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I Am Legend Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… it's exciting, it's suspenseful, stuff blows up … 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

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The star, as solo practitioner, does a terrific job of holding our attention when we're not taking in surreal vistas of a deserted Manhattan that are fascinating in their own right. Still, zombies are zombies, and this nasty lot, mostly digital creations of variable quality, keep draining the distinction that the movie seeks and occasionally finds.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A little more than halfway in, Legend, based on the book by Richard Matheson (which also spawned 1971's Omega Man and 1964's TheLast Man on Earth), deteriorates into a schlocky zombie horror flick and loses its steam.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Smith, sporting a newly buffed physique, delivers an extraordinary performance as a man slowly coming unglued under the strain of no human contact and a constantly alternating role of hunter and prey.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In spirit, I Am Legend is caught in some abstractly doom-laden sci-fi past. For what it is, though, the film is well-done, a case of suspenseful competence trumping questionable relevance.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    If it is true that mankind has 100 years to live before we destroy our planet, it provides an enlightening vision of how Manhattan will look when it lives on without us. The movie works well while it's running, although it raises questions that later only mutate in our minds.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Intense, thoughtful thriller has some big scares.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this cerebral action thriller is quite clean when it comes to language and sexual content, it deals with intense subjects like the fall of mankind and the fight for survival. It's not for kids who get scared, since it gets pretty terrifying, especially when the mutants take their turn onscreen. They jump out of nowhere, and the movie makes the most of that suspense to heighten the audience's response. Overall, the movie is very sobering -- and, unlike many Will Smith thrillers, it's light on the fun. Still, teens will want to see it and will be intrigued by the special effects and the edge-of-your-seat action.

  • Families can talk about Hollywood's fascination with disaster movies and post-apocalyptic stories. What's the hook? How is this one different? Which aspect of the movie is more interesting to you: its thoughtful side or the fighting-off-mutants side? How is this movie different from other Will Smith sci-fi films? Families can also discuss what they'd do in Robert's place. Would you be able to keep your wits about you, as he seems to have (barely)? Would you be able to make the selfless decisions he seems to make?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: In the aftermath of a viral apocalypse, society has collapsed. People have become zombie-like mutants that feast on human flesh. The main character is reduced to his base nature, paranoid and on the brink. But he rises to the occasion when the time comes and makes a difficult decision for the good of mankind.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Frequent. The main character totes guns and shoots at marauding, rabid mutants who attack him with the intent to either eat him or kill him -- or both. He also accidentally stabs himself, flashes a gun at a woman and her child, and conducts experiments on feral rats and other creatures. Bridges and buildings explode, cars careen, and a loyal dog becomes collateral damage.

  • sex false0

    Sex: A married couple shares a tender kiss.

  • language false2

    Language: Pretty mild; "damn," "hell," "Oh my God."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Premium placement for the Mustang GT500, Apple computers, iPod, and a Time magazine cover. Lots of signage left behind in New York, especially in Times Square, where billboards for Broadway shows abound, as well as hotel brands like Hyatt.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Robert downs prescription pills at a very difficult moment.