Pawn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pawn Reviews

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MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2013
Every move is a game changer.

Good movie! This movie is evidence that you don't need a large budget or a ton of action to keep an audience interested. I thought this movie was captivating from beginning to end. It isn't a perfect movie - there is a little bit too much coincidence in the story that prevents the audience from completely swallowing the story smoothly, and the end seems a little unfinished in some details. But other than that, the movie is very well done. Overall, I enjoyed this film. I went in knowing very little and came out very impressed. I was entertained from start to finish which is all you can really ask for. Pawn will not win any awards, but if a good entertaining thriller is your thing then you will not be disappointed.

An all-night diner. A cop walks in on a robbery in progress. But what happens next - and what happened just before - will change everything you think you know. The building is now surrounded. There are restless fingers on every trigger. And one very intense hostage situation is about to take some extremely shocking twists.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2013
A solid and hard-edged crime-drama. A well-crafted, sharply performed and very engaging movie that packs a full-clip of nail-biting suspense and and hair-trigger tension from start to finish. It has a great cast of actors, even in the smaller appearances, like Forest Whitaker and Stephen Lang make a strong impression and deliver in their smaller parts. Ray Liotta and Common makes give compelling performances. But the actors to notice are the young and talented Nikki Reed and Sean Faris, who are both terrific in the film. Michael Chiklis gives a powerhouse performance, its great to see him as a villain in the film he produced and brings on Whitaker to have scenes with. An adrenaline-pumping edge of your seat thriller that hits you hard. A stylish and razor sharp cops and robbers game. A great film. It keeps the pace moving fast and keeps things interesting.
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2013
I've never heard of this movie, but with the cast including Forest Whitaker , Michael Chiklis ("The Shield"), Ray Liotta ("Goodfellas"), Common ("Hell on Wheels"), and actors from "Twilight," "Gossip Girl," and many more could not be ignored. Directed by David A. Armstrong and written by Jay Anthony White, it started strongly building up the story with a simple beginning: a cop walks into an all-night diner... This direct-to-video crime thriller is setting this cop into the middle of an armed robbery. And from this simple set up spools out a twisted web of story threads, layered narrative, and constantly shifting points of view.

It felt right for a short time, but despite all the familiar faces, this film never adds up to much. One of the problems it has is that holds everything together by the most tenuous connections, and eventually collapses. Why? Because it is trying too hard to be clever and twisted narrating with jumps from character to character (the cop, then the crooks, then the hero, then the mobster, then the wife...and keeps going). Too much shuffling around did nothing good at the end.

If the writer and the director tried to make a movie which is less mysterious and shadowy, a movie where every character has an angle, and you, like the characters, aren't sure who you can trust... maybe would be easier to follow and the dynamics of the action would be more natural. The result of this directing and writing is that film's pretensions to mystery at the end are over explained. There is no subtlety or subtext to the dialogue and the dialogue is sometimes close to idiotic. Some people maybe love this, but I am not one of them. Good for a long night when you run out of all other movies to watch.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2013
Taken on its own merits, as a B thriller, Pawn is largely successful. The hostage genre has been done to a large extent, and Pawn certainly follows many of its conventions. This includes a script with logic-defying twists, and an ending that simply feels too neat. But for a film of its caliber, Pawn does seem to pack a surprising punch.

The most successful thing about Pawn is the direction and set-up. The exposition at the diner, and how the different players were introduced, was done to a good effect. The characters and their story-lines, overly brief to be sure, felt well integrated, with the film never losing its flow. The cast was also strong, with performances by such great character actors as Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, and even Michael Chiklis. What the film dares to do with some of these characters, killing one off very soon, gives the film a sense of stakes and weight that it otherwise wouldn't have. Such actors seem to have a good chemistry, a necessity for such a confined story.

This isn't to say Pawn does anything especially interesting, we can see the ending a mile away. The characterizations are shallow and one-note. As an enjoyable ride, however, you could do far worse.

3/5 Stars
July 31, 2013
I didn't really like Michael Chiklis as the bad guy, but that's probably because I'm still pissed that they cancelled No Ordinary Family after one whole season. Then we have Stephen Lang which brought back the anger of them cancelling Terra Nova after half a season. Then we have Common which brought back the anger of dumbasses naming themselves after single words. Forest and Ray were OK though, they didn't bring back any bad memories. Oh, the movie? Ya, it was just OK, entertaining enough for an hour and a half.
April 23, 2013
Hostage dramas have conventions; if "Pawn" skirts too close to them at the end, and has too many characters, it still keeps the game interesting.
½ May 4, 2014
A little hard to follow but not bad.
March 8, 2014
Pawn, a little-known robbery-government flick, is deceiving. Its starts out with showing the robbery take place and Michael Chiklis giving demands in his British accent (which sounded pretty authentic) to the police. Then, the movie shows a flashback to the backstory of why he was doing this, to steal *something that I wont give away*, as well as money. Then the movie shifts and becomes a personal vendetta for Sean Faris to recover his pregnant wife from the mysterious captor, Ray Liotta, and get the hell out of the diner without dying. Throughout the movie, we never even quite know who he is, and it seems a bit random. His credit in the movie is "Man in the Suit", for Christ sakes. Either way, this is a disorganized movie that tried to be complex and thrilling, but ended up only achieving about half of that and leaves many unanswered questions still open.
½ November 26, 2013
Bastante entretenida y tiene un super cast!
April 19, 2013
Michael Chiklis plays a shorter/wider Jason Statham, who with his crew hold up a diner with a nonchalant unisex bathroom.
September 1, 2013
good story but bad directing.
½ August 31, 2013
I didn't know what to expect since there was little information on this movie and no trailer but I checked it out on DVD and was pleasantly surprised. A crime thriller worth a viewer's time, even if the end becomes a tad unbelievable with the nice turn hero. Strong perfromances all around, especially from Chiklis with a British accent.
June 23, 2013
Dark and claustrophobic thriller, Pawn is a mediocre B-movie, which provides relatively decent entertainment, while it ultimately fails to capitalize on the potential of its two Hollywood stars. It attempts to be surprising, full of twists and gripping, but its remains as a predictable and forgettable delivery without its own charm or character.

The beginning of the movie is mesmerizing and very promising. Unfortunately, after the outstanding first minutes Pawn enters a spiral which consequently leads to a boring and a clichéd ending. The potential for a gripping small-space and filled with twists thriller is surely present, but unfortunately the main twists happen in the first third of the movie. Yet, the mix of criminal set-up, dirty cops, hostage situation and an innocent ex-convict who is trying to return to his normal life and his pregnant wife make sure that David Armstrong's delivery remains watchable. Another plus is that Pawn's director does not stretch the story too much, mildly dramatizes it and keeps it relatively tight. If the main cast was more capable of delivering memorable performances, without being overshadowed by the partial presence Forrest Whitaker and Ray Liotta, this strange hostage drama would have left much better taste after its final credits.

In conclusion, Pawn is one of those mediocre movies, which could be seen if there is nothing else to do, but nothing more. Ultimately forgettable, it offers nothing to remember or nothing to experience from cinematographic point of view. The 80 minutes of mediocre entertainment are fine in case that one is totally bored.
August 26, 2013
Nice Flick! Ending coulda used more of a 'writer's' touch, but overall, a really fun, well directed, well edited film. I actually liked Sean Faris too, good intensity. But Common... Seriously, stop acting ; ). And Ray... How can we forget about ice cold, badass Ray F'in LIOTTA. Anyhow, I'd watch it again )
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2013
I've never heard of this movie, but with the cast including Forest Whitaker , Michael Chiklis ("The Shield"), Ray Liotta ("Goodfellas"), Common ("Hell on Wheels"), and actors from "Twilight," "Gossip Girl," and many more could not be ignored. Directed by David A. Armstrong and written by Jay Anthony White, it started strongly building up the story with a simple beginning: a cop walks into an all-night diner... This direct-to-video crime thriller is setting this cop into the middle of an armed robbery. And from this simple set up spools out a twisted web of story threads, layered narrative, and constantly shifting points of view.

It felt right for a short time, but despite all the familiar faces, this film never adds up to much. One of the problems it has is that holds everything together by the most tenuous connections, and eventually collapses. Why? Because it is trying too hard to be clever and twisted narrating with jumps from character to character (the cop, then the crooks, then the hero, then the mobster, then the wife...and keeps going). Too much shuffling around did nothing good at the end.

If the writer and the director tried to make a movie which is less mysterious and shadowy, a movie where every character has an angle, and you, like the characters, aren't sure who you can trust... maybe would be easier to follow and the dynamics of the action would be more natural. The result of this directing and writing is that film's pretensions to mystery at the end are over explained. There is no subtlety or subtext to the dialogue and the dialogue is sometimes close to idiotic. Some people maybe love this, but I am not one of them. Good for a long night when you run out of all other movies to watch.
July 27, 2013
i'm all for twisty storylines even if it means bad production. This is a B Thriller no doubt about it; the storyline was supposed to be simple, robbery, cop walks in, bam bam bam, hostage situation, negotiation, car and fuelled jet, hero saves the day except a little hard drive ruined everything. If you can look past the b list acting faster than mike chiklis bre-ish accent then you'll do fine.
July 21, 2013
This was a GREAT movie. Very well worth watching!! An amazing story line, and a twisted ending!
½ June 8, 2013
a pretty poor attempt at a thriller.
June 8, 2013
A standard hostage negotiation film with all the genre cliches you'd expect. However, the casting of actors like Chicklis, Whitaker, and Liotta make it fun to watch. Unfortunately, the performance of Common is one of the worst things ever presented on digital video disc.
½ May 12, 2013
Great crime thriller with intense action. The reporter steals the show!
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