Zack Snyder delivers Alan Moore's epic superhero saga to the silver screen with uncompromising vision and adoration.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
Watchmen isn't boring, but as a fragmented sci-fi doomsday noir, it remains as detached from the viewer as it is from the zeitgeist.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Zack Snyder's film version of Watchmen is a grim and grisly excursion into comic-book mythology.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It is dizzy, crazy and quite sexy - when it's not being self-indulgent and pointless. If it doesn't quite hang together or add up, or stick faithfully to the comic-book original, these offences aren't major. What a spectacle.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
As the story proceeds, however, it grows plodding, convoluted and forgettable.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Sad to say, the much-anticipated adaptation of the world's most celebrated graphic novel is long, dull and sinks under the weight of its reverence for the original.
Philip Kennicott - Washington Post
Overall, Snyder has given us a Watchmen that's visually faithful to the original to the point of panel-by-panel fetishism, and that may be enough for many members of the cult.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Its failure is one of imagination -- although faithfully approximating Dave Gibbons's original drawings, the filmmakers are unable to teleport themselves to the level of the original concept.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
The most pleasant surprise in the movie adaptation of Watchmen is the pop-art fusion set off by placing superheroes in a 'real' world.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The reverence is inert, the violence noxious, the mythology murky, the tone grandiose, the texture glutinous. It's an alternate version of The Incredibles minus the delight.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
It should have remained what it was from the start: a masterpiece of vicious Cold War paranoia, completely and gut-churningly rendered on the printed page.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
As transferred to the big screen by director Zack Snyder, Watchmen is often visually stunning but also confusing and scattered.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
Watchmen is a two-hour, 42 minute ride through a dystopian scape with appropriately twisting and conflicted story lines.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
... A bizarrely bleak blockbuster, as director Zack Snyder ("300") turns the rich, revisionist, justly praised, 12-part 1986 comic book into nothing less than an attempt to decode 20th century America through its pop culture and vice-versa.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
They've made the most reverent adaptation of a graphic novel ever. But this kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Incoherent, overblown, and grimy with misogyny, Watchmen marks the final demolition of the comic strip, and it leaves you wondering: where did the comedy go?
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
Another bold exercise in the liberation of the superhero movie.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Zack Snyder's bloated screen adaptation will go over best with fanboys, fangirls, fanmen and fanwomen who give high marks for slavish fidelity to the source material.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The result is oddly hollow and disjointed; the actors moving stiffly from one overdetermined tableau to another.
Noah Berlatsky - Chicago Reader
This movie will shake your windows and rattle your walls. At least it will for a couple of hours, before 40-odd minutes of draggy, comic-book exposition smother the wild, subversive superhero business that came before.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Watchmen bites off more than a single film can chew, and chokes on its gluttony.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Mammoth, mangled, violent, confusing, dazzling, dark, excessive and occasionally brilliant.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A (mostly) faithful re-creation of the comic. But it could have been so much more.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
It wasn't that I wasn't engaged in some of the (many) story lines, it's just that there was never enough time spent with any particular one to so as to become emotionally involved ... which seem strange to say about a movie 165 minutes long.
Sara Vilkomerson - New York Observer
The movie is ultimately undone by its own reverence; there's simply no room for these characters and stories to breathe of their own accord, and even the most fastidiously replicated scenes can feel glib and truncated.
Justin Chang - Variety
Other fantasy movies are playing checkers. This one plays chess, with grandmaster panache.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
A work that's easier to ponder than enjoy.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Against considerable odds, Snyder has directed a movie that should satisfy fanboys while engaging adventurous newcomers.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
If you haven't read the source material I think you're going to dislike it even more than I did. So yeah, it's sort of bad news around here.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
Watchmen may be another comic-book blockbuster but, at its best moments, it's also a refreshingly provocative head trip.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
I think Snyder and his writers channel moments of the humanity and humor that's always present in Moore's work.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Watchmen fans wondering whether their graphic novel has been ruined will be thrilled to see its key scenes reproduced with storyboardlike fidelity, but those who've never read it will be unlikely to understand what the big deal was in the first place.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Watchmen is a perfect example of how material, no matter how reverentially treated and massaged, often loses something critical in translation.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The real disappointment is that the film does not transport an audience to another world, as 300 did. Nor does the third-rate Chandler-esque narration by Rorschach help.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Yes, I've read Watchmen... It moved me, too. And still -- or, rather, because of that -- I found director Snyder's adaptation hugely disappointing, faithful as it is to the 1986 graphic novel.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Watchmen has moments of greatness. It proves again that the action movie is where the best young Hollywood brains have gone to bring flesh to their fantasies.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
You have to go back to the comic to learn that the freaks in Watchmen are not only for geeks, maybe that's not so bad. Just sayin'.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Great book, mediocre adaptation.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Snyder has been unable to create a satisfying tone for the proceedings. While the graphic novel played everything as realistically as it could, the film feels artificially stylized and inappropriately cartoonish.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Everything in Watchmen matters: there are no small characters, no false leads, no flab.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
The fanboys who have seen the movie are raving about how faithful the film is to Alan Moore's vision - in fact, some have even suggested that what will annoy the notoriously testy writer the most is that the film actually improves on his ending...
Jason Best - Movie Talk
A beautifully constructed rocket that never gets off the ground.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
It's... not bad.
Dave White - Movies.com
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
This is not just a great superhero film, it's an important political debate.
Mike Edwards - Obsessed With Film
Mike Edwards - What Culture
Hard to sit through, uneven but ambitious and inspired, and I don't want to see it again.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
A magnificent attempt at Alan Moore's saga and a moving working of art...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
The film is a ballsy, brainy, and thoroughly bloody examination of human nature, pop culture and 'the good old days' that never were.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Despite its flaws Watchmen is a stunning film that contains far more substance and intrigue than most comic book screen adaptations.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Watchmen? Watch paint dry? 6 in one hand a half a dozen in the other..
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Watchmen is one of those rare films which manages to intertwine several genres, without becoming a cluttered mess.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Stylish to a fault, this graphic novel adaptation is never as good as its opening credit sequence.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Intoxicante ejercicio visual que se aleja completamente de la cinta tradicional de superheroes para adentrarse en el dilema moral de todo heroe que se sabe finalmente humano.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
Buckets of gore, truckloads of angst, hot superhero sex, full-frontal radiation-monster nudity, soap opera machinations, pulp fiction voice-overs, weekend trips to Mars .. and enough back stories for the next half-dozen superhero movies.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Zack Snyder's direction is both strikingly beautiful--he and his crew obviously went to great pains to re-create the incredible art from the graphic novel--and strikingly brutal.
Sonny Bunch - Washington Times
Attempts to add something to the original betray an artistic sensibility summed up with 'Whoa, cool!'
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
The brilliant writer of the comic books that this is based on, Alan Moore, is well known for bisexual characters (women mostly, of course), in his work.
Michael Szymanski - Sci-Fi Weekly
Synder has achieved what many said was impossible; he has in-fact filmed the unfilmable, and arguably done so as well as anyone could have.
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
If nothing else, Watchmen is a commendable feat of art direction. As far as finding a narrative rhythm, however, the film could have stood a little rescuing itself.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
On balance I have to come down on the side of the fanboy demographic. "Watchmen" goes to the positive side of the critical scales.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
...surprisingly entertaining for all its fragmented diversity.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Watchmen should not have been made into a movie, at least not this movie, but I do hope you fanboys enjoy your three-hour music video of your favorite graphic novel. I am so disappointed in this film for its own sake.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
Fans of the graphic novel will be thrilled to see their beloved tome tenderly rendered out on the big screen, while those unfamiliar with the material will be left wondering why everybody is making such a highbrow fuss.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
The reverential tone stands in the way of storytelling.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
This may be everything Moore's fans have hoped for but there is little for the average film fan to understand let alone enjoy.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Una adaptacion demasiado ambiciosa, hecha con mucho esmero y visualmente impactante, pero que termina agotando al espectador con su acumulacion de personajes, anecdotas, subtramas y referencias (...)
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
A nearly 3-hour orgy of orchestrated violent vibrancy designed to perpetuate a whole new appreciation for ambitious, unconventional superhero expositions. Robustly confrontational and impishly raw.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Comic books and movies both tell stories with pictures, but 'Watchmen' demonstrates that the animating spirit of a rich, fully realized graphic novel may be as hard to transfer to the screen as that of any other type of successful literary work.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
'Watchmen' is Campy Fun For Adults!
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
I spent most of the movie scorning Snyder's reverence to the original, then spent the last half-hour resenting him for changing my favorite part.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
The biggest problem with "Watchmen" is at the screenplay level. The story just plain isn't told very well
Stephen Silver - American Dreamer
Dr. Manhattan has the powers of a God. 'And I used them primarily to build a gigantic moving sculpture on Mars,' he says. 'One day, Cher and I will call this our home.'
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Watchmen is an entertaining movie, but it's more instead of Moore. In fact, the author previously had taken his name off the project. He knew what the movie form would do to his work -- it would change the tone, the rhythm, and the vision. It did.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
A rich, visual tableau in search of a narrative.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
one comic book ... that genuinely approachesthe complexity and sociological gravity of literature.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
It's not that the movie is bad -- it's definitely not a bad film. The source material, however had the makings of a BRILLIANT film.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
Impressive effects but all its glories are borrowed.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
The true auteur behind Watchmen %u2014 other than the graphic novelist Alan Moore %u2014 is cinematographer Larry Fong. In the IMAX version, the visuals are beyond spectacular.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Dr. Manhattan and his huge stimulus package streaking across the universe, history on acid, and glow-in-the-dark guy nudity. Zack and Dave Make A Graphic Movie, in all its darkest and cocky, attention deficit disordered grandeur.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Basically, with Watchmen, the filmmakers could not win.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Watchmen isn't a superhero movie, it's a pretentious turkey that thinks it's better than the genre.
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
manages to maintain much of the book's heady philosophical weight, albeit primarily by changing as little as possible from the source material
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
While Moore may never see the final cut - or any cut, for that matter - Snyder's reverence for his brooding prose and the cynical depths of his vision is unmistakable. He has hardly done the author a disservice.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Snyder hasn't so much made a film of Watchmen as he's performed taxidermy on it.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Although still just a comic book of a film this is fascinating and riveting action drama that entertains start to finish
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
This movie is way too long, and one more "meaningful" close-up of Dr. Manhattan and I would have run screaming from the theater.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Jackie Earle Haley steals the show.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
... a total immersion experience.
Les Wright - culturevulture.net
As technically talented as he may be, Snyder is at best a gifted mimic. Far from delivering a unique point of view, he's only able to reproduce what was already represented.
Dan Fienberg - HitFix
Watchmen left me looking at the exit far more often than at the screen.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Wow! Your ticket price will buy you a whole lot of movie. Big smooth action, intense emotive acting, complicated plot, steamy romance. This is not a child's comic book flick.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Fans of illustrated literature and anyone seeking sure-handed, blustery moviemaking will appreciate 'Watchmen' most of all.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Finding out about The Comedian, Rorschach and Jon is all great. Yet, there's no human (non-superhero) to root for, so I didn't care if their version of Earth went up in smoke.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
"Does this film approximate the feeling and meaning of the book?" and "If the book didn't exist, would this be a good film?" My answer for both of these questions is "No, not really".
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Adrenaline-seeking young men may be enthralled by Watchmen but the confusing plot made little sense to me.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
This movie is very deliberately aimed at teenaged boys (soft porn and gore porn) and it should do very well in the video market as well as at the box office.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
I like watching the Watchmen!
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
The movie is so uneven that it sometimes it feels like parody or a gaudy recreation just minutes after achieving some kind of true cinematic bliss.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
So muddled and messy for those who have not read Alan Moore's graphic novel, it might be best just not to watch the "Watchmen"
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
I can understand many of the changes made in the script, and what went in works logically, but that's a massive difference that shifted the tone of the movie.
Danny Minton - Beaumont Journal
With a film featuring all this violence and with superheroes the last thing you would expect is a film so dreary and tedious.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
For Rorschach, there are clear lines between good and evil, and in this he is the most traditional of the superheroes in Watchmen.
Todd R. Ramlow - PopMatters
This epic is to superhero movies what The Godfather is to gangster films.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
I finished the revered graphic novel half an hour before I saw the movie.Thus, the two of them will be intertwined for me forever. Not that they don't have their differences %u2013 they do, particularly when it comes to the stories' conclusions. But to me
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The makers, marketers and producers of Watchmen have worked so hard to keep this community happy that they have lost sight of what makes a film truly exciting: our emotional engagement with the characters and their story.
Matthew De Abaitua - Film4
Watchmen is bold and bloated, fascinating and flawed ... but most of all not worth all the super-hype.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
It's not crash-bang enough for those who love superhero films, not complex enough for those who hate them. It's flawed, then, but a flawed work of brilliance.
Stuart McGurk - thelondonpaper
Through sheer will and fanboy love Snyder has succeeded where Gilliam and Greengrass failed, bringing Watchmen to the screen faithfully and smartly, if not completely.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
In my humble opinion, this is probably the best theatrically released film version of Watchmen you could conceivably pull off.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
There's a saying that a masterpiece has already found its perfect medium. Snyder has done as good a job as anyone could have done. That's a loaded compliment. But as compliments go, it's a huge one.
Dean Essner - Little White Lies
The film could have easily lost an hour on its running time.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
Ponderous and dull, this filmic adaptation of the famous graphic novel proves that great source material, a healthy budget, and technical competence are not enough to make a good movie.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
...a fascinating film likely to reward repeated viewings, but just as likely to be discovered on DVD than in the theaters.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Snyder is slavishly reverential to the source work. Too faithful, to the point that film's greatest irony is that it lacks an identity of its own.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
A morally-ambiguous parable designed to tap into homoerotic urges while satiating the bloodlust of the sanguine, post-Pavlovian Cyber Generation.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
If you're a fan, you'll already have booked your tickets, and we doubt Snyder's reverential approach to the bleak material will disappoint.
Charles Gant - Heat Magazine
...a strange and gorgeous beast indeed, not without problems, a mesmerizing epic folly of the sort hardly anyone attempts any more. It is absolutely sick with ambition...
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
If gore is not your thing, steer clear of this one.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
Zack Snyder's Watchmen is the Godzilla of the genre, laying waste to any remaining misconceptions.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
A pretentious, over-long, pseudointellectual mess. Self-indulgent and boring, this overhyped dud is one major waste of time.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
More interested in mythology, philosophy and genre deconstruction than in cheap thrills.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Watchmen has taken two decades to get to cinemas. However, the biggest miracle is not that it's finally made it, but that it successfully spins a comic deemed to be unfilmable into a thoughtful, ante-upping blockbuster.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Deadly dull, dreary,and overly digressive, and even moreso for those unenthusiastic about comic book renderings.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Snyder's last-ditch attempt to raise the geeky bar by introducing "real" people dressed up as heroes is more adolescent than adult, as is the addition of e nough soft-core 1970s bump and grind to win an 18 certificate.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
There is so much aesthetic pleasure in this film that I was shocked to find how much I was sucked in to its bleak world view. It's almost three hours long, and I needed a good long walk afterwards to clear my head.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Holy Blueballs, Watchmen is brilliant but flawed and leaves me just a little bit cold.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Any film that depicts a 'superheroic' rapist-brute as a self-styled parody of America's 'true face' can hardly be accused of thematic squeamishness, and any film that sends readers back to the comic for Moore (and Gibbons) has served the public interest.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
For all of the ferocious flashes of brilliance achieved by wunderkind director Zack Snyder, there are almost as many fatal flaws.
Leigh Paatsch - Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Snyder makes almost all the right plays -- the movie is visually resplendent and remarkably faithful to the source material -- but too often fails to find the heart buried deep within the darkness.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
A thoroughgoing deconstruction of humanity as well as heroism, one that takes its world apart without putting it back together again. There are things to admire here, but Watchmen doesn't make me care.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
It's gripping and eye-popping, with terrific characters for the cast to sink their teeth into. But also feels rather overwrought.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Not all of it works, but parts of it are spectacular.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Snyder has created a lavish cult movie that will have its admirers. But in a post-Dark Knight world, it's disappointing he hasn't found a way to translate his reverence for his source material's ground-breaking status into the way it's presented on screen
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
The CliffsNotes treatment leaves the uninitiated like me wanting more and fans of the comics ticked that director Zack Snyder, his crew and the cast didn't get it quite right.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately Snyder's Watchmen is not nearly as special as Moore and Gibbons' graphic novel. Just please take it easy on me. As they say, don't shoot the messenger. Right?
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Visually, it's eye-popping and gorgeous, and the costumes are a sight to see; but with its heavy adult-themed plot, viewers will be mixed with this artistic approach.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
Rich with vibrant color, visceral action and dynamic characters, Zack Snyder's ambitious adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel is a visual and psychological feast.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
Not a superhero movie; a dark, gory, complex morality tale.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Much more. Snyder and his writers have delivered a faithful translation, spinning the narrative out to 163 minutes -- which, I imagine, will please the novel's extremely vigilant fanbase.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
Snyder's films lavish attention on men who are principled brutes and on women who are sexy, strong and secondary. He's driven by big ideas, but he never seems to consider the problems of macho justice.
Robert Davis - Paste Magazine
Often genius is flawed, just like the deeply troubled Watchmen heroes, and there is no doubt that this film is the product of superior minds.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
The combination of slick and smart works blazingly well.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Dark arterial blood pools across pavements and leaks under doorways, as though to chasten us. Unfortunately, after two and half hours of this sanguinary spectacle it wasn't catharsis I felt; it was simple weariness.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
You may frequently wonder why Snyder has bothered. But if you want a slavish, often exciting screen translation of Moore and Gibbons' landmark, here it is.
Nick Hasted - Uncut Magazine [UK]
I've since rushed out to get hold of the novel, the first comic I've read in about a zillion years. It's fabulous and so is the film. What a pleasant surprise.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
A powerfully good film, one that takes a bunch of familiar ingredients, and whips them up into a stew you've never tasted before.
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
[Snyder] ironically embodies the very overindulgence that Rorschach repeatedly points out will be the death of our society.
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
A truly extraordinary achievement.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
Although Zack Snyder's Watchmen is as lovingly detailed a facsimile as there's ever been of a graphic novel, there's still something lacking.
Nick Dent - Time Out Sydney
[Snyder] seems only half aware that every adaptation must be some kind of betrayal - or remain a shadow of its source, like a pattern sketched in the dust of a dead planet.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
All the emotional investment you have in them comes from your familiarity with the book, meaning newcomers may be a little lost. It really does look beautiful, though.
Dean Essner - Maxim [UK]
An overlong, overstuffed endurance test with precious few highs. Being an adaptation of this particular graphic novel, I can forgive many things, but I can't forgive a film version of Watchmen for being boring.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
A brilliant piece of cinema and a fantastic adaptation of the original source material. It might not be for everyone, but for the fans, it will be the event of the year.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
You don't need 12-sided dice and a fictitious Canadian girlfriend to "get it," but it certainly helps.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
Snyder handles all of this lucidly and reverently; the vignettes propel the story, but they won't bring the uninitiated any closer to this dispiriting material.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A first-rate adaptation of Moore and Gibbons' densely imagined, alternate pop culture history of the world, a dazzling, dystopian fable with a deeply dark heart.
Maitland McDonagh - Miss FlickChick
A stunning, mind-bending, breathtaking densely-packed motion picture experience.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
The film has a stunning look, abundant intelligence, and a blessed retention of most of the ideas that made the graphic novel a classic in its genre. Watchmen gave me a big old nerd-gasm.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
It's a buffet of well-crafted nihilism, made by a director who knows how to depict bloody destruction - but, like Dr. Manhattan, lacking the humanity to understand why it should not be taken lightly.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
The comic's tag line was "Who Watches the Watchmen?" and if you're not among those who are, you're likely missing out on the comic book film of the year.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
Watchmen is a spectacular visual treat, with special effects to match the ambition of the story. It is way too long... but there is no denying it is a seriously cool and bloody superhero epic.
Mark Adams - Sunday Mirror [UK]
Behind the camera is a director whose love of the original comics shines through in every scene, every detail; his determination to do them justice has finally brought this story to the screen in a rich, stirring form.
Kurt Loder - MTV
The result is cosmetically faithful but tonally scattershot, a frustrating 163 minutes in which every set piece is as likely to land on point as beside it.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
Except for a few strong performances (balanced out by a few awful ones) and the strength of the ideas at the core of Watchmen, the film is a complete disaster, one of the biggest disappointments of the last several years.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
This is a landmark film for the genre that will impress, amaze and grip but it is not light entertainment.
Simon Thompson - Heart 106.2
This despicable trash will find an audience among sad sociopaths, deranged pseudo-intellectuals and brutalised, immature men of all ages. I just hope that there aren't enough of them to make it a hit. If there are, God help cinema.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
[T]there are problems both with the tale, which was an awful lot more subversive 20 years ago than it is today, and the telling, which in contrast to Moore's radical experimentation is disappointingly staid and straightforward.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
At least it looks good, like a version of The Dark Knight coupled with Taxi Driver, and remains faithful to the skin if not the bone of Moore and Gibbons's astonishing vision.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Whoever chose the music should get thrown out a window, but there are moments of Snyder's 300 visual flair and a few flashes of character magic.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
The unfilmable has become the unlovable.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
The film really does the graphic novel justice.
Patrick Parker - Premiere Magazine
Impressively directed, brilliantly designed, superbly written and impeccably acted, this is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller that is essentially the best possible adaptation of Watchmen that anyone could have hoped for.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
As much as it respectfully copies the comic book, the film can't quite measure up.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's only the best superhero movie ever made.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Stunning visuals with lots of thrilling, mindless action sequences don't compensate for an overstuffed, confusing plot and bland, forgettable superheroes that leave you feeling underwhelmed.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
It pains me to say that, while scrupulously faithful in nearly every regard (save the ending) to writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons' landmark DC Comics series, the film itself is bizarrely cold and uninvolving.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Watchmen has a few moments of brief wonder, but the rest is a soulless, unimaginative work, a flat adaptation with a Bob Dylan soundtrack.
David Cornelius - eFilmCritic.com
Watchmen's rich and gorgeous palette and campy costumes cannot hold you for all of its epic 162 minutes. British Watchmen fanboys probably once read NME and worshipped Joy Division - oh well, Nietzsche to his own.
Victor Olliver - Teletext
Not"Watchmen" but a not-so-incredible simulation that reduces a complex examination of the dynamics of dopey superhero epics into just another dopey superhero epic.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
comes about as close to Moore's intent as we're likely to see in adapting the sprawling Watchmen into manageable, feature-length form
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
a movie made by Dr. Manhattan; it should've been made by Rorschach.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Snyder is so besotted with Moore's book that he feels he has to include almost every detail. He dawdles interminably. Slow pans, slow tilts, slo-mo: there's simply not enough kick or energy to justify the 160-minute running time.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
There is much to like about Watchmen. But it's not without its flaws and if the end result is as faithful as adaptations come, they go as far back as the source material.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
In its way, the film is as relevant as an artistic and cultural statement as the source material -- and that's saying something.
Kim Voynar - Movie City News
Dissatisfying both as an adaptation and as a standalone work.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
This adaptation of the acclaimed 1980s graphic novel never fully satisfies, despite powerful fight scenes and one superb performance.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
Watchmen is like having too much of your favorite thing. I love ice cream, but I can't eat an entire gallon in one sitting
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
It's doubtful that anyone will walk out of the movie without a strong opinion, either positive or negative.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Intense, ultra-violent, eerie and awesome, it's aimed primarily at a young male audience familiar with the blood-stained smiley face.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
The dense and complex mythology remains.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This is the perfect post-Abu-Ghraib, country-in-recession, Madoff-Lohan-Limbaugh adventure. Our country is still Bush-ed, and a Superman would be laughed off the world stage.
Brandon Judell - CultureCatch
Fans of the 1986 graphic novel Watchmen should be pleased with the eye-filling, slavishly faithful, long-time-coming film version that opens today and threatens to become the first true movie event of 2009.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A movie fascinating to watch while asking us to contemplate moral relativity, the futility of life ... and other heady concepts you might fully expect to find in not just another comic book movie.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
The flick is brutal, beautiful, thought provoking, phenomenal, genius, violent, sexual, brilliant and just overall completely mind blowing. Alan Moore would even like it!
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
The film still offers an arrestingly dark vision.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
With Snyder, "visionary" means he's all about the visuals, and he does mine Watchmen for impressive, computer-enhanced eye candy. But Snyder is tone deaf to stultifying dialogue and wooden performances.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
The fans have gotten the adaptation they deserve. Is it the one they want?
Sean Axmaker - Seanax.com
Watchmen is an ultra-violent, sexually explicit mystery film (with a few costumed heroes thrown in) that is visually stunning, but uneven.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
Watchmen is no doubt a love letter to those who have been awaiting this film for two decades, but the drawbacks outweigh the advantages for the uninitiated.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
An engrossing, full embrace of the superhero form. Original, psychologically and intellectually rich and, more frequently than not, profoundly disturbing.
Randy Shulman - Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
For its salivating fans and audiences itching for something completely different from the Hollywood superhero model, there's much ferocity to sample here. Taste the fury Babyface.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Ultimately Watchmen is simply too stunning, too audacious, too strange a spectacle, to not recommend, although it's more readily admired than enjoyed.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
A sterling production right down the line.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Watchmen is astonishing. It is indubitably the most lavish adaptation of a graphic novel ever made and quite possibly one of the finest book-to-screen endeavors ever produced.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
Part conscious and part unconscious, Watchmen tells us of a world without hope and then makes us wonder if we're already living in it.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Watchmen deserves credit for staying true to the characters, plot (up to a point), and look of the original material while still generating his own kind of energy, even though that energy sometimes feels misapplied and overcranked.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
Faithfully and successfully grapples with the book's multi-layered storyline and fascinatingly flawed characters.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Watchman plays as if the filmmakers were afraid to make their own mark. It's a transliteration rather than a translation from one medium to another; a too-often lifeless homage.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Snyder has captured the look and feel of the novel, but that is not enough for a successful movie. It fails to totally engage its audience, somehow keeping them at arm's length.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
It's a movie to see once, more or less enjoy, and then shrug off.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Zack Snyder's sprawling film stays faithful to Moore's tale, cleverly trimming and reshaping it to retain essentials.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Somewhere between the off-target outright dismissals and the overindulgent geek praise lies Zack Snyder's Watchmen, and it's a sensational sight to behold.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
With its basic themes, structure and apocalyptic vibe intact, Watchmen turns out to be quite filmable after all, and its stylish highlights trump any quibbles.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
It may not include every nuance of the graphic novel, but it captures as much as any adaptation could -- which may not satisfy the fanboys, but it's probably more than enough for everyone else.
Cammila Albertson - TV Guide's Movie Guide
It still brings the superhero-noir murder mystery very much to life, which is more than most fans -- or anyone -- could have hoped for.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
This is good stuff, and perhaps we shouldn't fault it for not being great stuff.
Michael Wilmington - Movie City News
Giant squids notwithstanding, it is a slavishly faithful, if compressed, adaptation - so much so that I often wondered why the comic frames weren't simply projected onto the screen.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Unfortunately, Zack Snyder's stylish but substance-challenged adaptation only skims the surface of this groundbreaking book.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
The moviemakers are too busy digitizing ice castles on Mars to bother with much in the way of meta-commentary. Or, for that matter, with personalities.
Bob Mondello - NPR
for its core audience and for those who have been counting down the days and hours to its release, 'Watchmen' will probably be enthralling. For the rest of us: Watch Out.
Austin O'Connor - Examiner.com
Finally, Watchmen the movie makes a really good ad for and introduction to Watchmen the book.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
I wish I could say, 'Go for the spectacle,' but frankly, you are better off watching The Dark Knight again in Blu-ray. Much better off.
David Poland - Movie City News
[P]robably the best three-hour version of the story that could be made...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
...influenced by other recent superhero films, the world of Watchmen may not be as fouled as its source, but the raw emotion promised in the trailers resonates just as loudly.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Numa epoca em que Hollywood vem tratando cada vez mais os espectadores como verdadeiros debeis mentais, devemos ser gratos por finalmente sermos tratados como adultos.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
The movie was reportedly trimmed from four hours to two hours and forty minutes, and that turns out to simply not be enough time. All the material is here, but its scope and power are lost.
Eugene Novikov - AMCtv.com
If it had to be done, this effort is probably as good as it was going to get.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
From first frame to last, Watchmen holds you in its thrall.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
This is not a delectable mythos that needed a shiny new package for the world to enjoy, and especially not one that takes more pride in the art of the slow motion punch over an exhilarating sensation of doom.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Astonishing and highly original. Like Blade Runner, The Matrix, and 2001, it will visually affect future movies. Stunning, mature, and elevates the genre.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
So what is missing? A little of the original's madness and a lot of its aesthetic high-wire walking.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
This film's gritty and nasty and you want to wash your hands when you're done watching it.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
Although it's quite grimy and gritty, there is still an over-glossed pop-culture feel to the Watchmen movie... it worked for me.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
"Watchmen" is a visually stunning film...
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
About as uneven as a movie can get, singular moments of dizzying brilliance arriving amidst an unfocused, lugubrious narrative and pacing that would make a turtle's crawl appear speedy. A visionary motion picture more ambitious than successful.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Watchmen feels constantly torn between reshaping the story for the big screen while including enough visual and verbal quotations from the original work to keep the fanboys happy.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
A phantasmagorical tale
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Gregory Weinkauf - UberCine
...could have worked as a bracing reminder that superheroes don't exist and that their movies can't save us - if only it had taken the implicit themes of the novel further.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
That director Zack Snyder's vehemently faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel is as entertaining as it is counts as a monumental achievement. But that doesn't make it a great movie.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
What the film rightfully retains, and often nails, is the book's commitment to seriously digging deep into the psychic debris of these archetypes.
David Fear - Time Out New York
The worst adaptation of an Alan Moore comic yet.
Jurgen Fauth - About.com
The film's storytelling and image-making lack originality and vitality. Nothing sticks to your memory unless you come in with recollections of the book.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
A hip, relatively precise interpretation of the popular '80s graphic novel is the film's greatest strength -- and it's greatest weakness.
David Foucher - EDGE Boston
Snyder has no interest in making sense of a world overcome by evil and the heroism that works to stop it. All he's mastered is the sensation of bullets tearing through flesh.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Tends to play like the SportsCenter version of the big game. It's got all the highlights but little of the tension and atmosphere that give those moments impact.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
The approach is depressingly literal, and none of the scenes build on what has come before -- they're just meticulously reconstructed Scenes From Watchmen.
Scott Von Doviak - culturevulture.net
Some things just defy adaptation.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Neither political satire nor camp, it fails the unique, fantasy mix of classicism and modernism that distinguished both 300 and Vin Diesel's The Chronicles of Riddick.
Armond White - New York Press
A reverential photocopy of a superior original, it's often close to perfect, if also, to some extent, perfectly pointless.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Watchmen's every carefully calibrated minute bellows 'Worship me!' while simultaneously sucking your air.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
A $100 million cult movie that some fans may adore--if they can stomach the changes; but despite the visual virtuosity, it will bore many if not most of the uninitiated.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Every bit as risky, edgy, and aspiring as it ought to be.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Alan Moore was right in detaching himself from the project, maintaining his integrity.
Lee Grant - San Diego Union-Tribune
Snyder has appropriated Moore's doomsday themes without any sense of how to animate them. That's the trouble with loyalty. Too little, and you alienate your core fans. Too much, and you lose everyone -- and everything -- else.
Devin Gordon - Newsweek
The slowed down pace of the combat sequences is intoxicating to watch.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
I think this movie does a really terrific job of sort of establishing and adhering to the tone of the book.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
Delivers as a splashy, bloody comic-book adventure that stays true to its roots without being slavish about it. Both headlong and thought-provoking.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
There's something admirable about the entire enterprise: its ungainly size, its unrelenting weirdness, its willful, challenging intensity.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
A sprawling epic of our times - and all times.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
It's not a bad film. It's actually coldly, technically brilliant. And it honours Moore and Gibbons only too well. But it's monumental and slab-like, an exercise in cinematic taxidermy, in need of a lightning strike to animate its parts.
Nick Setchfield - SFX Magazine
With reservations, the greatest graphic novel ever written gets a film that does it justice. Would have made an incredible mini-series for TV. Maybe next time?
Dean Essner - FHM [UK]
Not my cup of digital tea, but a remarkable film nonetheless, for sheer energy, effort and intensity, as the graphic novel becomes a graphic, violent, bloody, sexy, effects-laden film
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
A wham bam of a cinematic visual effects experience, and storytelling hiccups are partly forgiven in exchange for the mind-blowing visual experience.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Think a darker and more philosophical version of Dark Knight . . . This movie adaptation will appease even the most rabid Watchmen comics geek out there as well as win new converts!
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Forget what you know about superhero movies - director Zack Snyder's epic adaptation of Brit author Alan Moore's "unfilmable" comic-book masterpiece is something else entirely.
Jonathan Crocker - thelondonpaper
Fitfully touching on a variety of complex issues, but never entirely satisfyingly so, Watchmen is shockingly devoid of natural narrative pull -- a beautifully constructed rocket that never quite gets off the ground.
Brent Simon - Screen International
A wildly ambitious, often frustrating, but ultimately successful experiment that will divide audiences.
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
How can one complain about the small failures of Watchmen when its successes dwarf them so profoundly and completely?
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
This movie is a shallow interpretation of Watchmen, shorn of sophistication or literary density. Worst of all, watching the film makes you wonder whether the source material was actually any good to begin with.
Orlando Parfitt - IGN Movies UK
Redefines the word epic. I don't know what the new definition is, but it's definitely different... It's 300 times 10!
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Decidedly not for kids, Watchmen is a violent art film that's textually dense, visually rich, and a contribution to neo-noir genre in conveying the culture of fear, paranoia, and revenge.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Incredibly -- but not stupidly -- violent. Snyder isn't using death for cheap thrills; we're meant to feel revulsion and despair.
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
I didn't hate it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I liked it. I was just disappointed. I'm absolutely seeing it again, but disappointed nonetheless.
Jenna Busch - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Zack Snyder's Watchmen is a profound work of art, a beautiful, deliriously weird, meditative spin on a genre that is as American as jazz.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Director Zack Snyder's Watchmen is an easy film to admire, but a less easy one to enjoy.
Todd Gilchrist - H Magazine
A must-see movie. Visually orgasmic.
Clint Morris - Moviehole
Just another disappointment to add to the 'too good to be true' pile.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
It's searing, spectacular and simply unmissable.
Steve Anglesey - Daily Mirror [UK]
A huge budgeted superhero movie that delivers intellectually? That takes serious, ballsy chances with the form? Why, that sounds like a piece of art. A glorious, epic, exciting, mind blowing piece of art.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
Okay, it isn't the graphic novel, but Zack Snyder clearly gives a toss, creating a smart, stylish, decent adaptation, if low on accessibility for the non-convert.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
Not just another superhero movie. Gripping onto sex, violence and angst, it's hard to imagine anyone watching the Watchmen as faithfully as Zack Snyder's heartfelt, stylised adap. Uncompromising, uncommercial and unique.
Jonathan Crocker - Total Film
A mesmerising and brutalising experience, and will be, for some at least, more than worth the wait.
Kevin Maher - Times [UK]
It's the Watchmen movie you always wanted to see but never expected to get.
Patrick Kolan - IGN Movies AU