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    Transcendence Review Roundup: Is Johnny Depp's Film Worse Than Dial-Up Internet? Here's What the Critics Said...

    Johnny Depp, Transcendence

    Johnny Depp's latest film may give you the same feelings you had while waiting for your dial-up Internet to connect.

    Transcendence hits theaters this weekend, but you may not be rushing to see the actor on the big screen if you take the critics' reviews to heart.

    While many were hoping for an algorithmic adventure served on a technological platter by director Wally Pfister, they instead found themselves pretty bored with the plot.

    But you don't have to take our word for it. See what the critics had to say about Depp and Rebecca Hall's latest project.

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    "Like a snazzy new laptop that immediately heats up and stops working, this exploration of our reliance upon technology—and how far mankind will subsume itself to its creations—seems great when it's right out of the box. But by the end of two hours, you'll find yourself wishing that first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen had taken his creation to a Genius Bar for a thorough de-fragging."—The Wrap

    "Transcendence ultimately hinges on the relationship of Caster and Evelyn. The excellent Hall, looking a bit confused by what she's gotten herself into, does her best to emotionally ground Pfister's increasingly unfocused and heavy-handed story."—The Huffington Post

    "There are intriguing, half-formed ideas afoot in Transcendence, but the script and Pfister's heavy, humorless direction tend to reduce everything to simplistic standoffs between good and evil—or, in this case, heartless technocrats and crunchy-granola resistance fighters known as RIFT (Revolutionary Independence From Technology) and led by plucky martyr-in-training Bree (Kate Mara). Take that, PINN. The bigger problem is that all the characters on both sides are so uniformly bland and lifeless that one can hardly tell the flesh-and-blood humans from the army of man/machine 'hybrids' Will begins assembling with his suddenly infinite powers (including, for murkily defined reasons, the ability to manipulate real-world organic matter)."—Variety

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    "Alas, amidst the struggle between the script's compelling high-mindedness and the package's conventional commercial requirements, there is a blurring of intent and, with that, a loss of a vital emotional connection to any of the three characters, as Will morphs into a digital phantom, Evelyn becomes unhinged and Max is long sidelined by his captors. The residual poignance of momentous opportunities achieved and lost is minimized to such an extent that one is forced to conclude that, to make a film as intellectually adventurous as Transcendence wants to be, a filmmaker is almost obliged to work as independently—and cheaply—as, say, Shane Carruth did on 'Upstream Color."—The Hollywood Reporter

    "At its worst, Transcendence is a messy, confused melodrama. It has the atmosphere of a film noir but the tempo of an espionage movie without doing justice to either tradition...Nevertheless, in the context of its plot, the routine aspects of Transcendance—from the cliched shots of fuzzy code scrolling across various screens to the thundering soundtrack at every turn—imply a wry statement on the mechanization of storytelling."—Indiewire

    "After an intriguing start, Transcendence—aka 'The Computer Wore Johnny Depp's Tennis Shoes'—offers roughly the same level of excitement as listening to hold music during a call to tech support."—Chicago Tribune

    So will you be heading to theaters to watch Transcendence this weekend?

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