Critics agree: The visuals in Ridley Scott's Prometheus are stunning. As for the story—about a space crew tracking the aliens who may have created us—it's a little too heavy for its own good.
- "Prometheus could have been an elegant, moody sci-fi actioner if only it didn't strain so hard for weighty existential meaning," writes Dana Stevens at Slate. The film "is more interested in piling on big questions than in answering them. It’s deep without being particularly smart," though its design and effects are so "dazzling" you won't realize "that basic flaw until at least an hour in."
- Joe Morgenstern echoes Stevens in the Wall Street Journal. "This tale of an interstellar search asks cosmic questions about the meaning of life, but comes up with lame answers in a script that screams attention-deficit disorder," he notes. Still, it's "worth seeing for the quality of its sci-fi sights."
- In the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan notes that the movie "pushes too hard for significance," which "contrasts badly with the standard nature of some of the story's plotting." For "its wizardly director, it's something of a disappointment."
- But at the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert raves that Prometheus is "a seamless blend of story, special effects, and pitch-perfect casting, filmed in sane, effective 3-D that doesn't distract." And Ebert finds it "all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers."