Rated 4.0

While reading the graphic novel this movie is based on isn’t necessary to enjoy the film, it might help a lot. That’s because director Zack Snyder’s film is often extremely faithful to the novel, and the novel is far from your average comic book story. Alan Moore, one of the novel’s creators, removed his name from the credits because of changes to that story, but I argue that the changes are mostly good and serve the premise better. In an alternate 1985 America where Nixon is still president, a masked vigilante is killed, and Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), another vigilante from a group known as The Watchmen, investigates. Haley is perfect in the role, as is (mostly the voice of) Billy Crudup as the blue, size-shifting Dr. Manhattan. Snyder has made a very good movie out of something originally perceived as unfilmable. It’s deep, textured, riveting and very well done. No wonder it’s a box office disappointment.