Bullet to the Head - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bullet to the Head Reviews

Page 1 of 61
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2014
Derivative, formulaic and clichéd action film, Bullet to the Head is a bland movie that fails to grab your attention due to a lack of originality, good performances and well executed action scenes. This is a bad film, one that is not worth your time and it's a pointless affair that just doesn't offer anything of note. Walter Hill direction is incoherent, and it's a shame because he has made some great films throughout his career, but this is among his worst yet. If you're expecting something great here, you'll be greatly disappointed as the film is pretty stupid in the way it tackles its action scenes. The film, like I said, just doesn't deliver and recycles old ideas from previous action films to create something "new". The film is boring, uninteresting fails to grab your attention. This is a pointless waste of time, a film that is so sloppily written and thought out that it's not worth your time. Sylvester Stallone has made far better films than this, and here he delivers a painfully dull performance that simply doesn't do anything to keep you interested. Bullet to the Head is a wasted opportunity to make something quite interesting and worth your time, but instead it just takes bits and pieces to create something that in the end is not worth watching because the film lacks a good story, effective action and more importantly good performances and interesting characters. This is a forgettable affair that ranks among Sly's worst movies, and it's a film that not worth your time. Walter Hill has made better films, and Bullet to the Head is easily a forgettable film in his long and distinguished filmography.
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2013
3 3/4's---I rather surprisingly enjoyed this, especailly since I expected to hate it. I found the dialogue witty, and the action scenes really decent. The highlight of the movie was with Jason Momoa (who is climbing my list of favorite actors), and Sly having a pretty cool fight with axes. I think maybe I just have a soft spot for Sly movies, as of late. He sure LOOKS great for an old guy....
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2013
Walter Hill's Bullet to the Head misses its mark.The 90 minute story is dull, unexciting, and full of predictable plot details. Yes, there is definite room for improvement when it comes to the writing, but it could also have been a lot worse.The violence is where this picture excels. The shootings are bloody and what better way to live up to its title by delivering a lot of head shots, backed by some decent cinematography.While muffled and blunt at times, Sylvester Stallone's persona is fit for his hitman character. Sung Kang is a disappointment due to his dialogue and line delivery. It's hard to argue with the beauty of Sarah Shahi, so its best to leave it at that. Jason Momoa proves to be a solid adversary for Stallone and the cell phone product placement is big enough to almost warrant a character name for it.Bullet to the Head puts some bullets in the head, but it doesn't do much more than that. Watchable once and that's it.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2012
Veteran director Walter Hill helms this graphic novel adaptation about New Orleans (or, going by the film, Crescent City- NOLA's nickname) hitman James "Jimmy Bobo" Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) who teams up with greenhorn D.C. cop Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) to bring down the killers of their respective partners.

It's one of those "uneasy alliance" films- something Hill is no stranger to. How exactly the plot comes together and why these two team up is a bit of a mess, but that's not the point. The point is to see a veteran action star and a veteran director make an ass-kicking action film.

There is some success in this aim. The film has lots of action, and it is entertaining. But, overall, it's a rather lackluster and generic thriller, and that's a shame. The film is really typical in all the ways you'd suspect (especially the writing), and it really bums me out just how awful of a job the writing and characterization of Kwon was. He's a really dumb, whiny, and ineffectual cop (a lot of the time). I think Kang is fine, and he's just playing the part he was given, but it sucks he couldn't have been given a better part. Maybe they just didn't want someone to outshine Stallone? Yeah, that's probably it.

Stallone is in typical form here, and admittedly some of his banter with Kang is fun, despite being derivative cliche. Christian Slater is okay, but appears all too briefly, which is a real shame. Jason Momoa however, is great as the primary thug, though not chief mastermind antagonist. His axe fight with Stallone is definitely a highlight.

Overall, this is unspectacular stuff. Like I said, I was entertained, and, if you just want some good action and violence, it's here. I'm happy that Hill is still making movies, but I hope that if he makes another one, that it ends up being far better than this one.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2013
"Bullet to the Head" is the latest action movie from Sylvester Stallone who is bring back the "80s" type of action movies. Here he plays a hit man who teams with a cop(Sung Kang) and tries to avenge the death of his partner after a job goes wrong. It's a pretty average plot, but the action is good, and there are lots of bullets to heads(as well as there should be in a movie titled this!) Stallone does good playing, well Stallone. The rest of the cast is what you would expect. Kang is the good cop who has to look past his morals to help the bad guy, who is really the good guy. Jason Momoa plays the big badass bad guy, and he does great snarling and brooding the whole time. He and Stallone have a pretty good axe fight(don't see those much these days). It is what it is. A violent R rated action movie that's entertaining if you like those movies, but nothing that you will remember afterwards. Has some funny moments, and never takes itself too seriously. It's worth a watch, but in a year or so it'll be in the 5 dollar bin at Wal-Mart with a pg version playing on network TV.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2013
Revenge never gets old.

Good action movie, no more no less! "Bullet to the Head" was a nice surprise: an out of the blue teaming up of two action-movie veterans. I'd recommend this movie for all the true action lovers that don't always need.a complex, layered storyline. Just a fun, action flick to watch on a Friday night with your buddies or maybe even date, if you're girlfriend is into that type of stuff!

After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2013
We've had Arnie's come back vehicle and now its Sly's turn in this very Hong kong sounding action flick. Whilst the Austrian oaks come back flick turned out to be a rather silly, almost parody type action flick, Sly's offering is much more violent resembling the good old days. So yes this film is highly retro and a typical slice of hokum courtescy of action maestro Hill.

So despite the John Woo-like title the film is acutally an adaptation of a French graphic novel believe it or not. This still doesn't mean the plot isn't predictable as hell, featuring the usual 80's cliche of a mismatched pair having to help each other out in order to bring down the bad guys. One is a cop (that really poor 'Fast n Furious' actor) and the other is contract killer (Sly), both are trying to bring down the big boss, add to that the standard big muscle bound nemesis for the obvious big sweaty fight at the end.

Take note of the films title as this is what you get throughout, plenty of people getting shot in the head, novel huh. So yes the film does hark back to the good old days of the 'straight to the video shop' action flicks, plenty of mindless violence in a cookie cutter plot. But this is the problem, this film is or would be a straight to DVD film if it wasn't for Sly being in it.

There is virtually nothing memorable in the entire film. Nothing that made me sit up and pay attention and nothing that would make me come back and watch it again. Stallone (like Arnie) is clearly too old for this shit with his sagging chest and extremely tight looking pants (girdle?). Yes he looks good for his age sure (the odd nip n tuck aside of course), but he's a millionaire movie star people, what do you expect!.

On one hand I fully endorse any adult retro action flicks in general to get away from the modern age of the wider audience pleasing 12A and PG-13 ratings. On the other hand they still have to show a little bit of thought and at least try for some originality. This film is exactly what it shouldn't be, a simple vehicle for an aging action star to try and get back on his horse and nothing more. Just like 'The Last Stand' its virtually pointless and should have used a younger star, it still would have been a throw away action flick but you expect that.

I hate to have a go at these iconic stars I really do, but the time has come for both Arnie and Sly to call it a day in my view. This film is sooooo by the numbers it was dull, the only thing I can possibly give plus points for was the finale fight with Momoa and the fact its an adult film. If anything this film shows how good Momoa can be in action/fight sequences, maybe he should of been in Stallone's role.
Super Reviewer
December 30, 2011
Revenge still works and so does this movie. Director, Walter Hill returns in over a decade and delivers one of his best films ever, it delivers his classic trademark of seriousness, action and dark humor that are still a winning combination. A skillfully crafted, stylish, cool and hard-boiled action-thriller. It's tough, intense, at times unsettling and shattering, it dose not forget who these characters are and what they do. And a great set of characters they are, the cast is solid and deliver the goods. Sylvester Stallone is a powerhouse, he gives a strong and terrific performance, he still proves he can do more than most young action heroes can and has a blast doing it. Sung Kang is exceptional. Kang and Stallone have some great chemistry in their scenes. Jason Momoa is excellent. Momoa and Stallone have some great and well-crafted fight scenes. It's an adrenaline-soaked action-packed thrill-ride from start to finish. A heart-pounding, wickedly funny and very entertaining movie. I loved this movie.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2013
This movie thinks we're living in the 1980s and just wants to be a simple, shoot em' up action flick with Stallone. This would be fine, if we weren't living in 2013 where we've seen this film 100 times before. Jason Momoa was good though.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2013
Bullet to the Head is every Sylvester Stallone movie cliche rolled into one, which wouldn't have been a bad thing if the film didn't take itself so seriously. There is no sense of fun here; the tone tries to be gritty and realistic but the script seems like it was written to be over the top formula action.
Seriously, how do you make such a poor excuse for a B-movie with a title like "Bullet to the Head" and with a cast that includes Stallone, Sung Kang, Mr. Eko, and Khal Drogo...I mean, Jason Momoa? How do you set up an axe fight and have it end in a lame lucky shot instead of a beheading? And is dialogue like "I'm going to kill you with a rock" or "If I asked for your opinion, I'd buy you a brain" really the best one-liners that you could come with? This movie is a total bomb. Go see Arnold's new movie, The Last Stand to see a silly B-movie done right.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2015
On the one hand, James Bonomo(Sylvester Stallone), a hitman, would very much like to to avenge the death of his partner Louis(Jon Sena) who died at the hands of Keegan(Jason Momoa). At the same time, Taylor Kwon(Sung Kang), a police detective, arrives from Washington DC to New Orleans to investigate the death of his former partner, James and Louis' last victim. That leads to James saving Taylor's life, against his worse instincts, even bringing him to his daughter Lisa(Sarah Shahi), a tattoo artist, in order to be stitched up.

"Bullet to the Head" is a flat, uninspired and banal revenge action movie that does not even have the proper energy to try to be a proper buddy movie. That's not to mention a truly convoluted plot that again proves how often a real estate scam does not make for scintillating drama. All of which is a shame considering Walter Hill should know better with his long and acclaimed track record. At least, he cast Sarah Shahi even though she is not given much to do and Jason Momoa who walks around he like owns the room and does.
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2012
Based on a graphic novel, Bullet to the Head is a dark and gritty crime thriller. Sylvester Stallone leads the cast and gives a strong performance, but Sung Kang is dead weight and drags down the film. The story follows an assassin who gets burned and decides to team up with a cop in order to find out who ordered the hit on him. The plot's not that interesting and it doesn't unravel very well. Still, Stallone delivers some impressive action. There's a lot that doesn't work in Bullet to the Head, but it's decent enough for an action flick.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2013
There's nothing really wrong with Bullet to the Head other than the fact that it's completely forgettable. Nothing original, nothing you'll remember, nothing to set it apart from every generic action movie. On a bored afternoon you can do much worse, but if you buy this on blu-ray, you're making a mistake.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2013
Bullet to the Head is a buddy cop action films that has been better done, tightly written, and more importantly of good quality. This film won't appeal outside of its target demographic, but for those who are the target demographic will see it as a serviceable fun ride.

Bullet to the Head is about a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy. Now the main reason this won't appeal outside of it fan base is it unoriginality and overuse cliches. A fan of the action genre can look past these flaws, but it will still bug fans. Now since this a buddy cop action film there's some good laughs to be had here in the comedy aspect, but Stallone partner in the film almost entirely useless. He helps Stallone once or twice, but most of the time Sung Kang either needs be rescue, does nothing important, or is just their be made off. Plot has ever so rarely been a strong aspect in Stallone action films, but considering what's on his resume (Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot) you could do allot worse.

Now time for the good aspects of the film which includes Sylvester Stallone in the leading role. He's basically here to act tough and kill people on screen which if you enjoy seeing this won't disappoint. It makes good use of its R rating by including a good amount of blood and brutal deaths. What also helps in the action section is Walter Hill direction. While his gun fights are nothing special where the film does shine are in the film fight scenes. Given that Walter Hill also directed "The Warriors" expect some good brutal fights and a terrific ax battle towards the end. The actors that play the heroes were good or at least serviceable at best. Though the actors that played the villains are awful. Not a single actor that played a villain was even close to being average. The worst offender being Jason Momoa who does looks menacing, but when he talks he loses all presence of being a villain.

Bullet to the Head is not going to appeal outside of it fan base for it's unorginal, cliche, and might make some want to put an actual bullet to their head due to amount of stupidity in it. For those who do enjoy Stallone in a leading role killing baddies in a simple to follow plot with good amount of humor and action than this might do trick. Though you might prefer watching the star and director superior previous works instead for quality films.
Super Reviewer
½ January 8, 2013
When hitman Stallone and his partner carry out what they assume to be an everyday hit, unaware that the man they executed was a crooked cop, the victim's partner (Kang) arrives in town to track down his killers. With Stallone's partner murdered by a mercenary (Momoa) in a bar, Kang and Stallone reluctantly team up to find the men responsible for both deaths, employing wildly opposing methods of investigation.
Based on a French comic book, it's fitting that 'Bullet to the Head' be directed by a true auteur like Hill. Directors of his nature sadly don't exist anymore; men whose movies could be enjoyed equally by the film scholar and the Saturday night six-pack guzzler. You can almost imagine Hill initially turning down the job, grunting something along the lines of "I'm too old for this shit", only for the producers to kill his dog and kidnap his daughter, forcing him to direct at gunpoint in chained ankles. Whatever his motivation, he's proved that when it comes to visceral action cinema, there are few better. In a Walter Hill movie, gunshots sound that extra few decibels louder, blood looks slightly more red, and anyone can die at anytime. It's a template he sticks to here, transporting us back to a time before post-modern cynicism and smart-ass genre deconstruction took the fun out of the action movie.
Over the decades, Stallone has been honing his comedic chops but never quite found a fitting role. This is easily the funniest performance he's ever given, playing his character like a cross between John Wayne and a Jewish stand-up. Kang is no great actor but plays the straight man role well enough, basically just there to take insults from Stallone. It's similar to the dynamic of Nolte and Murphy in Hill's '48 Hours', another rare effective blend of comedy and action. There are several nods to 'The Searchers', one of Hill's favorite films, with Stallone even repeating "That'll be the day" at one point. The action icon's age is mocked nicely, the film's eye candy (Shahi) now his daughter rather than a love interest.
Do you like your action movies to consist of two guys bickering in a car between ballistic, bone-crunching set-pieces, eventually climaxing with a girl tied to a chair in a disused power plant while two 'roided up men fight to the death with axes, all in a brisk ninety minutes? If so, this is the film for you.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2014
Miscasting is one of the major problems with this buddy action film. The big question was one actor miscast or were they both miscast. There is no on screen chemistry between Stallone and Kang. On screen chemistry between the two leads is the key to make this kind of film work.

They had a good idea for a film, but they didn't execute it correctly. It needed a rewrite. It was predictable. I wasn't surprised by what happened in the film. The best part of the film was the fight scene at the end of the film between Stallone and Momoa. This is a big disappointment for director Walter Hill. Hill has done some great films such as 48 Hours, Streets of Fire, Red Heat, to name a few. The last good film that I saw that Hill directed was Geronimo.

I felt like I have seen Stallone play this type of role before. He reminded me a lot of some of his past characters like in Assassins, The Specialist, and Get Carter. Sung Kang was better in the Fast and Furious films than here. Jason Momoa steals the film. He would be really good playing a Terminator in a Terminator film.

I would say, skip it.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2013
That Sylvester Stallone is still starring in action films is perhaps almost as surprising as the fact that that Bullet to the Head is any good. It's derivative, to be sure, but Bullet to the Head manages to be a surprisingly solid B neo-noir type film, relentlessly violent and often thrilling. It's a film that's dumb, but also a bit daring, familiar without being boring.

Stallone is the best thing about the film, oddly enough, having the perfect tone for the role, as a gruff, brooding, unpredictable, yet unmistakably human hit man. The chemistry he enjoys with Sung Kang is also a bit surprising, though Kang does not bring much to the role. It's Stallone's presence that really elevates the film, he still inhibits the action badass to good effect, undoubtedly honed in by his Expendables franchise.

The plot, as mentioned, is familiar, yet it strikes notes that manages to distinguish it enough. What I appreciated most was how unapologetic it all was. Stallone was bad, and never tried to really redeem himself. In most action films, the surrounding cast would try to get him to see the error of his ways, yet Stallone in Bullet to the Head plays as more of an antihero, and the characters seem to be fine with that.

The storyline itself is overly simplistic, and the ending takes too wild of a turn, yet for a film that knows what it is, it works. It's a B action film with some pulpy thrills, and a neo-noir sensibility, but with a straight-to-DVD script. Overall, an enjoyable enough ride for action/Stallone fans.

3/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2013
More of a kick to the head than a shot to the heart, Sylvester Stallone's standalone comeback ends up to be more of a number two with a Bullet. Oh, it starts out well enough, with the once and future Rambo Balboa kicking ass like a well-oiled dependable Expendable. Unfortunately, even under the capable direction of veteran action helmer Walter Hill (The Long Riders, Last Man Standing, 16 Blocks), this formulaic Head-case tends to drag in-between explosively exciting set pieces. Like the misbegotten remake Get Carter, moviegoers will hope for a decent Stallone vehicle out of nostalgia, but it just slowly gives credence to the argument that the Italian Stallion needs to be put out to stud.

In this R-rated actioner based on a French comic book, a DC cop (Sung Kang) and a Crescent City hitman (Stallone) form an alliance after watching their respective partners die at the hands of a common mercenary (Momoa).

It's a shame, really. Grizzled Italian oak-of-a-man Stallone looks amazing and shows better action chops than most younger shoot-'em-up wannabes (John Cena, Liam Hemsworth, etc.). Also, Momoa (Conan the Barbarian, HBO's Game of Thrones) proves to be a worthily villainous opponent as a seemingly modern Viking warrior. Unfortunately, in-between ridiculously quotable bon mots, the patently silly and disbelief-busting script slowly connects the dots toward Cliché - not Crescent - City. Thanks to some fizzled chemistry, the flat buddy cop formlua invites less comparisons to Hill's 48 Hours and more to its anemic sequel, Another 48 Hours. Stallone deserves better...so do action fans, however.

Bottom line: Demolition pan.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2013
This is the kind of pulpy, violent film Walter Hill excels at making . . . even with a weak screenplay. Stallone's re-making a solid career in his later years, even proving himself a capable actor on top of his tough guy persona.
Page 1 of 61