Customer Reviews


505 Reviews
5 star:
 (210)
4 star:
 (155)
3 star:
 (79)
2 star:
 (35)
1 star:
 (26)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


159 of 197 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Bay's Best Ever
This movie, because it's a "Summer, Sci-Fi/Action" flick, will probably do extremely well at the box office, if for no other reason than the fact that Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are in the cast. Regrettably, however, even after it's been out for awhile it will probably never reach as wide and diverse an audience as it deserves until it's release on DVD, when--...
Published on July 23, 2005 by Reviewer

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wildly uneven but with a great deal of potential
Set in the year 2019, "The Island" provides yet another dystopian view of the future, one in which mankind must grapple with ethical questions specifically related to how he will use the technology he's created. In this case, it has to do with human cloning and how far we are willing to go to prolong our own hitherto limited life spans - and at whose expense...
Published on July 8, 2006 by Roland E. Zwick


‹ Previous | 1 251 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

159 of 197 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Bay's Best Ever, July 23, 2005
This movie, because it's a "Summer, Sci-Fi/Action" flick, will probably do extremely well at the box office, if for no other reason than the fact that Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are in the cast. Regrettably, however, even after it's been out for awhile it will probably never reach as wide and diverse an audience as it deserves until it's release on DVD, when-- hopefully-- positive word of mouth recommendations will lead those who usually avoid this particular genre to it. Because "The Island," directed by Michael Bay, is a cautionary, thought-provoking tale set in the not-so-distant future that holds a mirror up to our current society and poses some serious questions about moral judgement and how unmitigated secrecy on the part of institutions and those we "should" be able to trust affects us all on a daily basis that is especially relevant in today's world.

The story concerns the survivors of a "contamination" who must dwell within a seemingly sterile, self-contained city where their happiness is paramount to those in charge, while at the same time their only hope for the future is to be the next lottery winner, which would afford them a one-way ticket to the last uncontaminated place on earth, The Island. And to tell it, director Bay, no stranger to action films with such offerings as "The Rock," "Armageddon" and "Bad Boys I&II" under his belt, has drawn upon myriad other classics of the genre and used the collective threads to successfully weave his own story and imprint it with the kind of metaphor that elevates it beyond the next action sequence or explosion. A comparison to "Logan's Run" goes without question, along with an obvious nod to "Blade Runner," a smattering of "The Matrix" and even a pinch of "Star Wars." Which is not to say this is a "copy" of any of those; it definitely is not. Bay has merely-- and wisely-- drawn upon some of the more successful elements of those films, and in most instances expanded upon them, to deliver a memorable film that far surpasses the genre's usual board of fare.

Arguably, this is Michael Bay's best overall film to date. Though he has demonstrated in the past that he knows how to do action, he has outdone even himself with this one. There is one heart-stopping scene, for example, involving a number of vehicles and helicopters that eclipses even the highly touted freeway sequence of the second "Matrix" film. The F/X are top notch, and once the action begins in earnest, he sets a pace that builds the excitement without allowing it to lay or lapse even for a second, right up to the very end. Add to that the fact that this film really has something to say, and it will make you appreciate what Bay and his company of actors and technicians have accomplished here even more.

Ewan McGregor is perfectly cast as Lincoln Six Echo, using his boyish charm, good looks and manner to lend the necessary credibility of innocence to his character. The charismatic Scarlett Johansson finds just the right note, as well, to bring her character, Jordan Two Delta, to life. Bay gives each of his actors, in turn, a moment in which to define their respective characters and underscore the plausibility of the film, and when that time comes they each succeed in a way that sustains the interest in the story beyond the action and the F/X. Excellent performances by both McGregor and Johansson.

In a supporting role, Steve Buscemi adds color to the proceedings as McCord, the man with the answers to a number of questions Lincoln Six has been asking about their environment and way of life; questions to which others in positions of authority respond with guarded circumspection, among them Merrick, one of the apparent caretakers of the city. Played by Sean Bean, Merrick is one of the pivotal characters of the film, and while Bean's performance is decent, it lacks the nuance that could have taken it to a much higher level. As it is, while effective to an extent, it is a fairly lackluster and generic portrayal.

The excellent supporting cast includes Michael Clarke Duncan (Starkweather); Ethan Phillips (Jones Three Echo); Brian Stepanek (Gandu Three Echo); Noa Tishby (Community Announcer); and Siobhan Flynn (Lima One Alpha). For most, "The Island" will be an exciting summertime diversion; but for those who pay attention to the underlying social and political significance of the story, the rewards will most likely exceed any and all expectations. And that's the magic of the movies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


123 of 152 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better films you will see this summer...honestly!, July 29, 2005
I hate Michael Bay. I have hated everything he has ever done. I can't stand his explosions and car chases over plot mentality. Even though "The Island" had many of these same qualitites, and it was just a redo of "Logan's Run," I still loved it!

(Minor spoilers ahead)

The story centers around two clones: Lincoln 6 Echo (McGregor) and Jordan 2 Delta (Johansson) - aren't those the coolest names ever?!! - who dwell in a futuristic utopian society. It's much like Orwell's "1984," in which everything is controlled, programmed and run by an unseen force. In this case it's a sinister doctor - masterfully played by Sean Bean - who is the "God" over the clones. Now, the clones go about their daily life, oblivious to the fact that they live underground and that their entire existent is a lie. You see, in the future, clones are grown and harvested and kept in this underground habitat. The clones only purpose is to provide vital organs to the real people that they were cloned from. For example, if you needed a liver transplant, they would grow a clone (which takes 12 months) and then take the healthy liver from the clone. Of course, the clone would have to be disposed of, which brings up an interesting moral dilemma of a side plot - would you take an organ from a clone of yourself to help you live? Don't be so quick to say no! Unfortunately, these clones have no idea that they are not real, as they have been brought up to believe that they are the survivors of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Their only chance to leave is if they win the lottery, and they are selected to travel to 'the island' - a mythical realm which happens to be the only non-contaminated place left on Earth.

The obvious question is asked, well why didn't anyone ever figure out that their life is a lie? The film answers this by stating that the clones are only schooled to a 9th grade education - no higher level thinking skills are ever developed. It's a rather interesting solution to the problem.

Much to the chagrin of the cloning industry, L6E discovers that the lottery isn't real, and neither is the island paradise. This is simply just a way of taking the clone that is needed to provide their vital organs to their host. L6E and J2D decide to escape from their environment to venture into the unknown, and thus our movie is off and running. Sounds pretty complex for a Michael Bay film doesn't it?

Well, after the two clones are on the run the movie basically turns into one extended action scene after the next - keep an eye out for the fantastic sequence in which train wheels are dumped off a back of a truck by the clones to thwart a persuit by the agents persuing them. Eventually the clones decide to seek out their hosts, in the hopes of alerting the public to the injustice of the cloning industry.

(End minor spoilers)

I love the fact that this film makes an almost seemless transition from sci-fi film to action film back and forth. The film slowed down when it needed to and got loud and noisy in the appropriate places. All in all, I felt that the film was the most exciting and entertaining sci-fi film since the original "Matrix." I would highly recommend this to fans of sci-fi films and action pics. In a summer of completely disappointing films - aside from the glorious return of Batman - this film is truly a refreshing surprise. Big explosions, car chases, attractive leading stars and some distant semblance of a plot help to make this film more than the average Michael Bay film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wildly uneven but with a great deal of potential, July 8, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Island (DVD)
Set in the year 2019, "The Island" provides yet another dystopian view of the future, one in which mankind must grapple with ethical questions specifically related to how he will use the technology he's created. In this case, it has to do with human cloning and how far we are willing to go to prolong our own hitherto limited life spans - and at whose expense.

Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson are two young people living in a hermetically sealed world after some sort of global "contamination" has ostensibly rendered the majority of the outside world uninhabitable (all except an island paradise that the people living here can travel to if they are lucky enough to win it as a prize in a lottery). Recently, however, McGregor has come to question many of the "truths" he sees in the world around him, wondering if there isn't some other, more sinister and diabolical explanation than the one he has been given by the powers-that-be, who monitor and run virtually every aspect of not only his life but the lives of those living and working alongside him.

Watching "The Island" is a bit like riding on a train that runs along smoothly for the most part, yet keeps jumping off the tracks at frequent and inconvenient intervals. You eventually arrive at where you're going, but there's an awful lot of frustration and delay in getting there. When the screenplay concentrates on the moral and ethical implications raised by its brave-new-world premise, the film is often incisive, thoughtful and compelling. Yet, as this is a Michael Bay film, the audience can't be allowed to become TOO thoughtful, so the filmmaker loads on one lame action scene after another to the point where the issues become buried under all the pyrotechnics. Every so often those issues manage to rise again to the surface only to be pushed back down by seemingly endless high speed car chases, earsplitting explosions and shattering glass that cascades in slow motion streams onto hero, villain and innocent bystander alike.

McGregor and Johansson aren't given much to do in the way of acting in the film, but Steve Buscemi manages to create something of a genuine character in the few scenes he is given. The art direction and set design are highly impressive and the over-the-top action scenes are admittedly well mounted and executed, even though they wind up weakening the movie. Yet, just when you're about to give up on it, "The Island" manages to climb back onto the rails and get you interested in it again. That's actually something of a step forward for Mr. Bay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed movie about profound human life issues, October 19, 2005
This review is from: The Island (DVD)
I agree this movie didn't receive the promotion and good reviews it deserved and I think I know why. Hollywood loves an action film and Michael Bay certainly delivered the action. Almost mind-numbingly so. But between the scenes of mayhem, the movie quietly addressed some profound issues about human life. Slavery, abortion, eugenics, stem cell and other human genetic research, the Holocaust, almost any subject that deals with the questions of when is something (or someone) alive? when is it considered human? when does it deserve to continue? and, most importantly, who gets to decide? The ending was decidedly, for lack of a better term, PRO-life. By that I mean it came out on the side of "when in doubt, err on the side of life." (And I enjoyed the "Lincoln freeing the slaves" metaphor of the ending.)

Hollywood may love action and mayhem but its postmodernist worldview is definitely NOT pro-life. To sacrifice the weak and helpless so that the strong can live longer or better or without complications is something that has become accepted without thought and Hollywood bears some responsibility for this. Movies and television are the primary medium for storytelling for our time. It is able to shape and pass on worldviews the way storytelling has for millenia. Perhaps even more powerfully because of the technology, music and popularity of the stars. Because of this, I think movies that ask questions and at least attempt give both sides of an argument, which The Island did reasonably well, can help us to think long and hard about what we are doing, what we believe and why we believe it.

Hollywood usually only gives one side or so stacks the deck in favor of one side as to make it inevitable that we will accept the worldview they want to promote. I happened to see The Island the same week I rented Million Dollar Baby. MDB stacks the deck so powerfully in favor of the one side that it manipulates the viewer emotionally into accepting one character killing another character as a good thing. Even though I recognized what the filmmakers were doing, my emotions were still effected. Seeing the two movies within days of each other was quite a contrast.

Hollywood will still make movies from the postmodernist worldview, and I'll even enjoy many of them. But it's refreshing to have movies that present the other side of the issues in an entertaining and respectful manner. I hope that we will see more movies with the worldview of The Island and that those of us who share that worldview will make a point to go out and see them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be bought from Amazon UK for less the $25US incl. ship!, January 31, 2009
By 
This review is from: The Island [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I really liked this movie and have hoped it would come to blu ray in the US. After some research I found that I could get it from amazon.uk for less than $25US, and that includes shipping. Got mine in less than a week! It plays fine on my PS3 and believe it is region free. Hope this review helps anyone else interested in this awesome sci-fi flick.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Science Fiction, February 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Island [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is an exceptional movie, great acting, and tight plot. This will not dissapoint, as it carries various subtle messages so as to lead the viewers in various directions with the plot, making the entire production very entertaining and mentally stimulating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Ewans are better than one, July 22, 2005
By 
Melissa Niksic (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The big thing about "The Island" is...there is no island. It's just a ploy to lure unsuspecting clones to their deaths. The year is 2014 and a corporation has developed a method to produce human clones. The clones have been led to believe that the Earth has been contaminated, which is why they're all being quarantined indoors. Every so often the facility has a lottery drawing, and one lucky winner is offered the chance to go to "the island," which is supposedly the one place on the planet that hasn't been destroyed.

One of the clones, Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) finally discovers the truth when his friend Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) is chosen as a lucky lottery winner...in order to protect her from being killed, he convinces her to break out of the facility and find out the truth behind their existence. A man who Lincoln befriended at the facility (Steve Buschemi) informs the clones that they are only several years old and have been implanted with the memories of their "owners"...filthy rich people who paid a fee of $5 million apiece to have clones provided as "insurance policies."

Unfamiliar with their new surroundings, Lincoln and Jordan set off to find their owners and enlist their help in bringing down the cloning facility. They manage to avoid being captured killed by the facility cronies, the FBI, and the LAPD, and Lincoln finally comes face to face with his owner, Tom Lincoln (also played by Ewan McGregor). Unfortunately for Lincoln, his owner isn't thrilled about the fact that his insurance policy just wandered into his living room, and Lincoln and Jordan have to take it upon themselves to try and stop the mastermind of the cloning facility (Sean Bean) from killing more innocent "copies."

"The Island" is both a great action/sci-fi movie and a very emotional story about two people who are forced to examine the purpose and validity of their own existence. McGregor and Johannson deliver superb performances and have great onscreen chemistry. I also enjoyed the chemistry that McGregor has with...himself! The scenes between Lincoln and Tom were very enjoyable. (It would have been nice to see Jordan's character encounter her owner in person, but the movie is over 2.5 hours long, so there really wasn't any room for extra footage.) The cinematography is also very impressive: in typical Michael Bay style, many of the scenes flash by in extremely fast sequences, which is unique and really sets the film apart from other action movies.

In an age where cloning is a very hot topic, "The Island" definitely raises some interesting questions. There are a few cheesy moments in the film (such as when Sean Bean borrows a line from Cliff Huxtable in "The Cosby Show"...that was so lame!), and the first 40 minutes of the movie drag a bit. Things pick up quickly when Lincoln and Jordan finally manage to escape the cloning facility: from then on it's nothing but non-stop action and adventure.

Overall, "The Island" is a very interesting sci-fi thriller, and those are pretty hard to come by these days. Fans of McGregor and Johansson will be treated to great performances by two very fine actors, and the plot will give you plenty to talk about when you go out for drinks after the film. :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Island is worth finding., July 25, 2005
What happens when you combine three great actors, a thought provoking plot, and hollywood action sequences?

You get the thinking man's summer blockbuster- The Island. Other than Batman Begins, this is by far the best action movie I've seen in awhile. I have a feeling its not going to get the recognition it deserves- much like Scarlett Johansson actually, although this isn't her most difficult role, she still pulls it off. Steve Buscemi is fascinating as always, one of my favorite actors. And Ewan McGregor is delicious to watch- he has this tough innocent quality to him that makes him so watchable as an actor.

I don't know if I've ever experienced the dead silence after a movie that I did in the theatre after viewing The Island. Everyone just sat there for a moment... and then quietly got up, and filed out. And it wasn't disgust, or dislike, it was the quiet of thought. Of people mulling over what they just saw- thinking about issues such as the value of life, the pros and cons of cloning, and both the cruelty and strength of human beings. There are major questions posed under the surface of The Island that you may either ignore and enjoy an action movie, or ponder and digest long after the flickering of the projector has faded.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Copy, But Still a Pretty Good and Entertaining One, July 23, 2005
Originality is not Michael Bay's strength, but having said that, I find his latest film 'The Island' fairly entertaining Sci-fi action. You can call it a copycat of another films in the past -- 'Logan's Run''Blade Runner''The Sixth Day' etc. -- the list would be a very long one, but that doesn't mean that this film is not worth watching. And surely Michale Bay knows how to make good actions.

The film can be divided into two parts. In the first, you see Ewan McGregor as "Lincoln Six-Echo" in tight white costume wake up from a bad dream. Living in some big institute managed by wards in uniform, everyday Lincoln is medically checked, is told to do certain things like putting colored substances into tubes, and is curiously attracted to "Jordan Two-Delta," a beautiful blonde female played by Scarlett Johansson though it is strictly prohibited by the authority to touch each other. But why these rules?

The secrets are not really secrets to many of you, and you may find the first 30 minutes pretty dull -- I did -- but anyway, the inmates in this building believe that the world outside is 'contaminated,' and only a few selected ones can go to 'The Island' the ultimate paradise left on the earth.

Of course, we know better, and Jordan and Lincoln, once outside the sanctuary after seeing the truths behind the place, have to survive the fight against the bounty hunters. And in Bay's film, the survival means lots of actions -- chases involving cars, bikes, and choppers; shoot-outs, and hanging from the high building.

The actors are all good, though typecast. They include Michael Clarke Duncan (only in a few scenes), Sean Bean (in his typical villain mode), Djimon Hounsou, and Steve Buscemi who gives some good laughs when opening his closet in his home.

The film's time is set in near future, about 15 years from now, but the production designs, collecton of pieces from another sfi-fi films, are not convincing enough to convey the touch of the futuristic world. But you should know that it's a Michael Bay film, and in his films, like in 'Pearl Harbor,' accuracy means nothing. It's actions that really count, and they are reasonably done.

So is it good? It depends. 'The Island' has good actions, thrills, and a few disturbing moments (thanks to the role of Michael Clarke Duncan), but it does not mean Michael Bay did something new. But he knows what he is doing, and he did it better than before.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Transfer of a Morality Action Tale, January 28, 2013
By 
David W. Jones (Palatine, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Island [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This review is for the blu-ray transfer only, not the film itself. The blu-ray edition of The Island is superb. Sharp details and rich colors turn this film into total "eye candy." The special effects are virtually seamless--it is hard to tell where the reality stops and the CGI begins. The sound is excellent. If you like this movie and are considering an upgrade from DVD, it is worth it, provided that you can find it for a decent price.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 251 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Island
The Island by Michael Bay (DVD - 2005)
$12.98 $9.89
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.