The Grade Book: “Pacific Rim”

Pacific Rim

Plot: Humans create huge robots in order to fight off giant creatures that have emerged from the oceans. 

Director: Guillermo del Toro. 

Writers: Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro. 

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Clifton Collins Jr., and Ron Perlman. 

Genres: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy.

Running Time: 2 hours and 12 minutes.

U.S. Release Date: July 12th, 2013.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.




(Lowest Grade Given to the Film: C, Highest Grade Given to the Film: A+)

SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim could have used some character development touch-ups, but the film is mostly still a summer movie triumph — with visual effects and fight scenes that will blow you away.



  • Gabriel Alcantara (Big Gabe):

Grade: B

The best way I can describe Pacific Rim is that it’s very cool. The visual effects are some real next-level sh*t, and the fights between the Kaiju and the Jaegers are truly awesome and so exciting that I was actually getting chills. However, I was never truly invested in anything else. Not the characters, the stories, or concepts. All I really gave a damn about was the fighting and action. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all presented as a neat, little, or should I say BIG, package with some incredible sound and a hefty score. But while everyone is hyping this film to be something special, I just found it to be a cool action flick, nothing more.

  • Nick Casaletto:

Grade: B

Pacific Rim is a good old-fashioned summer blockbuster, filled with fun action, great special effects, and robots punching monsters in the face! Unfortunately, it seriously lacks in its character department. You barely know the characters, let alone their names, and they’re not very likable. The acting is sub-par at best, with a standout performance from Idris Elba. Nevertheless, when the action is in full effect, you can’t help but feel like a little kid again and marvel at the screen in joy.

  • Joe Cauwel:

Grade: B+

Del Toro has definitely delivered another awesome fantasy film. It touched my inner child in the an almost inappropriate way, and of course I loved every minute of it. The film does suffer from a couple of weak performances and an ending that felt a little too much like The Avengers. But its flaws can be easily overlooked as you lose yourself in the spectacle.

  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: B+

Campy and fun. I enjoyed the film. It could have been better but I liked it. Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, and Charlie Hunnam are really good. Guillermo del Toro brought the action out and didn’t fail. The visuals deserve heavy Oscar consideration. See this movie if you want to have fun.

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: A

This is what a summer blockbuster should always be like. I loved the film! The action was beautiful to witness, and I see Oscar nominations going to the visuals, cinematography, art direction, production design, and costumes. I do wish the story was a little tighter and more of the characters had more depth, but I can live with that since Mr. del Toro truly gave me a movie-going life-changing experience!

  • Mike Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: B

Special Effects to wet the pants, an amazing score, and likeable characters all the way around. It goes way off course into one character arc that bores us for a bit. Pacific Rim is full of feel-good summer cheesiness which either makes the film better or worse depending on your tastes.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: A
A near-perfect summer blockbuster. The point of this movie is to see giant robots fight giant monsters, and it fulfills that purpose while surpassing my expectations. The action is amazing, the CGI is perfect, and there are so many memorable scenes. Sure, I had a couple of minor complaints, such as Rinko Kikuchi’s performance and Ron Perlman’s character, but they weren’t enough to take away the fun I had with this movie.

  • Nick Iacobucci:

Grade: B-

Only because it was such an original concept and the fact that it was so big and looked so good…I would say that I liked it. It is a fun movie to watch, but it is also very, very flawed. It is, however, more fun than flawed.

  • John Maffeo:

Grade: B+
So this is a movie about “Giant Monsters Fighting Giant Robots.” It succeeds and in some aspects excels at being a larger-than-life action film. The visual effects are incredible and colorful, helping audiences become engaged in an original world designed by the auteur Guillermo del Toro. The dilemmas derive from the screenplay, plot, and characters, but when you think about it, what else did you really expect? A more significantly complex plot would have complicated an already ambitious project. This movie rules!

  • Matt Marshall:

Grade: A-

Pacific Rim is simply the visual spectacle of the summer, stuffed from start to finish with gargantuan robots clanking metal with monsters on any and all sorts of stylized playing fields. The grander the scale of the battle between “Jaeger” and “Kaiju” gets as the film progresses, naturally the following confrontation demands to be visually and creatively superior to the last. All that’s holding Pacific Rim back is its lack of character development.

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: C

While the robot and monster scenes are amazing and made my inner child jump with joy, I couldn’t help but feel that the rest of the film was an extreme letdown. While I wasn’t expecting a mind blowing plot or amazing character development, Pacific Rim lacked both dramatically. The plot was about as bad as an episode of Power Rangers and the character development was non-existent. While I love del Toro as a director, this passion project gets a 10 for being visually stunning, but a 2 for everything else.

  • William Bond Nunn:

Grade: A

I loved the hell out of this movie. While the story and most of the characters weren’t anything special, Idris Elba, the effects teams, and del Toro himself accomplished so much in this epic spectacle. It’s a movie for that 10-year-old inside you that grew up watching monster movies and cartoons that had giant robots. It’s not a deep movie, but it is a well-built world that was fun to explore and see get demolished by giant robots and monsters. IMAX 3D is definitely the way to see this film and I want to see it again. If you want great action with excellent set design, and are okay with so/so characters, then I think you will have a blast with this film.

  • Alex Perez:

Grade: A-

Sure, this movie has little to no character development, and the screenplay is definitely not the best in certain areas. But honestly, I really don’t care! Pacific Rim gave me exactly what I wanted it to: giant robots fighting giant monsters for extended periods of time, while also being able to tell a pretty interesting story and create a very cool world for us to see! Easily one of my favorite blockbusters of the summer, and Guillermo del Toro gets my thumbs up!

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: A-

All I wanted was a badass robots vs. monsters action film, but I got more than I expected. Michael Bay can take a HUGE lesson on how to do robot fight scenes from Guillermo del Toro. All of the acting was very good, but it’s the action scenes that everyone wants. See it in IMAX 3D!

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: B+

Pacific Rim isn’t the smartest sci-fi epic to come along in a while, and it could have used some more attention in the character and dialogue departments, but the film provides a ton of fun at the movies. The main concepts and diegesis for the film are really cool, and the visual effects and action scenes (which are refreshingly coherent) are incredible. What a great summer treat!

  • Jose Romero:

Grade: A+

It was everything I wanted in a summer movie and more, growing up around stuff like Gundam, Evangelion, Power Rangers, and Godzilla films. This was something I had been wanting on the big screen since I was 12. Thanks to the genius that is del Toro, I got this film and it was everything I wanted and more. The films designs for both the Jaegers and Kaiju were very well detailed. The spectacle of the film itself was on a grand scale and epic from start to finish. Sure, the plot and character development was a bit quick, but it was the right amount in order for you to care for these human characters and to acknowledge that they contribute to the film’s story. Now the stars for this film are without a doubt THE KAIJU VS JAEGER fight scenes, cause it’s what everyone was waiting for. All around, Pacific Rim was well worth the wait and it delivered what it promised to it’s movie-going audience.

  • Christian Ruvalcaba:

Grade: A+

What’s the point of this film? To see giant robots fighting giant monsters. They could have went through the route of having mindless action with zero character and a bland story. This movie is not the case whatsoever. This movie did exactly what it set out to do with a little more and more and more. As a fan of old-school monster films, this film truly lives up to those standards — but better. Watching this movie made me feel like a kid again and I had an amazing time in the theaters.

  • Callum Slater:

Grade: B+

A visually spectacular action film that knows what it is and embraces it completely. The fight scenes are stunning and exhilarating, the designs, practical effects, and the world it sets up feels genuine, and Guillermo del Toro has obviously put a lot of thought and care into crafting this movie. The script is solid, creating new takes on the age-old disaster formula, and the acting is solid, too, with Ron Perlman, Charlie Day, and Idris Elba giving great performances (even if Charlie Hunmann weakens the cast and is riddled with age-old clichés that ruins strong moments in the film). This is a damn entertaining, spectacular film.

  • Brandt Sohn:

Grade: B

A thrill ride of a monster movie that features the best visual effects of the year thus far. The action is exciting and completely satisfying as these Jaegers battle colossal monsters in attempts to save the human race. Del Toro has an incredible sense of imagination in the creation of these creatures, and the direction brings them to life in perfect fashion. The story is interesting, and the world it creates, which is not too far into the future, is believable as far as monster movies go. The lack of a lot of depth kept me from being fully engaged with the human elements, but there was enough depth that made me empathize during a couple of key scenes where it really mattered. The story becomes predictable, but manages to still be a whole lot of fun along the way. Pacific Rim is easily one of the best blockbusters of the year. If you want some serious action on an immense scale, this is your movie.

  • Delon Villanueva:

Grade: B+

An extremely satisfying and original blockbuster from director Guillermo del Toro. The movie promises to be a throwback to monster movies, anime, and childlike imagination, and it totally delivers. Del Toro clearly has invested so much time and love into this universe, and I didn’t want to leave it when the movie ended. Although the characters and the story could have used more depth, remember that this movie is a tribute to campy and visual film-making, and del Toro still manages to put enough heart in for the audience to care about what’s going on. So excited to see this again.

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