Critical round-up: What does the world think of the Assassin’s Creed movie?

Video game movies have a sketchy reputation to say the least, from the relative high of Warcraft to the terrible, terrible lows of every Uwe Boll movie, but does the new Assassin’s Creed movie, starring Michael Fassbender, soar like an eagle or sneak away with its tail between its legs?

Our own Assassin's Creed movie review says it’s a “loving recreation” of certain parts of Ubisoft’s storied franchise (weird Animus thing notwithstanding) but, narratively, it falls flat. But don’t just take our word for it, what did the rest of the world think about Assassin’s Creed's movie debut? 

AV Club on the movie's stars

Like [Macbeth], Assassin’s Creed is most compelling when Fassbender and Cotillard whisper at each other in close proximity. Both actors have such adult intensity that their participation in a juvenile fantasy (replete with simultaneous hood-flipping and at least a half dozen dramatic dives from great heights…) becomes a source of bizarre fascination—for a little while, anyway.

IGN on the action sequences

The Spanish Inquisition sequences in Assassin's Creed are its strong suit. Aguilar (also played by Fassbender) has even less to say than Callum, but it doesn’t really matter when he’s leaping between dusty Spanish rooftops, running across ropes, and diving off Church spires. This is breathless, dizzyingly shot stuff that feels tapped directly into the vein of the game series.

The Guardian on the confusing plot

'What the fuck is going on?' mutters Michael Fassbender’s character through clenched teeth, reasonably early on in the course of this interminable film… You can imagine each of its stars – Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Essie Davis – saying much the same thing while looking through the script, before being directed to the fee on the last page of their contract. It’s an action movie, with dollops of thriller and splodges of Dan Brown conspiracy… And yet it is at all times mysteriously, transcendentally boring.

IndieWire on Assassin's Creed as a video game movie

Declaring “Assassin’s Creed” to be the best video game movie ever made is the kind of backhanded compliment that sounds like hyperbole, but the description fits the bill on both counts. Regardless of what you call this peculiar, arrestingly uninviting nonsense, the fact of the matter is that it’s the only blockbuster of 2016 that left me desperate for a sequel.

Den of Geek on the Spanish Inquisition setting

There are a few twists and turns for Callum, but you’ll want to see more of Aguilar, making it wearisome when we’re forced to jump in time to and fro. Since the main driving force of the movie - in both time periods - is a MacGuffin, couldn't we stay in the past for a bit longer? Maybe flesh out the Spanish inquisition characters into fully fledged people who all have lines? Apparently not.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.