The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower
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There are other worlds than these
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5.7/10 by 768 users
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The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Title:The Dark Tower
Release Date:August 3, 2017
MPAA Rating:15
Genres:Action, Western, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Production Co.:Imagine Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures, Media Rights Capital, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Production Countries:South Africa, United States of America
Director:Nikolaj Arcel, Hercules Malan, Isabel Martens, David H. Venghaus Jr., Morag Cameron, Bernard L. Eatmon, Susan Malerstein, Carien Schutte
Writers:, , , ,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:gunslinger, based on novel
Alternative Titles:
  • De Donkere Toren - [NL]
  • Mračna kula - [RS]
  • Темная башня - [RU]
  • หอคอยทมิฬ - [TH]
  • Kara Kule - [TR]

The Dark Tower Reviews

  • Dumbing down the Tower
    by Roland on 6 August 2017

    321 out of 476 people found the following review useful:

    The Dark Tower by Stephen King is an expansive story that spans 7 books, telling Roland the Gunslinger's journey to the Tower; involving different genres, many characters, many worlds - a big lore.

    At a certain point whether you have read the series or not is probably irrelevant. If you haven't read the books, I would imagine the movie just will feel flat and lifeless, with only a few scenes from McConaughey standing out. There's very little plot and character development, which comes across as a lump of clichés. If you have read the books, you'll likely find the movie a spectacular failure, wondering how the writers managed to dumb down such promising material to a 95 minute generic action movie, and making an actor like Idris Elba overact in a character that should have endless potential. The final result is so hollow and narrow, if you have watched the trailer, you may just count yourself as having seen the whole thing.

    If you are intrigued by the story, skip this movie, and give the first book of the series a go.

  • Bad beyond your wildest imagination
    by Kane Gao on 5 August 2017

    255 out of 411 people found the following review useful:

    Being a tower junkie for over a decade, I honestly don't have much expectation on this movie adaption. Much of The Dark Tower series' charm comes from Stephen King's narration, which doesn't easily convert into the visual language of movies. Since the bar was set extremely low, I thought there's no way I could be disappointed in the cinema.

    But dude, this Nikolaj Arcel guy has one heck of a way to prove me wrong.

    Judging by what's revealed in trailers, I thought this one should cover The Gungslinger and *part of* Drawing of the Three, starting a whole franchise, with more installments to follow. But no. The director took pieces from all seven Tower books, glued them onto a self-made storyline (a lame one), and called it a day. Yes, you're reading it right. This is the whole thing, the entire package. What kind of idiotic mind ever thinks of packing SEVEN novels into ONE SINGLE movie?

    Within 1.5 hours you will see Roland Deschain fighting the army of the Man in Black (vol IV), having his ass handed to him, embarking on a chase (vol I), picking up Jake Chambers from New York (vol I & II), although the Jake in this movie is really Jake Chambers and Patrick Danville rolled into one (vol VII). They fooled around in Mid-world for a bit, then discovered Algul Siento (vol VI), where the Man in Black's force are hording up breakers to destroy the Dark Tower. In order the thwart the evil operation, they went to this village that looks suspiciously like Calla Bryan Sturgis (vol V), activated a portal to Keystone Earth, trying to infiltrate en route the can-toi headquarter, a restaurant called Dixie Pig (vol VII). Then there comes a ton of pew pew pew and bang bang bang. All baddies died, including the Man in Black (vol WTF). They destroyed the tower-breaking machine, and lived happily ever after (vol WTF). End of story.

    No Oy. No Eddie Dean. No Susannah Holmes. Even the Crimson King is axed, while references to him can be seen everywhere in the movie. This version of Roland didn't even attempt to enter the Tower.

    I've thought hard, for nice things to say about this movie, and came up with only the following: 1. All sorts of creative reloading techniques.

    2. Walter O'Dim is super duper kickass cool in the movie adaption, way cooler than in the original novels. Matthew McConaughey did portray the "Walking Dude" true to his name, always on the move, casually passing through lives and worlds, leaving havoc in his wake.

    Otherwise... it's a dozen bucks wasted. Should have donated it to the charity.

    BTW, IMDb should change its rating mechanism a bit, allowing us to give a 0 rate.

    Oh, there's one nice touch at the very beginning of the movie. Among the names and logos of producers and investors, there's a screen featuring "Tet Corporation", accompanied by a turtle and a rose, kindling false hope in me.

  • Critics Got This Wrong
    by gt22350 on 6 August 2017

    327 out of 561 people found the following review useful:

    My wife and I went to see this movie last night. This is probably the only review I've done in the past 30 years and that's because I believe this was "UNFAIRLY REVIEWED BY CRITICS", so I'm hoping you'll give this movie a shot after reading what I have to say.

    I almost didn't go because the movie review in USA Today newspaper only gave it one star. Some of the user reviews here didn't seem very enthusiastic about the movie either. I'm 67, retired, and a King fan (I've red The Dark Tower books). My wife is 70, retired and not a King fan (she hasn't read any of the Dark Tower books). Just to provide some additional perspective some of the movies we've seen so far this year and how we rated (in chronological order) The Founder 5, A Dog's Purpose 5, John Wick Chapter 2 5, Logan 6, Kong; Skull Island 7, Beauty and the Beast 7, Power Rangers 5, The Fate of the Furious 8, Guardians of the Galaxy 2nd Vol 8, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Wonder Woman 9, The Mummy 5, Spider Man 6, War for the Planet of the Apes 8, and The Dark Tower 8.

    I was worried standing in line to see the movie so when the previous show got out I started asking people (must have been close to 20) if the liked the show. (Would have asked more except my wife was feeling a little embarrassed.) Everyone said a hearty "Yes" except for one couple who shook their heads and said, "It wasn't like the books" and gave it a thumbs down. After that I was encouraged and looked forward to seeing the movie. I figured most of the critics were slamming it because it didn't follow the books closely. Frankly, from what I've seen, King books have always had a tough time being translated to the big screen.

    Although this movie didn't follow the books "right on" the main gist of the plot and characters were there so I wasn't disappointed. Contrary to what some other critical and user reviews have said, the plot was cohesive, well thought out, and had similarities to the book. The acting was very well done all around, the action was excellent and was not jittery or blurry. It's easy to connect to the characters and the emotional points of the plot.

    I started with a list of movies we've seen and how we rated so you can compare how similar, or not, your ratings were to put in perspective how likely you'd be to enjoy this movie. I wonder if critics and some users go to movies for reasons different from ours. We just want to see fun, entertaining, well acted movies that have been filmed and directed by good professionals. The ONLY ding we could give this movie was that it wasn't done in a manner similar to "Lord of the Rings" where it's carried out over 3 films with greater detail and depth. That might have been better, but maybe not. Regardless, I wish critics would at least rate movies like this with 2 stars as long as they're fun, well done and entertaining. There's no way this was a one-star film.

    Unless you really need the movie to follow all the outline and plot of the books, I'm extremely confident you'll enjoy this movie. It's well worth going to the show to see. You'll like it!

  • Yet another weak Stephen King film!!
    by gotmyorangecrush on 6 August 2017

    207 out of 352 people found the following review useful:

    This film reminds me of the situation surrounding the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film was turned down by one studio after another as none of the studios wanted to commit to making 3 films. One of the studios actually agreed to make it, but only if the script was condensed into a single film. Thankfully the people that had the rights and were pitching the films understood that the idea of translating the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in a single film was a laughable proposition and the end result would have been a terrible film that would ultimately do no justice to the source material. They were willing to bring it down to 2 films instead of 3, but the studio wound up turning them down.

    The final studio they approached was New Line and because all of the other studios had turned them down, they pitched it to New Line as a 2 film series as opposed to a trilogy. Amazingly, New Line agreed to take on the project but only if it was made as a trilogy. Clearly someone at New Line smartly recognized that Lord of the Rings was an amazing project and the only way to do it right was to make it a trilogy. And anyone who has read the Lord of the Rings trilogy understands first hand that there is just way too much material to be condensed into a single film or even 2 films. And as we all know, the films wound up being a HUGE success and made New Line billions. At last look the Trilogy had made more than 6 billion world wide.

    Like Lord of the Rings, The Dark Tower series is just way too big to be condensed into a single film. Any film studio that was legitimately serious about doing the Dark Tower series justice would understand that right out of the gate. The Lord of the Rings was 3 books and the running time for the extended versions of the films was 682 minutes or just over 11 hours long. .The Dark Tower series is 8 books and many of them are BIG books. Anyone who thinks that amount of material can be condensed into a single film is living in la la land. I knew going in that this was going to be a cheap attempt at making money off of Stephen Kings name and the popularity of The Dark Tower series and that's exactly what it was. The Dark Tower series is one of my all time favorite book series, as is Lord of the Rings, and this film is literally a bad joke compared to the source material. How they got Matthew McConaughey to sign on to this film when he has had such an amazing run the last 4-5 years is simply beyond my understanding. I will never understand how such an amazing writer has had so many terrible films made from his books.

    Bottom line - this was a terrible film, one that does no justice to the source material at all. If your a fan of the Dark Tower books, do yourself a HUGE favor and skip this film. Its like a bad joke of the Dark Tower universe. Everyone involved with this film should be ashamed of being a part of it. The only reason I saw it is because I have a nephew than basically begged me to take him to see it and I have to admit, part of me was curious to see just how bad it really was and in that regard it didn't disappoint. It was just as bad as I expected it to be. This is Hollywood garbage, nothing more and nothing less. Do yourself a favor and put your money elsewhere.

  • C'mon Really??
    by ztigr on 3 August 2017

    246 out of 448 people found the following review useful:

    You have Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey 8 books of material, and you put together a 95 minute movie? I absolutely hate that critics have to hold their reviews on these movies so the public cannot be forewarned. Its like restaurant critics not being able to tell you the food is dog meat until after you place your order. Then there are those fans who loved the books, so they delude themselves into thinking the movie is good enough. Frankly the history of Stephen King material and film is a mixed bag. The Shining is obviously superior, but when's the last time you dug out Dreamcatcher? It just continues to shock me how inept some of these productions are.

  • An abysmal failure......
    by s3276169 on 9 September 2017

    49 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

    I have read a good number of the Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King and I'd rate them as some of his very best work.

    I was then hugely excited and then quickly disappointed by the cinematic interpretation of King's work. The Dark Tower could best be described as the "Coles Notes" version of the books. Whilst Coles had their place summarizing often complex literary works for confused students, the abbreviated silver screen version of the Dark Tower series is disappointing.

    Worse still its unfaithful to the books. Roland Deschain, "the Gunslinger", indisputably the main character in the books is "side lined" in favor of an important but more marginal character, "the boy", Jake Chambers. Its a naff move that disrupts the focus and displaces the context of the story.

    The result is a film with a "boys own" feel. There are a few dark moments but they in no way capture the atmosphere of the original books which are dark, gritty and nihilistic, in a Clint Eastwood's, "The Unforgiven", on steroids kind of way.

    Idris Elba is a great casting choice for Roland but the role he is cast in provides limited opportunity for character development. Jake's character, the overlooked, unloved son of the books, fares little better.

    Suffice to say, the cinematic Dark Tower is, to my mind, a missed opportunity that seems unable to take advantage of the wonderful material on offer. Three out of ten from me.

  • Stephen King has forgotten the face of his father.
    by lady_slew-1 on 25 September 2017

    41 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

    I'm not exactly sure what I just saw. The only thing I do know is it wasn't The Dark Tower. That wasn't the Roland Deschain I know. It wasn't Jake Chambers either, or The Man in Black. Other people I expected to see weren't even there. Important people like Cuthbert, Alain, Eddie, Suzanna... none of them were even hinted at.

    I wasn't taken to the world I expected. It was an odd place with a few elements of Roland's world, but they were strangely distorted. Portals are now transport machines, left behind by the old ones it seems, rather than magical things controlled by demons. And yet the house is still a demon apparently - but just because it offered a good chance for fancy graphics. Without a Suz to meet up with a demon while the men get Jake through where does this story go? It certainly doesn't go to The Dixie Pig because Roland has already destroyed it. It doesn't go to The Dark Tower, because Roland and Jake have already been there too and saved it.

    It's like this was some weirdly condensed version of books 1, 2, 3, and 7. Except It only took tiny bits and pieces from the books and created a whole new story that really didn't resemble the epic Stephen King wrote at all! I feel cheated and betrayed. I just don't understand how King let this happen.

  • Worst movie of the year.
    by maliapac on 4 October 2017

    39 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

    Worst film of the year in my personal opinion. You have MM and Elba, you have 8 - EIGHT - books of material, and you do a movie that is hour and a half long, you butcher the material, and after all, you don't make the Gunslinger the central character in the movie.

    This project should've been straightforward: Chronologically you start with the genesis of the conflict between Ronald and the Man in Black, you build your characters toward the conflict aka Last Stand, and you end the movie in the dark, just before the start of the first book. Movie of 2, 2.5 hours, dark, with R-rating. You exploit the potential of the brilliant actors at your disposal.

    You just don't do this. Rubbish. I gave it three stars just because of McConaughey and his obviously good performance as the Man in Black.

  • Not As Bad As You Hear But More "Inpired By" VS "Based On"
    by garethvk on 3 August 2017

    139 out of 264 people found the following review useful:

    Adapting Stephen King stories for the screen has long been a difficult problem for Hollywood. For every "Misery" and "The Shawshank Redemption", there are many others such as "The Mangler", "Cell", "and Graveyard Shift" and many more where things did not go as planned. The big issue is that King often creates detailed characters with complex backstories and puts then in fully developed worlds that despite their supernatural nature, often are easy for readers to relate to.

    Also as any reader of his books knows, King is not one to spare the paper and his books can be very lengthy offerings. This is an issue for Hollywood as they are forced to condense a 400-800 page plus story in many cases to fewer than two hours of screen time. The solution has been to try television movies such as "The Langoliers", "The Tommyknockers", "The Stand", and "It". The problem with this format is that while spreading the story over multiple nights allows more time for the story, they gore and adult content which is often the core of the story has to be greatly watered down.

    Which brings us to "The Dark Tower", an adaptation of King's largest offering as the series covers seven books and a novella, not to mention a Prequel comic and more. The series rolled out from 1982-2004 with King often saying that he might never finish the series. Fortunately for fans he released three books from 2003-2004 and was able to declare the story told.

    The story tells of a world like ours, but different that has "moved on". It is a dying world where Roland (Idris Elba), is pursuing a wizard named Walter (Matthew McConaughey), who is responsible for laying waste the world and killing all that come into Roland's life. The books follow his unrelenting chase of The Man in Black over countless years and how he has become a cold and driven individual who thinks nothing of using people to get his revenge.

    Roland is the last of the "Gunslingers", a Knight like group who protected the world and who used guns that were rare in their world to keep the peace. Roland is highly skilled and unlike his now dead companions, is impervious to the magic of Walter which has allowed him to remain alive and continue his quest.

    The Man in Black is fixated on destroying the Dark Tower, which protects the many worlds in the universe from the outside evils that look to destroy it. Along with a young boy from Earth named Jake (Tom Taylor), Roland must find a way to save the universe and exact his revenge.

    The film keeps the conflict between Roland and The Man in Black but greatly condenses the story as it includes references to things in the first two books but omits much of the backstory and plot of the novels to tell what I would call a story that was inspired by, but not based on the books.

    This is at the core the biggest issue with the film. I have read the books and while I wanted an adaptation that was closer to them, I did find myself enjoying the film more than I expected to. The leads were very good and even though they had a very watered down script to work with, they did a good job and the finale does have some nice visuals and action to it.

    People I know who have read the books have naturally been very disappointed with the film but those who have not read the books have mentioned that they enjoyed the film and accepted it as a fun bit of escapist adventure.

    There has been talk of a television series that would focus more on the third book onward which hopefully would include how Roland gained new followers from our world who were trained to be future Gunslingers. That remains to be seen as the success of the film will likely hold the key. I hope we do get to see it as there are countless stories and characters yet to tell in this universe and I think fans deserve to see them as King wrote them.

    3 stars out of 5

  • Highly underrated
    by Buz on 9 October 2017

    29 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

    Fans of King's books appear to be unable to judge this movie on it's own merits. I think it was well put together and very entertaining. Adaptations of King's work are always difficult and the screenwriters have chosen not to attempt the impossible task of incorporating all the facets of multiple books in one movie. They simply used whatever concepts and details they wanted to. If you enjoy it for what it's worth, you'll have a good time ;-)

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