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Sabotage (2014)

tomatometer

20

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 79

Sabotage boasts one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's finer post-political performances, but it's wasted in a movie driven by grueling violence that punishes seemingly without purpose.

19

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 22

Sabotage boasts one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's finer post-political performances, but it's wasted in a movie driven by grueling violence that punishes seemingly without purpose.

audience

39

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 16,291

My Rating

Movie Info

In "Sabotage", Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done - until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start to be eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect. (c) Open Road

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

Skip Woods

Jul 22, 2014

$10.5M

Open Road Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (99) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (79)

I don't know what Ayer is trying to prove by dunking the camera in spilled guts and having it linger over charred and frozen corpses.

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

What redeems all this, to some extent, is Ayer's bleak but honest vision... he understands how law-enforcement people witnessing the depths of humanity might lack the necessary character to climb back up.

April 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For most of its running length, Sabotage is a gritty, compelling motion picture with twists to make a pretzel envious. Unfortunately, it overstays its welcome.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sabotage starts off as a fun, nasty, occasionally surprising little piece of genre filmmaking. But it gradually loses the thread.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[an] ugly, abrasive and thoroughly charm-resistant bag of slop

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It does have a weird, boldly ugly edge that makes for unexpectedly compelling viewing.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scenes of people kicking doors down and shooting each other in the head are efficiently handled - it's everything else that's a problem.

May 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It is worth remembering that John Wayne, an actor almost as inexpressive as he is, did much of his finest work at the tail end of his career. Sadly, post-gubernator Arnie hasn't yet found his equivalents to True Grit or El Dorado.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Arnie does his best but, as so often, turns out to be limited in scope: when called upon to look upset, his inner cyborg punctures the mood; when he sighs, we snigger.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

There won't be any awards but, for the first time, Arnie is actually acting here.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

The so-called Governator has returned to what he does best, or maybe not best, but certainly most lucratively, making films high on action and low on credibility. Sabotage scores impressively on both counts.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Despite some decent moments the film struggles to realise its potential.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

The film around them is too, too much: too gruesome, too locker-room, too busy, too populated, and too daft.

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

It doesn't really work. It's a bit like finding Mary Berry serving at your local kebab shop - it just doesn't feel right.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Did Arnie have some decent motive for taking the money?

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

This is an ugly, brutal beast of a picture that plays like a video nasty from the Eighties.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

While Sabotage boasts the best of post-hiatus Arnie, Training Day writer and End of Watch director David Ayer fails to deliver.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

There's plenty to guiltily savour - most of it unintentional - in a revenge yarn that unspools like End of Watch played for laughs.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Straight to DVD would be a kindness; straight to the waste bin would be a justice.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

If you relish outbursts of weird Arnold pronunciation, the moment where he exclaims, "Time to do the Looward's work" is another minor classic.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Feels like a cheap action flick and not the serious drama it is presented as, and plays like an unintentional call to end drugs prohibition and the idiotic war between cartels and law enforcement.

May 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A terribly generic action thriller with more holes in the plot than you'll see at a golf course.

May 6, 2014 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

A bloody, scuzzy, progressively preposterous whodunnit, blending old school and new wave to neutering effect. One chunky plus: the all-new Antihero Arnie.

May 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A film that happily lingers on extremely graphic disembowelments, yet can't get out of the room fast enough when Arnie is about to have sex.

May 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Scotsman
Scotsman

In the end, it's the lure of his star that does for Ayers' movie. After a couple of very unlikely plot twists, the film quickly turns into a standard, Arnie action vehicle.

May 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Sabotage

I had high hopes for Sabotage, and by the looks of the trailer it was going to be a great action film with some stunning action scenes. Sabotage is your standard clichéd action film with poorly written dialogue, thought out action and poor acting from its cast. Overall this is an awful film and what's more is that it was directed by David Ayer, director of the excellent cop film End of Watch, yet here he can't seem to retain the high standards set by that film. The idea behind the film is very good, but the film just doesn't deliver anything that truly entertaining. This is your standard action film and in doing so, it tries to pass off some old ideas in a revamped movie, hoping that viewers won't catch on. If only the filmmakers would have tried to make a more original picture, then maybe this film would have succeeded at being a worthy viewing. There are hints of good story here hidden underneath a bad script, and it's a shame because this film really could have been great. However, the dialogue, acting and lack of real tension on-screen just doesn't make this a compelling and truly exciting action film. David Ayer had made an impressive picture with his third feature End of Watch, and I was looking forward to seeing what he would direct next, but with this follow-up he just squanders his talents on such a pointless, underdeveloped film that relies way too much on predictable elements to tell its story. I don't mind a clichéd action film, but when the dialogue is cringe worthy and every actor tries to overact like they're some action legend like Schwarzenegger, they it becomes laughable. Arnold is good in his role as always, but in the recent action films that he has starred in, this is his worst yet. Stick with The Last Stand and Escape Plan, at least those were well constructed action films that were pure edge of your seat entertainment, and it delivered some blistering action. However Sabotage on the other hand, just lacks that special ingredient to really make it A worthy action film and it relies way too much on a poorly developed script to tell its story. Hopefully David Ayer will direct a much better film next time because he does have talent to craft a terrific action film and End of Watch is proof of that. If you're looking for good entertainment here, Sabotage will disappoint.
April 22, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Sugar: Some of us are getting paid, the rest of us are just getting dead.

Sabotage is a nasty little thriller from writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch), which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in another leading action movie role, following his term as Governor. The film is getting its share of notice for having a plot that feels akin to an Agatha Christie-styled whodunit, as it revolves around Arnold's team of DEA agents being murdered one by one. It is just too bad that this whodunit has all the intelligence of the script for I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Sabotage is a big waste of talent, resources, and time.

read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
March 29, 2014
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

DISGUSTING AND UGLY! So full of non-sense. The only good thing in the whole movie was Arnie.
June 27, 2014
Heather Joy

Super Reviewer

An ambitious, bullets and brawn, blood-splattered bust, Arnold Schwarzenegger's convoluted latest nonetheless ends up to be his best post-politico flick thanks to pure gall. Granted, calling the once and future Terminator's new project his 'recent best' is as empty an accolade as calling Peter Dinklage H'Wood's tallest short actor. Twisty rather than straight-ahead, Sabotage falls far from being a lyric-for-lyric interpretation of the Beastie Boys song...though that narrative may've made more sense in the long run. Instead, moviegoers get presented with a tangled web of dirty Feds, dirtier drug cartels, and Hard R violence verging dangerously close on NC-17. A glorified shoot-'em-up crammed with too much story, the script proves to be this project's most gratuitous saboteur. Just because a Who Done It angle gets worked in doesn't make it any less of a piece of action porn.

In this R-rated actioner, members of an elite DEA task force (Schwarzenegger, Worthington, et al) find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.

For Schwarzenegger, it's been a long crawl back, littered with C-Grade actioners that get appreciably better (The Last Stand, Escape Plan). These days, he seems to turn out higher grade flicks while working amongst more of an ensemble (The Expendables and its sequel), which Sabotage bares out. In allowing his fellow players more scenery chewing moments, this H'Wood legend actually elevates the material because he's more thoughtful and restrained than in his other recent movies. Still, more was expected of David Ayer considering that this is the follow-up to his thinking man's buddy cop flick End of Watch. Like James Ellroy with less of a sense of humor, this writer/director made a name for himself crafting oblique LA cop conspiracy tales mired in blood and bad decisions (screenwriter, Training Day; writer/director, Street Kings) before giving critics an A-Ha moment with Watch. With Sabotage, however, he seems to be regressing back to Harsh-er Times.

Bottom line: True Sighs
March 31, 2014
Jeff B.
Jeff Boam

Super Reviewer

    1. Caroline Brentwood: Ahh, help me up!
    2. Breacher: Well, we found him...
    – Submitted by Johnny K (3 months ago)
    1. Breacher: If you like the movie, send in your face!
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