I have seen the previews and based on them expected something much, much better.
Some of the actors (Paul Giamatti mostly and Howard) are great and do what they can with the story. But other than that there are no redeeming qualities to this movie. Coming from a director of Sixth Sense, there was not a single twist or a change in a plot that was surprising. In fact only one of them made any sense at all, the rest just appeared to be filling in so that the protagonist has something to discover. Nothing in the story/background has made his discoveries any more likely or believable than his original beliefs. Seriously. I am pretty sure he could just as well go from his end-of-the-movie discoveries and learn that the truth was actually his original misconception. And everything would make just as much sense if not more!
In general, I am willing to accept at least ONE of the two: Either a great engrossing story or great special effects that mask the lack of a story. This movie had neither. The story was absolutely ridiculous and X-Men has managed to do 100x as much in terms of effects with same budget (75M).
Oh, and did I mention that Mr. Shyamalan managed to cast himself as a rather significant character in the movie? Whatever happened with CAMEO appearances which are nice and cute? Very, very disappointed.
This is not the greatest movie ever and I doubt it will ever win any awards. However, I am amazed at the amount of whining in the reviews (and at a relatively low score that the movie got).
It is absolutely worth watching. It is entertaining as long as your expectations aren't high and you don't pick on details. There are plenty of inconsistencies, but this is a movie set based on a comic book in a parallel universe! Anything goes at that point...
Action is a lot of fun. Dorian Gray is the best character and most fun to watch. Though captain Nemo and Mina the vampire are also cool. I've seen better performances by Sean Connery, but I can't say that this one was bad.
In summary: Good action movie, just don't get your expectations too high. The plot is reasonable but contains plenty of holes.
Largely overlooked and unknown but nevertheless a great movie
This is a great movie. It might be silly and simplistic, but I will always be fond of this movie. The story is great, the special effects are good for the time, the soundtrack matches the mood of the movie perfectly. It is funny and it is a great example of a science fiction/action movie. Perhaps you would get the best impression of this movie if you first see it at a young age... it is really a lot like a sci-fi fairy tale.