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Dead Man Down (2013)


Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 97
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 61

Critics Consensus: While the fine cast keeps Dead Man Down watchable throughout, the film is weighted down by absurd plot twists and a slack pace.

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: While the fine cast keeps Dead Man Down watchable throughout, the film is weighted down by absurd plot twists and a slack pace.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 20,555


Movie Info

Niels Arden Oplev, the acclaimed director of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, makes his American theatrical debut with the new action thriller, DEAD MAN DOWN. Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace star as two strangers who are irresistibly drawn to one another by their mutual desire for revenge. The film co-stars Academy Award (R) nominee Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper, from a screenplay by J.H.Wyman (Fringe). (c) Film District

R (for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality)
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
J.H. Wyman
In Theaters:
Jul 9, 2013
Box Office:
FilmDistrict - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Dead Man Down

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (61) | DVD (1)

Suppose Armand Assante had played the mother, not as a father, as a mother. Suppose Isabelle Huppert had taken the Colin Farrell part. This may be no more than playful, but heaven knows Dead Man Down needs as much of that as it can get.

Full Review… | June 12, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

A way-too-leisurely thriller whose destination is fairly obvious from early on, but to which the talented cast apply themselves with effortful seriousness.

Full Review… | April 30, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Explores a common ground for noir thrillers before stumbling and imploding in a climax that feels like it might have been hijacked from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

Full Review… | March 10, 2013
Top Critic

While a mob thriller can be as nasty as it likes, what it can't be is silly.

Full Review… | March 8, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

More a dark fairy tale about vengeance than the action-packed crime thriller it purports to be, the film is at times exhilarating, bold, and beautiful -- when it's not busy being ludicrous, fragmented, and just plain stupid.

Full Review… | March 8, 2013
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

It takes forever to get going, unspooling its hopelessly convoluted, unwieldy plot for so long that it loses whatever marginal narrative momentum it possesses.

Full Review… | March 8, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

The cast does all that they can, but, by the end, Dead Man Down plays as a confused, noble misfire.

Full Review… | August 11, 2014
Film School Rejects

It gives us no real themes to marinate upon, yet it gives us very little memorable action in which to revel. It's simply a mish-mosh and a shame.

Full Review… | February 6, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

The plot and characters of pulpy revenge thriller Dead Man Down are pure B-movie stuff, yet stars Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace lend the film unexpected class and conviction.

Full Review… | September 22, 2013
Movie Talk

While Dead Man Down has a talented cast in Farrell, Rapace, and Howard, it ends up being a rather bland take on the revenge thriller, offering nothing new or stimulating to the genre.

Full Review… | July 8, 2013
We Got This Covered

It's more American nightmare than any manner of dream.

Full Review… | July 8, 2013
Film Racket

Dead Man Down is Oplev demonstrating the same great cinematic sense he did with Millenium Series, and that revenge is never a straight line, it's a thorny bramble.

Full Review… | June 4, 2013
2UE That Movie Show

A scatter-brained plot never quite works itself out.

Full Review… | May 24, 2013

The plot takes a bit too long to get any traction and consequently the film feels rather long. Still, I like the fusion of Hollywood and European filmmaking sensibilities

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Urban Cinefile

Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace are a knockout combination, their relationship grounded on a knife's edge of destruction

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Urban Cinefile

Dead Man Down feels like two different films struggling against each other. One a brooding Euro thriller, the other a clunky Hollywood actioner. Neither really works.

Full Review… | May 16, 2013
Flix Capacitor

There are a couple of decent action scenes but this is just too ridiculous to be taken as seriously as it expects to be. With a slight re-edit, it could be re-released as Naked Gun 4.

Full Review… | May 10, 2013
Daily Star

It's a modern-day, edgy love story at heart ... The climatic ending ... is pretty spectacular ... Though nothing new, it's beautifully realised and shot.

Full Review… | May 6, 2013

Needless to say, the whole thing builds towards a big shoot-out, but none of the action is executed with any verve or style.

Full Review… | May 5, 2013

Dead Man Down is a self-consciously dark movie that's ultimately let down by JH Wyman's script.

Full Review… | May 5, 2013
Observer [UK]

As with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Oplev uses darkness to convey atmosphere despite the overt crispness of the movie's digital look. Some old-fashioned celluloid grain would have done it the world of good.

Full Review… | May 4, 2013
Birmingham Mail

A sturdy potboiler that's directed with a European sense of space and rhythm, accepting of character flaws, and generous with time for characters to breathe and develop at their own pace.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Common Sense Media

[Rapace] will be enough to send some to this urban thriller but the film will send them away disappointed.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
This is London

By the time Dead Man Down descends into ultra-violence, you'll be long past caring.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
Digital Spy

Here's yet another preposterous action movie that's made watchable by a skilful director and an engaging cast.

Full Review… | May 3, 2013

Audience Reviews for Dead Man Down


I feel I need to step in and defend Dead Man Down somewhat. It's received quite a lot of negativity but I'm really not sure why. Many of the reviews I've read from the American press critics attack the film by specifically mentioning that the director and three of the main characters are European. Some go as far as suggesting the European filmmakers should 'Go home'. The European critics however suggest that making the film in America is the problem. Both seem to agree that the film is ludicrous. Personally I really don't think where it was set really matters, it has very little to do with the story. I think people were expecting a A Girl With the Dragon Tattoo carbon copy because God forbid director Niels Arden Oplev try anything different. If he had made it in his native country Denmark then the American studios would have remade it anyway. It's not ludicrous either, at least no less so than the other 99.9% of films released that year. If you find Dead Man Down the most ludicrous and worst film of 2013 then you really didn't see that many films. It's hard to work out what audiences expect anymore, especially when Dead Man Down can boast a pretty decent performance from Colin Farrell - an actor I don't generally like, a strong supporting cast including Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper, and F. Murray Abraham who are all on good form and a brilliantly complex performance from Noomi Rapace. The big twist that happened fairly early on in the film came from no where, it was furiously intense and was one of the best single scenes of 2013. OK, so I'm not sure what Isabelle Huppert was doing here either and the car thing at the end was possibly not the best thing that could have happened but this film deserves way more credit than it has received.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Maybe I am a newfound Colin Farrell fan? because I thought that this was a pretty darn good movie. This is a revenge pact, romance, thriller. Good chemistry between the two leads. Good action. Good story. What wasn't to like?

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Revenge is coming.

Good Film! It's a movie that never loses sight of what it originally intends, nor does it pander to taste or pretend to be better than it is. The script is solid and seamless. There are some shortcomings as to continuity and perspective of a linear timeline, but there is so much emotion in even the smallest scenes as to make this almost trivial. The movie bounces between crime thriller and romantic/love story. The added fun of secret missions from both Victor and Beatrice provide the twist this one needs. This one reminds at times of a couple of Mel Gibson revenge flicks: Payback and Edge of Darkness. Fantastic performances all around.

Victor, a rising gangland player, has infiltrated the crime empire run by ruthless kingpin Alphonse, with the single purpose of making Alphonse pay for destroying his once happy life. As he meticulously orchestrates his vengeance from his high-rise home, Victor watches and is watched by Beatrice, a mysterious young woman who lives in the apartment across from his. On the surface a fragile woman-child, Beatrice seethes with a rage of her own. When she uncovers Victor's dark secrets, she threatens to expose him unless he helps her carry out her own campaign of retribution. Each fixated on avenging the past, they devise a violent and cathartic plan that could change their worlds forever.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Dead Man Down Quotes

Darcy: Are you coming for me? Victor: No. I am coming for her.
– Submitted by Evan T (15 months ago)

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