Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Watch Watchmen, But Caveat Emptor

The big-screen adaptation of Alan Moore's work is visually stunning but very, very long.

by | March 5, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Watchmen, the long-awaited adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel directed by Zack Snyder and starring Billy Crudup and Carla Gugino. What do the critics have to say?



After years of speculation, negotiations, lawsuits, and geek anticipation, Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel Watchmen is finally hitting the big screen. So, is it worth watching? The answer, say critics, is a qualified yes. The film is set in a dystopian 1985, in which Richard Nixon is still president and the future looks bleak. A group of retired superheroes is forced back into action when one of their colleagues is murdered and suspicions of an anti-hero conspiracy arise. A number of critics find Watchmen to be excessively reverent to Moore’s book, as well as overlong and dark bordering on dour. However, others say this ambitious, sprawling superhero epic is emotionally weighty and visually stunning. (Check out Watchmen Headquarters for all of RT’s Watchmen-related news and features.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Fados, a documentary about the haunting Portuguese musical genre, is at 100 percent.
  • The Oscar-nominated 12, a Russian spin on 12 Angry Men, is at 88 percent.
  • Explicit Ills , starring Rosario Dawson and Paul Dano and featuring four interconnected stories involving low-income Philly residents, is at 82 percent.
  • Tokyo!, an omnibus film that focuses on Japan’s largest city and features a segment from Michel Gondry, is at 71 percent.
  • Phoebe in Wonderland, starring Elle Fanning and Bill Pullman in a drama about a family coping with a child with Tourette’s Syndrome, is at 46 percent.
  • Sherman’s Way, a quirky indie road comedy in which an Ivy Leaguer and a washed-up ex-jock hit the highway, is at 22 percent.

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