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The Saint (1997)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 31

The Saint is watchable thanks to Kilmer and Shue, but the muddled screenplay stretches credulity.

19

Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 13

The Saint is watchable thanks to Kilmer and Shue, but the muddled screenplay stretches credulity.

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 67,055

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on the popular novels about that other suave, globe-trotting man of action, this genre picture from director Phillip Noyce mixed romance and character development with dangerous stunts, geopolitical intrigue, and a variety of elaborate disguises, resulting in an uneven stew of a spy thriller. Val Kilmer is Simon Templar, a classy, cunning master thief and "man of a thousand faces" who cribs his phony names from those of obscure saints and sells his illegal services to the highest bidder.

Oct 6, 1998

Paramount

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (31) | DVD (5)

A generic suspenser that doesn't taste bad at first bite but becomes increasingly hard to swallow.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This insufferable romance-adventure includes vague comedy as well as unintentional humor, and its target audience seems to be preadolescents who won't notice the calculated enthusiasm with which it sidesteps sexuality.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eminently forgettable.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Love redeems this profiteer; it also renders him conventional.

March 6, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reinvention in the hands of Hollywood is seldom cause for celebration.

June 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There isn't a contemporary film actor more crafty than Val Kilmer -- or one who reveals less of his true self. That's why Kilmer is so perfectly cast as Simon Templar, the master thief and elusive disguise artist of The Saint.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kilmer slips in and out of a series of ludicrously elaborate disguises, some more convincing than others, while poor Shue shuffles through the role of a sexy, book-reading babe pretending to be a dowdy lady scientist in kneesocks.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

There's no lack of style or pace from Noyce, just the sense that it isn't quite gelling together.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

The glossy photography is stunning and Kilmer's implausible accents are fun.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

There was enough in the movie for me to watch and somewhat enjoy it the whole way through.

August 18, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

What could have been a cool concept movie buckles under an uninspired script and some treacherous miscasting.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Kilmer should have stuck with his Batman character.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Nothing in the film really makes any sense, and all the other characters seem buffoonish and arch, overplayed to the point of farce, more Matt Helm than James Bond.

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The film works, thanks to Noyce's skill in creating suspense and staging elaborate action scenes.

May 22, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The predictable action-thriller elements are all in place, from coke-sniffing, machine-gun-toting thugs to monotonous narrow escapes. The look is stylish, sound is above average, and the acting only as good as it has to be.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

This film ought to make tons of money.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Disappointing on nearly every level.

December 30, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

The story that screenwriters Jonathan Hensleigh and Robert S. Baker have concocted keeps bogging down in silly contradictions or cliches.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

The script is a mixed bag of elaborate and unnecessary pseudo-politics, intriguing ideas and mostly confusing rehashed romantic mishmash.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Masterfully assembled by director Noyce.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Audience Reviews for The Saint

Based on a character created back in 1928, this film tells the story of an expert thief and master of disguise who, in this telling, has all sorts of aliases, all of them named after Catholic saints. The Saint gets involved in all sorts of troubles when his latest caper sees him falling in love and caught up in some nutty geopolitical issues in Russia.

The concept and ideas, mostly that of using saint names as aliases, are pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, the way thigns are executed here leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Noyce has experience with this sort of thing, so maybe most of the blame goes to the script and the specific story. Some of it's cool, but it seems a little lifeless and dull.

That said, I still found the film to be entertaining and watchable, even though it isn't really that good. It kinda comes close though.

The love story is a little hokey, and some of this stuff overall is kinda silly, but it's fun, and definitely had potential to be awesome. Val Kilmer is fun to watch use all kinds of different wigs, accents, and costumes, though it amazes me how many of the characters get fooled by some of his disguises, especially since some of them are really not all that great. He does a good job though. Shue is okay, or at least servicable, though she kidna comes off as a little silly, which clashes with some of the more dramatic and seriosu thriller elements at hand.

Actually, I think I just figured it out. Part of the issue here is the tone. It's uneven, and unsucessfully tries to mix levity with drama. In a lot of ways, this is like the Bond films, although some of those manage the mixing far better than others. Maybe I'm just underwhelmed by all of this because it didn't seem all that fresh and exciting.

Like I said though, it did entertain me, and I was never bored. See it if you like, but don't expect it to be the real gem it should have been.
August 19, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The Saint, for me is a borderline decent action film. The ideas in the film, are good, but poorly executed, and feel kinda cheesy, yet there's something appealing the film too. The Saint for all its flaws, is a fun film to watch. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, but somehow the film is entertaining enough to be a passable action film. I agree that this film is uneven, but there are far worst films than The Saint out there. Val Kilmer give a decent performance, but one that is forgettable as well. The Saint is a cheesy action film that you have to watch when you want to be a mindless movie night where you pick something that doesn't have much plot. The Saint is a cool decent flick, but because there a lot of flaws with the film. Especially that now, watching the film today, the film looks dated all around. The film hasn't aged well. I was surprised at the names involved in this film, and considering that this film isn't good or excellent, it's just decent I was surprised to see actors like Michael Byrne in this. The Saint for all it's imperfection is entertaining, I liked it, but I wouldn't call it a good film. Like I said earlier, it's a decent flick at best. Nothing special on screen
July 4, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A cinematic sin.
September 25, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Good cast but movie is disappointing.
March 24, 2008
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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