March 6th, 2009

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Still of Dave Gibbons in WatchmenStill of Matthew Goode in WatchmenMaggie Grace at event of WatchmenStill of Patrick Wilson in WatchmenStill of Jackie Earle Haley in WatchmenStill of Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen

In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 7.7/10 (190,035 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Zack Snyder

Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino

In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated. The reunited heroes set out to prevent their own destruction, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot.

Writers: David Hayter, Alex Tse

Malin Akerman - Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II
Billy Crudup - Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman
Matthew Goode - Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias
Jackie Earle Haley - Rorschach
Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Edward Blake / Comedian
Patrick Wilson - Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl
Carla Gugino - Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
Matt Frewer - Moloch
Stephen McHattie - Hollis Mason
Laura Mennell - Janey Slater
Rob LaBelle - Wally Weaver
Gary Houston - John McLaughlin
James M. Connor - Pat Buchanan (as James Micheal Connor)
Mary Ann Burger - Eleanor Clift
John Shaw - Doug Roth

Taglines: We were supposed to make the world a better place.


Official Website: Official site [France] | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 6 March 2009

Filming Locations: Bloedel Floral Conservatory, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $55,214,334 (USA) (8 March 2009) (3611 Screens)

Gross: $185,258,983 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (Director's Cut)  | (Ultimate Cut)

Did You Know?

When Patrick Wilson was offered the role of Dan Dreiberg he called one of his best friends who is a huge comic book fan and asked him what he knew about the Watchmen comic. He told Patrick that if Patrick was ever to do a superhero movie that this was the one to do. Having got the part, Patrick invited his friend to visit the set when filming the prison escape scene.

Errors in geography: In the scenes on Mars, two moons of approximately the same size as ours can be seen in the sky. However, the larger moon, Phobos, is 1/4 the apparent size of our moon when viewed from Mars, the other moon, Deimos, is much smaller - 5% of our moon's apparent size. Neither moon is as spherical as depicted, nor clearly visible from the surface.

Jon Osterman: I'm disappointed in you, Adrian! Very disappointed! Re-assembling myself was the first trick I learned as Dr Manhattan!

User Review

Get in line now......

Rating: 10/10

Screened FRebruary 23 for Australian Media.

There's no reason for me to expect I was going to like Watchmen. I knew the cast was interesting - Patrick Wilson has made smart film choices that don't rely on or intentionally subvert his good looks (Hard Candy, Little Children); Jackie Earle Haley was icky in Little Children (and I'm old enough to remember him from Breaking Away); Malin Akerman is cute but 28 Dresses and The Heartbreak Kid do not a superhero make; Jeffery Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode - ??? And director Zack Snyder did cool things with zombies in Dawn Of The Dead and made a wild and wacky movie in 300, which totally indicated his third film was probably going to be worth a look, know, whatever...

So they all signed up for Watchmen - based on a comic bo...sorry, graphic novel...that I'd never read and that was coming to theatres less than a year after Ironman and The Dark Knight had redefined how good superhero movies could (and should, from here on in) aspire to be.

That Watchmen has turned out to be the most complex, exhilarating and deeply-moving fantasy film since Terry Gilliam's Brazil surprises nobody on Earth more than me - and, man, did it surprise.

In equal measure, it is a) an inspired vision of an alternate world that echoes but redefines our own existence; b) a subversive yet bracingly humanistic exploration of the role of the superhero in modern literature, c) a supremely adult take on the fetishistic pull of the heightened existence that life as a saviour of society creates, and d) a wildly exciting adventure story that turns normal people into exaggerated victims of their own creation and then back into mere humans.

An exploration of the plot would reveal more vast themes, but at this early stage of its release I don't want to risk lessening the experience for anyone.

I can reveal this - Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach create characters every bit as captivating (and deserving of Oscar recognition) as Heath Ledger's Joker; Malin Akerman makes an entrance to the world of superhero timelessness that will be the fantasy of every teenage boy, aged 15 to 50; and from the flawless art direction, set design and special effects to a mesmerising soundtrack, Watchmen is a film that revels in the perfection of minor details.

Be warned - those expecting Spiderman-like teen-angst or Fantastic Four-like silliness will be stunned, perhaps not quite sure of what they have found. Watchmen is an extraordinarily mature, risky project for Hollywood to role the dice on, especially given similarly-complex explorations of social collapse and vigilantism (V For Vendetta, most specifically) have failed to do blockbuster numbers.

But Watchmen is something special and deserving of analysis and discussion. As bold an attempt at commercial film-making as I can remember, Watchmen is an undeniably unique movie experience - rich, perverse, violent and resonant.

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