S.W.A.T. (2003)



Critic Consensus: A competent, but routine police thriller.

Movie Info

Clark Johnson's big-screen adaptation of the 1970s television series S.W.A.T. stars Colin Farrell as Jim Street, a young special weapons and tactics team member who, in the film's opening sequence, is demoted after his hothead partner Jeremy Renner shoots a hostage while trying to kill her captor. In need of good press, the higher-ups call in SWAT expert Hondo Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson) to put together an elite team that can bring some luster back to the badge. He chooses Street, veteran T.J. … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, language and sexual references)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: David Ayer, David McKenna, Ron Mita, Jim McClain
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 30, 2003
Box Office: $116.6M
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


as Sgt. Dan `Hondo' Har...

as Jim Street

as Chris Sanchez

as Deacon `Deke' Kaye

as T.J. McCabe

as Brian Gamble

as Michael Boxer

as Alex Montel

as Lt. Greg Velasquez

as Capt. Thomas Fuller

as Deke's Dad

as S.W.A.T. Truck Drive...

as Sgt. Howard

as Agent Hauser

as Agent Kirkland

as Lear Jet Pilot

as Beat-Up Latino Thug

as Range Official

as Newscaster No.1

as Robber No.1

as Robber No.3

as Uncle Martin Gascoig...

as Officer David Burres...

as Newscaster No.2

as Mr. Richard Segerstr...

as Latino Thug

as Injured Bank Manager

as Motorcycle Cop

as Sgt. Yamoto

as Deke's Handsome Part...

as Waitress at Pub

as Monique

as Bank Supervisor

as Agusta Helicopter Pi...

as Agusta Pilot Helicop...

as Agusta Pilot #2

as Hot Dog Vendor

as Bistro Gangster No.1

as Bistro Gangster #2

as Bistro Gangster No.2

as Spanish Newscaster

as Luxury Car Driver

as Jail Intake Reporter

as Dispatcher No.1

as Dispatcher No.2

as Lear Jet Co-Pilot

as Reporter

as Wounded Bank Teller

as S.W.A.T. Negotiator

as Polish Hostage

as Lt. Greg Velasquez

as Mrs. Segerstrom

as Ed Taylor

as Deputy Chief

as Ed Taylor

as Uncle Martin Gascoig...

as Latino Thug
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for S.W.A.T.

All Critics (171) | Top Critics (43)

As summer shoot-'em-ups go, this is pretty well executed, with plenty of macho posing and gunfire.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

he high definition SWAT training footage resembles a US Army recruitment ad, appropriate since TV journeyman Johnson imagines downtown LA as an unpatrolled Baghdad, swarming with guntotin' mercenaries pursuing their share of the bounty.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There is something sneakily gratifying about all this.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

By-the-numbers explosion flick -- no surprises.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Never quite rises above the level of merely watchable.

Full Review… | January 8, 2010

Is surely flawed, but in the end manages to work well as action entertainment...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for S.W.A.T.

Kinda based on the American TV show but ultimately kinda not. Characters left out, new ones in, different ethnicity for the one member and turning one regular into the baddie. Kinda makes you wonder why they bother adapting these old shows if they're gonna change most of it. Luckily (amazingly) this film hasn't suffered too badly and is pretty much a stand alone action film, old TV show left by the wayside.

When this was first brought up I instantly thought it would be crapola, just a weak timid action flick that would probably border on comedy. Much to my surprise the film is an out n out serious fast paced cop flick, more serious in terms of realism than say...'Lethal Weapon', but with less of the comedy.

I think we can all guess its a film about a tough highly skilled elite team of cops, and this being a modern flick the testosterone is through the roof!. The clearly unfit Samuel L. Jackson leads a team consisting of Farrell, Rodriguez (again in another crack team of tough nuts), LL Cool J and two other faceless guys. In all honesty I think the team could have been better cast with better character actors from the 80's action genre, why we have to put up with these ex-rap/hip-hop stars with stupid names I don't know.

The plot is sort of obvious but not completely, you'd expect the usual last stand type ordeal with a team but the film shows some imagination. The main bad guy spends most of his time cuffed with cops which is a brave move, the good guys tend to be always trying to gain the upper hand and never really in control and of course there is betrayal, which spices things up. Its not exactly hard to predict but it plays out a little differently than most cookie cutter action films.

What is different is the fact half the film shows this team training, and what is shown looks pretty realistic I gotta say. Lots of skilled combat/hostage training with your cliched yet highly polished Top Gun-esq over the top camaraderie and macho showboating with liberal splashes of gun porn. It all looks slick sexy and makes you wanna run down to the local cop recruitment centre and get shooting. Oh those boys in blue do look handsome in their nice perfectly fitting uniforms and actionman body armour.

The film isn't really very violent, it hints at some strong stuff, you just don't see it. I do tend to think that the film might have been much cooler had it been an all out adult film, bit more gritty and a bit less glossy perhaps. But in general its a solid action flick that you can easily enjoy without ever knowing the old TV show ever existed.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Watchable. Suspend reality of course.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


S.W.A.T is a film that had the potential of being a terrific, mindless and well executed action picture that relies on every cliché to create something that is supposed to be thrilling. Well, this was a disappointing and awful film that simply didn't do anything to entertain me. The cast were not well developed and the script had poorly written dialogue that was cringe worthy. I really wanted to enjoy this one, but it was a poor attempt at creating something truly awesome. This film started off with plenty of potential, but quickly ran out of steam. The film suffers from a poorly written, underdeveloped script that simply fails to try and deliver some thrills. However this is just a typical action film that doesn't break new ground despite its concept. If you're looking for a great and fun popcorn film, you won't find it here. This is simply an awful film with bad acting and poorly written and thought out direction. This film really could have been awesome, but it just ended up being a bland, uninteresting actioner that didn't deliver. There was some pretty impressive talent involved, but it was all wasted on a clichéd script that simply didn't know how to create something worthwhile to watch. This film is really not worth seeking out even if you have nothing else better to watch. This one is just a standard action film that is predictable and ultimately laughable. This was a wasted opportunity in trying to make something special; a\and despite good actors such as Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, this one just didn't have the ingredients necessary in making something really awesome and highly entertaining. S.W.A.T might have looked good on paper, but on-screen it is a train wreck that just fails on almost every level.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

S.W.A.T. Quotes

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