Full of burnt-end romance and 'style,' but robotic at its core.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
What is most striking about The Spirit is how little pleasure it affords, in spite of its efforts to by sly, sexy, heartfelt and clever all at once.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Frank Miller's adaptation of the antique comic strip by Will Eisner is brash, noisy and so alarmingly ill-paced that it should, by rights, come with a software package that allows viewers to recut it as they see fit.
Xan Brooks - Guardian [UK]
The Spirit is uneven, but its campy adventure provides some amusing, escapist fun.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Good comic books suggest action through abstraction, but The Spirit plays like an overproduced diorama.
Carina Chocano - Washington Post
Miller turns The Spirit into a hambone farce. Worse, by hiring well-known actors and indulging their worst impulses, he destroys the tart irony Eisner built into every frame.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Miller, comics-writing icon turned director, has rendered comics-industry revolutionary Will Eisner's crime fighter Denny Colt a grim shade of dull -- all talk, no action
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
The incomprehensible plot has something to do with a stolen elixir of eternal life. But that's beside the point, since all the director cares about is the film's noirish look and pulp fiction feel.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Frank Miller wrote and directed this adaptation, in a visual style lazily close to that of his Sin City.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Someone get this man a decent script.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Maybe if there was something going with the dialogue -- snappy Chandlerisms, say, or even just sentences that made sense -- the fussy digital artifice of The Spirit wouldn't seem so, well, dispiriting.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's not easy to make a thriller that's both incredibly convoluted and intensely boring, laboriously narrated yet befuddled, but Miller -- creator and co-director of Sin City -- triumphs on all counts.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
How do you critique acting that's willfully bad, a story that's purposefully crazy and dialogue that sets out to be stilted and cliched? You say The Spirit looks great but there's not much else there.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Pushing well past the point of self-parody, Miller has done Will Eisner's pioneering comicstrip no favors by drenching it in the same self-consciously neo-noir monochrome put to much more compelling use in Sin City.
Justin Chang - Variety
Frank Miller on the big screen is like Scratchy or wasabi or a bass player -- he doesn't work on his own. He needs a partner, or some diluting ingredients, or maybe a restraining order.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
This is what Sin City would have looked like without the restraining hand of co-director Robert Rodriguez behind the camera.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
At which exact point The Spirit hits rock bottom is a matter of debate.
Jason Anderson - Toronto Star
What a shame that The Spirit isn't nearly as good as it looks.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
The style is willing. But the spirit is weak.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
The Spirit is an example of what can happen to a comic book-inspired movie when the sense of style becomes so pervasive that it overwhelms everything else, including an unremarkable superhero adventure.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Scenes begin seemingly at random and end abruptly. Actors play characters at full bore. Dialogue has the crude energy of '30s Hollywood melodramas but rarely any wit or engaging subtext. All emotions are forced.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Denny Colt might have come back from the dead, but The Spirit stays cold on the slab.
Sam Adams - Los Angeles Times
Frank Miller will undoubtedly make a movie worth watching one day, but it isn't The Spirit.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
David Fear - Time Out
Dean Essner - Dark Horizons
Dave White - Movies.com
I guess a movie this brassy, sumptuous, and unafraid of what-the-hell effects, gags and visuals isn't enough for a lot of people. I don't really know why.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
A blissfully coked-out-of-its-mind spit-take on Eisner and the modern world of superhero cinema, The Spirit is wet bag of hot breath.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
If Frank Miller is aiming for camp, he's playing cricket with a sledgehammer
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Certifiably, but agreeably, insane, "The Spirit" plays like "Dick Tracy" on brown acid. Dialogue is bleated, not spoken. Artifacts are used as snuggle blankets. And it's aggressively bizarre, but it's the definition of guilty-pleasure entertainment.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
No amount of flash can camouflage the career-low performances, the scaffolding where characterisation should be, the pitiful cod '40s dialogue, the monstrously fumbled comedy.
Nick Setchfield - SFX Magazine
More interested in being a technical marvel than a coherent story.
Edward Havens - FilmJerk.com
Soa como uma mistura desajeitada de filme noir e da serie de teve Batman produzida na decada de 60.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
As an action director Miller is almost as clumsy as Baz Luhrmann, but he's far from naive, and presumably the delirium of The Spirit is exactly what he intended.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
Miller's background as an artist was undoubtedly an important factor in achieving the striking visual effects. It's just when the human characters dominate the action that the film sinks like a stone.
David Stratton - The Australian
It's a plot from the 'more is more' school of scriptwriting and while the live action crossed with stylised graphic novel effect is sublime, it can't distract from the clunkiness of it all.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
The Spirit is hollow, with a convoluted plot, and Miller has clearly opted for visual style over thematic depth.
Jade Tyrrell - FILMINK (Australia)
As it went on, I discovered that it had a kind of appealingly dumb, playful quality.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Miller's directing chops, er, chop, is non-existent, offering up a muck of amateurish posturing, weak storyline and tedious characters. As for the title? Ouch, that's some irony.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Eva Mendes is the new Raquel Welch but even Raquel/Eva can't make this movie work
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Is it trying to be a parody of itself?
Michael Dance - The Cinema Source
Every once in a while a genuine turkey escapes the coop, bereft of charm or wit, utterly lacking in technical prowess, integrity or intelligence. 'The Spirit' is such a film.
Tom Huddlestone - Time Out
In their first battle, The Octopus smashes a toilet over The Spirit's head, laughs maniacally, and declares, "Toilets are always funny!" This movie would know: It clearly deserves to be flushed down one.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Miller shoots it in the inky graphic style of Sin City, but he clearly hasn't a clue how to stage a scene, or shoot it, and he singly fails to animate his actors.
Tom Charity - Times [UK]
Miller's adaptation certainly looks impressive and the female characters are all drop-dead gorgeous in a Sin City way, but the script and story are all over the place and it never really comes together.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The Spirit's greatest crime is that it is so boring - encapsulated in a scene where the Spirit and the Octopus slug it out for an eternity as both are sucked into treacly mud.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
Now that they've gone and made Batman all serious and good, the campy comics hero movie mantle has been taken up by The Spirit.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Displaying admirable love for pulp material and striking enviably sexy poses, but missing the emotional resonance, zeitgeist-catching populism and mainstream thrills which found movie franchises.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
Violent, sexy superhero flick is all style, no substance.
James Rocchi - Common Sense Media