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The Cold Light of Day (2012)



Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 18,733

My Rating

Movie Info

Will Shaw (Henry Cavill) goes to Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family but his whole world turns upside down when the family is kidnapped by intelligence agents hell-bent on recovering a mysterious briefcase and Will suddenly finds himself on the run. -- (C) Summit Entertainment

Jan 29, 2013


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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (39) | DVD (2)

Cavill is no substitute for Van Damme, whose self-critical performance gave the earlier movie much of its heft

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The script throws around phrases like "intel," "terrorist" and "rogue operative," but as time bombs go, the briefcase-versus-loved-ones ultimatum barely ticks.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charging $10 for this movie is criminal; vouchers and letters of apology should be handed out at the exit for those stalwart viewers who stick it out to the end.

September 9, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A catastrophe worth noting only for the presence of its name cast.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Apes The Bourne Identity so slavishly yet so boringly it winds up with no identity at all.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This isn't great cinema, or even a movie you'll remember four hours later, but as stupid thrill rides go, it's smart enough to show you a good time.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: The Wrap | Comments (6)
The Wrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A poorly-directly and terribly-executed mess of a motion picture that should have been left in the dark.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

An unnecessary but inoffensive espionage thriller that you have to assume was an inch away from going straight to DVD.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Pajiba

... the kind of shoddy, low-rent stinker the robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000 used to enjoy ripping to shreds.

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Sigourney Weaver, who last year suffered the indignity of backing up Taylor Lautner -- Taylor Lautner, for God's sake -- in the daft Abduction, now finds herself essaying the role of the villain in another action flick that's nearly as dopey.

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Fans of inane and/or unnecessary expositional dialogue will have a field day. Everyone else can Netflix Hudson Hawk and forget to watch it, thus having more fun than anyone who shells out $10.50 for this tedious stinker.

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The Cold Light of Day is an appropriately named action drama. It generates very little heat or light.

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Tri-City Herald
Tri-City Herald

An average suspense thriller made a little better by a no holds barred performance from Sigourney Weaver

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

If you were to look up the word "generic" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of this film's poster right next to it.

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

[Weaver is] the only one having any fun - and that includes the audience.

September 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

A perfunctory chase movie that drops in its tracks long before it reaches what's supposed to pass for a rousing climax.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Rather than defining those twists and turns with sharp punctuation, director Mabrouk El Mechri turns them into gentle speed bumps, making the film barely interesting rather than exhilarating

September 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

If you are a Willis or Weaver completist then just wait until cable for this lifeless and uninspired waste.

September 9, 2012 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

The Cold Light of Day is a colossal mess -- and amazingly dumb.

September 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Defined by needless, frenetic exertion in lieu of anything resembling inspiration.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

... positions itself as a mindless series of shootouts and chase sequences.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Cold Light of Day

With "Man of Steel" on the horizon, I've decided to prep myself for the movie by watching all of the past Supermans and a few Henry Cavill films as well. I have no prior knowledge to how well the man can act apart from the what I've seen in the trailers and his bit role in 2007's "Stardust." So, this is going to be a mostly performance critique on Cavill rather than a fleshed out review of the film itself.

It should come as no shock that "The Cold Light of Day's" star power is fueled solely by Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, but fortunately it's Cavill who gets top billing and rightfully so. Henry carries this thing the entire way through, whereas Willis is hardly in it and Sigourney reappears between every couple of scenes. Since Cavill is running the show, his attitude and character are essential to how this story follows through. And just from the first 10 minutes alone, it's easy to tell how much Cavill is trying to hide his English accent. I mean, he is just so darn careful about it.

He's so caught up in balancing his vocal and facial performance that he actually restricts himself from being able to properly elevate his voice or have his tone match his constantly concerned looking face. Even when he tries to act angry or distressed his accent starts to slip out a bit. It's painfully obvious to notice these things when he and Bruce Willis first reunite after their family has been kidnapped. He makes a sacrifice to keep his accent in check and though it's not terribly distracting once the film picks up speed, it is damaging to his over-all performance.

As far as plot goes, it's a whole lot of nothing. Cavill's family gets kidnapped, he tries to find them, befriends a lady companion, and then there's the second and third act that follows. A good chunk of this film is either chasing or running away from the bad guy with no insightful or character-building dialog in between those scenes. The villains themselves are also poorly written with their motives never fully explained or realized. If there was ever a reason to use a movie as a sleeping aid then this might very well be the cure for insomnia.

The only way this could be a recommendation is if you're as curious as I was to see Henry Cavill in other movies. Other than that, "The Cold Light of Day" is a definite pass. Something that will shortly be forgotten.
June 6, 2013
John Hein

Super Reviewer

Want a good look at actor playing the new "Superman"? Then check this out because he(Henry Cavill) is the star, and hopefully he is better at playing the Man of Steel. Here, he is the son of Bruce Willis, and his family gets kidnapped while on vacation in Spain. From there he finds out his dad isn't who he thought he was, and must recover a briefcase and save his family. Cavill has a great look, but he isn't that great of an actor, at least here. Willis isn't in the movie very much, which having more of him would probably have made this better. It's not a very good movie, has a couple good action scenes, and a few good little twists. But overall it just doesn't stay together enough or have much of an impact whatsoever. If you want a light 90 minute action movie, then check it out, because you can do worse. Otherwise, just find something else.
March 17, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Excellent Movie where for once its not all about Bruce Willis, Plenty of action throughout the film, great car chase scene. Veronica Echegui is over the top on beauty and acting, as once Sigourney Weaver was but she is far from that now. If you like spy thrillers you will enjoy this one as its set in Spain. 4 1/2 stars 3-8-13
March 11, 2013
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

The Cold Light of Day was not what I was hoping it would be, which is a great action packed thriller. Instead it was action packed and just OK. The story was lacking. I just didn't care what was happening or if he saved his family. I know, awful. But I was bored. I shouldn't have been considering all the action surrounding the story, but I was. The acting was just OK as well. I was a little disappointed with how much Bruce we get in the movie as well since he and Weaver were my main reason of seeing the film. In the end the film is a turd that could not be polished with the likes of Willis or Weaver. Disappointing.
March 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Will Shaw: Wait! hold it,hold it,no,no.Look,the guy who shot my father was shooting at me half-way across the sea.
    – Submitted by Joel P (13 months ago)
    1. Will Shaw: Mom! Mom! Mom! I can't put him on the phone. They killed him!
    – Submitted by Elisheva W (19 months ago)
    1. Lucia: I was not your father's lover... but my mother was!
    – Submitted by Monica B (19 months ago)
    1. Jean Carrack: You're scared, and scared people holding guns in my face... that scares me.
    – Submitted by Chris P (19 months ago)
    1. Will Shaw: Tranquilo, tranquilo.
    – Submitted by Zaenal A (24 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Sans Issue (FR)
  • La fría luz del día (ES)
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