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Pacific Rim Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Always root for the monsters. Always. 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.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    Although assembled with consummate care and obsessive attention to visual detail, Pacific Rim manages only fitful engagement and little in the way of real wonderment, suspense or terror.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    "Could be worse" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Pacific Rim, but my head is still ringing, and hurting, from long stretches of this aliens vs. robots extravaganza that are no better than the worst brain-pounders of the genre.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    To kill time between action set-pieces, del Toro has done an above-average job of avoiding tedium via some flavorsome casting, passably interesting plot contrivances and, above all, by maintaining strong forward momentum. Unlike so many similar crash-bang action spectaculars, this one feels lean and muscular rather than bloated or padded; the combat is almost always coherent and dramatically pointed rather than just splashed on the screen for its own sake.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    It is a ridiculously entertaining (and often just plain ridiculous) monster-robot movie that plays like a gigantic version of that “Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robots” game from the 1960s, combined with the cheesy wonderfulness (or should it be wonderful cheesiness?) of black-and-white Japanese monster movies from the 1950s.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Pacific Rim is big and dumb in a smart way.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Loud robots vs. monsters movie could have used more heart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pacific Rim is a giant monsters vs. giant robots movie from Oscar-nominated director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth). Fighting and violence are the film's biggest issues, though the huge, loud clashes are more about punching, pummeling, and the rampant destruction of property than bloodshed (the only blood shown is in the form of a bloody nose). One minor but key character dies. There's a romantic connection between a male and female character, but their bonding is mostly non-sexual (aside from a scene in which she breathlessly looks at his naked chest). Language is infrequent but includes a couple of uses of words like "s--t," "bitch," and "goddamn."

  • Families can talk about Pacific Rim's violence. Does it have the same kind of impact as more realistic fighting/destruction? Could the movie have succeeded with less violence?
  • Director Del Toro has said he wanted to make a "movie for kids." Did he succeed? Which parts seem right for kids, and which don't?
  • What's admirable about the main characters? How about the scientist characters? Are any of them role models?
  • The movie uses an international cast, is set all over the world, and is about different cultures coming together for a common cause. How does it succeed in this message? Does it use any stereotypes?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The movie promotes the idea of different cultures coming together for a common cause; in general, characters tend to face fears and go up against terrible odds for the greater good. The movie's most interesting idea is "the drift," in which two people must join minds and sync up in order to control the giant robots together; it's the ultimate metaphor for teamwork.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Some of the characters are cocky and obnoxious, but the main characters are strong, brave, and noble, fighting against impossible odds and employing teamwork. There's a strong, savvy female character, and two scientists are shown to be smart and heroic, even if they're also silly and ridiculous.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The many fight scenes between the giant robots and giant monsters have lots of punching, smashing, extremely loud destruction of property (including the near-complete annihilation of cities), and collateral loss of life, but they're mostly bloodless. One important (albeit minor) character dies. In one sequence, a character has trouble with "the drift," and viewers see some somewhat scary flashbacks to her as a young girl, chased and terrified by monsters. Fights between pilots being tested for compatibility, plus another fist fight. Constant peril. A character suffers nosebleeds.

  • sex false0

    Sex: The main character (a man) is shown shirtless more than once. In one scene, a female character breathlessly admires him. The male and female leads banter, fight, and bond over the course of the movie in a mostly non-sexual way. At the end, they share an almost kiss (but not quite).

  • language false2

    Language: Language includes a couple of uses of "s--t," plus "bitch" (or "son of a bitch"), "ass," "bastard," "goddamn," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "for Christ's sake."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: During the prologue, there's a sequence in which the Jaegers become popular as cultural icons/consumer objects. (Toys from this movie could become just as popular.)

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable