Trust a Few. Fear the Rest.
"...a rich, impressive comic-book fantasy... David Edelstein, Slate
|Witness the evolution of spectacular action and excitement in this dazzling "feast of fantasy" (San Francisco Chronicle) unlike anything you've ever seen before.|
Born into a world filled with prejudice are children who possess extraordinary and dangerous powers -- the result of unique genetic mutations. Cyclops unleashes bolts of energy from his eyes. Storm can manipulate the weather at will. Rogue absorbs the life force of anyone she touches. But under the tutelage of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), those and other outcasts learn to harness their powers for the good of mankind. Now they must protect those who fear them as the nefarious Magneto (Ian McKellen), who believes humans and mutants can never co-exist, unveils his sinister plan for the future!
Pulsing with state-of-the-art visual effects and unforgettable characters, X-Men "delivers it all!" (ABC-TV)
"...one of the best comic-book movies ever made. J. Rentilly, TNT RoughCut
"...an accomplished piece of work with considerable pulp watchability to it. Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Balances brains, brawn and heart in ideal proportions. Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
"Smart, funny and loaded with eye-popping action. NY-1
Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, X-MEN takes place in the near future, as certain humans are evolving into mutants with special powers. In the Canadian wilderness, a young runaway mutant named Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), a bad-tempered, quick-healing mutant with retractable metal claws, are suddenly attacked by the powerful Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his lackeys. Fortunately, Cyclops (James Marsden) and Storm (Halle Berry), students of the compassionate Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), interfere and bring them back to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Here Wolverine and Rogue learn more about the conflict between Xavier and the militant Magneto, who wants to power a device that will genetically alter humans, with possibly deadly results. Only Xavier's students can stop Magneto's plans. Director Bryan Singer (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) displays his expertise with an ensemble cast, accomplishing a feat by making the first live-action film about an entire group of superheroes. Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the ill-tempered Wolverine is dead-on, while Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are ideally matched in their Martin Luther King, Jr.- and Malcolm X-like roles. Smart and well-paced, X-MEN towers above most comic book movies.
Cast & Crew
Marvel's classic comic book comes to life in this exciting big-screen adaptation. The story focuses on the efforts of a well-intentioned professor, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). By pulling together a group of superhuman mutants, Professor X hopes to prove to the world that these genetically enhanced beings are not the dangerous, evil villains humanity claims them to be. When Magneto (Ian McKellen), an angry mutant, vows to eradicate human existence, it's up to the X-Men to save the day and keep the world united. Bryan Singer's film is a visual feast, containing a host of standout performances, particularly from newcomer Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The VHS and DVD releases contain 10 minutes of extra footage.
MTV Award (2001)
||Hugh Jackman, Nominee, Breakthrough Male Performance
||Hugh Jackman, et. al., Nominee, Best On-Screen Team
||X-Men, Nominee, Best Movie
|"When they come out...does it hurt?"----Rogue (Anna Paquin), asking Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) about his retractable metal claws|"Every time."----Wolverine
|"Mankind isn't evil, just uninformed."----Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart)
|"You actually go outside in these things?"----Wolverine to Cyclops (James Marsden) about their uniforms|"Well, what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?"----Cyclops
"...The stuff to build a killer following..."
New York Times
"...Mr. Stewart was born to play [Professor Charles Xavier]....Wolverine [is] well played by Mr. Jackman..."
"...Impressive special effects....It is a pleasure to watch [the] two superb stage-trained British actors [Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen]..."
Sight and Sound
"...The movie is a treat....The set design is a superb combination of opulence and minimalism..."
"...Singer is off to a nice start [in the planned series to follow]..." -- 3 out of 5 stars - A Satisfying Rental
ReelViews 8 of 10
For Marvel Enterprises, the arrival of X-Men on the big screen represents the culmination of efforts that stretch back more than 20 years. For that long, Marvel has been trying to get one of their properties - Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, or any number of others - out of the pages of a comic book and into a major motion picture. Their longtime rival, DC, did it twice - once with Superman and once with Batman - but every trip to the cinematic altar left Marvel as a jilted bride...X-Men, which features an A-list cast and a top-notch director, represents Marvel's best chance at gaining a foothold in Hollywood. If the film succeeds, they have other projects waiting in the wings, including multiple X-Men sequels (can anyone say "franchise"?). If it fails, the future of big-budget superhero movies, already uncertain in the wake of the Batman and Robin disaster, will be gloomy indeed...X-Men, helmed by Bryan Singer (whose previous credits include The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil, also with McKellen), does many more things right than it does wrong. Character development is admittedly spotty, with some individuals getting little more than token screen time, but there is enough here for us to care about the core group of mutants. The best realized personalities are Magneto, Wolverine, and Rogue. The middle ground is occupied by Professor X and Jean Grey. The flattest are Cyclops, Storm, and Magneto's henchmen...Most viewers will see X-Men as delivering what's expected of any summer movie. There are serveral in-jokes designed specifically for X-Men fans (including cameos by a number of familiar mutants, including Kitty Pride and Iceman), none of which will confound someone who has never been exposed to this world before. X-Men brings to the screen the elements that any live comic book adaptation should offer, resulting in a lightly enjoyable cinematic experience.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
The origin story is crucial to all superhero epics, from the gods of ancient Greece right down to Superman's parents. Next in importance is an explanation of superpowers: what they are, how they work. That's reasonable when there is one superhero, like Superman or the Crow, but in "X-Men," with eight major characters and more in supporting roles, the movie gets top-heavy. At the halfway mark, it has just about finished introducing the characters...That matches my experience of the "X-Men" comic books. The characters spend an inordinate amount of time accounting for themselves. Action spills across full pages as the heroes splatt and kerrruuunch each other, but the dialogue balloons are like little advertisements for themselves, as they describe their powers, limitations and motivations..."X-Men" is arguably heavy on mutants; they have a way of coming onstage, doing their tricks and disappearing. The leads are Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), whose fists sprout deadly blades; Cyclops (James Marsden), who wears a wraparound visor to control and aim his laserlike eyes; the prosaically named Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who can move objects with her mind; Storm (Halle Berry in a platinum wig), who can control the weather, and Rogue (Anna Paquin), a teenager who is new to this stuff. I can't help wondering how a guy whose knuckles turn into switchblades gets to be the top-ranking superhero. If Storm can control, say, a tropical storm, she's obviously the most powerful, even if her feats here are limited to local climate control...I started out liking this movie, while waiting for something really interesting to happen. When nothing did, I still didn't dislike it; I assume the X-Men will further develop their personalities if there is a sequel, and maybe find time to get involved in a story. No doubt fans of the comics will understand subtle allusions and fine points of behavior; they should linger in the lobby after each screening to answer questions.
- Roger Ebert