“Proves That Michael Bay Shouldn't Do True Stories”
“Yesterday, Dec 7th, 1941 A Day Which Will Live In Infamy....”
“WHAT A MOVIE FROM START TO FINISH ”
“Another Movie That I Could Not Wait For The End.”
“Pearl Harbor Sucks”
An indulgently paced three hours, the picture is nearly painstaking in its traditionalism.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Nearly every line of the script drops from the actors' mouths with the leaden clank of exposition, timed with bad sitcom beats.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Affleck, Hartnett and Beckinsale give performances of such somnambulist awfulness that the three of them achieve an almost zen-like state of woodenness.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
One of the wimpiest wartime romances ever filmed.
- USA Today
For my money a much better heartbreaker, thrillmaker and tear-tweaker than Titanic.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
Perhaps they should have called this 'Bore-a, Bore-a, Bore-a.'
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
All the jolt that computer graphics can offer, Pearl Harbor supplies.
Jay Carr - Boston Globe
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Strangely, though, after all of the movie's manipulations and the big events, we don't get a sense at the end that we've accompanied the characters through a journey.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Surprise attacks should be swift and penetrating. Neither adjective applies to Pearl Harbor.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
Wins at war but loses at love.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
The woe and horror of the event is steamrolled by a surplus of special and digitized effects.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
An unremarkable action movie; Pearl Harbor supplies the subject, but not the inspiration.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Unfortunately, pasted around that stunning [action] sequence is a story so clogged with cliches of every description, so overblown, bombastic and agonizingly sentimental that it's hard to watch it with a straight face.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
A script with the most underdeveloped characters and spectacularly realized visuals since Titanic.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
The attack sequence in Pearl Harbor shows technical smarts to spare. Where matters of emotional and political truth are concerned, it's crude and jingoistic beyond compare.
Susan Stark - Detroit News
The bombs explode brilliantly but the story is a bust in "Pearl Harbor."
Todd McCarthy - Variety
The bulk of the three-hour epic is third-rate schmaltz that pays only lip service to history.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
When no one's fighting, it's mostly a blindingly tedious soap opera, complete with an unexciting love triangle, a pushy musical score, a miraculous feat by a disabled character and an equally miraculous revival of one of the heroes.
Jay Boyar - Orlando Sentinel
It blows up as good as anything movie technology has yet detonated, and it leaves you feeling absolutely, incontrovertibly numb.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
The central romance of Pearl Harbor is serviceable enough, and Affleck and Beckinsale really bring it home.
Sean Means - Film.com
The date that will live in infamy has been reduced to a movie that is mired in mediocrity.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Such a bloodless picture that it neither insults nor honors the memory of these soldiers.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
A movie that's nothing but selling points.
David Edelstein - Slate
Better to wait until it's available on video and you have the option of using a fast-forward button.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Mostly tests one's patience with unseaworthy dialogue and performers drowning in oily cliches.
David Hunter - Hollywood Reporter
The net result of this mighty effort is perhaps predictable: near total inconsequence.
Richard Schickel - TIME Magazine
From its opening calendar-art sunrise to the There You'll Be love theme that Faith Hill sings over the final credits, Pearl Harbor is deep-down phony.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the entire cast and crew have given us a Pearl Harbor to remember.
Kevin Thomas - Los Angeles Times
There's a certain symbolic symmetry here. The Navy and Walt Disney have teamed up on the production, and both view history as something to be managed and exploited.
Burl Burlingame - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
- Sight and Sound
This violent movie is worth seeing, but only once.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
"Pearl Harbor" zips through cliches like a chainsaw ripping through a stack of Cliff's Notes.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
May be the closest thing to a good movie Michael Bay will ever direct; unfortunately, it's still not very close to a good movie.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Shockingly, this saga is as aquare as they come: straight, earnest, and schmlatzy epic about the impact of WWII on two flyers in love with the same girl--a 1940s routine flick with special effects.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It's bad all right -- I was wincing at the overwritten dialogue within the first five minutes.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
This bunk is history.
Derek Adams - Time Out
The film is not as painful as a blow to the head, but it will cost you up to $10, and it takes three hours.
Heather Feher - FilmStew.com
[Michael] Bay didn't set out to make a film about Pearl Harbor. He set out to make a TITANIC clone that would go "Ka-ching" at the box office . . . Try TORA TORA TORA instead.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
It's just a bit unfortunate that such an incredible, noble story, one which turned a nation around and galvanized a generation into action, should be told by such weak storytellers.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
Bay's clunky and mammothly plodding Pearl Harbor is one movie that tries to do too many things at once without concentrating on any one specific point...the romance and action sequences are fussed over yet they deliver nothing really spectacular
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
David Poland - Hot Button
Rebecca Murray - About.com
- Film Threat
A huge steaming pile of cheese with an admittedly spectacular central sequence that is ultimately worth the price of admission.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
I left with one thought: the bombers may have hit their targets, but this film misses the mark.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Ambitious, reverent and beautifully photographed though it is, Pearl Harbor ultimately is not equal to its aspirations.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
A disappointing film because it simply doesn't live up to the enormity of its subject matter; it doesn't engage us but batters us into submission.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The worst thing to happen to movies in the past decade--a bold-faced negation of art, craft, emotion and importance.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Pearl Harbor is what you get when you cross Independence Day with Titanic, with the result possessing the good qualities of neither. The movie gave me a stomachache, literally.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Bay is the most dangerous of directors, a hack who believes himself an auteur.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
Wallace and Bay aren't striving for gutsy realism. "Pearl Harbor" isn't so much about the start of WWII as it is about Hollywood perceptions of WWII.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Pearl Harbor es un perfecto claroscuro. Tiene momentos realmente brillantes, asi como pasajes cursis y aburridamente melodramaticos.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
So mesmo um diretor como Michael Bay poderia transformar o tragico ataque japones a base naval americana de Pearl Harbor em puro entretenimento - e isso nao e um elogio..
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
[Pearl Harbor] makes no attempt to teach a lesson in history, for fear of losing the interest of 12-year-olds and high-school teeny-boppers. Insulting.
Collin Souter - eFilmCritic.com
A historical cartoon, a bit of fluff that neither much knows nor cares about the context of the events of December 7, 1941.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
It fails on every level.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
A mindless action movie passing as a serious war epic that is dragged out, unsure, and quite random.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Ultimately, what can be said about the film is that it is a disappointment ... It also confirms what most industry people suspected: Michael Bay is no James Cameron.
Ted Murphy - Baseline.Hollywood.com
It's big, bold, inspiring and spectacular ... but it's also mind-numbingly stupid.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
...cliched... stereotyped... commonplace. The words 'unmitigated hokum' kept going through my mind as I watched it.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
As subtle as any Michael Bay movie.
David N. Butterworth - Movie Boeuf
After ninety minutes of one-note foreshadowing and Beautiful People acting carefree and idealistic, you're actively rooting for the Japs to bomb the snot out of them.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Marke Andrews - Vancouver Sun
Boring, unpleasant and ghoulish. Surely the people who died at Pearl Harbor deserve better than this.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
A cheerfully offensive rape of history.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
Mark Freeman - Critical Eye
Su falta del factor humano termina por hundirla bajo el peso de sus desmedidas y desorbitadas pretensiones
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
Pearl Harbor makes a mockery of the tragedy, turning it into mindless mass entertainment with a PG-13 rating.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Pearl Harbor is product, not film.
Shay Casey - Jacksonville Film Journal
Bay fails to bring any insight to his treatment of the event.
Geoffrey Macnab - Sight and Sound
Arrive late, leave early, go home satisfied.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
As spectacle, the second half of Pearl Harbor deserves a medal, but there's far less craft apparent in its 4F script.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
- Irish Times
Director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer's World War II behemoth has only three operating modes: sub-Titanic romantic mush, jingoistic hokum and lovingly rendered carnage.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
The melodramatic love triangle that fuels the movie's story until and beyond the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor is both clumsy and unmoving
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
"Pearl Harbor" isn't anywhere near what it could have been as a movie, but the battle scenes are astonishing and it has a passable love story.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
...the ending seems so unfinished that it leaves audience members feeling like they've been stranded in an active battleground.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
No one in their right mind goes to a Bay/Bruckheimer film expecting to be touched by the story. This is a damn good ACTION movie.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
KJ Doughton - Nitrate Online
A thoroughly well-built dramatic actioner.
Adam Smith - Empire Magazine
Throw in some John Williams' music from "Midway" and we've got Bay as Spielucasron.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The actual war wasn't this dang long.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
With a few more bucks added to the budget, Bay could have added the Korean War, too.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
This movie is simply incoherent on every level -- emotionally, historically and politically.
David Forsmark - Credo
Pearl Harbor's love story is tailor made for daytime soap operas.
John A. Nesbit - ToxicUniverse.com
"Why is everybody so determined to hate this movie???"
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
Successfully provokes feelings of patriotism and of admiration for those who volunteered to 'fight back' and/or to save lives.
Yazmin Ghonaim - Cinephiles
A loquacious morass of cliches pillaged from nearly every old Hollywood war melodrama.
David Lawrence - Boxoffice Magazine
For sheer eye-popping spectacle, makes Titanic look like a kiddies' bath toy.
Neil Smith - BBC
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On May 25, 2001, Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay did it again.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Two-thirds soapy romance and one-third high-impact action movie
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Bay and company chose to prop up a poorly written romance as an epic, with death, war, and mayhem as plot devices.
Greg Dean Schmitz - Greg's Previews at Yahoo! Movies
The action is great, but the human side of the film sinks like a torpedoed battleship.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Affleck, Hartnett, and Beckinsdale look gorgeous and do their best to give some depth to the cardboard characters, but they cannot overcome a soapy plot and dialogue that is often wooden and sometimes wildly anachronistic.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Despite cliches and patriotic chest-thumping, Pearl Harbor is a visual feast.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Has too many phony, padded scenes.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
Sure, it'll be this year's Titantic. Funny, 'cause it sinks just the same.
- E! Online
Pearl Harbor is superficial, melodramatic and too long -- and that's the good news.
Liz Braun - Toronto Sun
It gets the job done.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
The rationale behind the making of Pearl Harbor is so transparent it's embarrassing.
John Paul Powell - Jam! Movies
Clearly, neither screenwriter Randall Wallace nor director Michael Bay ever met a cliche he didn't embrace.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Eager viewers will encounter an extravagant, often breathtaking, sometimes trite, old-fashioned Hollywood spectacle, an ultra-romanticized wartime epic that owes much more to Titanic than to Saving Private Ryan.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Most of it is just mediocre bull, the same sort of empty bluster we've come to expect from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay when the weather warms.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
In the end Pearl Harbor hits its target with solid performances by Hartnet and Affleck and its incredible action sequences.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
One part killer action flick and one part lame love story equals one giant disappointment -- and my Ben Affleck theory lives on.
Andrew Manning - Radio Free Entertainment
Bursting with American patriotism and an avid, shamelessly old-fashioned romantic spirit, Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor comes on like the Marines to save what's been a moribund movie year so far.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
This is worth the escalating price of admission.
Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Sun
An unabashedly old-fashioned and irony-free wartime romance infused with gee-whiz pyrotechnics and rah-rah patriotism.
Joe Leydon - San Francisco Examiner
A starchy, overpowering helping of red, whiete and blue kitsch served up with piping-hot bombast.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
A missed opportunity.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Two-thirds processed cheese, one-third pure gold
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
It is difficult to judge the quality of the acting. The actors' lines are so corny, the characters written in such a one-dimensional manner, it is hard to take any of the performances seriously.
Paul Gessell - Ottawa Citizen
Add in some dreadful dialogue, unlike Titanic, and you have a movie that has left me sitting on a very disappointed fence.
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
What was a film worth taking the time to divine value from becomes the biggest, and most expensive, waste of time in several years.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
Aside from the big bombs, Pearl Harbor is a dud.
John Zebrowski - Seattle Times
Apparently, screenwriter Randall Wallace is oblivious to what constitutes triteness.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
Hackneyed script and posterboard characters
Mike Ward - PopMatters
Intermittently cliche, the film finds a way to answer each indulgent (sometimes laughable) moment of schmaltz with a genuine solid silver edgy moment someplace else.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
When the smoke clears from the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air, we're left with a love triangle that drags on from here to eternity.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Pearl Harbor's sound and fury signify nothing but a new kind of war porn.
Robert Wilonsky - New Times
Certainly not jaw dropping awful, but clearly nowhere as good as it could and should have been.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Pearl is more like Top Gun blown up to three hours in a windy gust of self-importance that can't be sustained by a feeble script and a cast lacking in star power.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
If Pearl Harbor works only passably well as a love story and a history lesson, it definitely works as spectacle.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A shameless, cunning monster that has carefully checked and double-checked every important demographic of every potential moviegoer.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
There's nothing more debilitating than filmmakers who do not trust their own source material.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Remember Pearl Harbor? We will, but, sadly, for the missed opportunities and not for the reasons the filmmakers intended.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
A lot of people will rightfully be crowing about the technically astonishing battle scenes that take up over an hour of screen time. But getting there is a cliche-ridden, often laughable chore.
Paul Tatara - CNN.com
A bloated, waterlogged catastrophe that looks and feels phony in every detail, from the mossy cliches of Randall Wallace's script to the gleaming computerized perfection of its curiously bloodless battle scenes.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
When Bay eventually delivers his precision-choreographed action, he elevates the strike above the schmaltz and nearly achieves epic status.
Dan Fazio - Citysearch
The kind of crap that deserves to be slapped silly.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
An average flick that doesn't need to be seen in the theatres unless you really wanna check out all of its awesome visuals on the big screen.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
A movie with all brawn and few brains.
J. Robert Parks - Phantom Tollbooth
Pearl Harbor may be the most buttery popcorn movie of the hot season.
Philip Booth - Orlando Weekly
The dialogue is so unrelentingly banal as to make one reconsider whether James Cameron's writing on Titanic was really all that bad.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Pearl Harbor is hit and miss.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
Once you realize Pearl Harbor is more classic homage than contemporary schmaltz, the beauty (and quality) of this sweeping romance just falls into place.
Jeffrey Huston - Jeff Huston's Believe Me
While sheer spectacle may be good enough for an ever-easy-to-please moviegoing public, it cannot be for Bay, who so clearly, desperately strove for so much more.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
"Titanic" meets "Saving Private Ryan" with a good dose of "Gomer Pyle" added to the brew... could have been subtitled "World War II for Dummies."
Brandon Judell - PopcornQ
It's all smoke and fireballs, spectacle without any real punch.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
There's something terribly wrong with a movie that takes nearly five times as long to resolve a generic love story as it does to re-create the infamous battle from which it gets its title.
Todd Anthony - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
After the first few minutes, it's just fireworks and bodies in motion.
Cody Clark - Mr. Showbiz
When it's over, the positive feelings have outweighed the negative ones, and Pearl Harbor will go down as a success.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The film is three hours long, but doesn't feel it. That's the true test of a long film.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Despite some major flaws, Pearl Harbor is an effective piece of entertainment.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Would have made a good silent movie. In fact, almost all of this film would work better if the actors just didn't open their mouths.
Dave White - IFilm
While the scale is mostly grand, the scope often feels cramped.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Middlingly racist, humorless, and downright inept, Pearl Harbor is solely for fans of fireworks factories.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
What a marvelous tribute to those who perished in the battle and all who served our country in World War II.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Weak on script but BIG on action.
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
...diminishes what happened on December 7, 1941.
Tom Block - culturevulture.net
Pyrotechnics and romance but, like 'Moulin Rouge,' without soul.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
You probably at least feel like crying that such an important event in our country's history has been turned into a silly romance with one cliched line after another. What a colossal wasted opportunity.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
We all know that a good film has to have heart -- and this one is just left on the operating table while the patient's locked outside, banging on the hospital doors.
Call it WWII Lite.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
"It's a stunning, explosive, contrived, commercial war movie. If you want accurate history, rent 'Tora, Tora, Tora.'"
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Strives to be a sweeping romantic epic, but sinks under the weight of a cliche-ridden script, pedestrian acting and sledgehammer direction.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
As impressive as the two immense battle scenes are, they're just not worth suffering through the other two hours of the movie to witness.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Two-thirds cheesy love story and one-third fireworks extravaganza.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
Pearl Harbor has a bland love story, no conflict, a well-known outcome, and no star chemistry.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Just another step toward the Disneyfication of our collective memories... a studio-manufactured tearjerker, with nothing left to chance.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Superbly marketed, Pearl Harbor is the very model of a modern blockbuster. Will it matter that almost nothing about its human drama rings true?
David Ansen - Newsweek
Michael Bay has finally made a good film.
- Dark Horizons
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A dull and oppressingly long three-hour ode to the glory of war and killing.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Pearl Harbor is a difficult movie to review. It is in no way a great movie, but it also is far from bad.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Bob Bloom - rec.arts.movies.reviews