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Criminal is a 2016 Science fiction movie starring Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds and Tommy Lee Jones.


CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) dies while travelling to a secret location to meet a hacker who can launch missiles at will. Desperate to find his whereabouts, officials turn to an experimental neurosurgeon (Tommy Lee Jones) who can transfer memories from one brain to another. The guinea pig for the procedure is Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner), a violent and dangerous death-row inmate. Now gifted with Pope's skills and knowledge, Stewart must race against time to stop a sinister international conspiracy.


Mind uploading is the central transhumumanist technology of the movie, with a little bit of medical/pharmacological technology explored too.

A review on IMDb gives the following assessment:

Despite a fun performance from Kevin Costner, Criminal is a half-baked action/thriller that fails to properly explore its sci-fi premise.[1]

Although few of the possible ramifications are explored in depth, the premise is interesting from a transhumanist perspective:

  • There is no suggestion of transfer of "consciousness"; instead, what is said to be transferred is a set of memories, skills, and automatic processes
  • The recipient is shown speaking a language that he believes he does not understand (he misidentifies it as Spanish rather than French)
  • The recipient discovers feelings that he previously never experienced
  • His discourse gradually changes from talking about the donor as "he" to talking about the donor as "I"

Rotten Tomatoes scores the film at 33% The Guardian at 1/5 and IMDB gives it a rating of 6.3 out of ten.

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