Tom Cruise headlining an action-packed summer blockbuster -- yes, we've heard this before, and it has nothing to do with the time-loop plotline at the center of his latest effort, "Edge of Tomorrow."
In this sci-fi flick, out in theaters Friday, Cruise stars as an officer fighting in a war against alien invaders who gets killed within minutes and keeps getting sent back to relive the same battle as he gets closer and closer to defeating them.
If this gives you flashbacks (no pun intended) to "Source Code" or "Groundhog Day," you're not the only one. But critics say the film is energetic, well-acted (with specific praise directed at co-star Emily Blunt, as a tough-as-nails fellow warrior) and proves Cruise still capable of shouldering the weight of a big-budget film.
Take a look at what some of the reviews had to say:
"A crafty, clever, stylish science-fiction action adventure, this time-travel loop-de-loop didn't have to be this good. But thanks to the efforts of a superb creative team and Tom Cruise -- here deploying his own persona with stunning self-awareness and humor -- what might have been a throwaway genre exercise instead turns out to be a surprisingly satisfying day-after-day-after-day at the movies." -- Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post.
"'Groundhog Day' and 'Starship Troopers' make surprisingly compatible bedfellows in 'Edge of Tomorrow,' a cleverly crafted and propulsively executed sci-fi thriller in which an untrained soldier must relive the same day over and over again -- expiring violently each time -- until he finds a way to defeat the alien marauders that have taken Earth hostage." -- Justin Chang, Variety.
"It's not the most original setup, to be sure, but what makes this particular celluloid Mobius strip bend in on itself with such seamlessness is the cheeky airtight logic of Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth's script -- and the stars. While Cruise sells the deja vu contraption with his usual single-minded determination, it's Blunt who emerges as the who-knew wild card." -- Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly.
"While the time-loop concept is ingenious, the repetition grows tedious and resembles a video game, but with murky rules. Cruise and Blunt have a measure of chemistry, however their characters go undeveloped, given short shrift amid the spectacle." -- Claudia Puig, USA Today.
"The selling point of 'Edge of Tomorrow' may indeed be seeing one of Hollywood's most divisive icons reduced to Wile E. Coyote. He's like a real-life version of the video game 'Contra,' with the code of seemingly endless life. Dying again and again, Cruise has rarely been so likable... Among countless sequels and remakes, the high-concept 'Edge of Tomorrow' -- both a Tom Cruise celebration and parody -- is the right kind of a rerun." -- Jake Coyle, Associated Press.
"Although the humor helps, the Groundhog Day-like repetition gets tedious; it makes you feel more like a hamster than a groundhog -- or rather a hamster's wheel, going round and round, over and over again." -- Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter.
"Solemn and toned to the max, Blunt proves a strong partner for an actor who can still earn the sobriquet Tom Terrific. More often than most Hollywood hunks, Cruise steps outside his comfort zone to embrace weird characters -- in 'Magnolia,' 'Lions for Lambs,' 'Tropic Thunder' and 'Rock of Ages.' But it's also cool to see him bend the familiar action-fantasy format and, as he does here, stick the landing." -- Richard Corliss, Time.
Tell us: Do you plan to see "Edge of Tomorrow"?