Warcraft Movie Review Roundup

Warcraft comes out on June 10.

238 Comments

Ahead of the film's release this week, reviews for Legendary's upcoming Warcraft movie have shown up online--and not everyone enjoyed it.

We've collected excerpts from some of the reviews here and will continue to update this post as new ones come online.

Warcraft was directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), who previously said he has plans for two further films. When the movie comes out in the US, we'll have a better idea of if the critical reviews have any impact on box office performance.

The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Robert Kazinsky, and Toby Kebbell. It hits theaters on June 10.

Head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic for a further breakdown of Warcraft's critical reception.

It's not the first video game movie this year and it won't be the last. Animated movies based on Ratchet & Clank and Angry Birds came out earlier this year, while Assassin's Creed opens in December.

  • Film: Warcraft
  • Distributor: Universal
  • Release Date: June 10
  • Rating: PG-13

GameSpot

"Warcraft is crafted for the enjoyment of its video game fans. The Warcraft universe serves as more than just tacked-on references in this fantasy film, it is the heart of its story, characters, and cinematic style. It is unfortunate that despite its faithful recreation of the game, several solid weaknesses prevent it from being a well-rounded film. Still, there are plenty of moments for Warcraft fans to geek out over. And if the ending is anything to go by, there may be many more of these to come, for better or worse." -- Zorine Te [Full review]

CNET

"Warcraft lacks that special something. The lore from the franchise is so rich, brought to life in the games by such fine narrative detailing, that it's impossible to look at the film as anything other than a letdown." -- Aloysius Low [Full review]

Kotaku

"Rather than tapping into the goofy core that makes a game like World of Warcraft interesting, the Warcraft movie aims for grittiness, missing the mark quite a bit. It just doesn't work. The lore is too campy. This is a world where a mage's most popular spell transforms his enemies into sheep, yet Warcraft acts as if it's a green-screen version of Game of Thrones. At my theater, the biggest laughs came not from the occasional bouts of slapstick comedy but from the miserable archmages of Dalaran, whose CGI-enhanced eyes look especially absurd when you're supposed to take them seriously." -- Jason Schreier [Full review]

The Wrap

"Critics throw the term 'soulless corporate filmmaking' around with abandon, but movies like Warcraft really manage to redefine the term. A film adaptation of the hugely popular MMORPG (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) World of Warcraft, this latest video game adaptation ranks near the bottom of the deadly genre. Imagine Battlefield Earth without the verve, or the unintentional comedy, and you've got Warcraft." -- Alonso Duralde [Full review]

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Variety

"Hollywood's habit of turning hit video games into unwatchable movies continues unabated. The epic battle at the center of Warcraft isn't the clash between humans and orcs. That's just what takes up roughly two hours of screen time. The true conflict comes from filmmakers trying to tell a story with soul and struggling against the inherent ridiculousness of the commodity they're working with. It shouldn't take a mage to foresee that this pricey and preposterous adaptation of an online gaming phenomenon was preordained for artistic mediocrity." -- Geoff Berkshire [Full review]

The Hollywood Reporter

"If you haven’t already invested in the self-serious mythology, it can feel borderline camp, if not downright dull--or both, as when an uncredited Glenn Close intones platitudes from on high about darkness and light. Yet there’s no question that it’s a breakthrough in both storytelling and artistry for features based on video games. And compared with another medieval-ish tale, the soporific Hobbit trilogy, this international production is a fleet and nimble ride, likely to conquer overseas box offices and make a solid stand stateside." -- Sheri Linden [Full review]

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esqueejy

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Edited By esqueejy

Meh...and critics liked that Batman v. Superman filth. I always keep an open mind on these things. I'm not expecting the moon, just an enjoyable romp, so I probably won't be disappointed. I also have an intact adult ego and no self-esteem issues, so I don't feel the desperate need to act like a negative asshat, getting on the cynicism bandwagon as a means of obtaining the approval and feelings of belonging so many here seem to need on a daily basis, so there's that too I guess.

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Hurvl

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@esqueejy: It's good that you're not expecting the moon, because the director has already made a movie called Moon (which I very much liked). Warcraft is the typical "leave your expectations and/or brain outside and you'll enjoy it" kind of movie.

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esqueejy

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@Hurvl: Yeah...and mindless entertainment has its place. Not every movie I bother to go see has to be meaningful and deep and whatever. Visually stunning, action-packed, campy and perhaps a little childish with a heaping side of nostalgia suits me just fine for this...it's what I anticipated getting. Alot of this complaining from people strikes me as the kind of whining you get when someone's expectations were out of sync with reality.

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TurianShepard

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Edited By TurianShepard

@esqueejy: critics did not like b v s.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice/

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esqueejy

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@turianshepard: Huh the one review I read liked it....can't remember where tho. Anyway, plug in a different movie name and it's the same point...it's not like there's a dearth of examples for movies critics loved/hated but everyone else thought were awful/awesome.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

Oh look, another video game movie that turned out awful.

We all knew Warcraft ripped LOTR off heavily, but it didn't matter to us because the gameplay was what we liked. Seeing it in movie form just nails home how unoriginal it really is and how it doesn't measure up.

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Merwanor

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I guess this is a movie for the fans then, and as a biased fan I really enjoyed it. It did more things right than wrong. Watching the amazingly made Orcs (my favorite race in the games) with possibly the best motion capture CGI I have ever seen, made the price ticket worth it alone. But all in all I enjoyed the whole movie fine. And expectations was really high as I have been waiting for a Warcraft movie for almost 15 years, ever since I first saw the awesome cutscenes in Warcraft 3.

That being said, it does have some issues. And even though I had for the most part a giant grin on my face throughout the whole movie, I did notice some pacing issues as the movie do move a bit too quickly and some characters do not get enough character development. Which is not odd as from what I hear, they cut about 40 minutes of footage to fit some idiotic time frame. I fear this is another case of Kingdom of Heaven, which had a poor theatrical version, but an amazing extended director's cut in my opinion.

I hope people, especially Warcraft fans do not listen to the poor reviews and make up their own mind. I saw the early poor reviews before I watched it and did not care. And I am happy I did not listen to them either, because I would rate it way higher than they do.

To me it is the first good video game movie adaption, not great, but good. And I hope an extended cut comes out, as that can make this a great movie.

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ChipChat

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Edited By ChipChat

Wow, people still think Warcraft is a thing. The movie is on line with the MMO.....all glitz, no depth, and boring.

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Thanatos2k

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@chipchat: Don't forget fake looking.

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nmwhite

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Edited By nmwhite

Saw it in the UK a week ago - while it's not 'brilliant', it's nowhere near as bad as some of these reviews make out. If you just fancy a light hearted night out, don't take it too seriously (either in terms of film or lore), and don't mind lots of special effects then you'll probably enjoy it.

Familiarity with the Warcraft universe does help though...

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Heqteur

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quote "Hollywood's habit of turning hit video games into unwatchable movies continues unabated."

Anyone with that kind of opinion seriously needs to watch/rewatch Double Dragon, Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter (the first one) and the actually sucky video game based movies. Those are waaaaaayy down the abyss next to Warcraft the movie.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@heqteur: Mario Brothers is hilarious and far more watchable, if you treat it as a comedy. No such luck here....

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solidsnake7882

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@Thanatos2k:

Mario Bros watchable? Now that's a good one. That movie is beyond unwatchable.

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Thanatos2k

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@solidsnake7882: Open the door. Get on the floor.

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thedarklinglord

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Well, obviously it was going to suck, but it remains to be seen whether or not it'll make money. I mean, the Resident Evil movies are utter garbage, but people seem to love them enough that they'll happy slap down their cash so someone can keep cranking out those turds.

Of course, if they really wanted to make some cash, they should've made a Starcraft movie. I bet they could release it just in Asia and still make Transformers money, easily.

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Runeweaver

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did anyone expect any different?

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attirex

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TL;DR: the movie sucks.

Sooooo...probably not worth posting same article again, but with new reviews.

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Richardthe3rd

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WOW, they really blasted this lol. Guess it's just another terribad video game movie to add to the bin.

I was thinking about going to it tomorrow, but now I'm not so sure. I feel like the people who made this movie should've at least experienced the subject material (the games) before even trying, but Hollywood will be Hollywood.

Ah well, I didn't really expect much anyways from this.

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smkfreak

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@Richardthe3rd: I don't understand the hate it's getting...It really isn't that terrible man. I haven't played Warcraft since Warcraft 2...so not really a knowledgeable fan...didn't remember much about the lore ....went in with low expectations since the trailers looked horrendous in my opinion...and i was surprised...in a good way...the orc story is great...engaging..makes you care...the cgi is much better than I thought it would be...the fights have weight to them and are quite brutal and plenty...armors, weapons, magic,all look good...the dwarves were also well done...on the downside...the human characters pretty much are a letdown...they fail to connect with you...i think poor casting choices specially for the king and one of the apprentice mages...the hero did a good performance... it felt like he actually tried and was likeable...gomora wasnt that thrilling and they were better of just making her in cgi...... ...and it suffers with pacing issues...but i think the its because of the 45 minutes they cut...probably would make the movie much better because it would tell the story in a more cohesive way and let the charaters flesh out ...you could feel how certain scenes felt like they were cut and scrambled in editing...some of the scenes connect others are just jumping from one place to another, from character to another, making it confusing at the start, if you are not aware of some of the lore.......so in my opinion its worth it just to see the orcs story ...not a great movie but worth the watch....also the elves and supreme mages are designed very poorly...i was surprised considering how well the orcs and dwarves looked....anywai i liked it and i thought it would be a total waste...

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CrouchingWeasel

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@Richardthe3rd:

Movie critics are pretentious arsehats. Don't be a sheep, make up your own mind.

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Richardthe3rd

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@CrouchingWeasel: you're right of course. What the hell I'll check it out tomorrow.

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wtf_666

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Review roundup: It sux.

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darksouls

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@wtf_666: tbh

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Scorch_22

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Hollywood: "Hey there, would you like to see this franchise turned into a movie??"

People: "No we're fine with where it is in it's original format."

Hollywood: ..."Great!! We'll make it a trilogy then!!"

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Heqteur

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@Scorch_22: except that fans have been asking for a Warcraft movie for years.

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Scorch_22

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@heqteur: Then I hope those movie supporters enjoyed the movie then, for their sake.

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silversix_

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Shit game. Shit movie. No surprises here.

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Heqteur

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@silversix_: You're aware that the movie is based on the events from the first Warcraft game? (you know, the RTS from a time you were probably not even born?)

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silversix_

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@heqteur: listen, im 12, i was already born.

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mdinger

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@silversix_: If you're 12 now, you definitely weren't born yet when the first Warcraft was released in 1994.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcraft

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esqueejy

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@silversix_: "im 12"

It shows.

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darksouls

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@silversix_: Totally agree.

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50cratez

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told y'all this movie would suck. And suck it did.

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Ripper_TV

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I'm sooooo glad this trash got trashed by the critics, at least. They'll think twice before making one of these again.

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Heqteur

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@Ripper_TV: quote "I'm sooooo glad this trash got trashed by the critics, at least. They'll think twice before making one of these again."

Yeah, I'm sure the critics will think twice before making another movie.

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ferna1234

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@heqteur: your reading comprehension is so literal, and you ignore context so much, that i could bet you're an evangelist.

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ArchoNils2

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Edited By ArchoNils2

Sounds really bad :S Well I guess Ace Attonery stays the best game-movie, let's see if the AC movie can beat it

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LouiXIII

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Can't say I'm surprised

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genjuroT

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Am i the only one bothered at the fact these critics say the movie is based or made from the MMO World of Warcraft? As if there wasn't Warcraft before WoW?

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Thanatos2k

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@genjuroT: You can't really say it isn't based off WoW after they threw in that whole time traveling nonsense.

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tallmanB

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@genjuroT: I realy think that is wrong premise. I enjoyed the movie as a Warcraft fan(barely touched WOW though, wasn't my cup of MMO).

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Duck_Zero

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Edited By Duck_Zero

Saw this movie yesterday, and it's not good. I loved Duncan Jones' previous films, but this is such a misfire. Also, seems like a weird movie for him to be directing (then again, he's only directed two movies prior to this, so what do I know?).

I'm not a Warcraft fan, but my friend who I saw it with is. He thought it was decent enough, though he admitted that that was mostly just 'cus it was exciting to see the Warcraft universe on the big screen.

Judging this as a movie, it feels very rushed. The story jumps from locations and characters, with no room to breathe in between; there's very little character development, which made it hard to get attached or really care about any of the stuff going on. And the costumes looked terrible. Everyone looked like a bunch of cosplayers at Comic-Con, not people in a Hollywood fantasy movie.

But overall the movie isn't horrible, by any means. It's a mediocre movie, which will probably bomb and never get the two sequels it so desperately needs for any of the events in this movie to matter.

You do get to see a young Khadgar as a major character though, which seemed to excite the other Warcraft fans in the audience, so I guess there's that.

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Erebus

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"Corporate and soulless" is pretty much how I look at every Blizzard property of the past decade.

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DarthLod

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Saw this coming the day it was announced. All the trailers looked horrible.

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Lyansidde

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Non-gamers, particularly critics who normally review "serious" movies are useless when reviewing game, fantasy or science fiction movies.

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Suaron_x

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@Lyansidde: What are gamers supposed to have a lower threshold for story telling? Almost all of the reviewers say "but it'll appeal to fans of the game." Really? When I see a movie I want a good story. Seeing a video game rendered in big screen CGI is of no interest to me. I was a huge fan of WoW but I think the trailers show cheesy CGI effects and can't hide the lack of story. I have no intention of watching this movie in the theaters, and probably not even when it's replayed on basic cable.

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wtf_666

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@Lyansidde: Do critics have to be serial killers to properly review serial killer movies?

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k9kal85

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@wtf_666: They should be.

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RamstainAU

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@Lyansidde: I dunno about that. If a movie is shit, I'm sure people can see that whether they are gamers or not.

If it's only good because gamers know more about what's going on, for a standalone movie, it really hasn't done anything it needed to.

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Compact87

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I just saw some of imdb reveiws and since they were very positive about movie I understand that someone is lying us. Anyway im gonna see movie for myself and decide who to trust on movie reviews in future.

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pellep

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Edited By pellep

PG13 fail.

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