Never Back Down Reviews

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S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media
December 31, 2010
Bloody fight film has heart, but it's no champion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
October 18, 2008
A naive and truly obnoxious movie about the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Steve Davis
Austin Chronicle
October 18, 2008
While the character of Jake isn't an emotionally taxing one, Faris has his moments, especially in a low-key scene in which he attempts to explain why his character is full of rage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review
August 27, 2008
Here's what I hoped for: someone to root for, someone to root against, an inspiring coach, some eye candy and, of course, training montages. I got what I wanted.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
August 5, 2008
A sort of teenage Fight Club, complete with daddy issues, Never Back Down is a slight refinement of the sort of picture that was ascendant in the '80s... [Blu-Ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tim Grierson
Screen International
July 23, 2008
A generic, violent underdog story that pays a lot of lip service to non-violence when its characters aren't busy kicking and punching the tar out of each other.
Austin Kennedy
Sin Magazine
June 18, 2008
People that actually think the trailer looks cool will probably like the movie enough and it does have some cool fights, I just couldn't get past the fact that the movie gave you no one to root for.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephen Silver
The Trend
June 11, 2008
While both [this movie and "Karate Kid"] are unintentionally hilarious, the difference is no one will remember "Never Back Down" in two weeks, let alone 20 years.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Mike Sage
Peterborough This Week
April 15, 2008
The acting is hammy, Djimon Hounsou shows up to give the flick a corny air of Karate Kid and there's nothing particularly original about the whole premise but somehow it works. It must be those abs. Or the kicks to them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Matt McNally
BBC.com
April 8, 2008
Come back Mr Miyagi, all is forgiven.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Orlando Parfitt
IGN Movies UK
April 4, 2008
A cliché-ridden guilty pleasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Nick De Semlyen
Empire Magazine
April 4, 2008
The Karate Kid meets Fight Club but it's no way near as good as it sounds.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
April 3, 2008
Enjoyably trashy teen flick that plays like a dumbed-down version of Fight Club, enlivened by an engaging lead performance by star-in-the-making Sean Faris.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
March 28, 2008
The result is an entertaining roller coaster of emotions and actions, with Djimon Hounsou bringing dignity and meaning to his role as Jean, the martial arts coach with his own demons to conquer
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
March 25, 2008
Jeff Wadlow's direction is disorderly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
March 25, 2008
If you think about what this film is saying, the superficiality is overwhelming.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Film Threat
March 23, 2008
Even for the trashy sub-genre it belongs to, "Never Back Down" is sadly just lazy action pablum as will the five Straight to DVD sequels be. I'll just stick to "Karate Kid"...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Cynthia Fuchs
PopMatters
March 21, 2008
Amid all this conventional-plotty mishmash, it's not a newsflash that the role of Jean, the tireless, morally upright and vaguely spiritual mentor, is especially grating.
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
March 19, 2008
A cross between "The Karate Kid" and "Fight Club," though without the A-list cast. That's right, the A-list cast. When compared to the D-listers assembled in "Back Down," Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio might as well be A-list.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Gregory Kirschling
Entertainment Weekly
March 19, 2008
Movie is dopey. And with its emphasis on stupid violence, xylophone abs, and getting yourself on YouTube, it's yet another product that makes you feel bad about today's youth culture.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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