Bumblebee

 (24,523)
6.71 h 53 min2018X-RayPG-13
Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.
Directors
Travis Knight
Starring
Hailee SteinfeldJorge Lendeborg Jr.
Genres
AdventureActionKids
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Producers
Don MurphyTom DesantoLorenzo Di BonaventuraMichael BayMark VahradianSteven SpielbergBrian GoldnerChris Brigham
Studio
Paramount Pictures
Rating
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

24523 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

H. BalaReviewed in the United States on December 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
"That thing's not safe to drive. It's a death trap. She's happy, though."
Walking into the theater to see BUMBLEBEE, I was mad at myself, mad for getting suckered in again. Every time I thought I was dunzo with this franchise, out comes a snazzy trailer to hook me back in, and I'd go, "Maybe this is the good one."

But, yes, Virginia, this is the good one. I feel that BUMBLEBEE needs to be a box office win if we want more of this sort of quality storytelling in the Transformers franchise, if we want Michael Bay, that awful bogeyman, to keep on keeping his hands off. Thank goodness for new director, Travis Knight, who directed the fantastic animated KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and who once played center for the L.A. Lakers. Okay, that was probably a different Travis Knight. But BUMBLEBEE is a triumph, and maybe that's not saying much, given that the bar's been set so low. But the difference between it and the other five movies is just simply, um, Bay and Knight. So sorry.

Bay always had a knack for producing visual spectacles. He sucked at storytelling. What Knight does so smartly is he reduces the scope of the narrative to a more intimate level. In BUMBLEBEE, the jeopardy is kept localized to a small Cali town. And want to know something screwy? Knight puts in the time to insert character work. How crazy is that? Hailee Steinfeld does in one movie what Shia LaBeouf was hard pressed to do in three movies, which is make his character engaging enough that viewers become invested. Hailee's character, Charlie, forms a connection with Bumblebee that is more genuine and emotional than any of the relationships built up by the characters in the preceding five installments, and this includes Sam Witwicky.

Hailee plays Charlie Watson who mucks around in the coastal town of Brighton Falls, somewhere near San Fran. It's the year 1987, and Charlie is one of those teens that other teens don't want to hang with. She's surly and odd and keeps to herself. Charlie misses her dad so much. She resents her mom for having moved on with a new beau in her life.

She's having a very rough 18th birthday. She wants a car so bad; she's that desperate to be more independent. She hangs out at this junkyard where her car mechanic skills are appreciated. She's pretty good. She's got a good enough in with the crusty proprietor that, for her birthday, he lets her have that busted-up yellow bug she found rusting away under some tarp. This is how Charlie met Bumblebee.

Is this movie perfect? No, son, it's got flaws. Some cringe-worthy melodrama. A dispensable love interest. Logical disconnects provided by government figures whose decisions don't make sense and are there merely to advance the plot. A John Cena whose one-note acting had me believing he thinks he's still in a Michael Bay movie. John Cena plays a military heavy who, to give him his propers, does end up with the movie's best line.

If you're a fan of the original cartoon, you'd best be geeking out at how this movie keeps faith with the cartoon's visual aesthetic and sound. BUMBLEBEE returns to the characters' classic look. I love it that Bee goes around in his original Volkswagen Beetle form. I like how clean the Autobots and Decepticons look, their skirmishes no longer a confusion of indistinguishable robot body parts. This also renders the action beats easier to track.

So, the action's terrific, no worries. The conflict is generated by Bumblebee's being a fugitive on Earth, charged by Optimus with safeguarding our blue marble until the rest of the Autobots arrive. Not that I gave a what about that. I was more caught up in Charlie and Bee's interplay. A few negligible side stories about other characters are tossed in, but, mostly, there's incredible focus on our two main characters. Yep, no one's trying to be subtle with the IRON GIANT/E.T. parallels, but no one's salty about that because Charlie and Bee's story is executed so well, and we instantly care about their friendship and their safety. The dynamics between them just pop. And if I can add one more parallel, there's an element of John Hughes here, as well. Charlie could pass for a prototypical Hughes teenager, misunderstood and awkward and lonely and desperately seeking to connect. Hailee inhabits this role so naturally.

4.5 out of 5 stars for this one. It goes all in, in capturing the 1980s zeitgeist. It drops so many period-appropriate pop culture references. Prepare for an awesome bombardment of the 1980s soundtrack. Folks wonder if BUMBLETEE ties into the continuity of the first five movies, and, sadly, it's lookin' like yes. But it's still not too late to go the route of the latest HALLOWEEN movie. It's a potent sequel that asks you to ignore all the other HALLOWEEN sequels and to keep only the original as canon. Maybe we can do that here. There has to be a world where Michael Bay never laid hands on this franchise.
339 people found this helpful
SilverscarfReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
The movie the Transformers franchise desperately needed.
Saw this this weekend because I was actually really excited for it. But I'll be up front, we were actually going to try and see Aquaman at this particular time, but the showing we wanted was sold out, so we decided to watch this for now instead, something we were only a little less excited for, and I'm actually really glad we saw this instead. I'm not a big Transformers fan by any means, I've really only seen the movies and sort of enjoyed them over the years, but lately I just don't really care anymore, especially after The Last Knight which I well and truly hate. But this movie won me over pretty much from the beginning with the trailers and I did really want to see it in the theaters. And this is a good movie. It's really funny, but not in the raunchy way that the other movies are. It has good action, but not the visual overload of the other movies. It has a nice story that's focused and makes sense and doesn't lose it five minutes in, something that the other movies never really had, at least not since maybe the first one. The soundtrack is great, filled with tons of great rock and pop classics that are well used throughout the film. And Hailee Steinfeld plays a great lead. Is it a perfect movie? No, probably not. But it is fun to watch, it's light and enjoyable, and doesn't overly concern itself with the Transformers universe at large. Though I really hope they're planning on continuing with this direction for the franchise, I think audiences have perhaps had enough of Michael Bay's take on things, he was just a producer for this movie and it worked out well. This sort of soft rebooted things with how they wrote the story, so there's all the potential now. Overall I think a lot of people will really like this movie, it's well made, well written, fun to watch, it has a decent amount of fan service as well, and that's all anybody could really ask for from this franchise anymore.
121 people found this helpful
Alan RamirezReviewed in the United States on January 7, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
"Bumblebee" brings Transformers back to life
After horrible sequels done by Michael Bay I was thinking: "should I bother with Bumblebee?". I'm glad I did as soon as I saw that someone else was directing it, and I'm even saying it's one of the biggest surprises of the year.

Bumblebee's biggest strength is that it bothers to build a story that makes sense (a rarity on this franchise!), it delivers heart-warming moments and makes you care for the characters. I didn't believe that a film of the Transformers franchise would have me "aww-ing" or rooting for a car-robot thingy.

As soon as all that is established, the good Transformers action starts, so if you're a long-time fan you won't be disappointed. I consider myself a casual viewer and I was stunned by how well the 80's were represented but how everything at the same time feels fresh and new. I also appreciated how well the use of CGI was properly done and not OVERUSED as it was in the past, and Hailee Steinfeld proves that she has the ability to portray a cookie-cutter character that is not as stereotypical as it might seem at the beginning.

"Bumblebee" definitely makes me have hope on this franchise and who knows? Maybe I'll check out the next one for how good this movie was!
114 people found this helpful
J. Kent LaytonReviewed in the United States on April 3, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sizing up the 4K HDR format and the film.
Verified purchase
Back in 2007, Michael Bay invented the Transformers film franchise as we know it. The first film wowed audiences with its stunning special effects, fast-paced and often hysterical dialogue, quick-cut editing, and robots that felt like people. Each sequel felt bigger than the first in terms of mass destruction, peril, and stunning effects. By the time "The Last Knight" hit theaters, things moved so fast that you almost couldn't see what was happening, and the plot was sometimes transparently thin. Still good fun, but not much to think about. Audiences were divided, and many came away saying Michael Bay should leave the franchise.

Bumblebee is the first Transformers film not directed by Michael Bay, although Bay stayed on as a producer, as did Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. First, let me size up the sound and picture on the 4K release. Then I'll have a few comments regarding the film (spoiler-free).

SIZING UP THE 4K HDR PICTURE (2 stars -- bad disc?):
I am a stickler for picture quality. In fact, I am one of the old plasma TV guys who has only just recently made a transition to a very high-end SONY Bravia 4K (backlit) LED. (OLED is still burning in and I don't believe those sets are ready for being daily-watched on any content that has a banner, logo, or anything else. I've seen the burn in patterns myself, and I've heard even worse horror stories from people who liked watching the Animal Planet or HGTV and now have the logos permanently.)

My main complaint about most LED televisions these days is what is called "light bloom" -- a bright light source that creates an unintended white haze or halo around an object when there is shadowing or a dark background. Once you've seen it, you can never unsee it. Fortunately, my new SONY is a real beast at minimizing "light bloom". It is there sometimes in the most severe circumstances, but not enough to drive me nuts. (I compared top-end LED TVs from Samsung, LG, and other companies and dismissed them in favor of the SONY, btw). In the last six months or so, I have been expanding my 4K HDR collection, even replacing some of my older standard blu-rays and comparing them to see what is being accomplished with the HDR effects.

One of the things that I've begun noticing about HDR discs is that they seem to be engineered to minimize the light bloom on LED TVs. Blacks are darker and richer, and light bloom is minimized over the same scenes on standard blu-rays. However, I have also begun to notice that some HDR transfers are more effective at minimizing bloom than others.

In short, the 4K HDR on this disc works flawlessly in some spots, and *very* badly in others. The opening scenes on Cybertron are stunning. However, throughout much of the rest of the movie, the "light bloom" effect is terrible. After watching this film in 4K, I put in the 2007 Transformers film in 4K HDR format, and that 12-year-old film actually accomplished what HDR should do MUCH better. It had darker blacks and richer hues than the brand new movie, played on the same equipment in a pitch-dark room. This simply should not be.

AUDIO (3 stars -- bad disc?):
The audio on this disc was quite good, with one *shockingly irritating* flaw: there was a lag in the audio that placed it a some milliseconds behind the video, perhaps as much as 20-50. I was shocked. At first I thought my Cambridge Audio blu-ray player had gone bananas. I tried several other discs and they were perfectly synchronized. I put Bumblebee back in, and the lag was right there again. The problem was not with my equipment.

Considering the audio/video issues with this disc, I am forced to ask: Perhaps my disc is flawed?

THE FILM (No spoilers, 4 stars):
This film is more family-friendly than other entries in the Transformers franchise. It's cuter, maybe a little more heart, etc., etc. There are some good one-liners and a few really funny scenes. However, it is also much, much "smaller" than any of the later films. Some might argue that is necessary because the world didn't know about Transformers before the events of the 2007 film, and that is true. The effects were great, but without the fast-paced, frenetic cuts of all the Michael Bay films (some love them, some hate them) it didn't really seem like a Transformers movie in places. In fact, some who were watching it in my group were just plain bored. Was the plot somewhat better than the frenetic Michael Bay films? Some would say 'yes', others would say you don't see a Transformers movie for the plot. I tend to fall in the middle of either camp. It was decent, though.

The movie is set in 1987. I lived in 1987. It didn't capture 1987. It was like a bunch of young 2019-ers running around in 1980s outfits while they played some of the cheesier 80s music to try to set the mood. Not very convincing as a "period piece", I'm afraid. I think films like X-Men: First Class or Captain America: The First Avenger accomplished the notion of capturing the period much better.

One final complaint: the score was not very good. I am a huge fan of Dario Marianelli (Pride & Prejudice, The Darkest Hour), but this film is NOT his lane. Love him or hate him, Steve Jablonsky created a sound for the Transformers films, and this score fell FLAT. There was also too much reliance on 80s songs (which still didn't get the period feel just right).

Overall, this film was not terrible, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Transformers films. However, there were flaws with the audio and video on this disc. That, combined with the out-of-place score and the not-quite-1980s feel of the movie and ... the whole thing left me feeling a little flat.
41 people found this helpful
Mtn YodaReviewed in the United States on March 23, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
It's worse than week old meatloaf! Beware...
Verified purchase
We are watching this as we speak. I wanted to cancel this immediately within the 1st few minutes. Sadly I was ripped off. I tried to cancel but with regret no luck. This causes me to be really unlucky tonight. I would have had more luck putting my hard earned 15 bucks in a slot machine. It's very lame... Maybe in years to come we will look back and laugh at how dumb some of our choices were.
30 people found this helpful
Pinball ReviewerReviewed in the United States on April 3, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A good starting movie for first time Transformer movie watchers.
Verified purchase
I have been a fan of Transformers from the starting of the Cartoon G1 Series back in the 1980s to even the newer Transformers cartoon and live action movies.
If you are to see any live action Transformers movie and are new to watching Transformers take it from a on going fan of the franchise this is by far the best live action Transformers movie to this day!
I very much want a sequel or these same director and stuff do another live action movie!
26 people found this helpful
tfcollectReviewed in the United States on May 3, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
"Disappointed"
Verified purchase
I'm Tfcollect with a review of the Bumblebee Blu-ray movie review.

With all of the hype built up around this movie like "THE TRANSFORMERS MOVIE THE FANS BEEN WAITING FOR!!!"
My question is.
What fans?
After seeing it in the theater I knew one thing....I wasnt one of those fans because I did not want this movie. Its nostalgic look and appeal in my my opinion did not play well in a live action movie for some of the most obvious reasons. A 18" robotic giant Walkman was one out many and spitting cassette tapes that transforms into robots that had never seen or been to earth, yet they look like earthly, radios, cars and trucks. Makes absolutely no sense at all. This was a play to the the fanboys. Unfortunately there isnt enough of them left to fill the theaters and no one else was interested in seeing old 80s vehicles transforming into robots.

WHAT WAS THE PLOT?
I've searched for it...couldn't find one. There was a story, but the story isnt the plot. Everything that transpired in this movie was cause and effect. For instance. The Decepticons would never had found bumblebee's location if he hadn't what? Stuck his finger in a wall socket for no apparent reason at all like a curious toddler and whups!....now they have his location. What if he had never done that? I guess Shatter and Dropkick would've spent their time playing chase a spark catch a spark everyday in the weapons hanger.

Charlie: Sam Witwicky with a training bra. Same old story boy/girl buys/given car that happens to be a "Transforming alien robot!" You know why that sounds so fluid?....because Sam said that exact same line in movie one.
Bumblebee: the worse. He was a autonomous infant battle bot, running around doing childish immature misdemeanor acts I guess everyone interpreted as showing the heart of the movie. Well if that was the heart of the movie....it flatlined. I had received not an ounce of enjoyment from this movie. In comparison to Michael Bays Universe, this is an utter waste. And its poor domestic boxoffice take was not a surprise at all. Honestly after seeing the movie, its boxoffice woes were prophetic. This movie lacked tone, depth, substance and direction. And furthermore the Trailer was misleading in regards to making it seem like it had a plot when Optimus says " Bumbleber, you must protect Earth and the humans!" That's not what the plot was. And this isnt truly what Optimus had said.
Senseless Set Pieces: Charlie saves Bumbleber from drowning. Why? If he really was, what could she had done to pull him up and out of the water?....nothing. this was the proverbial Heroic moment that was set up when found out that she use to swim and reinerated on that when she was asked for a diving challenge.

Closing:
This movie was an absolute bust. The only highlight to some was the Cybertron Battle. And that wasnt even worth the hype. It looked too CGI rendered and animated. It just didnt feel real. It looked like it was a PS3 game. I can go on for days expressing how I truly feel about this movie. And 90% of it would be negative. I was disappointed
19 people found this helpful
M. WongReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bumblebee is a hero!
This is great movie, we enjoyed it so much. Also, I just ordered the Bumblebee toy for my son, plus DVD pre sale.
58 people found this helpful
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