Dead Man Down Reviews

David Thomson
The New Republic
Top Critic
June 12, 2013

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.

Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic
April 30, 2013

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 | Original Score: 2/5
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
March 10, 2013

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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

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.

Nathan Rabin
AV Club
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

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 | Original Score: D+
Stephanie Zacharek
Film.com
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

Dead Man Down is a very serious thriller featuring very serious stars being very serious about the seriousness at hand.

Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

This blend of Scandinavian gloom and Hollywood hokum never jells.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

Yep, there's a whole lot going on here, but this is one of those plot-heavy scripts that carries its weight with confidence - the intricate twists don't cheat.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

Perhaps if Farrell and Rapace and Oplev had all stayed in Europe - and tried to do a similar script, with half-as-much firepower, and twice as much brainpower - they might have had something worth watching. Instead it's just something worth ducking.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
March 8, 2013

The film has been directed in a murky, rhythmless fashion by Niels Arden Oplev, who directed Rapace in the original, and terrific, Swedish-language The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

A moody twist of hyper-violent vengeance and heartache where death is hand-delivered, mercy is hard to come by and love is never easy.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

A derivative collection of brazen plot holes and latenight-cable cliches.

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

The cautionary adage about weaving tangled webs in the process of deception certainly applies to Dead Man Down, an overwrought thriller brought to ground by its own contrivances.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

As a gritty thriller, Dead Man Down doesn't stand out among its bullet-riddled brethren.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

The movie might have been better if its Swedish director, Niels Arden Oplev, had played with the genre clichés stuffed in this turkey instead of going for straight-up action.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Nick Schager
Village Voice
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

It's all so much turgid brooding, dialogue underlined with import, and leaden symbolism involving Rapace's white and red dresses, none of which is salvaged by a typically understated Farrell performance.

Leah Rozen
TheWrap
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

In the end, a viewer can do little more than appreciate Dead Man's shimmering look and wish all involved better luck in their next endeavor.

Jake Coyle
Associated Press
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

The screenplay by J. H. Wyman is squirm-inducing in its preposterous dialogue and haphazard plotting.

Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

That crack cast still keeps things involving, especially Rapace's emotionally and physically disfigured Beatrice.

Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

Before it devolves into typical American-style action, there's an intriguing, European-style complexity to Dead Man Down.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
March 7, 2013

Before this urban revenge melodrama falls apart in a clatter of plot absurdities and pretensions, it has its loopy charms.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4