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Dead Man Down Reviews

David Thomson
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: The New Republic

June 12, 2013
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

April 30, 2013
James Berardinelli
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 10, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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While a mob thriller can be as nasty as it likes, what it can't be is silly.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 0.5/4

March 8, 2013
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
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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 Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

March 8, 2013
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: D+

March 8, 2013
Stephanie Zacharek
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Dead Man Down is a very serious thriller featuring very serious stars being very serious about the seriousness at hand.

Full Review Source:

March 8, 2013
Rafer Guzman
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This blend of Scandinavian gloom and Hollywood hokum never jells.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1/4

March 8, 2013
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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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 Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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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 Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

March 8, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 8, 2013
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 7, 2013
Peter Debruge
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A derivative collection of brazen plot holes and latenight-cable cliches.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 7, 2013
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

March 7, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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As a gritty thriller, Dead Man Down doesn't stand out among its bullet-riddled brethren.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

March 7, 2013
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 7, 2013
Nick Schager
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 7, 2013
Leah Rozen
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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.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

March 7, 2013
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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The screenplay by J. H. Wyman is squirm-inducing in its preposterous dialogue and haphazard plotting.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

March 7, 2013
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
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That crack cast still keeps things involving, especially Rapace's emotionally and physically disfigured Beatrice.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 7, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Before it devolves into typical American-style action, there's an intriguing, European-style complexity to Dead Man Down.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

March 7, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Before this urban revenge melodrama falls apart in a clatter of plot absurdities and pretensions, it has its loopy charms.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

March 7, 2013
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