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Sabotage (2014)

tomatometer

20

Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 80

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: 17,261

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 (100) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (80)

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

Writer-director David Ayer is hoping to unleash that bad guy action-noir vibe he successfully unhatched in "Training Day" and to a lesser extent in "End of Watch." This time, he lays an egg.

July 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

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

Audience Reviews for Sabotage

Leave no loose ends.

Good Action Movie! The whole cast was great don't get me wrong, and i enjoyed the plot of the whole film, as much as it could have been a little longer with a few more, twists and turns, it still got the point with lots of gun fire, lots of "breaching" and lots of cussing for no reason. Arnold himself being team leader, did a great job, and finished his mission no matter what, i enjoyed the hell out of this film and i think it was a come back for Arnold, it wasn't a flop. This movie had everything going for it, action packed, lots of good actors, lots of crazy gun fights, lots of cussing and dirty jokes, i saw a review that said this is a "guilty pleasure for manly men".....honestly its just a guilty pleasure for anyone who likes action movies and Arnold surrounded by a group of good actors, i hope to see him doing more movies like this, this movie was more about him and less about the other actors, i think anyone who is an action movie fan, and an Arnold fan....would enjoy this....so give it a shot.

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.
July 31, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

An powerhouse and adrenaline-charged edge of your seat action-packed thriller. An explosive knockout from start to finish. A hard-core story that's filled with action, mystery and great character development. It's Director, David Ayer's toughest and most brutal film to date. A powerfully engaging and full-throttle action-packed thrill-machine that will keep you guessing right to the very finish. A shot-gun blast of mind-blowing suspense and fire-power all the way to the end and with some explosive star power added to the mix as well. I loved this movie. A wickedly entertaining and electrifying movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger gives one of his best, grittiest and strongest performances ever. Schwarzenegger just gets better and better as the years go on and shows he is more than just a nostalgic action star but a strong actor and leading man. Sam Worthington is excellent. Olivia Williams is terrific. Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello and Mireille Enos are fantastic. The entire cast is great together and turn in solid performances. This movie just rocks, trust me pulses will pound.
July 29, 2014
allan913

Super Reviewer

The film previously known as 'Ten' and 'Breacher' both of which make little sense...well 'Breacher' is Arnie's character but 'Ten'? because there are ten members in Arnie's team? nope there are nine. So the film was wisely renamed 'Sabotage' which also makes no real sense but I guess it sounds cool.

Yeah Arnie is back...again, and this time he's R rated! After some dismal post Governor flicks I was hoping for a return to the old days with Arnie and some proper ass kicking action drenched in bloody squibs. Alas this movie certainly has the blood and action (at times) but it feels empty forced and too self indulgent. I really get the impression director Ayer wanted to recreate that classic 'Predator' team of hardasses with Arnie as their leader...mainly because that's what it is. Arnie in charge of a crack team of special Ops DEA agents with more guns, muscles and tattoos than you can shake a stick at.

Oh my does this movie rehash that old hat idea that Mr James Cameron gave us many moons ago, you know what I mean, an elite team of foul mouthed cocky gun totting grunts. I've seen many films with ice cool teams of super mercs/soldiers/warriors, but I haven't seen a film try as hard as this one to force down our throats how butch these guys are. The profanity is constant and really unnecessary, each cast member really over acts in a cringing way, token black guy, token tough semi ugly female, each one has some kind of cliched visual gimmick to distinguish themselves from each other (facial hair, attire, tattoos etc...), each member has a silly code name or nickname ('Pyro' 'Grinder' 'Monster') and they are all pretty unlikable.

Manganiello's character is so extremely over the top and unstable you wonder how on earth he could ever function in a team like this. Did this character really need to wear black spiky leather biker gear, shades and have tattoos plus cornrows in his hair??! Its like the costume folk got over excited and just chucked a whole load of stereotypes into this one character to make him as 'badass' as possible. Instead he looks like a mish mash of ideas and quite idiotic...although not as much as Worthington's laughable facial hair.

This is a real problem in the film because you don't know who to get behind, these guys are suppose to be the main characters or heroes yet they are all shits. Going to strip bars...verbally assaulting the dancing girls, smashing glasses, getting loaded and high followed by attacking the security guys?! They're all very aggressive and don't have much compassion for anybody acting no better than the bad guys they are taking down. Now I realise you could say its showing the temptations, moral dilemmas and realistic possibilities of corruption in certain individuals under such circumstances but it really makes for a nasty sour team of 'heroes'. The only character with any sort of positive outlook or integrity is of course Arnie's leader character unsurprisingly, yet his actions bring about the downfall of his elite team! Its not until the end that you find out why Arnie does what he does and even then you're thinking wow! why didn't you just ask your team to help you instead of screwing them all over.

The other main issue with this film is the violence which, like the characters, is exaggerated and kinda repulsive really. Now lets get one thing straight here...I like my adult action flicks, I much prefer to see Arnie and the classic 80's action men in grown-up fare, but this film just gets it wrong. The whole angle here is realism, the film is trying to be a gritty 'Seven' type thriller with dark twists and turns. The problem is the gore and blood is lingered on far too much as if Ayer is just trying to show it off, they are glorifying it for the sake of it...which is fine if this were a silly graphic novel style action romp like 'Commando' but its not. The film is suppose to be soaked in dark realism yet innocent people are killed willy-nilly as if this were a videogame, Arnie's team get iced one by one very easily all things considered and in general society gets torn up like a Die Hard flick with no consequences. Basically in this type of movie less is more with the violence, but the fact the good guys aren't really too different from the bad guys and they all go around wreaking havoc...kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

I won't deny I was intrigued to find out who did what and what was going on but overall it felt very downbeat and unexciting. Arnie does his best at serious acting (ahem!) but he still seems frosty after his leave of absence. End of the day this is just another larger than life, last man standing ensemble movie where Arnie merely chomps his cigars and attempts to blend in with the younger fitter cast. He looks the part but age has definitely caught up with Arnie I'm afraid. I just wish this special Ops DEA team had been more agreeable and the plot had gone a different more traditional route. May not have been very original sure but at least Arnie would be in familiar territory which is kinda where he works best really.
July 23, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

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

    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!
    – Submitted by Trent B (4 months ago)
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