“Live-action 3-D has been, at least since Avatar, a briar patch for filmmakers and a headache for audiences,” says N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott. But Michael Bay‘s Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, he says, “is one of the few recent 3-D movies that justify the upcharge. Mr. Bay clearly enjoys playing with the format, which is also to say that he takes it seriously. A lot of glass and metal comes flying at your head, and you feel surrounded, plunged into a universe governed by new and strange laws of physics.

“Nothing you see makes any sense at all, but the sensations are undeniable, and kind of fun in their vertiginous, supercaffeinated way.”