All member reviews for Transcendence

Common Sense Media says

Dark, pretentious sci-fi thriller tackles big questions.

Users say

(out of 14 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
Parent Written byhelpinghand April 23, 2014

Thought Provoking

Very interesting ideas put into a great technological thriller, good acting and is appropriate for most audiences. At times can be confusing so it could go over younger audiences heads. Very little language, no sex, no drugs, and some blood.
Teen, 16 years old Written byBobTom July 25, 2014

Actually better than I thought it would be.

I went in to this movie with extremely low expectations. It has a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, if that means anything. So, I actually enjoyed the first half of the movie quite a bit. The acting was decent, and it set up the premise pretty well. Now, about the premise. It's a very cool idea. I love sci-fi, and the plot definitely intrigued me. The idea was great, but the execution was poor. Poor, but not as terrible as everyone makes it sound. You can still enjoy this movie quite a bit, but know going in to the movie that there are definitely problems, especially logic issues and gaping plot holes. Now, about the content. It wasn't too bad. But I'm 16, and some parts could be a little too violent for younger kids. I mean, some parts, especially towards the end, had some blood for sure. Swearing was very minimal, with only a couple s**t's. Sex was limited to kissing and one brief shot of them kissing in bed. So overall, not too bad for tweens/younger teens. The movie definitely has plenty of issues and it really doesn't make any sense, but I still kind of enjoyed watching it. Kind of. Worth a rental. 12+
Educator and Parent Written byMovie Review Maven June 1, 2014

Humanity vs. Technology

Movie Title: Transcendence PG-13, 1 hour 59 minutes Grade: B In a Nutshell: This was a really interesting movie about awareness: both computers’ ability to become self-aware, as well as humans’ struggle to truly understand what’s inside each other’s hearts. Dr. Will Castor (Johnny Depp) explains in the beginning of the movie at a technology conference: “For one hundred and thirty thousand years, our capacity to reason has remained unchanged. The combined intellect of the neuroscientists, mathematicians and engineers pales in comparison to the most basic A. I. Once online, a sentient machine will quickly overcome the limits of biology; in a short time, its analytic power will become greater than the collective intelligence of every person born in the history of the world. Some scientists refer to this as the Singularity. I call it Transcendence.” The film addresses the haunting “unavoidable collision between mankind and technology.” The overall feeling of the movie is, ironically, a bit artificial, but I still enjoyed it. This is the first directorial effort from Wally Pfister, who is receiving some negative reviews for a few of the film’s clunky issues, but his cinematography experience (The Dark Knight trilogy) shows through and elevates the movie. Uplifting theme: The movie tries to preach two simultaneous, yet opposing messages: Humanity is more important than technology; technology can help us heal the world. What role should artificial intelligence play in our lives? Things I liked: I adore Paul Bettany in any movie and who can’t say the same thing about Johnny Depp? My kids laugh that Morgan Freeman is in every movie ever made; sure enough, he’s in this one too. I loved the small twist at the end. (No spoiler alert) The entire spark that sets off this artificial intelligence conundrum is the perfect love between two imperfect humans. Things I didn’t like: Some of the scenes are ridiculous with plenty of holes and uninspiring dialogue. Things to notice: Preppers will get a kick out of seeing the items listed as being in demand on the store door after all the power goes off the grid. Non-preppers should ask themselves what might happen if there were an EMP or some other trigger that knocked all of our power out and sent us back to the stone age. What would you do? How would you live? What would you value? Someone hangs a computer motherboard of sorts on to a dream catcher. Interesting lines: An audience member listening to Dr. Castor’s presentation asks him “You want to create a god? Your own god?” Dr. Castor answers “That’s a very good question. Isn’t that what man has always done?” “I don’t want to change the world. I just want to understand it.” - Dr. Castor They’re short on logic, but there’s no shortage of irony.” - Dr. Castor “The internet was supposed to make the world a smaller place. It feels smaller without it.” - Max “Artificial intelligence is an unnatural abomination and threat to humanity.” – R.I.F.T. Evelyn asks her husband “Where are you going?” He answers “Everywhere.” Dr. Caster says to Evelyn “I can upload you. I can protect you from them.” A suspicious Evelyn replies: “I’m not afraid of…them.” Evelyn worries about one of her employees who has become “transcended” and asks the anti-technology fanatics who beat him up “What did you do?” Max responds “We gave him back his mortality.” “Human emotion…it can contain illogical conflict.” - Max Tips for parents: Any parent who has watched their kids get sucked into their cell phones or other electronic devices will question how well technology is serving humanity. The film has very little bad language, but some violence. Young children may get bored, but older children could be guided into an interesting conversation about the role technology should play in their lives. Check out this movie clip to get you started.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written bytreacl April 25, 2014

Modern version of machine-human concepts!

While Transcendence may not be keeping those with cravings of instant action happy, it covered many of my futurist ideas wonderfully! I realise that some other reviews were disappointed by it now being 'visual candy', yet the ways that the well-written concepts were translated onto the big screen really feel comfortable. Overall, Transcendence is a future focused movie that truly gets your mind thinking.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKristaM May 6, 2014


Went to see this with a couple of friends, and I wasn't expecting a lot, but my gosh, would it be too much to ask for a quality movie? The premise was pretty good, but it was executed poorly. Even Scarlett Johansson couldn't save this movie. A little bit of violence, nothing you really have to worry about. Kissing scenes, and no language that I can recall. I have no issue with slower moving movies, but thats only if they're interesting. It's like a good, slower movie is curry, and Transcendence is heavy cream. There's really nothing else I can say about this movie.
Teen, 16 years old Written byStevie111 April 23, 2014


This movie dragged, had little action, and just wasn't that great. The acting was okay and the special effects were decent, but it was very disappointing.
Teen, 15 years old Written byJuniorJester April 19, 2014

Not much action but fun

The most of this movie is just talking and talking. Special Effect is good and action scene is not so bad....but it's fun. this movie tell us to not be consumed by a technology.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byesoccer7 April 19, 2014

Really disappointing

I really was hoping that this was going to be good. Was really boring for the first half, the actions scenes weren't bad, but I'd already seen all of them in the trailer. Basically no language (maybe one very quite s word) and no sexual content. A bit of blood that really isnt that bad. Might be really uninteresting for younger kids
Teen, 17 years old Written bySaintlyFigure007 April 24, 2014


a baby could watch this
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byAlice411 December 28, 2015

Amazing Concept!

Before I start this review, let me tell you a bit about my personal maturity. I am a young teen. I am quite mature for my age, but not the sort of mature that other kids use inapproprietly. I am fine with cuss words. I don't say them or repeat them. I do not like watching scenes where people act in a way which is offending to my beliefs or do inappropriate things. In other words, some PG-13 I will not watch. Okay. Keep this in mind as you read the review. The concept is absolutely amazing! It is something used in older movies that is than transformed into something way more interesting and creative! But it is extremely slow and includes "big words" than not even my parents understand. If perhaps they simpler it up, it would have been more enjoyable. Otherwise, everything was perfect! The acting was amazing and everyone was so talented. I just would love to see more endings that make you think like this one. It seems like the director just threw it in, but you realize, what happened, who do I favor and is what happened right? It is quite amazing! But this is not the best movie for the light-hearted. There is a lot of blood, hospital techniques are used in a matter that may be repulsive to some. There is also a small scene involving... love. But other than a few mediocre kisses, it is teen friendly. The violence is a tad bit less. There are few role models, but each character has some admirable quality. There are a few minor swear words. Any mature child could handle it. My 11 year old brother came in and watched the end, and he actually liked it! There were a few bits where people were drinking. Not very noticeable. Simply champagne! *wink wink* The violence is a just a bit less than a super hero movie. In conclusion, this is wonderful, but a bit boring movie that any mature child or teen could handle.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byMavrah333 May 9, 2015

Bland, un-thrilling, boring movie is unoriginal.

Many of the 'new' ideas of the story are ripped out of the Matrix trilogy. The cast contains some of my favourite actors (Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy) but they're for comedies, action-thrillers or both, not this philosophical, boring romance. The blood is overused, and the only good things include effects, soundtrack, and the two minutes of which made it feel like a Michael Bay movie. Seriously, a Michael Bay movie has more emotions than this. Final Score: 2/10: Very Bad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old February 17, 2015


Transcedence wastes a smart, potential idea on a dull, draggy and overlengthed film with almost nothing to offer in it's layered bordom. Skip it and you'll be glad. Recommended for kids 12 and up for: Violence/Action and Language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byzeekattacklee January 11, 2015

It satisfied me..

I personally loved this film.. Although the film does contain many moments of violence, I don’t think There is anything a thirteen year old couldn’t handle.. Otherwise please use caution when letting younger adults watch this..
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old December 27, 2014
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Written byAnonymous September 14, 2014

Regretful forgettable depp movie is dumb and disappointing

My rating:PG-13 for bloody violence and action,language,sexual references and disturbing images