Box art for The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Legacy

action & adventure, drama, thrillers


Agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) must use his genetically-enhanced skills to finish what Jason Bourne started in this action-packed hit that takes the Bourne series to explosive new levels.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    55%
  • Audience Score
    59%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

Non-stop action sequel holds its own against predecessors.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the blockbuster Bourne movie series, although this film splits from its namesake book to chronicle a new character entirely separate from Jason Bourne. (This is the first in the series not to star Matt Damon, though his character is mentioned several times.) This time, Jeremy Renner stars as a genetically modified agent who must flee for his life. Like the earlier Bourne movies, Legacy is a big-budget, fast-paced, smart action thriller with near non-stop action -- including explosions, motorcycle chases, and many, many fight scenes, some of which get quite brutal (necks snapped, faces smashed, etc.). There's also some swearing (including "s--t") and social drinking, but the constant action violence is the main issue here.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the Bourne series. How does Legacy compare to the others? How does it change things to have a new star?
  • Does this movie seem more or less violent than what you've seen in other films? What kind of fighting/violence has the most impact? Why?
  • How do the covert agents justify their violent actions? Do the ends ever justify the means? Do you think real spies act like this?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    55%
    reviews counted: 1
    see all The Bourne Legacy reviews
  • Audience

    59%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It all but squanders Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, although with actors less appealing, "The Bourne Legacy" would be even worse.

- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, August 9, 2012

Audience Reviews

3 stars

The Bourne Legacy looks and feels like another entry in the well liked series, but is missing the interesting characters and revelations that made the trilogy a massive hit in the last decade. Jeremy Renner is a fine actor and does well in the role of Aaron Cross, but the character itself is not as interesting as Jason Bourne and Matt Damon's magnetic portrayal which pushed it over the top. It was all about uncovering past mysteries before and it was genuinely compelling and well-crafted storytelling, but this entry is perfectly content to recycle material and deliver a mediocre story that doesn't have the push of past entries. Honestly, not much happens in this film in terms of the overall plot arc and the future is up in the air on whether or not we will ever get a sequel, which makes the non-ending of this film even more anti-climactic. The supporting characters also are not as compelling as the series past. Edward Norton plays a bland "villain" in this, despite also being an excellent actor, and Rachel Weisz is mostly wasted in the damsel in distress role. David Strathairn is certainly missed. The one criticism levied towards the original trilogy was the camerawork, which was mostly shaky-cam to add intensity, but some people complained they couldn't tell what was going on. I disagreed with this and thought it added a level of visceral satisfaction to the films. Legacy pretty much does away with them. It's a much more straightforward approach, adding to the blandness. There are some good things, mostly some excellent scenery and cinematography towards the beginning and some good action sequences. It is still Bourne, after all. The film itself is decently paced and can be entertaining, but it's a second rate version of the original films.

- jlewis07, Monday, April 15, 2013

4 stars

I actually think this storyline is better than the former Bourne series. Assassins who have been genetically modified are being hunted down and killed. One agent must stop them. Good cast.

- thmtsang, Sunday, January 27, 2013

2 stars

What a let down to the Bourne Franchise! Being a huge fan of the bourne movies i thought yes a fourth one this could be awesome, however its a let down. I like the cast but really it just seemed like a remake of the first one with simple and minor differences! Boring and unoriginal not a good installment!

- FiLmCrAzY, Sunday, September 9, 2012