Too often, The Fourth Kind makes the paranormal look disappointingly normal.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
May be humorless, paranoid nonsense, but its biggest failure is its inability to scare.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
You don't have to believe in far-fetched tales of mysterious beams of light and alien abductions to get caught up in The Fourth Kind.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
At a recent preview screening, the most common audience response to this nonsense was laughter, not gasps of horror.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
In two climactic scenes, the screen goes fuzzy. For over a minute what we're watching is basically a television on the fritz. The only place that's ever been frightening is in the privacy of your living room.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
A couple of modestly effective shocks lie in store, but none as frightening as the onscreen text informing us that some 11 million people claim to have seen a UFO.
Scott Foundas - Village Voice
Badly acted by everyone (including the director, Olatunde Osunsanmi, who appears onscreen), this insipid jumble's idea of fright is incessant screaming.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Mr. Osunsanmi's chutzpah exceeds his skill.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Why the aliens chose this community of 9,261 to abduct so many people is a mystery. Also why owls stare into bedroom windows.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Olatunde Osunsanmi's big formal innovation tunrs out to be the split-screen pairing of patently bogus "archival" black-and-white video that shows alleged abductees undergoing hypnosis and color "reenactments" of same.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
A mildly scary, totally meaningless excursion into the realms of psychological horror and alien-abduction conspiracies.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The Fourth Kind is legitimately scary enough to keep you in your seat. (Just don't Google the flick before you see it.)
Kara Nesvig - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Unintentionally, laughably bad.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Universal's alien-abduction thriller none too cleverly bids to pass off mock-documentary footage of levitating psychological patients--and, scarier still, ordinary talking heads--as the real deal.
Rob Nelson - Variety
The Fourth Kind has a clever gimmick and nothing more.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Without the true-story conceit, The Fourth Kind would be just another formula horror flick with a couple of passable jolts trying to hold a flimsy story together.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
The mission here is to demonstrate how, in this explosive age of dubious information, cynicism can be quickly trumped by gullibility.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Not entirely uninteresting, but it suffers from some ill-advised decisions. In fact, the film's "hook" may be its greatest detraction.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
This stiff paranormal thriller could stand a lot more activity.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
The flat-lining, alien-abduction thriller The Fourth Kind offers a close encounter that buries an interesting idea under a barrage of gimmicky, carnivallike hokum.
Glenn Whipp - Associated Press
You'd do better downloading an old Art Bell show -- say, the one about the guy who put an alien in his freezer -- than investigating this evidence of subnormal activity.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Writer-director Olatunde Osunsanmi attempts an Orson Welles-like confluence of "real" and imagined that might have worked had he gotten out of the way more, literally and figuratively.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
Something weird is going on in Nome, Alaska. Unsolved murders. suicidal freak-outs. a bunch of people having eerie, similar nightmares. and a spooky white owl.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
[The] ostensible archival footage proves so clunky and transparently phony that the entire gimmick collapses.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
If there were a low point of viral movie marketing last decade, consider "The Fourth Kind" the Marianas Trench. The title refers to four levels of alien interaction, and the pedestrian plotting on display proved Steven Spielberg stopped at the right one.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
When the director divides the screen into quadrants for his big finish, the effect is just laughable -- but then by that point, the movie is too.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
"Attempting shock value and extraterrestrial disturbance to generate a cult smash, Kind will likely tire audiences before it ever has a chance to swindle them."
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
click to read full review
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
The arrogance and ignorance on display is truly amazing. Arrogance of its superiority over the audience's intellect and ignorance of filmmaking craft.
Brian Holcomb - CinemaBlend.com
It's my policy to sit through every film that opens theatrically in Atlanta. If I was going to violate that policy, it would be for this film. I hope I make my point. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The Fourth Kind is more likely to elicit laughter than the suspense it promised in the opening monologue.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Frankly, this movie is quite scary when it's viewed with the idea that this is the film version of creepy disappearances that are really happening in Nome, Alaska. When it's not that, it's almost laughable.
Michael Szymanski - Sci-Fi Weekly
Where is Fox Mulder when you need him?
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The "The Fourth Kind" poses as another successful documentary on the hot trail of "Paranormal Activity". Too bad this film is missing many ingredients to make it a blockbuster success.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
Purporting to be a true story of alien abduction, in reality it's a clumsy attempt to update the hoax technique Orson Welles perfected seven decades ago.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
He apparently thinks white owls are a lot scarier than they are. (I mean, I guess because their heads swivel around, you can't sneak up on them from behind. But when would you need to sneak up on an owl?)
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
The Fourth Kind delivers a handful of decent shocks but it's ultimately let down by a weak plot, some patchy performances and the fact that the fictionalised reconstruction element doesn't really work.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
... a sophisticated hoax ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The first line in The Fourth Kind has Milla Jovovich calling herself an 'actress,' so we know right away the film is lying.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Unfortunately, none of the subsequent noise is all that scary, and the striving for Paranormal Activity's buzz is shameless.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Has out-Blair Witch'd The Blair Witch Project.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
...even if "The Fourth Kind" came out ten years ago it still wouldn't stand up to overrated "Blair Witch Project."
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
(Director) Olatunde Osunsanmi, his cast and crew work so hard to make it all seem so real that you spend more time debating with yourself whether what you are watching is truth or fiction ...
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"What you decide is up to you," Jovovich permits us at the end, reducing cinema to an Unsolved Mysteries episode.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
No, no, no, no.
Michael Phillips - At the Movies
[A] dull, clumsy little movie.
A.O. Scott - At the Movies
proves that a horror film doesn't need splashy digital effects or pyrotechnics to be effective
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
The film doesn't deliver any frights or creepiness. The so-called shocking parts are revealed in the trailer. The rest feels as if moments have been stitched together to make a whole.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The release date is not the fault of the movie.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Part disturbing documentary, part straight-ahead movie-making, The Fourth Kind is difficult to watch, difficult to understand and difficult to recommend.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Truth is stranger than fiction, and The Fourth Kind is neither strange nor fictional. It's just plain silly.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
Osunsanmi's tricksy formal device simply reinforces our disbelief and invites ridicule.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
Dean Essner - National Post
going to great lengths to make us believe the events depicted in this movie are real, but it's about as a real as the date I had with Jennifer Aniston in my dreams the other night.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Despite its claims of authenticity, this alien-abduction thriller feels like a cinematic con job.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
There is a lot of half-baked soap opera wrapped around the hypnosis scenes.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
nothing more than a science fiction version of a Michael Moore movie. It makes wild claims that it's the utter truth, and if you go in with blinders you might like it
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
...The Fourth Kind clearly would've benefited from a more conventional approach...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The Fourth Kind aims to do for alien abduction what Paranomal Activity did for hauntings. And to a large degree, it succeeds.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
The Fourth Kind, despite its periodic strengths, does its very best to take the viewer out of the material rather than immersing one in the story.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
As Truth, it's bullshit, and as Bullshit, it isn't remotely entertaining.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A gimmicky, inordinately self-impressed attempt to cash in on the latest tabloid buzzwords. If this was made in the '70s, it'd be narrated by Leonard Nimoy and chock-full of yetis and the Devil's Triangle.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
The movie begins with what is probably the most laughable opening scene of the year.
Kurt Loder - MTV
When the image on screen splits in half and and two actors... are side-by-side competing to see who, under movie-hypnosis, can freak out the hardest and contort their face into horrifying mouth-shapes, it's really effective.
Dave White - Movies.com
Liable to disappear mysteriously from cinemas.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
In the end the film is more desultory than disturbing.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
There are three scenes in the film where I slowly brought my hand up to my mouth and became teary eyed because I was so frightened.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
I'd love to be at a screening of "The Fourth Kind" in Nome, where it's sure to be greeted as a comedy.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Nothing more than an elaborate light show, smoke and mirrors designed to lull the audience into believing that not only what they are seeing is real but that the filmmaking isn't some of the most amateurish of the year.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
A cut-rate X-Files rehash cleverly dressed up with the trappings of supposedly "real" footage a la The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Mostly engaging with fleeting scares, stylish cinematography and an initially intriguing premise, but the suspense and chills wane as its script grows increasingly silly, unfocused and dull.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
The Olatunde Osunsanmi who directed The Fourth Kind should have fired the Olatunde Osunsanmi who wrote it.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Frankly, without the "based on true events" framing and the video footage of the supposedly real incidents, there's not much here.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Ultimately, the film's narrative segments are far too glossy and over-stylized, larded with ponderous scoring, obvious melodrama and split-screen visuals that offset the "reenactments" with the "real."
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
The Fourth Kind is terminally awkward in the way it meshes fake real footage with faker fake footage. It isn't required to be convincing as fact, but it doesn't convince as fiction, either.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
The Fourth Kind may not be the most honest movie in the galaxy, but it's got one thing right: With horror, what you don't see is usually more terrifying than what you do.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
A more accurate title for The Fourth Kind would be Close Encounters of the Worst Kind.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
If aliens from another world ever do come to Earth and get a look at "The Fourth Kind," they may decide that any species capable of creating anything this dumb is probably too stupid to probe and conquer in the first place.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Were this movie actually what it says it is, it'd be a reprehensible piece of exploitation; instead it's just another lame thriller with a few cheap scares.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
As the movie repeatedly insists, it's only presenting this information; it's up to you to decide what to believe. Well, I believe this was a waste of about an hour and a half.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's patently hokey material, but then these are patently hokey times.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
It's a well crafted docu-drama-esque film that takes itself seriously, builds tension and scares the sh*t out of you through and through.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
The movie's carnival-barker hard sell is that it's after The Truth. It's really after an opening-weekend gross, of course. It's sporadically clever and chilling, but I'll be shocked if it endures as a Blair Witch-style horror verite phenomenon.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
In a land of recycled ideas and remakes, The Fourth Kind is a valiant original, no matter how deceptive it may ultimately be.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
When so many films are bad in lazy and ordinary ways, it's refreshing to occasionally see one that fails interestingly.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
a smart-ass slap in the face
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Filmmaker Olatunde Osunsanmi ... does such a clumsy job of arguing that ancient Sumerian aliens are causing havoc in Nome that he spoils any chance he might have had to make a decent scary movie.
David Wildman - Boston Phoenix
Who knew alien abduction could be such a bore?
Pam Grady - Boxoffice Magazine
Musters all its strength to set up a purportedly true-life scenario about alien sightings, only to give itself away at every turn.
Matthew Sorrento - Film Threat
IF you let it draw you in with its factual approach, The Fourth Kind will creep you out more than Paranormal Activity.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
In short, The Fourth Kind pisses on your leg, tells you it's raining, and then tries to sell you a raincoat made of dog hair and corn chips.
Brian Juergens - CampBlood.org
This is the same kind of put-on as the low-budget phenomenon Paranormal Activity. Except it's far more effective (at least at first).
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A lot of nothing happens in The Fourth Kind.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
There's an intriguing idea here... but The Fourth Kind is so clumsy and clunky and stiff it's like watching someone attempt an intricate card trick while wearing oven mitts.
James Rocchi - Redbox
Nome has seen more than its share of missing and dead people, who deserve better than this kind of hucksterism.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A frustrating exercise in terror that relies too heavily on gimmicks to have any genuine impact.
Jeff Shannon - Seattle Times
The silliness is out of this world.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
If you're gullible enough to accept the backstory given here, you're probably the sort of person who'll take Criswell's assurances that Plan 9 from Outer Space is based on sworn testimony at face value.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Osunsanmi's action sequences resemble episodes of Unsolved Mysteries without the budget, where a spooktastic owl stands in for belligerent ETs. Honestly.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
What I want is to commission a remake of The Fourth Kind, this time by someone who is more concerned with storytelling than with showing off.
Eugene Novikov - AMCtv.com
Such originality as Osunsanmi's usually wins me over, but his artificial realism here leaves me cold--like taking a stroll on a Nome sidewalk, in winter, without a parka.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Osunsanmi knows that everybody secretly wants to believe and when it comes to giving the people what they want, he does not disappoint.
Simon Abrams - Slant Magazine
The Fourth Kind may have more unmotivated booms in its mix than any film I've ever seen.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
The Fourth Kind was one of the scariest things I've seen in years. I'm going out to see it again, which tells you how much I care whether or not it's a hoax...I enjoyed every thrilling minute of it.
Jenna Busch - Huffington Post
There's nothing in this glorified Power Point presentation that stands up to even the most cursory scrutiny.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
If your mind is in the right place, THE FOURTH KIND is a chilling, creepy, unnerving and engaging experience. But I stress the idea that most of you probably will not like this...Buyer beware.
Brad Miska - Bloody Disgusting
...a thriller that unravels easily even if it nevertheless occasionally qualifies as a scary good time.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
Alien abductees are back and they are still idiots.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com