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Sabotage (2014)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 60

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.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 18

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.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 13,799

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


Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

Skip Woods


Open Road Films - Official Site External Icon



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All Critics (77) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (60)

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
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source:
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

Horror movie-gruesome and pumped up like a 'roid rage, "Sabotage" is an abrasive, ugly exercise in macho nonsense.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the type of movie best enjoyed as a late-night indulgence on cable. Really late at night, when your eyes are still partially open, but your brain has called it quits.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ayer ramps up the four-letter-word-laden trash talking to a degree of obnoxious self-parody, with what should merely be comic enhancement keeping the main mystery hook from gaining traction and building tension.

April 19, 2014 Full Review Source:

Flimsy, testosterone-fueled stop on Arnold Schwarzenegger's mucho-macho comeback tour.

April 6, 2014 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

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

Director David Ayer is proving to be increasingly adept at character work, but the plot of Sabotage is too dumb and opaque to recommend the film.

March 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Nerdist

Schwarzenegger plays it straight. There are no winks at the audience that this is just a goofy action movie.

March 29, 2014 Full Review Source: New England Movies Weekly
New England Movies Weekly

Schwarzenegger has checked out. He's an immovable object in a film that struggles and fails to find the energy that will carry him along.

March 29, 2014 Full Review Source:

...yet another action picture but this one is entertaining.

March 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Tolucan Times
Tolucan Times

Early on, an irritated DEA agent asks who cut one in the back of their vehicle. The question fits a film that feels like its own unwelcome lingering fart - lively in its violence but not its story, and demanding far too much of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

March 29, 2014 Full Review Source:

...Sabotage is wholly unpleasant, unfocused and downright ugly.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

Loud, obnoxious and one of the year's worst.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: John Hanlon Reviews
John Hanlon Reviews

Arnie's post-political, action film comeback is taken to new bloody heights in David Ayer's Sabotage.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: MovieWeb

By the final half-hour, the body count becomes completely gratuitous and Sabotage turns into a bloody mess in more ways than one.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source:

Those just hoping for some good-ol' action fun - you get one major shootout set piece, a couple small sequences, plenty of blood, gore and foul language and that's about it.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

rambling, and at times incongruous, as it unspools a set of stock characters dithering about in a cesspool of rubbery ethics and dogged determination

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

Sabotage is far more effective than its action-centric trailers have suggested, with the film more a mystery-thriller that actually offers Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cool ensemble a chance to act and not just shoot guns.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Somewhere between Arnold's recent fare of dumb action and Ayers's history of dark, smart cop dramas we find Sabotage

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source:

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: Vulture

Director David Ayer has made two of the best films about the tough lives of cops -- Training Day and End of Watch -- but his streak ends with the very violent and ultimately forgettable Sabotage.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/

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
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
March 29, 2014

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

First and foremost, I really wanted to love Sabotage. Like, I was totally up for it and was ready to have just a ridiculous amount of mind-numbing fun and by all accounts audiences had every right to expect the same things. Thinking about it in the light that director David Ayer was coming off one of his better written films with easily his best directing job to date and stacked with a cast as lumbering and raucous as that of Arnie's Expendables co-horts with names just slightly less major, but even more credible to the point where I really thought this had the shot to turn out to be something quietly major, a slight cultural mainstay that would fester on the minds of cinephiles over the years and become regarded as a well-loved box office flop that found its following long after it left the theaters. There were glimmers of hope on the horizon when the first action-packed trailer premiered and was followed by several others complete with red-band access as well. There is an interesting film somewhere in here and as I look through my notes I jotted down while watching the film, I keep coming across pieces where I remember wanting so much for this to become that something better, that kind of retrospective Arnold Schwarzenegger film that did as much to entertain us in the moment as it also gave us a look at how a man in his late 60's finds himself slipping in terms of esteem and credibility while having to come to terms with his physical limitations. In a sense, I wanted a large metaphorical action drama that mirrored the life of our star, but instead, Sabotage is as well thought out as the plan at the heart of the plot. It feels quickly shot, rushed through editing with a soundtrack that couldn't sound more generic and a group of supporting actors that almost make this feel like someones first student film. It is hard to take a film seriously when it tries so hard to be exactly that, but by the time the smoke from the opening sequence has dispersed and we begin to get to know the characters involved and are forced to listen to their incessant cussing to the point it actually begins to insult their own intelligence and we no longer buy that these people could do these jobs effectively, the curtain has been pulled back and we realize what we're actually in for is a mess of a flick in perfectly positioned B-movie clothing.

read the whole review at
April 1, 2014
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Sabotage (DE)
  • Sabotage (UK)
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