Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

Theatrical release poster
Directed by D.J. Caruso
Produced by Michael Bay
Don Murphy
Tom DeSanto
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Ian Bryce
Written by Ehren Kruger
Robert Towne
Ronald D. Moore
Brannon Braga
Based on Transformers
by Hasbro
Starring Peter Cullen
Shia LaBeouf
Frank Welker
Josh Duhamel
John Turturro
Tyrese Gibson
Chelsey Reist
Patrick Dempsey
Frances McDormand
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Cinematography Amir Mokri
Editied by Roger Barton
William Goldenberg
Joel Negron
Production company di Bonaventura Pictures
The Montecito Picture Company
Skydance Productions
Hasbro Studios
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date January 21, 2013 (London)
January 25, 2013 (United States)
Running time 156 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $284 million
Box office $1.319 billion

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is a 2013 American science fictionaction film directed by D. J. Caruso and based on the Transformers toy line created by Hasbro. It is the eleventh film in the Hasbro Cinematic Universe. It is the first film in the series not to be directed by Michael Bay, though he served as the film's producer. It is also the first film in the series not to be co-produced by DreamWorks. The film stars Shia LaBeoufJosh DuhamelJohn TurturroTyrese Gibson, Chelsey ReistPatrick DempseyKevin DunnJulie WhiteJohn Malkovich and Frances McDormand. The film's story is set four years after Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: War at Dawn, and a year after Resistance: Age of Extinction and follows the warring Autobots and Decepticons as they join forces after the all power Transformer enemy Unicron arrives to destroy the Earth.

The script was written by Mission: Impossible II writers Robert Towne, Ronald D. Moore, and Brannon BragaMore Than Meets The Eye employed both regular 35mm film cameras and specially-developed 3-D cameras, with filming locations in ChicagoFloridaIndianaMilwaukee, Moscow, and Washington, D.C.. The film was rendered specifically for 3-D, and the visual effects involved more complex robots which took longer to render.

Exclusive early premieres in select 3D and IMAX theaters took place January 21, 2013, one night before worldwide release in 2D and 3D (including IMAX 3D) formats—each featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound.

The film was released in North America on January 25, 2013. Critical reception of the film was mixed with several critics calling it better than Dark of the Moon and praising the film's visuals, Ramin Djawadi's musical score, and 3-D action sequences, while others criticizing its writing, acting, and length. More Than Meets The Eye grossed US$1.31 billion worldwide, and is currently the 13th-highest-grossing film of all time, the second-highest-grossing film of 2013 (behind Sonic the Hedgehog), the highest-grossing Transformers film, and the 15th film to gross over $1 billion. Like the 2007 film, it was nominated for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects at the 84th Academy Awards.

Plot Edit

Sixty-five million years ago, two Transformer brothers; Primus and Unicron and a race of aliens called the "Quintessons" begin wiping out most life on Earth. Primus berates his brother for his dark terror and creates the thirteen Primes and they defeat Unicron, casting him into an unknown part of space. In 1961, the Endeavour, a Cybertronian spacecraft carrying an invention capable of ending the war between the Autobots and Decepticons, crash lands on the far side of Earth's Moon. The crash is detected on Earth by NASA, and President John F. Kennedy authorizes a mission to put a man on the Moon as a cover for investigating the craft. In 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 lands on the Moon to explore the craft.

In the present, a year after the battle of San Diego, the Autobots assist the United States military in preventing conflicts around the globe. During a mission to Chernobyl to investigate suspected alien technology, Optimus Prime finds a fuel cell from the Ark, discovering it had survived its journey from Cybertron. The Autobots are attacked by Shockwave who manages to escape. After learning of the top-secret mission to the Moon, the Autobots travel there to explore the Ark. There they discover a comatose Sentinel Prime – Optimus' predecessor as leader of the Autobots – and his creation, the Pillars, a means of establishing a Space Bridge between two points to teleport matter. Cemetery Wind, an elite unit, formed by paranoid Dr. Hideki Yakamoski and team leader James Savoy, is tasked to hunt down both the Autobots and Decepticons. With help from the Cybertronian bounty hunter Lockdown, they ambush and brutally kill Skids and Mudflap. However, their primary targets are Optimus Prime and Megatron, both whom Lockdown personally want alive.

In South Asia, Sam Witwicky, now a Navy SEAL (at the rank of Master Sergeant) is transporting a prisoner named Renko Vik. Vector, Renko's brother calls Sam to announce he is holding Mikaela Banes, Sam's girlfriend, hostage in Washington D.C. and wants to make an exchange. However, Vector is in fact tracking Sam's convoy; two helicopters arrive and ambush it. In the midst of the skirmish, Sam is forced to kill Renko when he brandishes a weapon. In response, Vector executes Mikaela. Sam returns to the U.S. to attend Mikaela's funeral. There, he takes a job at his uncle Daniel Witwicky's car workshop. One day, He saves a girl named Alexis Starr from drowning, and decided to promise to protect her. Sam is provided information by his eccentric co-worker Jerry Wang about the Ark, before Jerry is assassinated by Laserbeak – a condor-like Decepticon.

On the next day, Daniel and his wife Molly discover an old truck in an abandoned theater and they buy it to repair and sell. Daniel discovers that the truck is an injured Optimus Prime's long lost son, Rodimus, and he and Sam repair him, bringing him back to life. Cemetery Wind and Lockdown confront and threaten the Witwickys before Rodimus attacks and rescues them before Lockdown destroys the Witwicky's home. Sam, Alexis, Daniel, Molly, and their son escape with the help of Autobot Hot Rod. After returning to Earth, Optimus uses the energy of his Matrix of Leadership to revive Sentinel Prime. Sam contacts the now-independently wealthy Seymour Simmons, and together they realize that Megatron and the Decepticons are murdering people connected to the American and Russian space missions to the Ark. They locate two surviving Russian cosmonauts who reveal satellite photos of hundreds of Pillars being stockpiled on the Moon. Sam realizes that the Decepticons raided the Ark long before the Autobots mission and intentionally left Sentinel and five Pillars behind to lure the Autobots into a trap – Sentinel being the key to activating the Pillars and the Decepticons lacking the means to revive him. However, Rodimus is more focused on killing Yakamoski and avenging his fallen friends, much to his father's concern and dismay. The Autobots rush to return Sentinel to their base for protection. However, Megatron and his Decepticons arrive and attack for short while before Lockdown kills Sentinel, wounds Optimus and Megatron, capturing them, and Daniel on his ship. He explains that those who made the Transformers, Unicron, the "Creator," wants Optimus and Megatron back. Alexis is later captured by Vector Vik, who is revealed to be in service of Unicron. The Autobots and Decepticons decide to join forces and board the ship while Cemetery Wind give Lockdown the Pillars they stole from NEST headquarters. Sam, Daniel, and Molly rescue Ethan and Alexis and escape with Bumblebee and Sideswipe while Rodimus, Hot Rod, and the Decepticons escape with Optimus and Megatron on a detachable part of Lockdown's ship. Optimus and Megatron explain that Lockdown is planning to use the Pillars to bring Unicron to Earth so he could turn every human into Transformers with Cemetery Wind's help.

Working together, the Autobots and Decepticons, with the humans, manage to rescue Alexis and kill Metal-Blade. Optimus uses Shockwave's hydroid-cannon to blast the Control Pillar, disabling the Space Bridge. Lockdown arrives to capture Optimus, Megatron and the Dinobots, using a large magnet to cause destruction. After disabling the magnet, Optimus and Megatron fight Lockdown at an abandoned factory. Sam and Lennox confront Yakamoski and Vik as they reactivate the Control Pillar, and knocks Gould into the Pillar, electrocuting him to death. Bumblebee and Ratchet arrive and destroy the Control Pillar, permanently disabling the Bridge and causing the partially transported Unicron to implode, killing him instantly. In the ensuring duel, Optimus and Megatron kill Yakamoski and Vik, but allowing Lockdown to pin Optimus and Megatron down with their own swords, damaging their sparks. Sam ends up fighting Lockdown one-on-one. Alexis, Daniel and Bumblebee arrive to help Optimus and Sam out. While Bumlebee fights Lockdown, Alexis and Daniel free Optimus and Megatron, where Optimus kills Lockdown by cutting his head open with a sword. He uses Lockdown's gernade to finish off the surviving KSI drones. With the Unicron defeated, Alexis and Sam are reunited, as well as Daniel and his parents, and the Decepticons retreat, vowing to defeat the Autobots one day.

Optimus declares that humans and Transformers must now work together to rebuild their worlds, and sends a message calling any surviving Autobots to come home.



Non-speaking characters Edit

Humans Edit

  • Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a recent college graduate who is once again tied to the fate of Earth's survival.
  • Chelsey Reist as Alexis Raymond, a girl whom Sam meets and befriends.
  • Josh Duhamel as Col. William Lennox, an Army Rangers officer, who commands the classified strike team NEST, an international task-force battling Decepticons with the Autobots.
  • John Turturro as Seymour Simmons, a former agent in charge of the terminated Sector 7 unit and now a successful professional writer.
  • Tyrese Gibson as Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps, former NCOIC of the NEST strike team who now works at Kennedy Space Center.
  • Halle Berry as Molly Witwicky, an ISEA astronaut and scientist.
  • Goran Visnjic as Dr. Spike Witwicky, Molly's husband, a robotics engineer heading the Humanichs Project.
  • Pierce Gagnon as Daniel Witwicky, Molly and John's son, a humanoid robot and the prototype for the Humanichs Project.
  • Hiroyuki Sanada as Dr. Hideki Yakamoski, leader of Cemetery Wind.
  • Kevin Dunn as Ron Witwicky, Sam's father.
  • Julie White as Judy Witwicky, Sam's mother.
  • John Malkovich as Bruce Brazos, Sam's employer and boss at Accuretta Systems.
  • Frances McDormand as Charlotte Mearing, the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Keiko Agena as the aide and assistant of Charlotte Mearing.
  • Lester Speight as "Hardcore" Eddie, a former member of NEST.
  • Josh Kelly as Stone, a former member of NEST.
  • Alan Tudyk as Dutch, Simmons' personal assistant.
  • Mark Ryan as Military Drone Operator.
  • Glenn Morshower as General Morshower, Director of NEST, who communicates with the squad from the Pentagon.

Production Edit

Development Edit

As a preemptive measure before the release of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: War at Dawn, Michael Lucchi and Paramount Pictures announced on March 16, 2009, that a third film would be released in IMAX 3D on January 23, 2013. Michael Bay, who directed the two Transformers films, announced that he would not return to direct the third film, opting to work on his film Pain & Gain.

Music Edit

See also: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye – The Album and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye – The Score

Composer Steve Jablonsky, who had before collaborated with Bay on The Island and the first two Transformers films, did not return to compose the More Than Meets The Eye score. Instead, composer Ramin Djawadi was hired to compose the score. This caused backlash with critics and fans who have lauded Jablonsky's score. The score was released on January 18, 2013, five days before the actual release of the film.


Most of the characters returned for Hasbro's new toyline, which was released on December 16, 2012. In July 2012, Entertainment Tonight previewed the behind-the-scenes filming in Chicago. A two-minute teaser trailer was announced on November 27, and was posted to the Internet on August 9, 2012. A 30-second television advertisement for the film aired during Super Bowl XLV on Fox on August 6, 2012. The first full theatrical trailer was released on August 17, 2012. The very first clip was released on November 18. A second clip was released the next day on November 19. The North American promotional costs came to approximately $75 million.


Main article: Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye The Junior Novel

In December 2012, the novelization, junior novel, and graphic novel of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye were released. Both the novel and the graphic novel featured Skids and Mudflap as supporting characters, but the characters were missing from the junior novel. The graphic novel made reference to several Autobots from the IDW Publishing tie-in comics who died in the stories between Dark of the Moon and More Than Meets The Eye. Another novel, written by Peter David, was published on December 19, 2012, and was released only paperback. Though it is slightly different from the film, the novel still pertains to the topic and synopsis of the film it is based on in the outcome of the final battle. The novel features about 400 pages and is published by Del Rey Books. Its synopsis is:

"All humankind was watching that day in 1969. And yet only a handful knew the real mission behind America's triumph in the space race: to explore the alien ship that has crashed on the far side of the moon. Decades later, scientists are still struggling to understand the technology found on board—though with the treacherous Decepticons after it, a powerful force must be at stake. The only hope of averting a crisis is to reawaken Sentinel Prime, the long-lost leader of the Autobots—but who knows what else remains in the shadows, hidden from man and machine?"



Reist at the film's premiere.

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye first premiered at the Palace Theatre in London on January 21, 2013. Linkin Park performed a special outdoor concert in London on the same night in celebration of the event. The film was eventually released on January 25, 2013.

Box officeEdit


Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye grossed $463,771,829 in North America, and $856,348,050 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1,319,119,879. Worldwide, it is the thirteenth highest-grossing film, the second highest-grossing 2013 film, the highest-grossing Transformers film in the HCU, the second highest-grossing film by Paramount (behind Titanic), and the highest-grossing threequel. It is also the fifteenth film in cinematic history to earn more than $1,000 million, and the fifth-fastest film to achieve this. Its worldwide opening weekend ($382.4 million) is the fourth-largest ever and the largest for Paramount. It set an IMAX worldwide opening-weekend record with $23.1 million. It reached $400M (6 days), $500M (9 days), $600M (12 days) and $700M (16 days) in record time.

North AmericaEdit

The film opened in 4,088 theaters including a then-record total of 2,789 3D locations. It earned $10.75 million from Tuesday 9 p.m. showings, which was the fifth biggest of 2013, and $37.7 million on its opening day (Wednesday) – including Tuesday showings. On Friday, the film grossed an additional $31.25 million bringing its total day gross to $41.6 million, including $10.7 million from IMAX theaters. In its opening weekend, the film earned $150 million, which is the fourth-highest opening for Paramount, and the fifth-highest for a film released in January. The opening-weekend audience was evenly split among those under and over the age of 25 (with 58%), male (64%), and under 18 (27%). Closing on July 3, 2013 with $463.7 million, it is the second-highest-grossing film of 2013 and the second-highest-grossing film in the franchise.

Outside North AmericaEdit

The film grossed $32.5 million on its opening day, pacing 38% ahead of its predecessor. Including some early Tuesday previews, it earned $36.6 million in one-and-a-half days, and by Thursday its overseas total reached $66 million. By the end of its first weekend, it had earned $219.8 million, which stands as the fifth-largest opening weekend of all time overseas and the largest for Paramount. Its foreign launch was 57% ahead of that of War at Dawn ($139.6 million). 70% of its grosses came from 3-D (a higher 3-D share than Pirates 4's 66%). Don Harris, general manager of distribution for Paramount, commented on the results of More Than Meets The Eye: "If we hadn't chosen to debut the movie later in Japan and China, we probably would have had the all-time record." The film topped the box office outside North America for two weekends in a row.

In China, its highest-grossing market after North America, the film set records for an opening day with $15.9 million, a single day with $17.4 million (overtaken by Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons) and an opening weekend with $46.8 million ($62.7 million with previews). The latter was taken from Avatar ($42.0 million). The opening weekend record, when including previews, was surpassed by Titanic 3D ($74.2 million). More Than Meets The Eye ended its run with $167.95 million, marking the highest-grossing film of 2013. Besides China, it broke the opening-day record in Russia and South Korea; the single-day record in Hong Kong; and the opening weekend record in South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, the UAE, the Philippines and Peru. Following China in total earnings were South Korea ($69.1 million) and Japan ($54.2 million).

Home mediaEdit

During Hasbro Investor Day, it was announced that the DVD and Blu-ray disc would be released in the third quarter of 2013. The NTSC home release for the film was released on May 30, 2013, with a Blu-ray 3D version of the film slated for release in "the coming months". However, the first home release was criticized for the lack of bonus features. A Blu-ray "Extended Action Cut" added 10 minutes of footage and uncensored violence was also available, with the United States version being a Best Buy exclusive.

A Walmart exclusive edition of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye also was released on May 30, 2013. The PAL DVD and Blu-ray Discs of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye was released on June 7, 2013.

In North America, it sold 716,218 DVD units (equivalent of $13,565,169) in its first week, topping the weekly DVD chart. It had since sold 2,829,285 DVD units (equivalent of $48,058,979). It also topped the Blu-ray charts on the same week and it has sold 2,381,657 Blu-ray units (earning $50,934,911) by May 23, 2013. The Blu-ray 3D release of the film was released on July 12, 2013.

The aftermarket multimedia bundle Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye consists of a DVD or Blu-ray copy of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and a CD or digital copy of Pink Floyd's More Than Meets The Eye, intended to be synchronized by setting one's CD or media file player to repeat mode and relatively high volume, turning the audiovisual volume down or off, playing the DVD or Blu-ray disc, and starting the CD as the final star in the Paramount logo appears.

Reception Edit

Reviews Edit

While many critics praised the film's visual effects and 3-D action sequences, criticism was directed towards the film's running time, acting, and script. Several critics also felt that More Than Meets The Eye failed to live up to the first Transformers film. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye a score of 40% based on 244 reviews and a rating average of 4.9/10, saying, "Its special effects and 3-D shots are undeniably impressive, but they aren't enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script." Metacritic, another review aggregator, gave the film a Metascore of 42/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews" from 37 critics.

Roger Ebert gave the film one out of four stars, criticizing its visuals, plot, characters, and dialogue. Richard Roeper likewise panned the film, giving it a D and saying that "rarely has a movie had less of a soul and less interesting characters." A.O. Scott in The New York Times wrote: "I can't decide if this movie is so spectacularly, breathtakingly dumb as to induce stupidity in anyone who watches, or so brutally brilliant that it disarms all reason. What's the difference?"

Several critics felt that Shia LaBeouf and Chelsey Reist's performances were ineffective. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two stars, and stated the two actors "couldn't be duller." Tirdad Derakhshani of The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that LaBeouf "plays Witwicky as if he had a ferocious case of attention deficit disorder. After two films, his fidgeting isn't cute anymore." James Berardinelli of ReelViews wrote that LaBeouf "has sunk to greater levels of incompetence here. It's hard to call his posturing and screaming 'acting'." Jason Solomons of The Observer wrote that "we're first introduced to Reiset via drowning, segueing straight from the film's opening sequence and titles on to the pert underwear of our heroine," and that her English posh girl accent "renders her practically unintelligible when surrounded by American accents and falling masonry." Much of the criticism towards Chesley Reiset compared her in an unfavorable light to Megan Fox. Lou Lumenick of the New York Post wrote that her "'acting' makes...Megan Fox look like Meryl Streep in comparison." Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail titled his review of the film, 'Come back Megan Fox, all is forgiven...'. Reist was later nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress for her performance, but lost to David Spade for Jack and Jill.

"For good or ill, Caruso is the soul of a new machine, the poet of post-human cinema, the CEO of Hollywood's military-entertainment complex."

Richard Corliss, in his review of the film for Time magazine

In a more positive review, Steve Prokopy of Ain't It Cool News found the film to better than the first two. Jim Vejvoda of IGN gave the film a score of seven out of ten, also stating that it was the best of the franchise. E! Online graded the film a B+ while noting if this film is truly the end of a trilogy, its main antagonists should have played more of a part. Website Daily Bhaskar also praised the film, rating it three and a half out of five stars, citing it as an improvement on the previous film, and writing that it "gives fans something to cheer about". CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was an A on an F to A+ scale.

Many reviews praised the film's special effects and aggressive use of 3-D. After previewing a partial, unfinished cut of the film, Kofi Outlaw of Screen Rant declared that Caruso had created the best 3-D experience since James Cameron's Avatar. Neil Schneider of Meant to be Seen, a website focused on stereoscopic 3-D gaming and entertainment, remarked that "while Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye had the scrapings of a really good story, this 3-D movie was shot with a 2-D script." On the topic of 3-D, Schneider said "Transformers 3 was a mix of native stereoscopic 3-D camera capturing and 2-D/3-D conversion (as a 3-D tool), and most was done very well." He added, "At a minimum, Transformers 3 demonstrates that fast cutting sequences are indeed possible and practical in stereoscopic 3-D. More than that, it was a comfortable experience and helped exemplify great use of stereoscopic 3-D with live action and digital characters. That said, I think they still could have taken it much further."

Charlie Jane Anders of io9 believed that some elements of the film were deliberate self-references to Michael Bay's own sense of under-appreciation after the backlash to the second film: "After a few hours of seeing Shia get dissed, overlooked and mistreated, the message becomes clear: Shia, as always, is a stand-in for Michael Bay. And Bay is showing us just what it felt like to deal with the ocean of Haterade—the snarking, the Razzie Award, the mean reviews—that War at Dawn unleashed." She went on to say that the film's frequent, often jarring shifts in tone were an intentional endorsement of Michael Bay's own filmmaking style. "Tone is for single-purpose machines. Consistency is for Decepticons. D.J. Caruso's ideal movie shifts from action movie to teen comedy to political drama with the same well-lubricated ease that his cars become men. By the time you've finished watching, you will speak Michael Bay's cinematic language."


Award Category Winner/Nominee Result Ref.
2013 Scream Awards Best Science Fiction Movie Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Best Cameo Buzz Aldrin Nominated
Holy Sh*t Scene of the Year (Escape From Collapsing Building) Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Best 3D Movie Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Won
Best F/X Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
2014 People's Choice Awards
Favorite Movie Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Favorite Action Movie Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Favorite Action Movie Star Shia LaBeouf Nominated
2013 Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards Obviously Worst Film Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
2013 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Sequel or Remake That Shouldn’t Have Been Made Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
2014 Annie Awards
Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Florent Andarra Won
2014 Golden Reel Awards Music in a Feature Film Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance By a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
86th Academy Awards
Best Visual Effects Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier Nominated
Best Sound Mixing Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin Nominated
Best Sound Editing Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl Nominated
34th Golden Raspberry Awards
Worst Picture Transformers:More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Ken Jeong Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Chesley Reist Nominated
Worst Screen Couple Shia LaBeouf and Chesley Reist Nominated
40th Saturn Awards
Best Special Effects Scott Benza, John Frazier, Matthew Butler, and Scott Farar Nominated
2014 Empire Awards The Art of 3D Presented by RealD Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Nominated
2014 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Nominated
Favorite Song "Iridescent" by Linkin Park Nominated

Sequels and spin-offsEdit

Main article: Beast Wars: Transformers (film)

A fourth film serving as a spin-off, Beast Wars, was released in 2015.

References Edit