(Photo by Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection)
All Transformers Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Debuting in 1984, the Transformers TV show rolled out to viewers the eternal mecha battle between Autobots and Decepticons here on Earth and beyond, though its prime drive was to get Hasbro action figures flying off Toys “R” Us shelves. That may just sound like a cynical moichandising ploy, but the series had strong characters and world-building, and kids were instantly hooked on the toys’ triple-play pleasures of robots, automobiles, and tactile hand interaction.
It’s a bond not even its creators anticipated when they released The Transformers: The Movie. The 1986 production had big-screen action, power pop ballads, and a feature-length massacre of fan-favorite Autobots, including leader Optimus Prime. Hasbro and Takara (the American company licensed the physical toys from the Japanese one and created the Transformers brand and lore) got the hint after fan outcry, where mailed letters were sealed with sad kid tears, and resurrected Prime in Season 3 of the series, comprehending they had created a media empire.
Transformers entered a new level of mainstream with the five movies from Michael Bay, directed across a decade, starting with the 2007 original and continuing with the sequels Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction, and The Last Knight. Bumblebee, a prequel set in the ’80s, brought the critical success that had eluded Bay, but not so much the box office. Rise of the Beasts cashed in on ’90s-era nostalgia by exploring the Beast Wars mythos. —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 104801%
Critics Consensus: Bumblebee proves it's possible to bring fun and a sense of wonder back to a bloated blockbuster franchise -- and sets up its own slate of sequels in the bargain.
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach... [More]
Adjusted Score: 63970%
Critics Consensus: A surprisingly dark, emotional, and almost excessively cynical experience for Transformers fans.
Ultra Magnus and the Transformers fight planet Unicron and the Decepticons in 2005.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66116%
Critics Consensus: While believable characters are hard to come by in Transformers, the effects are staggering and the action is exhilarating.
The fate of humanity is at stake when two races of robots, the good Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, bring... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65953%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to some genuine human drama between the set pieces and palpable affection for the title characters, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is one of the franchise's more enjoyable outings.
Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured moviegoers around the world, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take... [More]
Adjusted Score: 45707%
Critics Consensus: Its special effects -- and 3D shots -- are undeniably impressive, but they aren't enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script.
Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), join the fray when the evil Decepticons renew their... [More]
Adjusted Score: 30006%
Critics Consensus: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a noisy, underplotted, and overlong special effects extravaganza that lacks a human touch.
Two years after he and his Autobot friends saved the Earth from the Decepticons, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) faces a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 28028%
Critics Consensus: With the fourth installment in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is in disguise: Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.
After an epic battle, a great city lies in ruins, but the Earth itself is saved. As humanity begins to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 29975%
Critics Consensus: Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you'd expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise.
Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried... [More]