65 Reviews Are Here, And The Critics Don’t Hate Adam Driver’s Dinosaur Movie, They’re Just Disappointed

Adam Driver in 65.
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

It seems like there’s a lot to like about Adam Driver’s new movie, 65. The Star Wars actor plays the pilot Mills, who, along with Ariana Greenblatt as Koa, finds himself 65 million years in the past and forced to use futuristic weapons against the dinosaurs and other deadly threats. Audiences who were paying attention to the Super Bowl LVII commercials got a peek at what to expect from this sci-fi action, which is in theaters now.

Reviews are in for the prehistoric thriller, and while Jurassic Park meets Alien sounds like an intriguing enough idea in theory, the critics seem to mostly have a different opinion. Let’s see what they have to say, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of 65. Eric Eisenberg rates the movie 2 stars out of 5, wondering how a movie with such a high concept could turn out to be so dull? He says the movie is more “disappointing” than “awful,” but at least “awful” would be interesting. Eisenberg continues: 

Instead of featuring Adam Driver dramatically and creatively fighting for survival and escape while using extraterrestrial technology to fight off our world’s carnivorous, monstrous lizards, the movie settles for developing overused plot devices and character dynamics to unfurl a familiar story with nothing identifiably original to offer audiences.

Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com echoes the above question: How could this movie possibly be boring? The critic rates the movie 1.5 stars out of 4, arguing that directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods would have been better off leaning into the silliness of it all. Lemire says: 

The creatures can be startling at times, but at other times they look so cheesy and fake, they’re like the animatronics you’d see at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. And yet! It almost would have been better—or at least more entertaining—if 65 had leaned harder into that silliness, if it had played with the basic ridiculousness of mixing complex technology with the Cretaceous period.

Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times calls 65 a “thudding hack job,” on par with watching someone on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal. But like the above reviews, this critic agrees it’s more boring than bad, saying: 

Is 65 a hall-of-fame bad movie? No, and that may be its problem. It’s just pedestrian dumb and dull. It drops humans from eons away and ago into an extinction-level event, and instead of being full-on weird and wondrous about it, prefers to be utterly imitative and complacent. Way to extinguish yourself.

Todd Gilchrist of Variety says the movie feels cobbled together from numerous films that came before, including Jurassic Park, The Descent and Armageddon, and therefore fails to break new ground. However, the critic says staging, shadows and misdirection contribute to the dinosaurs being frightening, and the movie comes together thanks to its star. The review continues: 

Yet anchored by another in a series of committed performances from Adam Driver and an ensemble of suitably menacing prehistoric beasts that chase him for just over 90 minutes, Beck and Woods’ adventure delivers requisite thrills even if its creativity seems stuck in the distant cinematic past.

Belen Edwards of Mashable agrees that it isn't all bad, saying he fully embraced 65's ridiculousness and had the time of his life: 

Even though the film's premise is out there, Driver approaches the role of Mills with his usual combination of intense commitment and physicality, and perhaps that's why I ended up so invested in Mills and Koa's journey. The way these two fight tooth and nail through every obstacle Earth throws at them is oddly inspiring, to the point that my most cynical 65 thoughts fell to the wayside. Sure, a space-tinged dinosaur thriller sounds bananas, but I choose to embrace it. Adam Driver does indeed fight dinosaurs, and although it is indeed flawed, it is also pretty awesome.

While the ratings for 65 fall on the lower end overall, this movie may be right up your alley, especially if you can do like the last critic and just embrace the core concept. If you’re interested in seeing this one in theaters, you can check it out now, and be sure to also take a peek at our 2023 movie release schedule to see what other films are headed to the big screen soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.