowns, stay for the likeable humans.
Matthew Leyland - Total Film
Del Toro is giving scope to a boyhood lust for mayhem, the multi-million-dollar equivalent of kicking over sandcastles and torturing insects. There is something infectiously juvenile in that. Catch his Drift and you'll have a brawl.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
A dopey, earnest and occasionally visionary sci-fi action film that keeps being dragged down by its drab characters and indifferent performances.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Pacific Rim's wafer-thin psychodrama and plot-generator dialogue provides little for the human component to get their teeth into.
You can practically hear Guillermo Del Toro sitting just out of camera range and cackling at this big, beautiful, weird-as-hell thrill ride.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
"The deeper the bond, the better you fight," explains ace pilot Raleigh Becket. That's a mantra more blockbusters would do well to bear in mind.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Guillermo del Toro doesn't rise above the obligations of staging a film of this sort as a multi-level video game, a stylish but programmatic ride toward an inevitable final boss battle.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
a wholesome tale of courage, sacrifice and heart that feels as old-fashioned, well-worn and outmoded as the Gipsy Danger itself.
Anton Bitel - Grolsch Film Works
A visually striking film but hollowed-hearted.
Jon Lyus - HeyUGuys
Unexpectedly hollow and corny as Hell, but set your brain to cruise control and it also delivers (eventually) on its promises of crowd-pleasing, rock 'em, sock 'em action.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
Huge scale entertainment with guts and a heart - even if the brain is sometimes lacking during the more human moments.
James White - SFX Magazine
Whenever the jaegers and the kaiju throw down in Pacific Rim, it's at night in the pouring rain - unless they're both at the bottom of the ocean. What's the point, exactly, of cutting-edge CG monsters filmed in a way where we can barely see them?
del Toro introduces a robots-versus-monsters scenario that includes the same sort of nerdy details and sci-fi jargon as its overcomplicated brethren, but under del Toro it all makes sense - and even better, he makes us care about it.
Todd Gilchrist - The Verge
Pacific Rim will go down as the year's ballsiest blockbuster - a movie for whom 'Go big or go extinct' isn't just a tagline, but a reason to be.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
I'd strongly argue that Pacific Rim is one of the more memorable, distinctive action releases in recent years.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Bankrolled to the tune of $180 million ... del Toro finally gets to crack open his biggest toy box yet. I'm ecstatic for him. I'm only mildly happy for myself, as a viewer.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Go for broke, we may have only one shot at this filmmaking, stuffed with scenes and characters and concepts that deserve to be in a movie but rarely if ever get the chance.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
A mesmerizing, if mindless, apocalyptic adventure that doesn't ask anything more of an audience than to enjoy the action and root heartily for the heroes while consuming a copious amount of popcorn.
Kam Williams - AALBC.com
Michael Bay eat your heart out. Guillermo del Toro has made one bigger, louder, faster and more destructive than you. Pacific Rim is Transformers on steroids, Godzilla to the power of 10, The Avengers turbo-charged and bigger-suited than Iron Man
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
With eye-popping visuals that resemble a digital lightshow, Guillermo del Toro's film about an alien invasion combated by man-operated giant robots is extravagant in scale and loudly strident
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Monsters. Robots. Two iconic adolescent elements beating the living **** out of one another. The rest is set dressing, for, at its core, we've got Kaiju vs. Jaeger, beasts versus mechanical brawn.
A stonking summer blockbuster that delivers on an epic scale.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
'Pacific Rim' is outrageously badass
Erik Davis - Movies.com
A movie about that is thrillingly, upliftingly about the best of humanity. And it also has giant mechs punching the s**t out of giant monsters. This is what blockbuster movies should be.
'Pacific Rim,' beyond its flaws, is truly a gorgeous, stunning and magnificent summer spectacle.
Brad Miska - Bloody Disgusting
Guillermo del Toro blows the likes of Battleship and Transformers out of the water with action sequences that are breathtaking in scope and ferocious in intensity.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy