'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' Critic Reviews

80%
MovieWeb:   31 reviews
36%
Rotten Tomatoes:   220 reviews
  • Julian Roman MovieWeb (Top Critic)
    50
    Even with a stellar cast and proven director, it's another banal exercise in video game adaptations.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    67
    As sword-and-sandal fantasy movies based on videogames and starring a buffed-up Jake Gyllenhaal go, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time goes pretty well.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    50
    As usual, the talent in Prince of Persia is generally top notch -- from the cinematographer John Seale to the parkour expert David Belle -- but the ingredients have been masticated so heavily the results are mush.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Andrew Pulver Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    40
    So convoluted that its protagonists have to regularly stop and shout out what "must" be done to ensure all the 10-year-olds in the audience don't get hopelessly confused.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    50
    The story unfolds with little regard for subtlety, and wisecracks are what pass for humor. When a gaggle of gangly ostriches offers one of the biggest laughs, wit clearly is at a premium.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post (Top Critic)
    50
    Although Prince of Persia stimulates the circulatory and nervous systems, it engages none of the higher faculties of game play. Like, say, hand-eye coordination and map-reading skills. It's a frenetic yet passive experience.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    You've seen Lord of the Rings? Here's the CVS brand.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Nick Schager Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Scraps of moderately inspired eye candy ... remain sparse and incapable of lending weight to such cash-my-paycheck-dammit material.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    20
    A lot of action flicks are examples of mediocrity, but a truly terrible action movie, one that shows how not to do things at every turn, is a rare thing. Perhaps this was the true destiny of Prince of Persia.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    Prince of Persia, a movie born of a video game, is at war with itself, and the bad guys win.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    50
    A spectacularly silly video-game adaptation about a Fresh Prince of Gel Hair who runs around the desert with a magic dagger, a curious version of Alfred Molina and some hoity-toity chick who never breaks a sweat. It's sort of pointless.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Manuel Mendoza Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    80
    Don't think too much about its main prop and plot device -- a magic sword that can turn back the clock and change history -- and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a fun ride.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    63
    It's not a classic, but it's sturdy enough, thanks to Gyllenhaal and a sly and grousing turn by Alfred Molina as Sheikh Amar, a scoundrel with a heart of gold -- or at least, a ticker very interested in riches.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • James Rocchi MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    60
    I had fun watching all of the claptrap unfold -- or, perhaps, more than I've had at other recent big-screen spectacles, so perhaps it's only the baseness of its peers that makes this "Prince" seem even slightly regal.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top Critic)
    Prince of Persia is meant purely as light entertainment, but the way it draws on layers of junk is depressing.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    The two leads are not inspired. Jake Gyllenhaal could make the cover of a muscle mag, but he plays Dastan as if harboring Spider-Man's doubts and insecurities. I recall Gemma Arterton as resembling a gorgeous still photo in a cosmetics ad.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    63
    It's sort of fun, certainly more so than the National Treasure pictures, as well as less manic (a little less) than the recent Mummy films.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Disposable family entertainment.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    50
    They have plans for a sequel. A franchise, even. But there's no reason on Earth, or anywhere, for Prince of Persia 2.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    38
    Prince of Persia will inspire filmmakers for years to come. They will watch it and say, "What a mess. I can do better."
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    25
    This movie is little more than a big noise bomb with jerky movements attached.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    50
    It's meant to be fun, not work, but the plot is so loosely constructed it takes a lot of effort to piece things together. Better just to wait for Jake to mow down more bad guys and hit reset. Or, ahem, wait till the end.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Leslie Felperin Variety (Top Critic)
    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is silky to the touch, but slips from the mind all too easily.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    Prince of Persia got the go-ahead from an administration at Disney that was sent on its way last year. I wouldn't be surprised if their successors at the Mouse House wish they had a magic dagger that would allow them to go back and erase this movie.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    63
    A ditzy film that offers more evidence that good actors, good action and one-liners don't solve the one thing missing in every movie video game adaptation -- a story that makes sense.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.7 GREAT
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