Payback - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Payback Reviews

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Ryan Cracknell
Calgary Movies
June 21, 2007
A solid enough action comedy, albeit one that had a lot of potential to be wittier and darker.
Chuck O'Leary
FulvueDrive-in.com
May 10, 2007
A tough, entertaining homage to the kind of gritty '70s crime film that long ago gave way to a slicker yet tamer form of action movie ... Both the studio's cut and Helgeland's cut work about equally well.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Moriarty
Ain't It Cool Movie Reviews
June 25, 2005
This is the seediest studio picture I've seen since TO LIVE OR DIE IN LA. Even the theater floor feels stickier while watching this thing unfold.
Louis B. Hobson
Jam! Movies
April 13, 2004
Payback has its moments and its thrills, but the payoff just isn't there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Ron Wells
Film Threat
December 8, 2002
Payback is just Die Hard: Without a Soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
Demonstrates why Mel Gibson is a movie star: He can take mediocre material and through sheer willpower -- not to mention oodles of charm -- make it work.
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002
The movie squanders its energy on morbid levels of grisly, kinky violence, much of it sexual.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
A higher class of thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 22, 2002
It quickly slides into a Lethal Weapon without Danny Glover, complete with blowups and wisecracks, gratuitous torture scenes and Gibson in familiar form as the twinkling rascal who makes a virtue out of viciousness.
| Original Score: 2/4
Nick Roddick
Sight and Sound
March 5, 2002
Both star and director seem to be more interested in playing off perceptions of Gibson's on-screen persona than in actually telling the story, which lurches along from one violent set piece to the next.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 11, 2001
In the popcorn sense, it certainly delivers on mindless escapism. In the artistic sense, let's just say that Payback is a long way from Point Blank.
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
April 8, 2001
...tries to be a no-nonsense action thriller, but it's undermined by its own plot silliness and by the unruffled attitude of its main character.
| Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
It's undone not so much by the shadow of Lee Marvin falling heavily on it (which it does) as by the twin obstacles of big star image and, more to the point, excessive violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 1, 2000
Its smirking sense of humor and generic self-consciousness suggest that Payback would like to think of itself as a hip descendant of Pulp Fiction. But the movie is utterly devoid of narrative ingenuity and visual and dramatic flair.
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
It is well written, contains a flock of colorful characters, and gives star Mel Gibson a number of great one-liners.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
There is much cleverness and ingenuity in Payback.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
January 1, 2000
One big, ugly chase scene!
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
January 1, 2000
An intermittently engaging crime thriller that fuses elements of '30s era film noir with '70s era exploitation.

E! Online
January 1, 2000
Very good fun!
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
Sadism is the film's only real subject, and its only real life as well.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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