The Dead Pool

1988

The Dead Pool

Critics Consensus

While it offers its fair share of violent thrills and tough wit, The Dead Pool ends the Dirty Harry series on an uninspired note.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,677
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Movie Info

The Dead Pool is the fifth and (thus far) the last of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies. A sports pool is placing bets on which famous person will die next. Suddenly a serial killer who preys upon celebrities enters the scene, radically (and perhaps deliberately) changing the odds in the pool. As a celebrity of sorts, maverick cop Dirty Harry Callahan becomes a target of the killer, as does high-profile TV journalist Patricia Clarkson. Surprises are at a minimum in The Dead Pool; the film gets down to business quickly, moves logically if violently towards its climax (with a spectacular car-chase sequence thrown in for good measure), and delivers exactly what its fans expect. One major difference between this film and the earlier Dirty Harry epics is that the murders are committed in so outrageous a fashion that the picture seems at times to be a Freddie Krueger vehicle.

Cast

Clint Eastwood
as Harry Callahan
Patricia Clarkson
as Samantha Walker
Liam Neeson
as Peter Swan
Evan C. Kim
as Inspector Al Quan
David Hunt
as Harlan Rook
Michael Currie
as Captain Donnelly
Michael Goodwin
as Lt. Ackerman
Anthony Charnota
as Lou Janero
Jim Carrey
as Johnny Squares
Darwin Gillett
as Patrick Snow
John X. Heart
as Samantha's Cameraman
Patrick Van Horn
as Freeway Reporter #2
Christopher Beale
as D.A. Thomas McSherry
Nicholas Love
as Jeff Howser
John Allen Vick
as Lt. Ruskowski
Maureen McVerry
as Vicky Owens
Louis Giambalvo
as Gus Wheeler
Glenn Wright
as Detective Hindmark
Stu Klitsher
as Minister
Karen Kahn
as T.V. Associate Producer
Shawn Elliott
as Chester Docksteder
Ed Hodson
as Paramedic at Elevator
Patrick Valentino
as Pirate Captain
Melissa Martin
as Pirate Tug Reporter #2
Peter Anthony Jacobs
as Sgt. Holloway
Lloyd Nelson
as Sgt. Waldman
Charles Martinet
as Police Station Reporter #1
Taylor Gilbert
as Police Station Reporter #2
George Orrison
as Embarcadero Bodyguard #1
Marc Alaimo
as Embarcadero Bodyguard #2
Martin Ganapoler
as Reporter at Pier
James W. Gavin
as Helicopter Pilot
Craig Hosking
as Helicopter Pilot
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News & Interviews for The Dead Pool

Critic Reviews for The Dead Pool

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (13)

  • There didn't seem to be anything special in the unraveling of the murder plots in The Dead Pool, but for what it lacked in suspense, Dirty Harry and company made up in talent and wit.

    Oct 9, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Violent '80s cop drama with blood and drugs.

    Sep 13, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It probably wasn't wise for the filmmakers to end Dirty Harry's reign with Eastwood uttering a post-killing line more suited for Stallone or Schwarzenegger, but from an entertainment standpoint, The Dead Pool doesn't leave one **** outta luck.

    Jul 12, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Feels like one of the lesser exciting Harry Callahan that doesn't exactly send the character with much of an explosive sign off.

    Aug 21, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Tired formula with Eastwood making an unispired return as Dirty Harry Callahan. patrica Clarkson is a welcome presence.

    Jan 17, 2008 | Rating: 2/5
  • The fifth, last, and possibly most perfunctory and boring Dirty Harry movie, except for a hilarious chase scene involving an explosive toy car.

    Apr 21, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Dead Pool

  • Jul 11, 2012
    The fifth and final film in the Dirty Harry Series, sees Harry up against a schandal who may be targeting himself. Its the weakest entry in the franchise but enough to satify its fan's hunger. Its got really good drama with the characters, good action, mediocre plot, but a pretty average direction. some future movie stars like Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey were featured in this film, very early and memerable roles. The other Con is that the film is pretty short and not as explosive as the others, but Its pretty engaging and exciting at times. Its a shame to see the franchise end this way, then again it was doomed to at some point. Its a pretty watchable action film especially for the franchise. However Eastwood definatly had his Oscar moments into the Nineties and Noughties.
    Luke E Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    Even with all the bad reviews I read for this Dirty Harry film, I think it was pretty good.I was more into it then the original.I loved the car chase with the 2 cars & the R/C car.It wasn't as good as the chase with the 2 buses on that 1 movie 99 And 44/100% Dead.I don't think any movie chase will ever be that good but the chase on The Dead Pool ranks right up there.The Dead Pool is Dirty Harry's last film in the series & I think Dirty Harry went out with a bang
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2011
    This is the fifth, and probably/hopefully/more than likely final entry in the long running Dirty Harry series. And it is a pretty decent swan song. After years of bringing a certain style of justice to the mean streets of San Francisco, "Dirty" Harry Callahan has finally become a sort of local legend of sorts. His level of fame however comes with a consequence, as he finds himself on a celebrity dead pool list, wherein people place bets on when celebrities in certain high risk professions will die. Matters are only made worse when the people on the list of schlocky horror director Peter Swan actually start to die, with Swan being the primary suspect, and Harry being damn near the next victim. I miss the days of heavy subtext that was really well done in the films of this series, but even though this film tries to make some sort of comment on the role of media and that sort of thing, I found myself really content to just sit back and watch Harry do what he does best, even if the film does have some rather silly moments at times, namely the Bullitt spoofing car chase involving an explosive RC car. The film might be kinda silly ,but it is a lot of fun, and definitely a solid attempt to put the series into the context of the state of cop movies at the time. As a nice bonus, besides Eastwood delivering as usual, we get early appearances from Liam Neeson as Swan, Patricia Clarkson as a determined reporter, James "Jim" Carrey as an ill-fated rock star, and cameos from various members of Guns 'N Roses. The performances are fine, the action is okay, and the film movies at a decent pace. It's not really a wonderful movie, but it's a decent end to the series, and does an alright job of picking the series up from the unfortunate low spot left by the previous film, which I found to be just really boring, albeit well intended. Definitely see this if you're a completist, or just in the mood for a standard Eastwood cop drama and also want some levity as well.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2011
    Unless you happen to be a fan of the franchise, there's little less reason to sit through this one. Even if you are one, you may end up feeling really let down by the grand finale of the series. After 17 years, Harry is finally getting his 15 minutes of fame, having gained a celebrity status for putting a publicly despised crime-lord behind the bars. With everyone around admiring him, Harry does'nt get too many opportunities to be his usual exploding anti-bureaucratic self. Movie is stuffed with cardboard characters and some stupid pop culture elements that just does'nt go along with the legacy of the series. Movie really hits rock bottom with a desperate attempt to frame a new Dirty Harry expression, which goes - "You're sh** out of luck". Obviously it's no match for a "Well..do you, Punk?" or "Go Ahead, Make My Day".
    Sajin P Super Reviewer

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