‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Is a ‘Weightless, Soulless Trifle of a Bore,’ and 8 Other Atrocious Reviews

The ninth film in the franchise hits theaters May 27

Last Updated: May 18, 2016 @ 4:41 PM

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is two weeks away from hitting the big screen, but critics are trashing the ninth film in the “X-Men” franchise.

Calling it a “confused, kitchen-sink mess” and a “weightless, soulless trifle of a bore,” the Marvel film currently has a score of 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“With ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ however, Singer seems to have acquired a new mutant power of his own: Monotony,” wrote TheWrap’s film critic, Alonso Duralde. “Whether it’s the lack of an interesting villain, or the fact that the series’ time-travel element is forcing these mutants to meet each other (and the audience) all over again for the first time, this latest entry marks a shocking letdown from Singer’s earlier contributions; what once soared now slogs.”

“X-Men: Apocalypse” reunites much of the cast from “X-Men: First Class” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” including James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult. Newcomers include Sophie Turner, Kodi Smitt-McPhee, Tye Sheridan, Oscar Isaac and Olivia Munn.

The 20th Century Fox film is hitting theaters on May 27.

See nine of the worst reviews below.

Chris Nashawaty, Entertaiment Weekly:
“‘Apocalypse’ feels like a confused, kitchen-sink mess with a half dozen too many characters, a villain who amounts to a big blue nothing, and a narrative that’s so choppy and poorly cut together that it feels like you’re watching a flipbook instead of a movie.”

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
“This one’s no gem. It’s simply large, and long (two-and-a-half hours, the usual length lately with these products). I remain unpersuaded and slightly galled by the attempts to interpolate the history, locale and tragic meaning of Auschwitz into what used to be known as popcorn movies. The dialogue has a metallic, tinny ring (where’s Magneto when you need him?). At one point Rose Byrne‘s intelligence agent speculates, in her exquisitely underplayed way, on the intentions of their chief adversary. This surly, pushy Egyptian mutant god routine might well ‘end in disaster … some kind of … apocalypse.’ Pause. Then McAvoy puts on his best Serious Actor face and solemnly adds: ‘Mmm. The end of the world.’ John Dykstra supervised the visual effects, which are relentless and routine. Like I said: I’ve seen worse this year. And better.”

Tom Huddleston, Time Out:
“There are no memorable action scenes — the closest we get is a virtual rerun of the time-freeze sequence from the previous movie. And the script is just nonsense, comprised entirely of sarcastic asides, portentous gobbledygook (‘The dawn of a new age will rise!’ cries Isaac) and insider references that only the faithful will appreciate. Unless that’s you, it’s best to steer clear.”

Scott Mendelsohn, Forbes:
Bryan Singer‘s would-be trilogy capper is a shocking miss. It is a lifeless and hollow shell of a picture, lacking exciting action, strong character interplay, or compelling storytelling. It is the nadir of the franchise, determined to make you apologize for every mean thing you’ve ever said about Brett Ratner‘s rushed ‘X-Men’ trilogy capper a decade ago. X-Men: Apocalypse’ is the kind of weightless, soulless trifle of a bore that makes comic book superhero movies look bad and makes me not look forward to the next installment.”

Tim Robey, The Telegraph:
“Better than ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ but not by an awful lot, and vastly less entertaining than Marvel’s current ‘Captain America’ smash, it’s also curiously more sadistic, and seemingly less bothered about large-scale human fallout, than this once-spirited series used to be. Apocalypse isn’t quite the end of the world for ‘X-Men’ fans, but it might be the end of the line.”

Helen O’hara, Empire Magazine:
“Aside from a few moments with Nightcrawler — in his achingly perfect ‘Thriller’ jacket and Flock Of Seagulls hair — there’s no levity here, no tonal variation. The more the film harks back to other X-installments, the more you’ll wish you were watching those instead.”

Russ Fischer, The Playlist:
“The grand X-Men soap opera has often created compelling allegories to help comic readers and film audiences make sense of their own sense of alienation and separation, whatever the underlying reasons might be. However, ‘Apocalypse’ feels like a cog in Fox’s perpetual-motion blockbuster machine, paying lip service to the story’s allegorical potential as it grinds our interest to dust. [C-]”

Perri Nemiroff, Collider:
“There’s something to be said for exciting superhero popcorn movies, but as the competition becomes more and more sophisticated, visceral, and character-driven, it gets tougher to make a case for films that don’t meet those standards. This is especially evident with ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ not because it’s one big disappointment all the way through, but rather because it starts off so strong and then devolves into total nonsense.”

Sam C. Mac, Slant Magazine:
“The issue with ‘Apocalypse’ isn’t, as it turns out, that the franchise left itself with too little to work with after the tidy ending of the previous film, but that Singer suggests so many possible directions to go in and still chooses the least interesting one. ‘Apocalypse’ and his end-times aspirations drive the film in the direction of a disaster movie; large portions of the last act are devoted to terraforming Cairo, where Isaac’s genocidal warlord plans to start his ‘new world.’ Which is to say that instead of changing the narrative of the superhero film, as Singer’s already done for the narrative of the franchise he returned to, the filmmaker yields to its most generic, commercially viable plot progression.”