The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008) **

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 40min
Director: Chris Carter
Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
Genre: Drama
Language: English

We Wanted to Believe

In a Nutshell


Straight as an Arrow

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear

Who's That?

Few Main Characters

Naughty Words


Naked people




Full disclosure: we are true believers with a special connection to the X Files — our courtship 13 years ago revolved around 9 pm viewings of the TV show and impassioned commentary afterwards until we could no longer even pretend to figure out what was going on with the Cigarette Man, Kreycek, the swamp creature, the ink in the eyeballs, the alien babies. . .So Saturday night in Seattle, we wanted fervently to believe and reconnect with our pasts.  We wanted to believe:That Mulder and Scully, together finally after all these years, can stomach each other’s diametrically opposed views on every subject and find such intransigence sexually arousing;

* That after all M&S have been through, they still call each other by their last names;

* That Russians, gay pedophiles, the Church (and God?) are not the new cinematic trend in villains;

* That the head doc of Scully’s hospital doesn’t really look like Alfred E. Newman;

* That the ringleader’s resemblance to Lord Voldemort was not director Chris Carter’s cynical bid to capture a new younger Potter-trained audience.

We wanted like all heck to believe, to be transported back to the time we were enthralled by the episodes.  But here’s what we got: pedestrian story-telling, predictable plot line, dull subplot involving Scully’s patient, a couple of car chases and foot races plus many meaningful glances, hugs, at least one close-up kiss between the old coworker protagonists.

Where was the “out there” sci-fi premise, the unexplained phenomena, the scary antagonists threatening the welfare of Earth?  Telepathy, that’s all you had to give us, Carter?  C’mon now!

Fans are still going to have to sit through this update.  They’ll appreciate once more Muldur’s wry humor, particularly, “Just avoid the activities room!”  There are a few cheap shots at the President and Hoover that may just be worth the price of admission.  David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) looks a little worse for wear.  At first looking like Man Mountain Dean or a serial killer himself, after shaving he cleans up as fairly attractive with a little more weight around his middle (mistake to take that shirt off, Dave!).  We weren’t sure he could really run that fast after the bad guy.  Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) on the other hand looks very sleek and prettier than ever.  Amanda Peet plays the leading FBI investigator and is completely unconvincing and miscast in the role.  Is she flirting with Mulder when she says, “This requires a longer discussion”?  Scully certainly gives her the Get-Away-From-My-Man look!  Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner) M&S’s old boss, makes a deus-ex-machina appearance and looks just about the same as always.

Diehard X Files fans, like diehard Dylan fans, will want to bask in the aura of their old friends, no matter what.  They’ll love the lovey-dovey closeness of M & S (and their strange formality). They’ll want to believe that the next installment will better capture the glory of the old TV series, generate more excitement and include a few outrageous sci-fi twists and turns.

Shelly Hanner, a retired government executive, is honored to be reviewing for this site, and wants everyone to know his teeth are his own. Janet Garber, a human resources executive and published author, has been living with Shelly's corny jokes for some time now, and her only escape is going to the movies!


jen said on July 29, 2008


lady, you are way off on this. I appreciate that you might not like the x files, but if there are fans out there of TXF and they’re reading your blog, GO SEE THIS MOVIE. It is beautiful, thought-provoking and exciting. And if you are that X File fan that I am talking to, you’ll know that even if Mulder and Scully are in a relationship, that’d OF COURSE still call each other by their last names. Clearly this reviewer never watched the series.

Raina said on July 30, 2008


Guys–I had no idea….

Wayne D. said on July 30, 2008


I’m sort of a fan of the X-Files, although I can’t say I watched every episode, the ones that I watched I liked. Scully was my favorite, her facial expressions were great! Now not seeing this movie yet this review makes me want to see it more than ever. And like the old Dylan fan that I am I guess to watch the ’sleek’ Scully on screen again is worth the price of admission for me!

jprinceler said on July 30, 2008


Alhough I never watched the TV program this review is right in line with other reviews I read.

Seniors, speak up! Let us know what you think.

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