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Dragonball: Evolution Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Hannah's counter-programming. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Completely lacking in visual, narrative or stylistic coherence, the film also suffers from cheap-looking visual effects and poorly staged and edited action sequences that will not exactly please the fanboys.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    Director James Wong ("Final Destination") and writer Ben Ramsey are utterly blasé in their approach to the series' mythology and structure, cobbling together an 84-minute movie that seems to exist only to rile up fanboys. On that count -- and that count alone -- Dragonball Evolution triumphs.

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  • 50

    out of 100


    A popular Japanese manga series gets a pleasing if paint-by-numbers live-action makeover in Dragonball Evolution, which half-heartedly tries to keep the faith for its pubescent male fanbase.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Marvel at the fact that something this trippy made it to our local multiplex.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Village Voice

    Far more entertaining than it deserves to be, unless you're a 10-year-old boy, in which case it's only the greatest movie ever made.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Nathan Lee

    May or may not appeal to fans of the Japanese fantasy franchise it is based on, but aficionados of apocalyptic teenybopper kung fu extravaganzas are in for a real treat.

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  • See all Dragonball: Evolution reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Movie based on anime series has lots of martial arts action.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this live-action adaptation of the popular anime/comic book/video game series has lots of martial arts action. There's not much blood, but expect plenty of fighting, weapons (throwing stars, staffs, futuristic guns, etc.), and even a couple of deaths (though one is reversed). Characters also flirt and kiss and use some mildly salty language ("damn," "hell," and the like). And while there isn't any obvious product placement in the movie, the film itself could be considered one big ad for all the existing Dragonball merchandise out there.

  • Families can talk about why kids want to see the movie -- is it because of the specific story or because it's part of the Dragonball franchise?
  • Why do you think the filmmakers chose to make a live-action movie instead of an animated one?
  • Does any of the violence seem more serious because the characters are real people? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Like other epic fantasy films, the movie's messages are generally positive: Have faith in yourself, you can do anything, willpower can triumph over anger, and so on. But whether kids will absorb that amid all the high kicks and karate chops is another matter. One character is a thief, but he's presented, briefly, as more of a lovable brigand a la Han Solo. There are several strong female characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Constant martial arts action, with more emphasis on ducking, dodging, and diving than on brutality and bloodshed. Fights and scuffling, and two blodless deaths (one of which is reversed). Some futuristic sci-fi gunplay, but no impacts or blood. There's also lots of energy bolt hurling/combat and combat with martial arts weapons -- throwing stars, staffs, etc. When supernatural beings are cut in two, they regenerate before being hurled into lava. A martial artist is attacked with metal rods; he dodges the blows so adroitly that his attackers only hurt themselves.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Mild kissing; some flirting, cleavage, and sexual tension.

  • language false2

    Language: Words include "hell," "damn," "crap," "fart," "sucks," "oh my God," and an incomplete use of "s--t."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: No real-world brands are mentioned, but the movie is an adaptation of the popular anime/manga series, so in a sense, the whole thing is an ad for the Dragonball franchise (which includes plenty of products).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue