Rated 3.0

A brilliant scientist (Johnny Depp) is given a fatal dose of radiation by a cabal of anti-technology Luddites. Before he dies, he, his wife (Rebecca Hall) and best friend (Paul Bettany) transfer his personality to an experimental artificial-intelligence computer—with unexpected (if predictable) consequences. Performances are good—also featured are Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy and Cole Hauser—and the movie is consistently interesting, but first-time writer Jack Paglen and first-time director Wally Pfister have bitten off more than they can chew. The story lumbers and becomes muddled, finally winding down into a bizarre variation on Romeo and Juliet. The ending, which leaves the door wide open for Transcendence 2, is annoying, and not as clever as Paglen and Pfister probably think it is.