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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Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

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God I hate critics.

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blackamerica

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@Bread_or_Decide: so you hate yourself as well.

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elheber

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@Bread_or_Decide: Then you hate everyone.

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Bread_or_Decide

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@elheber: Maybe I do.

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elheber

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@Bread_or_Decide: Maybe.

Maybe you hate yourself even more. You dread staring at yourself in the mirror because deep down nah, I'm just messing with you. I was referencing that old adage: "everyone's a critic." Terrible joke. I'll go flagellate myself in a dark room now.

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Bread_or_Decide

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@elheber: AHHHHHH

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Brettsky128

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I'm not a fan of the Warcraft series, but even I know this movie isn't an adaptation of WoW, it's an adaptation of the earlier games. Seems like every reviewer missed that.

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cornbredx

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Yeah, this is what I was afraid of. And they said I was dumb for not liking the look of the characters.

Sounds like they got it wrong. That's a shame.

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dribblesbarbax

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The trailers were a bad sign from the off. Wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if these reviews will end up being the general consensus in the weeks to come.

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bookfan8780

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Yeah, I'm an avid World of Wacraft fan, and looking forward to playing Legion, but I will NOT be seeing the movie in theaters. I thought the trailers right from the beginning looked boring and dull and there was just something about the trailers that turned me off to really want to see the movie. I'll wait till it comes out on DVD.

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Elranzer

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Much like Narnia's "Voyage of the Dawn Treader", we have to get through Warcraft 1's rocky lore before we can get to the much more interesting lores of Warcraft 2 and especially Warcraft 3. Hopefully they'll still bother to make those two sequels if this movie bombs.

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derceto

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Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch.............

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berserker66666

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Edited By berserker66666

....and yet another bad video game movie. When will they stop? Assassin's Creed movie is next on the chopping block.

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elheber

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@berserker66666: Warcraft looked pretty bad from even the trailers. I actually have hopes for AC. Like Marvel doing their own movies, AC is Ubisoft making their own movie. I've got my fingers crossed.

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Mogan

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Edited By Mogan  Moderator

@berserker66666: Assassin's Creed looks like it might be alright. Maybe not a GOOD movie, but Warcraft just looks totally souless in a way I haven't seen since The Prequel Trilogy.

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Xristophoros

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@berserker66666: without a doubt.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

Kotaku hates on everything for clicks, its expected of them now. That place is very unethical, just go read their front page and see for yourself.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@iandizion713: Kotaku is unethical and hates for clicks ... so go click on their site.

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iandizion713

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Edited By iandizion713

@Mogan: Sometimes you have to go the stripclub to meet the sinners. Let them clicks be the death of them.

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neowarrior793

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i think people's expectations will always be way too high for anyone to really like the film. if your a big WoW fan its simply not going to encapsulate enough of the lore and the game, with enough hidden easter eggs and comedic moments to be good enough for people to like it.

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Xristophoros

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who didn't see this coming? the trailer reveal looked like ass, and that is me putting it politely. rather than search for its own visual identity, they too cues from jackson's lotr series at every turn. bad cgi and a horrendous story, which to be frank, is no surprise since all of blizzard's games have terrible stories, this movie is exactly what was expected. i hope this bombs hard so that they hire competent writers/directors next time.

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Suaron_x

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Edited By Suaron_x

You can tell from the previews that this movie is flawed and that they tried too hard to channel the video game into the movie. What stories work in video games don't translate to the movies. While many may (try to) deny it, video game stories are always second to the gameplay. If you look at any video game story critically, it falls apart somewhere and makes little sense. These kinds of story flaws play out badly on the silver screen. What they really needed to do was write a good character story about someone such as Arthas and/or Orgrim. Once they have a good story, they could work on adding some more connections to Warcraft locations or conventions that don't add campiness.

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Xristophoros

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Edited By Xristophoros

@Suaron_x: i'd argue the last of us and uncharted are as good if not better than the majority of hollywood dramas. those movies would actually work if they were a 100% adaptation of the games. the problem is, MOST games have terrible writing and stories and would not hold up as a film, unless they got some serious re-writes. blizzard writes shallow and half backed stories... what they are good at is constructing environments and worlds to get lost in. they should help with the art direction of a feature film, but that is where their expertise ends. wow would need a top calibur writer/director to adapt it into a competent story before they even think of a film.

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Suaron_x

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Edited By Suaron_x

@Suaron_x: Based on what little I've heard on the Assassin's Creed movie, it seems like they might have it right. They made a story based on some ideas presented in the video game, but didn't tie themselves to gameplay conventions or previous stories. If they actually have a good story the AC movie could be the best video game movie ever made and possibly be miles ahead of anything else.

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datriax

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@Suaron_x: Forgive my wariness, but, I'll believe it when I see it. I sure do hope you are right though.

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adsparky

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Edited By adsparky

Almost looks like the reviewers watched the movie without any prior knowledge of warcraft; and after that they google it and compare it with the first thing that appeared; World of Warcraft.

It is as i feared; a film that only fans can enjoy, but probably won't.

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madsnakehhh

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@adsparky: That doesn't even began to make sense...that is the worst excuse you could give for a bad movie...even if the movies are more like the RTS games, they are saying that the story is boring, uninteresting, lazy and with terrible CGI. As a fan i feel even more insulted that one of my favorite RTS franchises is treated just like a cash cow for Hollywood.

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adsparky

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Edited By adsparky

@madsnakehhh: You said it, RTS, my critic isn't towards the reviews; is to the poor journalism behind almost all the reviews; the majority of the review media have a section about videogames, but even with that they didn't take their time to make a little research of something they are writting an article; most of them are like: "Remember that World of Warcraft thingy?... it has a movie and it sucks".

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madsnakehhh

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@adsparky: It hardly matters how much they know about Warcraft and it wouldn't change the fact that the movie seems to be kind of bad, i mean even if they knew that the franchise started as an RTS it wouldn't change their point of view since they are reviewing a movie not a franchise, and as a movie it should be strong enough to hold its own, even to non Warcraft fans.

Also, is kind of like saying that a critic did a bad job by reviewing Jurassic World and not researching enough about dinosaurs, or talking about the Avengers film and not reading 50 years of comics.

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adsparky

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Edited By adsparky

@madsnakehhh: I'm not saying that if they were fans of the games they'll like the movie; what I'm saying is that I want a little more insight from their reviews; now that you mentioned Jurassic World; Jurassic Park is a good example of that, the reviews in its time clearly mentioned that it was based on a novel, several of them, even compared both; More than it is good or bad; it is fun or boring; that can be done even by a little kid.

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Sikkens

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Edited By Sikkens

Okay... i don't have high expectations,but im a hardcore warcraft lore fan and probably thats why i have a hard time believing a movie can work. So why i am seeing so much "world of warcraft" in these critic reviews ? i mean...am i missing something or these people expect WoW adaptation ?

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lnception

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@sikkens: Dude I thought the same exact thing. It isn't a movie based on the MMORPG, its based on the first Warcraft (from what I've gathered of course.) Not defending the movie at all, just looking for some consistency lol

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Xirtahm

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Edited By Xirtahm

Umm... "roundup"? Only five major critics have reviewed it so far, and you're writing a roundup already? The movie doesn't even come out for another two weeks, and you're in a hurry to write an article about the consensus now, when there clearly isn't one?

Not saying the movie will be good or bad, and I'm not defending either side, but I think you're jumping the gun quite a bit when this will have a much more refined critical breakdown once 70+ critics put their two cents in. Five? This article is pointless.

At least wait until 20 critics have their opinions written.

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datriax

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@Xirtahm: Pointless? No. 5 reviewers have chimed in. 5 reviewers have panned it. It's an indicator at the very least.

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Xirtahm

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Edited By Xirtahm

@datriax: No... it isn't. And actually THREE have panned it, and two have recommended it, if you'd look at Rotten Tomatoes. But even if all five praised it or hated it, it's not an indicator of anything, because the site doesn't even offer an actual consensus until at least a quarter of professional critics have weighed in.

What if the movie gets overwhelmingly positive reception from the next fifteen to twenty critics? I've seen this with a LOT of releases in the past... Did you know that when Michael Bay's first Transformers movie released, the first fifteen reviews shined it with a 100% rating?

That score sank like a rock once the full crowd came in to review it. Case in point, this is a useless article when you only have a tiny speck of feedback from five critics.

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Die_Bahn

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@Xirtahm: Should check Rotten Tomatoes now, much bigger sample size

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lnception

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@Xirtahm: Exactly.

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PETERAKO

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Edited By PETERAKO

Surprised? Im not in the slightest.

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