Percy soon discovers, though, that his world may not be what it seemed; he might actually be the son of Poseidon, the mythic Greek god of the seas. When he is accused of stealing Zeus's iconic lightning bolt, Percy sets out on an 'Odyssey'-like adventure to expose the real thief and retrieve his emotionally wrecked mother (who suspiciously vanished) from Hades.
Playing Percy is Logan Lerman, who you might recognize from the acclaimed, short-lived TV series 'Jack & Bobby'; the always reliable, Oscar-nominated actress Catherine Keener stars as his mother. Uma Thurman also pops up as a playfully wicked Medusa, while Pierce Brosnan has a noteworthy role as the paraplegic Mr. Brunner, Percy's teacher who is really half-man, half-horse.
Clearly marketed to the 'Harry Potter' crowd, 'The Lightning Thief' hopes to make bank this weekend sandwiched between more adult-fare like 'Valentine's Day' and 'The Wolfman.' Surprisingly, the critics have mostly been kind to this adventure-fantasy film, with mixed-to-positive reviews; but all agree that Percy Jackson is no Potter. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune even points out that director Columbus might be off his game since his 'Potter' days: "Columbus' casting instincts have let him down here a bit (he certainly got that right with the 'Harry Potter' films)."
Take a look at what the rest of the critics have to say: