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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.33%
Worth A Look: 19.05%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 9.52%
Total Crap38.1%

6 reviews, 48 user ratings

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by Brian McKay

"Tempis Fugeddaboutit"
3 stars

Once again, I'm visiting family for the holidays and end up getting dragged along to a movie I had no intention of ever seeing otherwise (last year it was Harry @#$% Potter). And once again, I find myself underwhelmed, although not dismayed, by the patriarchal cinematic selection.

Despite the hundreds of scathing reviews that have pelted this movie like flaming arrows, it is far from the most dismal thing I've seen in recent memory. However, to call it a "good" movie would be charitable, and I'm not in a charitable mood. Timeline is a mediocre flick, but since it's based on Michael Crichton's most mediocre novel to date, was anybody really expecting greatness?

Although it's passable popcorn-munching entertainment, Timeline is hampered by pervasively cheap costume and set design (the time machine is literally composed of smoke and mirrors) and a catapult-load of cliches. The acting is generally competent, with the exception of Paul Walker (aka "The poor man's Keanu Reeves - now with twice the wood!"). Mr. Walker distinguishes himself here, joining the infamous ranks of the "pretty boy actor types without a bloody whit of talent," whose membership roster boasts the likes of Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and current president Keanu Neo Theodore Reeves himself. Is there any doubt that the second this guy opened his mouth in medieval France with his atrociously flat intonation and rampant dude-speak, his head would be promptly stuck onto the nearest pike?

Thankfully, his supporting cast members manage to pick up some of the slack, despite their thinly developed characters and a banal script, with the extra gold stars for effort going to Frances O'connor and Gerard Butler. Billy Connolly also does a turn as Wooden Walker's dad - although why the pop would have a thick Scottish accent while the son sounds like a stoner from La Jolla is almost as mysterious as the cockamamie explanation of time-travel the film offers up (although it's no more ludicrous than the nonsensical theory Crichton used in the book).

But once you just make up your mind to shrug off the loopholes of logic and go with it, Timeline is not terribly grueling. It's not terribly thrilling either, but it has its moments of humor and a few decent action sequences that save it from complete boredom. The climactic battle sequence full of flaming arrows and trebuchet projectiles isn't bad - until you compare it to the opening scene of Gladiator or the Battle of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers - at which point it looks about as impressive as rival gangs of Renaissance Pleasure Faire geeks launching bottle rockets and flaming rolls of toilet paper at each other. But hey, what do you want for a paltry $80 mil?

It's hard to say that TIMELINE is disappointing if your expectations were never too high to begin with. Considering the critical backlash this film has already received, I'm surprised it acquitted itself as well as it did. If anything, it provides just enough medieval hack and slash to whet one's appetite for the battle of Minas Tirith in two weeks.

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originally posted: 11/29/03 08:54:11
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User Comments

11/01/12 Monday Morning I wanna go back too! But with a rifle! 4 stars
6/07/11 Silkworm Here we go again ANOTHER film about time travel 1 stars
6/26/09 KC It was awful but I still enjoyed it! Great with a few beers late at night. 3 stars
7/28/08 Vickie Johnson a little hard to follow,but very interesting!!! 5 stars
12/16/07 RLK Pretty Good Movie! I really enjoyed it 4 stars
6/25/07 Penny Loved it. It was great. Was a good action packed movie. 5 stars
4/16/07 Christop One of THE WORST MOVIES OF ALL TIME! 1 stars
11/20/06 jazz the movie was confusing yet we enjoyed least i learned some french now...hehe 4 stars
7/29/06 kat it was awesome. i loved it!!!!! 5 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz Enjoyable little time travel piece. 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Goodish film 3 stars
1/16/06 Jeff Anderson A rare misstep for Richard Donner. Amazingly cheap-looking(for a big budget)& atrocious!!!! 1 stars
10/11/05 Dan Good movie! 4 stars
9/02/05 othree "I wish i could go back in time" & not have watched it, sucks, did Disney make this?! 1 stars
8/19/05 ES Rent it and regret it 1 stars
8/16/05 tatum Nice cast in instantly forgettable film 3 stars
5/03/05 Quigley what a crap-fest! lame battles, atrocious acting, boring sci-fi - must i continue? no way! 1 stars
1/04/05 Cyberdiver I wish i could go back in time, I'd be rich when I came back. ;) 5 stars
11/01/04 Charles S. Lewis though a work of FICTION, It's an excellent movie. I enjoyed it well enough to purchase it 5 stars
10/20/04 arwen Olena this movie was not the best movieever but i enjoyed the french aspect of it 4 stars
6/09/04 Preston Gaddis HORRIBLE 1 stars
5/06/04 Olli B. Good Movie 4 stars
4/17/04 American Slasher Goddess Pretty bad, it should have been much better then what it was. 2 stars
2/09/04 Tom Cruise C'mon people i saw this movie and it was a very good movie 5 stars
2/03/04 Eloise Truely awful. The worst film i have ever seen. 1 stars
1/31/04 Outside Food Girl Isaw it for $1.50, which gives it twoextra stars right there 4 stars
1/23/04 Jenny Tullwatrz Intriguing concept; battle scenes from 1357 too chaotic and confusing, though. 3 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Paul Walker should get a Razzie nomination for his amateurish work in this bad film. 1 stars
12/26/03 Uncle Salty Come on. Really. There are no more words. 1 stars
12/13/03 Donald Fox The war scene was great. The book was better. Actors' lines were too contrived. 4 stars
12/10/03 Desperado While this movie isnt great the book is awesome, just another Chrichton novel wasted 3 stars
12/08/03 Eloise lm i have ever seen, we walked out in disgust :( 1 stars
12/08/03 alex so french are the good guys? Or this movie is biased...Plus, didn't feel like past at all! 1 stars
12/08/03 Joe Plot holes that you could drive a truck through. Characters are lemmings. 1 stars
12/07/03 crazy it was a very good movie,good story too. 5 stars
12/02/03 Setesh Godgrik At leat all the main characters were in this one 2 stars
12/02/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat What did you people expect? Paul Walker's in it!!! 1 stars
12/01/03 wesley cox horrible 1 stars
11/30/03 Marcus Yes, one of the worst movies of the decade 1 stars
11/30/03 twhmmh too many characters, not enough development 3 stars
11/30/03 Xalt Interesting story, but it felt like a lot of details were left out. Read the book too. 3 stars
11/30/03 --- I'd rather be flogged to death by Hitler then watch this movie again 1 stars
11/29/03 Tess Houck Read the book! 3 stars
11/29/03 Jack the Dagger terrible paul walker sucks ass storyline sucks everything. waste of my time and money 1 stars
11/28/03 St Olaf Swimmer So sorry I wasted money on this movie 1 stars
11/27/03 ajay pace is so quick, they gloss over loads of details. Paul Walker is so bad it's funny. 3 stars
11/27/03 Herbert Primig a bit short on plot and charachterization to be sure but action that feels exiting and real 4 stars
11/27/03 Frank Lynch I want my $6 back 1 stars
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  26-Nov-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Apr-2004



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