From Ain't It Cool:
Generally positive, though the reviewer himself was ambivalent. Solid acting and design. Nice action and effects. Pacing needs work. Issues with the story. But thumbs up for Jake Gyllenhaal and the rest of the cast:
The problem with this movie isn't the actors (who all speak in a quasi-british accent, but since everyone is doing it, it was fine), the pacing, the macguffin (dagger of time), or the action. The main problem lies with the script. Everything that happens in this movie is very predictable, and it being a Disney movie, you can guess the plot points well before they happen. But the problem really lies with the middle, ultimate conclusion, and the tone of the movie. Without spoiling anything, the middle is very repetitious and introduces us to some characters that really serve no purpose to the story whatsoever (Alfred Molina and crew, Hassasins).
As mentioned above, they did get many things right. The actors are all fine in their roles and there is a nice camaraderie with Dastan and his two brothers, as well as good chemistry between Dastan and Tamina. The movie was a little over two hours and it moved at a very good pace with only a couple of slow spots, but nothing really needs to be cut or added to this movie. The cinematography was good as well with some pretty epic shots that will come together nicely when the cgi is done. The action is very parkour-esque with a lot of running and jumping off of walls, etc. There is quite a lot of action, but some of it is action for action sake and doesn't serve the story, but is interesting and entertaining nonetheless. Finally, we get to the coolest part of the movie, the dagger of time. Every time the dagger is used (about three or four times throughout the film) it becomes the next bright spot of the film. It is a very cool effect and creates some very good scenes. I really wished that they had used it more in the film because it really brought the quality and creativeness up a notch.
After the film, the group was asked to raise their hands to see how many liked it, and of the 35, 30 or so raised their hands. I realize I am in the minority, but there were many families there who really enjoyed this movie. This is a movie with mass appeal, and if edited right could possibly be rated PG (there really is no violence and no swearing whatsoever). Most agreed that an 8 year old could see this film and not be troubled. Some 14 year old said it blew his mind. I just felt that I had seen this movie done better before other times and that they messed up the ending.
So a similar complaint to the earlier tweeter, but a 6/10, up from a five. And good news on the general audience response.
I imagine my reaction will match the 14 year-old's :)
Many thanks to Beaks from Ain't It Cool for the honest review.