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Transformers Review Critics


Dave White Profile

You will leave smiling like you were seven years old … 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.

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Bay, at heart, isn't a fantasist; he's a literal-minded maestro of demolition.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    For almost two hours of car chases and car wrecks and extraordinary animated transformation sequences that meld fluidly with live action, the welcome mat is out for Michael Bay's cheerfully dopey saga.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Yes, it's loud, explosive and silly, but it also perfectly embodies the concept of a summer blockbuster with its simple good-guys-vs.-bad-guys plot, cheeky humor and flawless special effects.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Everything comes down to an epic battle between the Transformers and the Decepticons, and that's when my attention began to wander, and the movie lost a potential fourth star.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Transformers is a wet dream for fanboys, with vehicles that whiz and whir into alien robots, spectacular sci-fi stunt chases, glistening military hardware, overheated computer software and brainy, hot girls who love Popular Mechanics.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Toys come to life in big, boomy explosion fest.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though the myriad tie-in toys are being marketed to kids as young as 2, this explosion-heavy action movie based on the '80s cartoon and action figures is not for young children ... no matter how "cool" they think the robots/cars are. It's packed with scenes of loud, hectic combat (including gunfire), destruction, and flying missiles and bodies. Plus, it's long (144 minutes, the last 20 or so of which are devoted to a big fight scene), the characters swear ("bitch," "s--t," "damn," a couple of incomplete "f--ks," etc.), and there's some sexual imagery (shots of cleavage and a short-skirted bottom, jokes about masturbation and virginity, and more).

  • Families can talk about why kids want to see this movie -- is it because of the story or all of the toys and other tie-in products they've been hearing about?
  • Who's the movie's intended audience? Is it today's kids (and, if so,what age group?) or grown ups who were kids when the toys were firstpopular in the '80s?
  • How does this big-screen version compare to thedifferent TV shows and the previous movie?Do the explosions and crashes seem more serious here than in thecartoon versions?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Though you could argue that the movie has some kind of take away involving teamwork and friendship, really it's all just an excuse to blow stuff up. There are some stereotypes -- a Latino character is mocked for his "magic voodoo powers," a computer expert embodies lots of geeky cliches, and a "black" robot uses street jargon and gang signs.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Sam is mostly a good kid -- though he deceives his parents, he also savesMikaela from a bad boyfriend (and the world from bad robots). Mikaela hasa criminal record and can hotwire cars.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Early attack by alien robots results in fiery explosions and bodies flying; Transformer attack at car dealership (loud noise, car windows blow out); huge battle in the desert (robots vs. Air Force); Transformers attack Sam and Mikaela (lots of chasing, crashing, noise); flashback shows destruction of Transformers' planet; little robot monster with sharp limbs terrorizes humans and infiltrates Air Force One. A lengthy fight scene in city streets ends the film -- more explosions, shooting, missiles, and bodies. At one point, the villain transforms into a plane and flies into a skyscraper -- images that will remind many viewers of 9/11.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Mikaela wears a cleavage-showing midriff top; bikini girl posters in Sam's bedroom; Miles calls Mikaela "the evil jock's concubine"; Miles reminds Sam that it's "bros before hos"; song "Sexual Healing" on car radio; close-ups of Mikaela's sweaty belly from Sam's POV; Sam says "I'm cool with females working on my engine"; Sam says he keeps a magazine called Busty Beauties under his bed; Glen admits he's still a virgin (this appears to be a joke at his expense); following a noise in his room, Sam's mom asks him "Were you masturbating?"; Sam's online user name is "Ladiesman217."

  • language false3

    Language: In addition to a couple of incomplete "f--ks," the language includes "damn," "crap," "bitch," "s--t" (multiple uses), "ass," "crackhead," "frigggin'," "hell," and a spelled-out "bee-otch" on Sam's car freshener.

  • consumerism false5

    Consumerism: The entire film is virtually a commercial for Hasbro toys (the company is listed as both a production company and the maker of Transformers action figures). There are also visual or verbal references to Mac laptop, eBay, Camaro, Austin Healey, Porsche, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Volkswagen, music acts (50 Cent, Garbage, The Strokes, Rage Against the Machine), the Redskins, Armageddon, Ding Dongs, Taco Bell, Nokia, Mountain Dew, Star Trek, and GM vehicles (most of the Autobots are modeled on GM cars). Bumblebee speaks in bits of commercials and TV shows ("Message from Starfleet, Captain").

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Sam's dog takes pain pills (he calls the dog a "crackhead"); Sam asks Agent Simmons if he's "on drugs."