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Oblivion Review Critics


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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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The mystery posed by Oblivion as a whole is why its mysteries are posed so clumsily, and worked out so murkily.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Oblivion has enough special-effects artistry to keep you distracted for a while. But all the eye candy in the world can’t mask the sensation that you’ve seen this all before…and done better.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Oblivion is a slick spectacle — seeing the humorless but ultra-fit Tom Cruise wrestle with himself might be worth the price of admission alone.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Oblivion is an absolutely gorgeous film dramatically caught between its aspirations for poetic romanticism and the demands of heavy sci-fi action. After a captivating beginning brimming with mystery and evident ambition, the air gradually seeps out of the balloon that keeps this thinly populated tale aloft, leaving the ultimate impression of a nice try that falls somewhat short of the mark.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Stylized sci-fi entertains; expect deaths, sexy stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller that deals with the survival of humanity and a mysterious, violent alien threat. There are drones that kill instantly and turn their victims into ashes; several people die, including a few major characters. The language is pretty tame except for an occasional "s--t" and "damn" -- and one particularly memorable "f--k you." Sexuality includes a few passionate kisses and one seduction scene in which a woman is shown naked from the back. Oblivion is likely to appeal most to families with older teens who are either Tom Cruise fans or partial to futuristic action flicks.

  • Families can talk about the popularity of post-apocalyptic stories. How does Oblivion compare to other alien movies like The Host or Prometheus?
  • How does the violence in the movie compare to other sci-fi/action movies you've seen? Does the fact that some of the combatants are aliens give it any more/less impact?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Somewhat grim circumstances, but the movie highlights the way that humans manage to survive under the most difficult circumstances. Challenges people to listen to their instincts, to question following instructions and commands blindly, and to pay attention to their dreams. Also promotes the idea of taking care of the resources that we have -- and to not take them for granted.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Jack is curious and questions the motives of mission control. He's willing to think beyond authoritative directives and do what's best for humanity, even though it's against his orders. He's willing to save someone even after he discovers that she's not who he thought she was. Victoria is dedicated to her work, but she's unwilling to second guess any of her instructions, and she allows jealousy to cloud her instincts. Julia is patient and courageous. Beech is self sacrificing.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The drones kill -- instantly incinerating anyone or anything they're programmed to terminate. Several characters die or are injured (including some major characters), but it's not a bloodbath like War of the Worlds. Explosions, hand-to-hand fights, and lots of danger/peril.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Jack is "assigned" to Victoria both romantically and professionally. They shower together, sleep together, kiss several times, and, in one scene, Victoria seduces Jack by undressing (she's shown nude from the back), jumping into a pool and suggestively inviting him to join her. They're shown kissing passionately (he with his shirt off, she naked, with back and legs visible) underwater. Later, another couple kisses; it's implied that they make love, but nothing is shown.

  • language false3

    Language: For most of the movie, language isn't very frequent (though what is heard includes "s--t," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "bitch"), but at the very end, there's one memorable use of "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Despite the future setting, there are references to the New York Yankees and bands/songs such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale."

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Jack and Victoria drink with dinner. A character smokes a cigar.