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Walking Tall (2004)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 133
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 100

The Rock makes a competent hero, but the movie is content to let a 2x4 do all the talking.

22

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 28

The Rock makes a competent hero, but the movie is content to let a 2x4 do all the talking.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 229,170

My Rating

Movie Info

Chris Vaughn is a retired soldier who returns to his hometown to make a new life for himself, only to discover his wealthy high school rival, Jay Hamilton, has closed the once-prosperous lumber mill to turn the town's resources towards his own criminal gains. The town is now overrun with crime, drugs and violence. Enlisting the help of his old pal Ray Templeton, Chris gets elected sheriff and vows to shut down Hamilton's operations. His actions endanger his family and threaten his own life, but

Sep 28, 2004

$45.9M

MGM - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (142) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (100) | DVD (30)

... a real disappointment.

April 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is comprised of four violent action scenes tied together by nearly 50 minutes of alternately hilarious (unintentionally, of course) and dull filler.

April 3, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comment (1)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Walking Tall actually underserves its star, who is better than schlocky material like this would lead you to believe.

April 2, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One mediocre, ploddingly predictable film, loaded down with cheesy Hollywood tactics.

April 2, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This revised Walking Tall has only kinetic energy going for it.

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When the credits roll after the climactic beatdown, the story feels like it's missing an act.

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

OK as a WWE grudge match, but not as a movie.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Dwayne Johnson scores another fun action adventure with competent acting, great fights, and good direction.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Like the hicksploitation genre from which it was spawned, Walking Tall is long on violence and short on police procedure.

November 17, 2006
Christianity Today

It is not quite violent, drunken, or naked enough to be as trashily entertaining as the Patrick Swayze cult favorite Roadhouse.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Lawrence.com

The Rock does Billy Jack, and the director catches an early flight home.

January 11, 2006 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
Oz
eFilmCritic.com

Walking Tall, at the very least, can turn in its claim ticket as the silliest movie of the new year.

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

...silly without any genuine humor.

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

It's not a mammoth of filmmaking, that much is true, but The Rock proves he knows what he's doing and crafts a genuinely entertaining hero.

July 20, 2004 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

Although morally dubious and unpleasantly brutal, Kevin Bray's film is a decent enough showcase for its leading man's low-key charm and bone-crunching machismo.

July 6, 2004 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

The Rock's fans may buy anything he's in, but he's already shown that he's better than this type of material.

May 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

O roteiro apresenta diversos defeitos que provavelmente só foram agravados pelo fato de nada menos do que cinco roteiristas terem feito suas revisões particulares.

May 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

There are movies of uncomplicated simian enjoyment and there's Walking Tall, in which a stirring courtroom defense culminates with the dramatic ripping open of a shirt.

April 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

It's not a bad story at all, but the filmmakers strip it of any meaning or purpose. The film is merely a series of set-piece montages.

April 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

This contemporary remake of the 1973 grassroots classic retains and updates the basic plot points while losing much of the original's heart and soul.

April 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

if it weren't for the thematic undercurrent favorably depicting fascism and summary justice as the solution to all of life's little problems, it would be laughable.

April 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

...so rote it doesn't just feel like a tired genre piece--the movie actually feels like it's aspiring to be a tired genre piece!

April 16, 2004 Full Review
Philadelphia Weekly

A passable action-revenge film.

April 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

A lot happens in this movie, but much of it is unexplained.

April 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

What makes it stand out is the fact that there's some subversive politics happening beyond the fighting that is refreshing.

April 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Even if you're looking for a tall tale that appeals to your inner vigilante, my advice is to walk-or run-away.

April 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Audience Reviews for Walking Tall

It's the early years of the The Rock stepping out of the ring into the Hollywood silver screen, and surprisingly, he brought enough charisma to elevate a mediocre film to higher heights, and so he did with "Walking Tall". The story: out of whack for sure. The dialogue: horrible. And the movie as a whole is rife with cliches, but it's easy to relax and enjoy a flick like this all due to the electrifying energy that Dwayne Johnson throws onto the screen. It's just another cable television guilty pleasure that'll surprisingly keep you interested throughout.
April 13, 2013
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Walking Tall had the potential of being something very good. Instead the film is a disappointing action film with a meager cast. The film could have been done much better than this, and though it had an interesting story, the film falls apart halfway through. The thing that is shocking about the film is that it started well enough to be a good film, but like I said halfway through the film things start to fall apart, the film goes all over the place, and it doesn't try whatsoever to really redeem itself. This is disappointing because the film had such a great story. This film ends up being terrible, and being one of the worst action films in recent memory. I found it surprising to see Johnny Knoxville in a somewhat serious role, and to his credit, he wasn't bad in this. The actors do what they can with the lacking second half, but it's too late. Walking Tall is a mediocre action film that doesn't have anything really interesting to offer and it's a shame because the film started off well enough. This is a perfect example of screenwriters not being to effectively develop a solid second half to a solid first half. This film could have been terrific, but it fails and the film is quite unsatisfying in the end. A good first half but disappointing second make Walking Tall a film that really isn't effective, and with a good concept, it could have been a terrific action film.
October 16, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Great Movie! Never get tired of watching it, The Rock is the shit!

After eight years serving the U.S. Army Special Forces, Sergeant Chris Vaughn returns to his hometown seeking for a job in the local mill. He is informed by Sheriff Stan Watkins that the mill was closed six months ago and now the Wild Cherry Casino, owned by his former high school friend Jay Hamilton, is the major source of jobs and income to the town. Chris goes home, and meets his best-friend Ray Templeton, who organized a football game with their friends. After the game, Jay invites Chris and his friends to spend the night in his casino on him, but when Chris finds that the casino stick-man is cheating with the dices, he fights against the security men and is almost killed by them. When his nephew Pete has an OD with amphetamines sold by the security men of the casino, Chris realizes that the town is dominated by the mobsters and the corrupt sheriff and with a huge piece of wood, he breaks the casino and the criminals. He is prosecuted and in the trial, he promises to the jury and to the population that if he is considered non-guilty, he would be candidate to the sheriff position and clean the town. Later, Sheriff Chris Vaughn has to fight against the organized crime to keep his promise.
October 23, 2010
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

The Rock really explains this best when he says "This is nothing but old school ass whoopins brought on some candy ass with a four by four piece of cedar". This is mostly a nostalgia movie that everyone can love. It's realistic action starring one of the most charismatic and lovable action stars. As a bonus, this movie is fun and is really well shot. While the story is somewhat of a classic when it comes to the one man army scenario, it somehow never gets old.
September 9, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

    1. Chris Vaughn Jr: You're right, Jay. This does change our relationship. You're under arrest.
    – Submitted by Denmark H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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