X Men (2000)

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X Men (2000)

In a world where mutants (evolved super-powered humans) exist and are discriminated against, two groups form for an inevitable clash: the supremacist Brotherhood, and the pacifist X-Men.

X Men (2000) Trailer


X Men (2000) Reviews

The origin story is crucial to all superhero epics, from the gods of ancient Greece right down to Superman’s parents. Next in importance is an explanation of superpowers: what they are, how they work. That’s reasonable when there is one superhero, like Superman or the Crow, but in “X-Men,” with eight major characters and more in supporting roles, the movie gets top-heavy. At the halfway mark, it has just about finished introducing the characters.That matches my experience of the “X-Men” comic books. The characters spend an inordinate amount of time accounting for themselves. Action spills across full pages as the heroes splatt and kerrruuunch each other, but the dialogue balloons are like little advertisements for themselves, as they describe their powers, limitations and motivations.
Since the Marvel Comics empire hopes “X-Men” is the first entry in a franchise, it’s understandable that the setups would play an important role in the first film. If only there were more to the payoff. The events that end the movie are sort of anticlimactic, and the special effects, while energetic, are not as persuasive as they might be (at one point an airplane clearly looks like a model, bouncing as it lands on water).”X-Men” is at least not a manic editing frenzy for atrophied attention spans. It’s restrained and introspective for a superhero epic, and fans of the comic books may like that. Graphic novels (as they sometimes deserve to be called) take themselves as seriously as the ones without pictures, and you can tell that here when the opening scene shows Jews being forced into death camps in Poland in 1944.One could argue that the Holocaust is not appropriate subject matter for an action movie based on a comic book, but having talked to some “X-Men” fans I believe that in their minds the medium is as deep and portentous as, say, “Sophie’s Choice.” The Holocaust scene introduces Magneto (Ian McKellen) as a child; his mental powers twist iron gates out of shape.The narrator informs us that “evolution takes thousands and thousands of years,” which is putting it mildly, and that we live in an age of great evolutionary leaps forward. Some of the X-Men develop paranormal powers which cannot be accounted for by the strictly physical mutations which form the basis of Darwinian theory; I get restless when real science is evoked in the name of pseudoscience, but, hey, that’s just me.Magneto’s opponent in “X-Men” is Xavier (Patrick Stewart), another mutant of the same generation. They aren’t enemies so much as ideological opposites. Magneto, having seen the Holocaust, has a deep pessimism about human nature. Xavier, who runs a school for mutants in Westchester County, where it doubtless seems no stranger than the other private schools, hopes these new powers can be used for good.

Bruce Davison plays the McCarthy-like senator who waves a list of “known mutants” during a congressional hearing and wants them all registered–no doubt for dire purposes. Magneto wants to counter by using a device which can convert world leaders to mutants. (The world leaders are conveniently meeting on an island near Ellis Island, so the Statue of Liberty can be a prop.)

How a machine could create a desired mutation within a generation is not much explored by the movie, which also eludes the question of why you would want to invest your enemies with your powers. No matter; Xavier, who can read minds, leads his good mutants in a battle to foil Magneto, and that’s the plot, or most of it.

“X-Men” is arguably heavy on mutants; they have a way of coming onstage, doing their tricks and disappearing. The leads are Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), whose fists sprout deadly blades; Cyclops (James Marsden), who wears a wraparound visor to control and aim his laserlike eyes; the prosaically named Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who can move objects with her mind; Storm (Halle Berry in a platinum wig), who can control the weather, and Rogue (Anna Paquin), a teenager who is new to this stuff.

I can’t help wondering how a guy whose knuckles turn into switchblades gets to be the top-ranking superhero. If Storm can control, say, a tropical storm, she’s obviously the most powerful, even if her feats here are limited to local climate control.

Magneto’s team is not as colorful as the good guys, and includes Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), who in the Japanese anime tradition can change her shape (as her costume tries to keep up), and Toad (Ray Park), who has a tongue that can whip out to great distances. Why it is that Xavier’s team has impressive skills, while Magneto’s team has specialties that would prove invaluable to a stripper?I started out liking this movie, while waiting for something really interesting to happen. When nothing did, I still didn’t dislike it; I assume the X-Men will further develop their personalities if there is a sequel, and maybe find time to get involved in a story. No doubt fans of the comics will understand subtle allusions and fine points of behavior; they should linger in the lobby after each screening to answer questions.
  • Roger Ebert –  Roger Ebert
  • Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.


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X Men (2000) Credits

X-Men movie poster

X-Men (2000)

Rated PG-13 For Sci-Fi Action Violence

96 minutes


Patrick Stewart as Xavier

Ian McKellen as Magneto

Famke Janssen as Jean Grey

James Marsden as Cyclops

Halle Berry as Storm

Anna Paquin as Rogue

Tyler Mane as Sabretooth

Based On A Story by

  • Tom Desanto

Directed by

  • Bryan Singer

Written by

  • David Hayter




X Men (2000) Plot

In 1944 Nazi-occupied Poland, 13-year-old Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents upon entering the Auschwitz concentration camp. While attempting to reach them, he causes a set of metal gates to bend toward him because of his mutant ability to generate magnetic fields, but is knocked out by the guards.

In the not-too-distant future, U.S. Senator Robert Kelly attempts to pass a “Mutant Registration Act” in Congress, which would force mutants to reveal their identities and abilities. Present are Lehnsherr, now going by the name “Magneto”, and his telepathic colleague Professor Charles Xavier. Xavier sees Lehnsherr in attendance and is concerned with how he will respond to the Registration Act.

In Meridian, Mississippi, 17-year-old Marie D’Ancanto accidentally puts her boyfriend into a coma after she kisses him, because of her mutant ability to absorb the power and life force of others. Adopting the name “Rogue”, she runs away to Alberta, where she meets Logan, also known as “Wolverine”, a mutant who possesses superhuman healing abilities and metal claws that protrude from between his knuckles.

They are attacked on the road by Sabretooth, a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants, but two members of Xavier’s X-Men, Cyclops and Storm, arrive and save them. Wolverine and Rogue are brought to Xavier’s school for mutants in Westchester County, New York, where Xavier tells Logan that Magneto appears to have taken an interest in him and asks him to stay while he investigates the matter. Rogue enrolls in the school.

Senator Kelly is abducted by Brotherhood members Toad and Mystique and brought to their hideout on the uncharted island of Genosha. Magneto uses Kelly as a test subject for a machine powered by his magnetic abilities that generates a field of radiation, which induces mutations in normal humans. Kelly later escapes by taking advantage of his newfound mutation.

Rogue visits Wolverine during the night while he is having a nightmare. Startled, he accidentally stabs her, but she is able to absorb his healing ability to recover. This is observed by fellow students who arrived to help. She is later convinced by Mystique, disguised as Rogue’s crush Bobby Drake, that Xavier is angry with her and she should leave the school. Xavier uses his mutant-locating machine Cerebro to find Rogue at a train station, and the X-Men go to retrieve her. Meanwhile, Mystique enters Cerebro and sabotages it.

Having left ahead of Storm and Cyclops, Wolverine finds Rogue on a train and convinces her to return to the school. Before they can leave, Magneto arrives, knocks out Wolverine and subdues Rogue, revealing it was her who he wants rather than Wolverine. Although Xavier attempts to stop him by mentally controlling Sabretooth, he is forced to release his hold when Magneto threatens the police who have converged on the train station, allowing the Brotherhood to escape with Rogue.

Kelly arrives at the school, and Xavier reads his mind to learn about Magneto’s machine. Realizing the strain of powering it nearly killed him, the X-Men deduce he intends to transfer his powers to Rogue and use her to power it at the cost of her life. Kelly’s body rejects his mutation, and his body dissolves into liquid. Xavier attempts to locate Rogue using Cerebro, but Mystique’s sabotage incapacitates him, and he falls into a coma.

Fellow telekinetic and telepath Jean Grey fixes Cerebro and uses it, learning that the Brotherhood plans to place their mutation-inducing machine on Liberty Island and use it to “mutate” the world leaders meeting at a summit on nearby Ellis Island.

The X-Men scale the Statue of Liberty, battling and overpowering the Brotherhood while Magneto transfers his powers to Rogue and activates the mutation machine. As Wolverine confronts and distracts Magneto, Cyclops blasts him away, allowing Wolverine to destroy the machine. He transfers his powers to Rogue, rejuvenating her while incapacitating himself.

Professor Xavier and Wolverine recover from their comas. The group also learns that Mystique escaped the island battle and is impersonating Senator Kelly, despite being seriously injured by Wolverine. Xavier gives Wolverine a lead to his past at an abandoned military installation in Canada. Magneto is imprisoned in a complex constructed of plastic and is visited by Xavier, and Magneto warns him that he intends to escape one day and continue the fight; Xavier replies that he will always be there.


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X Men (2000) Box office

In North America, X-Men opened on Friday, July 14, 2000, and made $21.4 million on its opening day.[86] This made it the third-highest opening day of any film, behind Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It also had the third-highest Friday gross, just after the latter film and Toy Story 2.

The film earned $57.5 million in its opening weekend, averaging $18,000 per theater, and having the highest-grossing opening weekend for a superhero film (surpassing Batman Forevers $52.7 million), a non-sequel and a July release (surpassing Men in Blacks $51.1 million).

At the time of its release, X-Men had the sixth biggest opening of all time and marked the first time in history that three pictures had consecutive opening weekends above $40 million in North America, after The Perfect Storms $41.3 million and Scary Movies $42.3 million. Moreover, it had the second largest opening weekend of that year, behind Mission: Impossible 2. During its second weekend, the film was overtaken by What Lies Beneath, but made a total of $23.5 million. 

X-Men grossed $157.3 million in the United States and Canada and $139 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $296.3 million, against a production budget of $75 million, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2000 domestically and ninth worldwide. The success of X-Men started a reemergence for the comic book and superhero film genre.




X Men (2000) Critical Response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 174 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.”[93] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 64 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A−” on an A+ to F scale.

Kenneth Turan found “so much is happening you feel the immediate need of a sequel just as a reward for absorbing it all. While X-Men doesn’t take your breath away wire-to-wire the way The Matrix did, it’s an accomplished piece of work with considerable pulp watchability to it.” ReelReviews.net’s James Berardinelli, an X-Men comic book fan, believed, “the film is effectively paced with a good balance of exposition, character development, and special effects-enhanced action.

Neither the plot nor the character relationships are difficult to follow, and the movie avoids the trap of spending too much time explaining things that don’t need to be explained. X-Men fandom is likely to be divided over whether the picture is a success or a failure”. Desson Thomson of The Washington Post commented, “[T]he movie’s enjoyable on the surface, but I suspect many people, even die-hards, will be less enthusiastic about what lies, or doesn’t, underneath”. 

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said he “started out liking this movie, while waiting for something really interesting to happen. When nothing did, I still didn’t dislike it; I assume the X-Men will further develop their personalities if there is a sequel, and maybe find time to get involved in a story. No doubt fans of the comics will understand subtle allusions and fine points of behavior; they should linger in the lobby after each screening to answer questions.”

He also gave it a “thumbs down” on Ebert & Roeper. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone noted, “Since it’s Wolverine’s movie, any X-Men or Women who don’t hinge directly on his story get short shrift. As Storm, Halle Berry can do neat tricks with weather, but her role is gone with the wind. It sucks that Stewart and McKellen, two superb actors, are underused.”


X Men (2000) Accolades

X-Men was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but lost to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film was also successful at the 27th Saturn Awards where it won the categories for Best Science Fiction Film, Director (Bryan Singer), Actor (Hugh Jackman), Supporting Actress (Rebecca Romijn), Writing (David Hayter), and Costumes. Nominations included Best Supporting Actor (Patrick Stewart), Performance by a Younger Actor (Anna Paquin), Special Effects, and Make-up. Singer also won the Empire Award for Best Director.


X Men (2000) Movie Info

They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with a unique genetic mutation, which at puberty manifested itself in extraordinary powers. In a world filled with hate and prejudice, they are feared by those who cannot accept their differences. Led by Xavier the X-Men fight to protect a world that fears them. They are locked in a battle with former colleague and friend, Magneto who believes humans and mutants should never co-exist.


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