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Dirty Harry (1971)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 75,079

My Rating

Movie Info

"You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" Dirty Harry provoked a critical uproar in 1971 for its "fascist" message about the power of one, as it also elevated Clint Eastwood to superstar status through his most enduring screen persona. Harry Callahan (Eastwood, in a role meant for Frank Sinatra) is a sardonic, hard-working San Francisco cop who can't finish his lunch without having to foil a bank robbery with his 44 Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink

Nov 18, 1997

Warner Home Video

Watch It Now


Latest News on Dirty Harry

December 19, 2012:
National Film Registry Enshrines Dirty Harry, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and More
Twenty-five more films are ushered into the national movie vault.
May 11, 2006:
Dirty Harry Gets a Video Game and an HD Facelift
Big fan of the "Dirty Harry" series? Well then get ready for an all-new video game version...


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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (2) | DVD (34)

Clint Eastwood, in the title role, is a superhero whose antics become almost satire. Strip away the philosophical garbage and all that's left is a well-made but shallow running-and-jumping meller.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (13)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A crisp, beautifully paced film, full of Siegel's wonderful coups of cutting and framing.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No less than Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it offers a fabulous, multifarious political metaphor. (And, as with Body Snatchers, Siegel's own liberal interpretation was trumped by a more forceful hard-right reading.

April 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seminal law-and-order cinema.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If there aren't mentalities like Dirty Harry's at loose in the land, then the movie is irrelevant. If there are, we should not blame the bearer of the bad news.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes Dirty Harry worth watching no matter how dumb the story, is Siegel's superb sense of the city, not as a place of moods but as a theater for action.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A significant film ideologically, this right-wing revenge crimer catapulted Clint Eastwood to major stardom and launched a whole cycle of films about taking the law into your hands.

April 16, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comment (1)

"Dirty Harry" is still one of the most enjoyable films you could hope to sit down with for a couple of hours.

October 3, 2010 Full Review Source:

'70s rebel-cop classic is way too edgy for kids.

September 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

Don Siegel's action thriller hasn't aged a single day since its release...

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

An iconic performance by Clint Eastwood creates a cinematic immortal.

June 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Siegel makes excellent use of San Francisco locations, even if Harry makes a few implausible leaps across town from time to time. The Kezar Stadium showdown in particular is a keeper.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The straw-man arguments made here skew towards caveman us-versus-them idiocy.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (5)
Projection Booth

Don Siegel's Dirty Harry is an apt example of a film with a vision that few people perceive beyond its violent, flamboyant surfaces. If director Siegel might be a bit uncomfortable with a close reading of his movie, he also might be pleased that the...

March 1, 2009 Full Review Source:

... as Inspector Harry Callahan, known to the squad as Dirty Harry, Eastwood turned his frontier persona into an urban cowboy on the mean streets of our urban world.

October 26, 2008 Full Review Source:

If you don't buy this sociological stuff and consider Dirty Harry to be little more than an above average B-picture, it's impossible to deny it is a superb action movie.

August 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

...a taut, well-paced cop thriller with two solid adversaries in conflict.

May 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A fascist film, or a film about a fascist cop? Either way, this is suspenseful, energetic stuff.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The Eastwood-Siegel combo packs more of a punch every year.

December 28, 2006
Las Vegas Review-Journal

An all-time great that keeps getting better with age. Andrew Robinson's Scorpio gets my vote for the most loathsome movie villain ever.

September 21, 2005
Fantastica Daily

The man with no name gets a nickname and a badge.

April 8, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Clint Eastwood got the role of his life.

November 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Dirty Harry

In the pursuit of the gleefully sadistic yet cowardly Scorpio killer, played to perfection by Andy Robinson, Detective Inspector Harry Callahan manages to step on the toes of every one of the bureaucratic superiors he holds in so much disdain. The man with no name may have been the character that made Clint a star, but it was Harry Callahan that made him an icon; he is the personification of tough guy charisma in one of the all-time classic cop thrillers. Don Siegel directs with incredible economy, encapsulating Callahan's character in a brief exchange with the mayor and his methods in the classic bank heist shoot out all within the first 15 minutes. No car chases, no explosions, no romantic interest. Just a brilliantly written, perfectly executed hard-boiled crime thriller scored wonderfully by best of the best, Lalo Schifrin. Nigh on perfect.
July 8, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A gritty and riveting thriller. A classic of its time and still works today. Clint Eastwood gives a real movie star performance, he has the grit, wit and tough as nails persona that shows why he was one of the true leading men of his time and one of the ultimate bad asses in film history. A tough. taunt and terrific film that still works and is the best of the series. It`s cool as hell and action-packed and always entertaining. A hard-edged and pulse-pounding edge of your seat thrill-ride.
December 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

A police officer who has no respect for the law tracks a killer holding the city for ransom.
I don't think it's only because I didn't like the eponymous character that I didn't like the film as a whole. The killer has no motivations for his actions other than the cliched "He's just crazy," and the establishment's actions, personified by the mayor and police chief's conservative dealings with the killer, wreak of a contrived set-up to make Harry appear "heroic" - what the film considers "heroic" - by contrast. How heroism is constructed in this film is what makes it most interesting. I don't see it as a satire; rather, I think the film honestly thinks of Harry Callahan as a hero. And who is he? Well, he taunts victims, kills often, has no respect for the law, and takes matters into his own hands with aplomb. I can understand why America would take him as a cultural icon; we don't like rules and restrictions and often valorize rugged individualists. So I understand why Dirty Harry was made, and I understand why people like it, but America was founded on a combination of communitarian and individualist values, a fact the film elides.
Overall, Dirty Harry is a cliched action film, and the only thing about it that's interesting is why people like it.
July 25, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Gritty cop thriller with a great Eastwood performance and some fantastic quotes. Full review later.
October 7, 2011
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

    1. Harry Callahan: Go ahead. Make my day.
    – Submitted by Ben D (8 months ago)
    1. Harry Callahan: You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?
    – Submitted by Husam A (22 months ago)
    1. Harry Callahan: Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    – Submitted by Alex K (23 months ago)
    1. Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five'? Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, i kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, punk?
    – Submitted by Rachel A (2 years ago)
    1. Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five'? Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, i kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, punk?
    – Submitted by bob j (2 years ago)
    1. Harry Callahan: You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?
    – Submitted by Tyler C (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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