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The Bourne Legacy Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Beyond the Valley of the Bourne Read full review


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Valley of the Dolls with Firepower? Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    The same tone and look are maintained, but the visceral excitement is muffled by familiarity, an insufficiently conceived lead character and the sheer weight of backstory and multiple layers of deception.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A solid success, primarily though not entirely because of Jeremy Renner. He's a star worthy of the term as Aaron Cross, another haunted operative who, like Jason Bourne, is as much a victim of the government's dirty deeds as a covert super-agent. But the production is impressive too.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This latest Bourne doesn't send adrenaline surging the way "Ultimatum" did, but it's still a tense, well-acted thrill ride.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Renner's Cross is a conflicted hero built to take advantage of the "Hurt Locker" star's best qualities as an actor - his default intensity, the way he conveys that complicated mental calculations are taking place under cover of watchful stillness, even underwater.

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  • See all The Bourne Legacy reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Non-stop action sequel holds its own against predecessors.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the blockbuster Bourne movie series, although this film splits from its namesake book to chronicle a new character entirely separate from Jason Bourne. (This is the first in the series not to star Matt Damon, though his character is mentioned several times.) This time, Jeremy Renner stars as a genetically modified agent who must flee for his life. Like the earlier Bourne movies, Legacy is a big-budget, fast-paced, smart action thriller with near non-stop action -- including explosions, motorcycle chases, and many, many fight scenes, some of which get quite brutal (necks snapped, faces smashed, etc.). There's also some swearing (including "s--t") and social drinking, but the constant action violence is the main issue here.

  • Families can talk about the Bourne series. How does Legacy compare to the others? How does it change things to have a new star?
  • Does this movie seem more or less violent than what you've seen in other films? What kind of fighting/violence has the most impact? Why?
  • How do the covert agents justify their violent actions? Do the ends ever justify the means? Do you think real spies act like this?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The government is depicted as a manipulative organization that will toss people aside when they're no longer necessary.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Aaron Cross is trying to serve his country, but he soon learns that his country has no more need of his services and is trying to dispose of him. He makes references to being sent on missions that were morally indefensible but necessary, but none of that happens during the movie. He does demonstrate some compassion by protecting Stephanie and civilian characters, and Stephanie herself is a smart, capable female lead character. Cross' bosses don't even try to justify their efforts to hide their black-ops mess by killing anyone who knows too much, though they cloak their actions behind the veil of trying to do what's "necessary" to protect democracy.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Near non-stop action as Cross tries to escape a manhunt on two continents. Chases on foot and motorcycle, including some intense crashes and explosions, and plenty of fight scenes. Cross takes out his opponents with handguns, rifles, and often his fists, and some scenes include unpleasant images as he brutalizes people with his bare hands. Necks are snapped, and faces are bashed in.

  • sex false0

    Sex: There's no time for romance in The Bourne Legacy; it's all action, all the time.

  • language false2

    Language: Occasional swearing, including "s--t," "ass," "hell," "goddamn," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: The characters board an American Airlines flight at one point.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking by adults within a social context.