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Targets (1968)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 3

A startling directorial debut by Peter Bogdanovich mixes an homage to Boris Karloff horror films with a timely sniper story to create a thriller with modern baggage and old school shock and awe.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

A startling directorial debut by Peter Bogdanovich mixes an homage to Boris Karloff horror films with a timely sniper story to create a thriller with modern baggage and old school shock and awe.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,208

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Movie Info

Together with Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and John Singleton's Boyz 'n the Hood, director Peter Bogdanovich's Targets is among the most impressive first features ever made. When Bogdanovich's cinematic mentor Roger Corman suggested that Bogdanovich might want to make his directorial debut, he offered to "donate" 20 minutes worth of footage of the Corman-directed The Terror and the services of Boris Karloff, who owed Corman two days' worth of work (at a cost of $22,000). Karloff became so caught

Aug 12, 2003

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (3) | DVD (16)

The endlessly repetitive fusillades suggest that Writer-Director Peter Bogdanovich, in his first film, was really intent on creating the most prolific murderer in Hollywood's long history of violence. Unfortunately, it is a record made to be broken.

October 19, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aware of the virtue of implied violence, Bogdanovich conveys moments of shock, terror, suspense and fear.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fascinatingly complex commentary on American mythology, exploring the relationship between the inner world of the imagination and the outer world of violence and paranoia, both of which were relevant to contemporary American traumas.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Targets scores an unnerving bullseye.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Targets isn't a very good film, but it is an interesting one.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An interesting response to the demands of low-budget genre filmmaking.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Maximum suspense! Should be required viewing for any serious movie buff.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

...we don't, we can't, know why a Charles Whitman, a Bobby Thompson, a Michael Clark or a James Holmes does what he does. So we say they are mad.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Impressive directorial debut.

December 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Brilliant film.

April 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's difficult not to wonder how many Bobby Thompsons are out there right now, driving around with an arsenal in their trunks, ready to fire their first shots.

November 1, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

A beautiful, disturbing, masterful fiction-filmmaking debut for Bogdanovich

August 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

frightening in a way few horror movies are because it taps so directly into real fears

August 5, 2003
Q Network Film Desk

An unconventional horror picture that draws a comparison between the real-life horror of the 1966 Charles Whitman murder spree and the fictional horrors of movie legend Boris Karloff.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A frighteningly prescient movie.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Real life events have caught up with Bogdanovich's film, giving it a resonance no one could have imagined in 1968.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Clever, effective combination of gun violence and old-time horror movies.

February 7, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Targets

A intelligent, slow burner that has a brilliant ending. You can follow it from the start and keep guessing as to what will happen as the characters stories intertwine with each other. Brilliant performances and a great watch.
April 2, 2011

Super Reviewer

Considering Bogdanovich was given various different pieces from various different puzzles, it?s amazing a film was made at all. Targets is a great film though, Boris Karloff in a very contemporary horror film that revels the fact that the Bogey man isn?t real, it?s the guy standing next to you wearing a big white smile and a sniper rifle over his shoulder that you should be scarred of!
September 30, 2009

Super Reviewer

One of the most impressive and yet overlooked debuts. From Roger Corman's pupil Peter Bogdanovich, pulling off the job with the same guerrilla filmmaking techniques of his master, a very tight budget and shooting schedule.
Crafty and unique way of storytelling and montage (Sam Fuller did some uncredited dictations)
An intense motion picture that analyses our perception on violence, real and fictitious; and juxtaposes the lives of two men as an example of both. their own particular downfall, and how they converge in a thrilling third act.
Full of Bogdanovich's cinephilia all over, and two outstanding performances by the leads, the little known Tim O'Kelly and the immortal horror star Boris Karloff.
September 15, 2009

Super Reviewer

Has some great scenes but, all in all, isn't all that captivating.
August 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

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