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Pain & Gain (2013)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 182
Fresh: 91 | Rotten: 91

It may be his most thought-provoking film to date, but Michael Bay's Pain & Gain ultimately loses its satirical edge in a stylized flurry of violent spectacle.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 25

It may be his most thought-provoking film to date, but Michael Bay's Pain & Gain ultimately loses its satirical edge in a stylized flurry of violent spectacle.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 82,978

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Movie Info

From acclaimed director Michael Bay comes "Pain and Gain," a new action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie. Based on the unbelievable true story of a group of personal trainers in 1990s Miami who, in pursuit of the American Dream, get caught up in a criminal enterprise that goes horribly wrong. (c) Official Site

Aug 27, 2013


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All Critics (182) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (91) | Rotten (91) | DVD (2)

Pain & Gain weighs about 700 pounds when it ought to weigh 2.

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first hour may be Bay's career high point: it's fast, freaky, gloriously tasteless and startlingly pointed in its attacks on western insecurity, shallowness and greed.

August 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In between scenes of the muscleheads torturing their victim, Bay indulges his taste for treating women as sluts and grisly brutality as a nifty excuse for a cheap laugh.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Now [Bay] hits new levels of both artistry and sleaziness in the black comedy Pain & Gain, which I strongly recommend if you don't overvalue taste, subtlety, and moral decency. I liked it.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This crude and ugly entertainment is as crass as everything this depressingly successful filmmaker has done.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's official. Michael Bay, director of the Transformers clobberfests, knows how to make movies about humans, too. The problem is, he thinks humans are robots.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An often hilarious black comedy with a nicely embedded moral.

June 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

While Pain & Gain often frustrates, Bay's overwhelming cinematic sense is undeniable.

June 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Michael Bay has finally made a film worthy of deep consideration.

March 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

It's hard to see how any of these experienced actors, none of whom are convincing, saw the funny side of this or the appeal of their characters.

January 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Impulse Gamer
Impulse Gamer

Watching Pain & Gain might give you testosterone poisoning, but it's easily Michael Bay's funniest and most interesting work to date.

December 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

Rather than take its true crime caper inspiration seriously, it pawns off its real-life players as dumb action figures and has little respect for the victims involved either.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

While not a faithful re-enactment of a horrific true story, Pain & Gain will certainly please those looking for cheap thrills

October 18, 2013 Full Review Source: The National
The National

...the film occasionally approaches something resembling satire. Bay's attempts at humour are not always insightful though - a dead woman's breast implant still gets giggled.

October 12, 2013 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

Michael Bay's lurid crime comedy Pain & Gain is as excessively pumped-up as you would imagine, a berserk, overblown action movie on steroids.

September 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Pain & Gain is Michael Bay's best film yet, fusing his high-octane and in-your-face directing style with pitch black comedy that makes for the funniest film of 2013.

September 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Lugo and his confederates feitishized the human body, were steeped in misogyny, and had scant intelligence, emotional or otherwise. Their story is brought to the screen by Michael Bay.

August 31, 2013 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

This is Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson straining every sinew to deliver the heavy duty performance of his career.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Might this be the best Michael Bay film ever? We know what you're thinking. But we mean it in a good way.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

A movie in which women are either pouting, flesh-baring sluts or morbidly obese figures of mockery with terrible personal hygiene, where rampant homophobia is deemed funny and laddish, and where crude racial stereotyping is acceptable.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

The closest Michael Bay's natural style for flash really feels like an organic extension and expression of the material's narrative and characters rather than mere surface gloss.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source:

[Bay] tries to be funny, and it turns out to be even more brutal, loathsome and crude than his previous efforts.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

The performances are first class and help make you warm to the lunkheaded trio against your better judgement.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The uneasy blend of comedy and ultra-violence will turn some viewers off but, if you can stomach it, you may find yourself curiously entertained.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Michael Bay's muscle-bound satire is Bad Boys on 'roids. And that's not a good thing.

August 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Audience Reviews for Pain & Gain

Review coming to
April 6, 2014

Super Reviewer

Much like me at the gym, Pain & Gain runs out of steam very quickly and never really recovers. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it buckles at around the 20 minute mark. It's based on a true story, indeed at the end of the film we actually see mug shots of the real people the actors are portraying. They don't look alike at all and for the first time ever I will say that it might have been of benefit to the film to have been lenient with the truth (or more so) to jazz it up a bit because the film chases it's own tail for a good 40 minutes at washing machine speeds. It's an incoherent mess, which is a shame because there is a good story to be told in there somewhere. Kudos to the actors though who are all very good.
March 13, 2014

Super Reviewer

"Pain and Gain" isn't just another in a long line of Michael Bay films that "cinephiles" can point to as proof positive that cinema is dying. It's a cutting, dark satire about the search for the American dream and how such a preposterous ideal can be dangerous (even deadly) in the psyche of the more sense-deficient. It has a brain, and Bay's bloated style and vivid cinematography add too the tone of this ridiculous true crime saga.

Wahlberg and Mackie aptly portray two of a rag-tag band of idiots, but they exude a sensitivity and self consciousness that has us rotting for them against our better judgement... but it is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who steals the show, with incredible range and presence. He's been really solid in other movies before (playing type), but this is career best work from him that HONESTLY deserve some Oscar consideration. He's that good.

Like many Bay films, "Pain" is a bit too long and struggles with some tonal shifting, but this is really energetic stuff that can't be denied, and most surprisingly it has a soul and a sense of place. That's more than many films can attest too. From it's great opening sequence, "Pain and Gain" grabbed me and I was left highly entertained throughout.

It's "stupid people doing REALLY stupid things" plot reminded me of the Coen's "Burn After Reading." You know what? Bay's film is better. It's his best since "The Rock," and yes... one of my favorites of 2013.
October 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

By far, I am not saying that Michael Bay finally pulled his head out of his ass and made a film that doesn't rely on juvenile humor and violence, but compared to his prior ones, this may be his "Citizen Kane." The story is based on several articles written in the nineties about a gang of bodybuilders who robbed several wealthy people so they could find their version of the American Dream. Definitely not to credit Bay, but there are some solid scenes, character development, and moments of unintentional hilarity that pepper this film. It's partly due to the, again, juvenile and yet somehow appropriate humor, which veers into black comedy every chance it gets. You could describe the film as being gory, but that would make you think it's incessantly violent and there's a lot of torture. Not to say there isn't, but that's not why it's fun to watch. Its fun relies on how seriously it all relies on the characters who, though they aren't anything new, often make bald, blatant statements about their socio-economic strata in society, as well as their own despondency for their situations. Also, they're unapologetically greedy. Not to a villainous extent, but enough that they are seriously blinded to the repercussions of their actions. The cast is also brilliantly casted. Mark Wahlberg may not be doing anything new with his performance, but as usual he entertains as the lug headed sociopath. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is sensational as the hopefully religious and yet deviant drug addict, because he is friendly as well as depraved, his motivation always entertaining. Anthony Mackie and Tony Shalhoub slug along, but don't have the fervor of the other two. What doesn't work seems to be a shift of tone that occurs several times throughout the film. It's distracting, especially as Bay tries to play catch up, eventually changing the ending to something resembling a morality tale. Otherwise, what didn't work didn't always bother me, because I wanted to know just what horrific things these people, in reality, actually did, and that's what makes the ending at least forgivable.
September 21, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Brad MacCalister: Look I had to grab her ass! I was the rapist! It's roleplay!
    – Submitted by Andrew K (4 months ago)
    1. Daniel Lugo: Sometimes God just fucks up your order and you gotta chow down on that shitty shame sandwich.
    – Submitted by Evan T (12 months ago)
    1. Daniel Lugo: My name is Daniel Lugo and I believe in fitness.
    – Submitted by Steven F (12 months ago)
    1. Daniel Lugo: I love my new home. My new neighborhood. And my little brat pack crew. I kept it real wit them lil mufuckas and they kept it real wit me.
    – Submitted by Truth T (12 months ago)
    1. Daniel Lugo: What are you lookin at you lil chubby broad? Don't eyeball me, boy. I see your mother driving up an down the street lookin at me. I'll be your stepfather by the week.
    – Submitted by Truth T (12 months ago)
    1. Victor Kershaw: What the fuck do you want?
    – Submitted by joseph j (13 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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