Passengers

On VOD:
Passengers

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Passengers.  Rating:  2 (out of 5).  Aurora and Jim are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip goes horribly wrong when they wake up 90 years before their schedule. The film will premiere on VOD on Tuesday, March 14.  The Seattle Times says, “Passengers turns out to be a very strange journey indeed; here’s hoping these two team up again, in something more worthy of them.”

Starring: Andy Garcia, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Sheen
Director: Morten Tyldum
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance

 

REVIEWS

According to The Seattle Times, “Passengers turns out to be a very strange journey indeed; here’s hoping these two team up again, in something more worthy of them.”

Variety says, “There’s only one place for Passengers to go, and once it gets there, Jon Spaihts’s script runs out of gas. Tyldun handles the dialogue almost as if he were doing a stage play, but he turns out to be a blah director of spectacle; he doesn’t make it dramatic.”

New York Magazine (Vulture) finds, “Only a corporate entity could deliver an ending like this one. But only humans could devise and enact the often delightful scenario that precedes it.”

Chicago Sun-Times thinks, “This is a well-designed, initially intriguing, visually interesting sci-fi romance torpedoed by a premise — and a payoff — so creepy and misogynistic, it’s amazing nobody who read the script or green-lit the film (or chose to star in it) raised concerns about how it would play with an audience of, you know, people with working minds.”

Village Voice says, “It would be easy to call Passengers out for its troublesome sexual politics or its way-too-predictable genre contrivances, but really, that’d be giving it too much credit. The problem lies deeper, in the fact that it’s a clever set-up in search of an execution.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, “Passengers is not very good. In fact, it’s pretty bad.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes, “While Passengers offers a few shrewd observations about our increasingly tech-enabled, corporatized lives, its heavy-handed mix of life-or-death exigencies and feel-good bromides finally feels like a case of more being less.”

According to San Francisco Chronicle, ““Passengers” is a pleasant surprise. What looked to be yet another science-fiction movie turns out to be one of the year’s few romantic dramas, one that just happens to be set aboard a spaceship.”

Wall Street Journal finds, “The whole movie prompts a sense of wonderment: at how boring, dumb and vacant it is; how it fails to give its co-stars enough to do; how the tone changes from one moment to the next; how presumably hard-headed businessmen could have sunk so much money into such a feeble script (the production values are impressive, albeit antiseptic); and, most importantly, how the script raises a crucial question of ethics, then comes up with the wrong answer.”

Christian Science Monitor gives the film a B- rating, and further notes, “If the filmmakers had delved into the direness of their situation and mined it for more than just a grand-scale lovers’ spat in outer space, the movie might have been more than a sleek, well-designed curiosity.”

Chicago Tribune says, “The problem is that one can’t help but think of better, more interesting movies based on this premise.”

New York Daily News thinks, “It loses some of its warmth, and most of its charm. And it ends up as nearly as cold and creepy as the space it takes us through.”

Los Angeles Times observes, “Part outer-space romantic comedy, part science-fiction thriller, Passengers leave us feeling we’ve been taken for a ride.”

Washington Post gives the movie 1.5 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “Tyldum, best known for directing “The Imitation Game,” isn’t a dynamic stylist as much as a competent executor of what’s on the page. He gets “Passengers” to where it needs to go, which is a resolution in keeping with a movie that wants to have its cake and eat it too, no matter how much credibility it strains, or how many political and ethical quandaries it elides.”

Boston Globe finds, “More spectacular special effects might have helped, or at least something more creative than a spaceship that resembles a giant Christmas tree ornament shaped like a corkscrew. Perhaps as a well-written play for a cast of three, Passengers might have been first class. Instead, it’s just another mediocre thrill ride.”

New York Post gives the movie 1.5 out of 4 stars, and further notes, “There are so many points along the way when the stranded-in-space drama “Passengers,” which is not a good movie, could have made different choices and become one. You can almost hear the Greek chorus of studio executives as you watch: “Sure, sure. But just hear me out: What if they fell in love instead?”“

Philadelphia Inquirer says, “It’s a small, intimate chamber piece with beautiful camerawork and gorgeous art direction … until it loses its way in a wrongheaded bid for sci-fi greatness.”

The New York Times thinks, “In its haste to tie up loose ends as efficiently as possible, “Passengers” becomes a banal, formulaic pastiche of dozens of other like-minded space operas in which the human drama gives way to technological awe.”

Arizona Republic observes, “Where the film falters a bit is with the story. The final act is reminiscent of any of your garden-variety sci-fi adventure movies, which is a jolt after we’ve spent the rest of the movie watching these two figure each other out and try to make peace with their situation.”

New Orleans Times-Picayune finds, “Tyldum’s “Twlight Zone”-tinged action-romance is a mass-appeal crowd-pleaser, the kind of made-for-the-holidays movie that holds a little something for everyone. Even better, being neither a sequel nor a remake, it’s got something few sci-fi films do nowadays: originality.”

Charlotte Observer gives the film 2 stars, and further notes, “The final failure comes in a climax that defies science, good taste and common sense. Until then, Tyldum spends his money on Guy Hendrix Dyas’ impressive production design and Rodrigo Prieto’s well-judged cinematography. But when the ship’s reactor explodes in a titanic fireball, it seems like a metaphor for “Passengers” itself.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks, “The film eventually runs out of rocket fuel, piling on the special effects but arriving at a disappointing conclusion.”

Tampa Bay Times says, “This is science fiction needing more work on the fiction part, an intriguing premise running its course halfway through. Passengers is too smart for starters to devolve into green screen spectacle relegating its attractive stars to unconvincing gapes.”

The Globe and Mail finds, “What’s worse than the actual movie itself, though, is how indicative it is of modern group-think studio production.”

The Telegraph observes, “As a directing assignment, it at least proves that The Imitation Game was no fluke: Morten Tyldum can make glossily sexless, space-cadet guff out of whatever half-baked script you throw at him. The attempts at humour are wince-inducing.”

The Guardian says, “Stalking tactics bolstering romantic comedies are by no means new, and over the decades, film-makers have proved adept at somehow planing down real-world nastiness, but here it’s gruesomely inescapable.”

Consequence of Sound thinks, “It’s so spectacularly inept, at so many different points, that it’s hard to imagine anybody will be able to forget it. It’s not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s the kind of bad movie that audiences with the taste for that kind of thing will eat up by the spoonful.”

Empire Online gives the film 4 out of 5 stars, and further notes, “Titanic amongst the stars — this is a touching, heartfelt tale of loss and love for the Gravity generation.”

According to Indiewire, “Passengers refuses to really wrestle with the compelling questions at its core, instead opting to lean on Lawrence and Pratt’s collective charm to keep things ticking amiably along.”

Movie Nation gives the movie 2 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “It should be no surprise that “Passengers” is sterile, airless, a space opera with light comic touches, technological wonder and subzero romantic heat.”

Rolling Stone says, “The spectacle feels lifeless and what could have been a challenging moral provocation dissolves into sappy, feel-good pandering. Lawrence and Pratt deserve better. So do audiences.”

CineVue gives the movie 3 out of 5 stars, and further notes, “It’s a non-rom-com in a vacuum which, intentionally or not, has more in common with a film like Up in the Air than a properly futurist space drama.”

Screen International finds, “Part space romance, part space thriller and all space corn, Passengers is a messy and unconvincing mash-up that tries to get by on the not inconsiderable charm of stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.”

A.V. Club gives the film a C- rating, and further writes, “What matters here is the film’s effect. And the effect of Passengers is to turn frothy sci-fi romance into an astonishingly retrograde statement on autonomy and consent, and to turn one of the most likable actors in Hollywood into a total fucking creep. A date movie, this is not.”

The Film Stage says, “It’s a shame that Passengers couldn’t improve on its initial hook. With a distinct lack of chemistry and a director without the know-how to find a deeper meaning in story, the shoddy foundation of the premise quickly collapses.”

ReelViews observes, “The movie’s failings come during its final act when contrivances and an adherence to big budget conventions transform Passengers into a less compelling experience than what it starts out as.”

The Playlist thinks, “The movie is propulsive and, if you aren’t nauseated by the ethics, quite engaging.”

ScreenCrush finds, “If Passengers was about two people who woke up at random and fell in love, it could be a pretty decent sci-fi adventure. Instead it suggests that consent doesn’t matter, codes stalking as romance, and lionizes its male lead while turning its female character into a love-sick damsel.”

The Verge says, “For all its visual flourishes and fair-to-decent acting, Passengers is a failure of a movie full of missed opportunities.”

According to Slant Magazine, “Monogamy, Passengers seems to suggest, is tantamount to existing in a world where nothing else matters outside of the bond you and your partner share.”

TheWrap finds, “As a big sci-fi entertainment, it hardly feels like a movie about the problems of two emotionally desperate people in a crazy situation, and therein lies the problem.”

Time thinks, “Inside this failed picture there’s a sicker, darker, more truthful one crying to get out. But for a while, Passengers is really going for something. The movie it might have been is lost in space, alone, never to be seen by mere mortals. All we can see from Earth are its few brightly burning scraps, but at least it’s something.”

RogerEbert.com gives the film 1.5 stars, and further notes, “This movie is directed by Morten Tyldum, who made 2014’s prestige picture “The Imitation Game,” and its direction is even more dutiful and personality-free than that of the Alan Turing biopic. The movie has a remarkably lumbering pace.”

Time Out London says, “There are a handful of really interesting scenes…. But for the most part Passengers is so anodyne, so frightened of the ethically troubling opportunities inherent in the setup that it just ends up feeling forgettable and silly.”

Slate observes, “For audiences expecting a two-hour charm offensive, Passengers is not the movie you think you’re going to see. It’s something considerably darker and dumber.”

Total Film gives the movie 3 out of 5 stars, and further notes, “Passengers never quite delivers on its concept, or the prospect of its Lawrence/Pratt team-up. Still, entertaining enough while it lasts.”

We Got This Covered says, “There are two movies here, neither of which are given a chance to develop into something worthwhile.”

 

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