What's the verdict on 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'?
June 29th, 2011
06:21 PM ET

What's the verdict on 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'?

Critics are calling "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" as bleak and meaningless as its title, but some do say that Michael Bay's latest effort was at least better than the 2009 sequel.

The third installment features a grown-up Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who teams up with the Autobots against the Decepticons in (of course) a battle of good versus evil involving a mission to the moon.

What would a “Transformers” movie be without a sexy girlfriend by Witwicky’s side? British model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley almost seamlessly replaces former co-star Megan Fox, who dropped out of the trilogy last May.

After a sequel that even director Bay called “crap," critics thought the third installment was an improvement - it was just the amount of improvement that warranted debate.

If audiences were hoping for a 3-D cinematic show, most reviewers thought the graphics came through.

As CNN’s Tom Charity concluded, “It's a lousy movie, but at least it's a lousy movie with a serviceable story, killer CGI and an action climax."

The Los Angeles Times agreed that “you don't go to 'Transformers' for the character or the plot - you go for metal-crushing, sensory-overloading action…The visual payoff is striking.”

But critics like Roger Ebert disagreed, only giving the movie one star.

“(The movie) is a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog,” Ebert noted. “It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experience.”

Aside from the hype about the 3-D technology and the attempted stunning visual effects, E! Online brought up the “dubious moralizing towards the end," saying it "comes off as unnecessarily, wrong-headedly political.”

The storyline involving an alternate story about the mission to the moon might have tried for imagination, but it didn't even come close to being believable, let alone entertaining.

“If this is all meant to be an allegory for current events, it's a murky one at best,” the E! Online reviewer said.

Not even the talent from the supporting cast, which included Academy Award winner Frances McDormand as well as new additions Patrick Dempsey and Ken Jeong, were enough to give the plot a spine.

“See Bay use his magic on actors. By that I mean his uncanny gift for making talent look talentless,” said “Rolling Stone” reviewer Peter Travers.

If you've seen it, what's your verdict?

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Filed under: movies • Transformers

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Splatterbots

    The best thing I can say about it is Michael Bay went out on a higher note than the second movie. I just hope he stays out, and same goes for the writers. Transformers has yet to see a really good movie made for it, despite lots of good television series. And I do include the 1986 movie in that statement. It made a lot of the same mistakes as the new movies in animated form. I can only hope that the next Transformers movie is made by someone who understands storytelling rather than just special effects.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. mejazzbo

    Great sequel. Action, action, action! You don't need 3D either. The audience continuously reacted to what was on the screen. Lots of fun in a packed house. Well worth your entertainment dollar. Critics be damned!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MichealBay'sad-bag

    Just saw this last night...thank God it's over. (and no I didn't pay to see this film) I'm male, 30, grew up with transformers, (had the action figures as a kid, not a fanboy...) so enough with all the "old critics just don't get it" crap...Transformers was easily the worst movie of the year!!! Bad acting, worse dialogue, terrible story, and pure-awful directing... even the action sequences were lame and way two long. Congrats Bay, another epic failure disguised as a car chase! How many does that make now, 10? 20?

    June 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Portalpunk

    This is the BEST MOVIE, I loved it and am going to go see it again and again. Three thumbs up!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RealAmericanHero

    I would like to see this go along the lines of Marvel and team up like they did in the Comic with G.I.Joe, enough with the drama of co-star actresses, out with Shia (sam) since he doenst want to do another. I am sure Channing Tatum and Waynes would be more than willing to team up with the Autobots for a G.I.Joe suped up sequel.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HotMetal

    It has cool cars, robots, weapons, battles and things constantly blowing up and a very very hot woman......who needs dialog? Great Movie, go see then trade in your jalopy on a camaro!

    June 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sherrie

    Awesome movie..great action hate the 3d just a money maker..going to see again this weekend with my son..in 2d..3d overated...:) Grea acting :) i didn;t miss Megan at all..

    June 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pliny

    Megan Fox was almost correct with her 'Hitler' remark.

    What she should have said is "Hitler makes better films than Bey."

    June 30, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Armando

    It was ok. As with most films, the sequels are rarely better than the original.

    June 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    I'm going after work to see it, & i'm going commando

    June 30, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. thor

    Going to see it riight know. Action movies are the best.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tami Jameson

    The movie was just what I expected. Acting horrible, script even worse, but the action sequences were fantastic!!!! I loved the action. It's what a blockbuster is supposed to be. I believe that I got my money's worth. It was fun and exciting. Boy I just wish Michael Bay had better writters. He's gonna make a boat load of money on this one. Everyone should just be their own critic. Who cares what the "so-called" experts say. They're so far out of touch with what people want that it's a joke. Go see the movie for yourselves and you be the judge. I thought that it was great fun!

    June 30, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lima

    Disappointing. I went to see the movie so that i can see an ultimate robot deathmatch. The new girl was extremely annoying and didnt even need to be in the film and the story would have gone on, actually all of the antagonist human characters were a waste of film. I was really anticipating to see shockwave as an alarming foe only to see that he was pretty weak and didnt even play any key role in the film. It seems like they just stuffed as many famous deceptacon as without any focus on any of them. Action is pretty much in the last third of the movie and the CGI is awesome.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jennifer

    My husband and I took our son to see Transformers 3 yesterday. We absolutely loved it!!!! I am glad that I don't pay any mind to the critics. Seems to me the crtics that eveyone seems to rely on are way out dated. Can't wait for it to come out on DVD.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. florencejenkins

    I watched the first and second Transformers in theaters. I do not plan on seeing this third one at all, and before seeing the trailers/clips I was DYING to see the movie, but the new girl totally turned me off. BRING BACK MEGAN FOX http://bit.ly/jj3xpC

    June 30, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  16. Carson

    Ok first the movie is called Transformers, not humans with some robots, so I am tired of hearing about people complaining about the loudness or the explosions. If you wanna see a movie about people go see bridesmaids or some other movie. Second, who do these media companies send to watch these movies because none of them seem to understand my previous statement. Third, the moive was awesome. It was on par if not better then the first one and the cast played all of their roles very well. Lets face it no one expected a victoria secret model to be an oscar winning actor so stop knocking her for it. SHE WAS THERE TO LOOK GOOD!!!! No more, no less. The cast overall did an excellent job and it was a good way to end the series.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      Carson,
      I concur the movie was awesome. We go to see Transformer movies so we can see Autobots crush Decepticons, the "humans" are just the supporting cast, which I think they all did well.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Tech

    Why Spock? You've turned into a tin can!!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  18. fadze2000

    I thought it was great! I was under the impression that we go to action movies for the sheer thrill and entertainment. It certainly delivered. Patrick Dempsey makes a great villain and I was riveted throughout.Shia Lebouf was ernest and entertaining as usual. Critics like Ebert are so out of touch, I usually watch what they review negatively...

    June 30, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  19. Nick

    Just watch it, definitely a better sequel than the last. The action mid-way through was intense and pretty entertaining.....until I saw the ending and gave this face -.-

    Probably the worst ending possible for the movie.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  20. dave nelson

    Please allow me to ask something of those who did not like or understand this movie, or any other, for that matter. If you watch a movie with a mindset that does not match the theme, you will always hate it. If its a kids movie like this one, watch it with a kids eye. If its a slapstick comedy that is supposed to be goofy, dont look for intelligent humor. It may not always work, but it sometimes does. Give it a try. You may find yourself liking a movie that you didnt before. Now, who asked for dibs to be next on the soapbox?

    June 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Beautiful Vixen

    @Mad: thought it was just me. I'm going to try again to watch it and see what all the hype is all about. Maybe I didn't give it much of a chance.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  22. madhater

    I tried watching the 1st one, it was so g@y. What's up with the characters?

    June 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Freddie

    I would rather flush the money.

    June 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Christopher

    I just saw the movie, terrific action, it is exactly what it should be a live-action cartoon. Autobots, Decepticons, special forces, Sam Whitwicky, and his hottie girlfriend there I just gave you a synopsis of any good Transformers movie. Just rework the story a little add a few new characters, that's all you need.

    I didn't miss Megan Fox, who was fired by the way, Bay gave us all a healthy dose of fresh eye candy. Afterall, she wasn't hired for her acting ability.

    If I wanted to see an Oscar winning film I would go to a Clint Eastwood film, I went to Transformers to be entertained by explosions, cars, robots, and a total hottie. I gave the film 2 thumbs up and most critics the finger.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  25. josh

    This movie was awesome. What it lacked in depth and mind challenging storylines, it more than made up for in shear action, got-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments, and mind blowing twists that no one sees coming. The tension you experience watching this is awesome.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  26. fernace

    This is why Megan Fox quit! Bay can spin it however he wants, but facts are facts. This is a movie franchise based on toys from a not too distant childhood (his?), & the demographic is the boys (or girls) who played with those toys. As a nanny, I remember them well. Many fast food resturants put them in their kids meals boxes, the kids collected them, & they hurt like he!! to step on barefoot. This is probably Bays forte', so may I suggest a treatment of He-Man with Skeletor & She-Ra. I might even watch that!!

    June 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Snarky

    Haven't seen it yet, but I bet it contains at least one of the following: An explosion within an explosion, a lengthy freeway chase scene with many many many exploding cars, a tight shot of Megan Fox's replacement's midriff as she talks about cars, at least one NEW annoying robot, a CGI American Flag, and at least an hour's worth of military jargon so Michael Bay can jack off in the director's chair while he listens to it.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  28. SMH!!

    Just got done watching it! This movie was insanely awesome! I loved it! How old is Ebert anyway? He was 40 when the cartoon was on, he has no respect for Transformers! :)

    June 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Walter Bibbins

    That movie was the best movie out of the trilogy to me...Great actions, special effects, and more...I hope they make another one.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Micheal bay already announced he wouldnt be comin back...so did "sam"... BUT.. theres a chance steven spielburg might make a 4th movie... but without the characters and all..it would be difficult...unless..hold on...they make a pure nothing but transformers prequel to the 1st movie when there on cybertron millions of years ago and when optimus became optimus and the civil war starting between autobots and decepticons! WOULDNT THAT BE AWESOME!! no more ppl complaining about the acting of humans for once (megan vs rosie)!!

      June 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Brandon

    Just watched it and it was grand!!.. these critics really shouldnt stick there heads in something that they dont understand.. it wasnt a bunch of mixed up explosions and noise like they see it..it was a captivating experience for those who actually know what transformers really stands for and those who have, over a 25 year reign, truly loved the transformers.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jenny Murphy

    Terrible. Loud. Clunky. Brainless. Boring.

    http://mankabros.com/blogs/btp/2011/06/28/transformers-dark-of-the-moon/

    June 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Soundwav3

    just finished watching it......amazing. it really brought my childhood back. cheering for the autobots and loving the cgi. this is a action packed movie. so what if it didnt have what the media's snobs want its what the common folks that love movies for entertainment want. travers and ebert go watch brokeback mountain if you want a depth...pun intended.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |

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