The Spirit


The Spirit

Critics Consensus

Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.



Total Count: 111


Audience Score

User Ratings: 122,630
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Movie Info

A resurrected cop does battle with a villain whose quest for immortality threatens an entire metropolis in Sin City creator Frank Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's acclaimed graphic novel. When a rookie cop is brutally killed and mysteriously brought back to life, he assumes the guise of The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) -- a masked crime fighter who prowls the shadows of Central City on a supernatural mission to keep the urban landscape safe. Upon discovering that his arch nemesis, The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), is determined to live forever even if it means wiping out the entire population of Central City, The Spirit must race to stop the diabolical villain from achieving his cold-blooded plan. But even with his unique powers, the brave masked crusader will face a series of deadly challenges as a bevy of treacherous beauties including deceptively sweet girl next door Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson), spitfire secretary Silken Floss (Scarlett Johansson), wraithlike siren Lorelei (Jaime King), seductive policewoman Morgenstern (Stana Katic), and French black widow Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega) set out to seduce or consume him at every turn; even The Spirit's one true love, a volatile jewel thief named Sand Saref (Eva Mendes), could ultimately destroy our hero before he accomplishes his mission of saving Central City. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Gabriel Macht
as Denny Colt/The Spirit
Samuel L. Jackson
as The Octopus
Scarlett Johansson
as Silken Floss
Eva Mendes
as Sand Saref
Sarah Paulson
as Ellen Dolan
Jaime King
as Lorelei Rox
Eric Balfour
as Mahmoud
Dan Lauria
as Commissioner Dolan
Paz Vega
as Plaster of Paris
Stana Katic
as Morgenstern
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News & Interviews for The Spirit

Critic Reviews for The Spirit

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (95)

  • As an action director Miller is almost as clumsy as Baz Luhrmann, but he's far from naïve, and presumably the delirium of The Spirit is exactly what he intended.

    Feb 13, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Every once in a while a genuine turkey escapes the coop, bereft of charm or wit, utterly lacking in technical prowess, integrity or intelligence. 'The Spirit' is such a film.

    Jan 5, 2009 | Rating: 1/6 | Full Review…
  • Miller shoots it in the inky graphic style of Sin City, but he clearly hasn't a clue how to stage a scene, or shoot it, and he singly fails to animate his actors.

    Jan 5, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Tom Charity

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Frank Miller's adaptation of the antique comic strip by Will Eisner is brash, noisy and so alarmingly ill-paced that it should, by rights, come with a software package that allows viewers to recut it as they see fit.

    Jan 5, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Xan Brooks

    Top Critic
  • What is most striking about The Spirit is how little pleasure it affords, in spite of its efforts to by sly, sexy, heartfelt and clever all at once.

    Dec 29, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/5
  • I thought it was sort of cool and corny simultaneously.

    Dec 29, 2008

Audience Reviews for The Spirit

  • Mar 17, 2014
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 05, 2013
    From Frank Miller comes the atrocious comic book film The Spirit. The story follows an immortal crime fighter who takes on a crime boss known as The Octopus, who's seeking the Blood of Heracles in order to become a god. Starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlett Johansson, the film is well cast; but their performances are cheesy and over-the-top. Miller does a good job at creating a stylish comic book aesthetic, but the writing is abysmal and kills the film. The Spirit has an interesting noir comic tone, but in the end it just doesn't work.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2011
    It's more than a bit perplexing to ponder how The Spirit came to be. Not that one should wonder how another superhero film was greenlit, for that much is obvious. But how is it that Frank Miller got to direct and write his own film? Yes, he was the co-director (allegedly) on Sin City, but so what? How much directing did he actually do on Sin City? What did he learn? I would like to suppose that he didn't learn much at all. Take one look at The Spirit, and you could see why. The Spirit, as this masked viligante is known, is a ghostly masked hero, the only man to have escaped the Angel of Death. Besides that one detail, he's just like any other hero. He has an arch-nemesis who goes by the name of The Octupus, played by Samuel L. Jackson. And just like any hero, he has women to love. One is a femme fatale anti herione, Sand Sarif (Eva Mendes) and the other is Ellan Dolan (Sarah Paulsen) the police commissioners daughter. Sand Sarif was the one that got away. She loved Denny Colt before he was the Spirit. They were close childhood friends, until her father was shot by cops. She fled to Europe to earn those riches she desperately craved and rid herself of her own identity. The biggest problem ( and there are many) is the shallowness of this effort. It's a nice film to look at, but not much else. Looking at this film with it's hyper-noir asthetic, overly reminiscent of Sin City, one get's the feeling that Miller may owe Robert Rodriquez a big royalty check. The characters aren't interesting, and the performances range from stone-faced and wooden to shrieking and hysterical over kill. And while Miller attempts to replicate the noir of his early comics, it all feels like an empty pastiche with no geniune emotion to be found.
    Brandon S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2011
    A graphic noir high tech film, written and directed by the graphic novellist Frank Miller and starring Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Dan Lauria, Paz Vega, Jaime King, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film is based on the classic newspaper comic strip The Spirit by Will Eisner(who by this movie is probably now turning himself in his tomb).This movie is an example of how a great artist like Frank Miller is turned into a poor director in a bad, bad adaptation like this.The plot is extremely ridiculous, the screenplay (incredible, but someone was payed to write this?)is totally imbecil.Only the graphic novel style cinematography escapes from this absolute crapmovie.
    Andre T Super Reviewer

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