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33% And So It Goes Jul 25
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92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 $3.9M
49% Earth to Echo $3.3M
49% Maleficent $3.2M

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Street Kings Reviews

Tom Charity
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Keanu Reeves' bad-boy cop Tom Ludlow may not play by the rules, but the film sure does.

Full Review Source:

October 18, 2008

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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October 18, 2008
Bob Mondello
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October 18, 2008

Time Out
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What could have been endearingly daft remains merely forgettable.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/6

April 18, 2008
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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It's really kind of a dirty scummy piece of work.

April 14, 2008
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Another 'roid-raging dirty cop drama from David Ayer.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 11, 2008
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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[James Ellroy] writes Calvinist screeds against sin; filmmakers turn them into shoot-em-up thrillers.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2008
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Street Kings wastes a moderately intriguing premise by filling it with laughably clichéd dialogue, one-dimensional characters and implausible turns of events.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 1.5/4

April 11, 2008
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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The movie belongs to Reeves, who at 43 is finally starting to look like an adult, with greater heft all round. He does Clint proud.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2008
Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
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The potential match made in crime heaven has some admirably gritty action but suffers from first-degree obviousness and some bad dialogue that's especially painful when it comes out of Keanu Reeves.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

April 11, 2008
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Keanu Reeves tries his best to channel Denzel and Clint in Street Kings, a wild and woolly if also slack and silly bad-cops-kill-other-bad-cops thriller.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2/5

April 11, 2008
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Like director David Ayer's previous movies (he wrote Training Day), Street Kings is about the joy of badass coppery.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2008
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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After its clichéd first scene Street Kings becomes an enjoyably tough, blood-splattered action drama that revolves around the one good cop at its center.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

April 11, 2008
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Street Kings wobbles increasingly as it runs along, beginning well, growing so-so and culminating in a preposterous here's-what-it-all-means confession by the main villain.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

April 11, 2008
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The picture may feel more than a little familiar, but [director] Ayer knows how to cook up intense setpieces, and Reeves keeps getting better at the weary hero role he continually gravitates toward.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2008
Jim Emerson
Chicago Sun-Times
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An anemic attempt to evoke the big, shiny action pictures of the late '80s and early '90s, the heyday of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, when Timothy Dalton was 007 and Clint Eastwood had fewer wrinkles and bigger hair.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 1.5/4

April 11, 2008
Tom Long
Detroit News
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If you've seen Training Day, you've seen Street Kings done better.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C-

April 11, 2008
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Street Kings has hints of Training Day and the subtle aroma of L.A. Confidential, two movies concerned with the moral ambiguity and compromised honor of L.A.'s finest.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2/4

April 11, 2008
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Street Kings is the cinematic equivalent of solid crime-genre fiction. It keeps the visual pages turning for a couple hours and navigates the dark corners of corruption and dishonor among men.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

April 11, 2008
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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[Director] Ayer appears to like the thrill of violence more than its philosophical underpinnings, so the movie is caught between the silly and the profound.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2008
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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There's a lot to appreciate in Street Kings, a tight, propulsive action thriller, but there's one thing to marvel at, and that's James Ellroy's command of story.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2008
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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That Ellroy delivers a crude, undistinguished script here is a pity.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

April 10, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Street Kings is an absurd if accidentally entertaining potboiler, based on a story by James Ellroy.

| Original Score: 2.5/5

April 10, 2008
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Much of the casting is dead-on, from Cedric the Entertainer as a street dealer to Jay Mohr as a slimy cop and Chris Evans as an earnest rookie who saddles up with Reeves' Ludlow for an ill-fated ride.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2008
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Don't get me wrong. Street Kings clips along with brutal efficiency, but the plot that sets up Tom for a frame-up is, in critic parlance, a strain on credulity.

| Original Score: 2/4

April 10, 2008
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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We see the big picture way before the characters do, and that pushes us right out of the movie and back into our seats -- the last place we want to be.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

April 10, 2008
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Working from an original story by [James] Ellroy, [David] Ayer's overwrought Kings splashes around in the slop, but its conclusions seem a little rote from these two, who have both expressed their bottomless cynicism more effectively in the past.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

April 10, 2008
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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In Ellroy's original scenario Street Kings was a period piece, set in the 1990s just after the Rodney King riots. I wonder if it would've made more sense that way.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

April 10, 2008
Rafer Guzman
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David Ayer, who wrote Training Day, directs with enough flash to keep the action crisp and nasty. But he can't swagger his way through Ellroy's swampy storyline, which traps its characters in cynicism and amorality.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2/4

April 10, 2008
Dana Stevens
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There's something cynical about Ayers' attempt to preserve Ludlow as a hero after scene upon scene meant to show, with heavy irony, how lawlessly he enforced the law.

Full Review Source: Slate

April 10, 2008
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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James Ellroy wrote the script; he also wrote the novel on which L.A. Confidential was based. If you're hoping for a similar intelligence, you're out of luck.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2.5/5

April 10, 2008
Hank Sartin
Time Out New York
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A police thriller that's desperate to be gritty, Street Kings boasts a protagonist so dumb it takes him an hour of screen time to realize a 'plot twist' we assumed was a given.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/6

April 10, 2008
James Berardinelli
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Despite the predictability of the overall story arc, there's suspense and tension to be found between the credit sequences, but the movie is saddled with an ending that is both improbable and borderline insulting.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 10, 2008
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The structure is in place -- the latticework of corruption -- only there are so many scurrilous men pulling strings that we might be watching a parade of nasty puppets, with Keanu as the chief wooden devil doll.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

April 9, 2008
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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The cliches and laughably hammy dialogue are scattered about just as liberally as the spent bullet casings in Street Kings.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

April 9, 2008
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Fast action combined with rock-solid characters.

April 4, 2008
Peter Debruge
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Pic itself is similarly conflicted, glamorizing gunslinging while crying foul over unnecessary force.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 3, 2008
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