Dirty Harry - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dirty Harry Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 29, 2006
In the pursuit of the gleefully sadistic yet cowardly Scorpio killer, played to perfection by Andy Robinson, Detective Inspector Harry Callahan manages to step on the toes of every one of the bureaucratic superiors he holds in so much disdain. The man with no name may have been the character that made Clint a star, but it was Harry Callahan that made him an icon; he is the personification of tough guy charisma in one of the all-time classic cop thrillers. Don Siegel directs with incredible economy, encapsulating Callahan's character in a brief exchange with the mayor and his methods in the classic bank heist shoot out all within the first 15 minutes. No car chases, no explosions, no romantic interest. Just a brilliantly written, perfectly executed hard-boiled crime thriller scored wonderfully by best of the best, Lalo Schifrin. Nigh on perfect.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2006
A gritty and riveting thriller. A classic of its time and still works today. Clint Eastwood gives a real movie star performance, he has the grit, wit and tough as nails persona that shows why he was one of the true leading men of his time and one of the ultimate bad asses in film history. A tough. taunt and terrific film that still works and is the best of the series. It`s cool as hell and action-packed and always entertaining. A hard-edged and pulse-pounding edge of your seat thrill-ride.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2012
A police officer who has no respect for the law tracks a killer holding the city for ransom.
I don't think it's only because I didn't like the eponymous character that I didn't like the film as a whole. The killer has no motivations for his actions other than the cliched "He's just crazy," and the establishment's actions, personified by the mayor and police chief's conservative dealings with the killer, wreak of a contrived set-up to make Harry appear "heroic" - what the film considers "heroic" - by contrast. How heroism is constructed in this film is what makes it most interesting. I don't see it as a satire; rather, I think the film honestly thinks of Harry Callahan as a hero. And who is he? Well, he taunts victims, kills often, has no respect for the law, and takes matters into his own hands with aplomb. I can understand why America would take him as a cultural icon; we don't like rules and restrictions and often valorize rugged individualists. So I understand why Dirty Harry was made, and I understand why people like it, but America was founded on a combination of communitarian and individualist values, a fact the film elides.
Overall, Dirty Harry is a cliched action film, and the only thing about it that's interesting is why people like it.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2010
Gritty cop thriller with a great Eastwood performance and some fantastic quotes. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2011
Dirty Harry is a film by Don Siegel and is quite possible the greatest crime thriller I have ever seen, and I do not say that lightly, I mean I have never seen a film that is so sure in itself that it knows that it is going to be a hit, and from the first moments of the film we know this will be a great film.. The story is not what it seems by just looking at it, and yes it may be just a simple crime film but its mostly a character driven movie that has a incredible protagonist that is just trying to find a killer, and I think that this film would not been half as good without the great characters we are given, and even if it is just a simple crime story, it still was incredibly interesting and I loved it. The cast is incredible, Clint Eastwood is probably one of the most important people in Hollywood I mean who is this great an actor AND one of the best directors in history, he is just so good in this film and everything he does. The action scenes were really fun and you could tell they worked hard not to make this a boring crime film. Dirty Harry is not a movie we see every day, it is a film that gives us some of the coolest lines in the history of film, and if you dislike this film, well then I have one question, do ya feel lucky punk?
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2011
If you believe in human rights, then Dirty Harry thinks you're a bleeding heart liberal vagina. Don Siegel is a competent director with a pretty good eye, but this film is nothing more than right-wing pornography. No thanks.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2007
Do you feel lucky, punk? A classic film phrase in Hollywood's big quote book, made immortal by a legend of a man, whose star shall burn forever brightly. With a career spanning for as long as 56 years, and still going strong, Clint Eastwood is unquestionably one of the great icons of our time. In this cop thriller of cop thrillers, he takes the audience for a ride through the rough and gruff of San Fransisco, and all the while being as cool as to define the very word. A down-and-dirty brawl with crime, where situations are solved through verbal intimidation and a .44 Magnum revolver. Not to the levels where I would call it a masterpiece, but definitely worthy of its place in the great hall of fame.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2011
Dirty Harry offers a dark view of crime in San Francisco and is a very enjoyable film. As usual Clint Eastwood plays some badass who goes around shooting people in the face with "the most powerful handgun in the world". Dirty Harry's storyline isn't over complicated and I enjoyed it because of that, it's just the usual cop after serial killer deal that has become pretty common now days (maybe because of this film). Overall an enjoyable film that is a good way to spend a few hours.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2011
Watching movies like Dirty Harry makes me wish that I'd been born earlier, to have been able to view it in a fresh perspective, without having watched any of the zillion other movies that simply followed the same protocol. Watching it 30 years from its time, many bits and parts of the movie looks a tad stereo typed.
Having said that, no matter how many years past by, there is one man who would never go out of style and that is, the Man with the Magnum - Mr.Clint Eastwood. Whether it's his knockout dialogues or his my-way-or-highway attitude, it is the very definition of the term Super-Cool. For that reason alone if for nothing else, You have to love it .. Punk.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
Ohh Its so iconic, i loved it!
I loved saying the words 'do you feel lucky?' well,do you , Punk?!
Love It !
Of course its worth the watch!
Love Clint Eastwood and i love his moody socially hated chracter who hates everyone! Brilliant
The psychopatic murderer is awesome as well he really amused me.

Worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2011
As he's pointing his famous 44 Magnum, Inspector Harry Callahan asks the bad guy "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?" That immortal line from this 1971 action classic has become one of the most famous quotes in film history.. For me, Dirty Harry is by far the grand daddy of the modern action film, along with Bullitt. Two legendary films that have shaped the action genre forever. But Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry is a classic character ands the film itself is a classic. Many filmmakers have been been influenced by this film. Clint Eastwood as cop Harry Callahan is exciting, thrilling and a brute on screen, and it's what makes this film so great. Callahan's lack of rules to uphold the law makes him an icon of cinema. Inspired somewhat by the real life Zodiac murders, Dirty Harry is about a cop on the trail of a killer that terrorizes San Francisco as he snipes innocent people and leaves letters to the cops. Cop Harry Callahan uses every trick he's got to catch the killer. With total disregard for his superiors orders, Callahan plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with Scorpio, the deadly sniper who committed the heinous crimes. Like I've said before, Dirty Harry is a milestone in the action genre. The only film that comes close is Bullitt (as I've said). Dirty Harry's legacy speaks for itself. The film has a terrific suspenseful atmosphere packed with loads of action, and some of the most quotable lines in cinematic history. Aside from the Dollars trilogy directed by Sergio Leone, Dirty Harry and its sequels are probably some of Clint Eastwood's greatest films. This film definitely sealed his faith as one of Hollywood most bad ass actors since Steve McQueen.
So, grab your popcorn, or 44 Magnum, sit back and let the tense action unfold before your eyes at this action classic that influenced an entire genre.
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
This movie will always be a classic. With it's famous quotes and great acting from a true bad-ass, this crime thriller will never disappoint.
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2010
Well punk, do ya feel lucky? Who can forget that famous line?
A serial killer called "Scorpio" is on the rampage in San Francisco, and Inspector Callaghan,( Dirty Harry).Is assigned to the case
the best movie of Clint Eastwoods by far in my opinion i just loveeeed it~!!!
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2010
Dirty Harry is not just a fantastic cop film, but it is one of my favourite film of all time. Clint Eastwood is amazing as Callahan, a dirty cop who does absolutely anything he pleases in his "line of duty". There is nothing wrong with this film. Infact, it is near perfect, and it is not easy for me to say that about movies! Brilliant filmmaking!
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
The first great vigilante justice type movie of the 70s. Not a fantastic movie, but worth watching if you like that kind of movie. It's pretty good.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2010
With the integrity of any good cop, the self destructiveness that culps reliability and instills a feeling of danger, and a killer maniacal and bordering on psycho, Dirty Harry turned out to be something foreign to me. The killer, instead of being so self assured and distant, is instead cowardly and weak, much like killers actually are. The main character, Harry, isn't completely broken up or cold, which showed off Eastwood's sensibilities and acting chops. Interesting overall.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2007
What a landmark of American cinema! Clint was already a star by this point, but this just pushed his career even further. There's a lot to like and love about this girtty, hard-edged crime thriller. The gritty location shotting looks awesome, as do almost all urban crime films from this era. The shot of Harry (from the back) looking at the Golden Gate Bridge in the dusk is a fine example of this.

Featuring strong performances, a gripping story, good direction, and wearing the cynical sensibilities and atmosphere of the day on its sleeve, I can see how this film has become so influential, especially due to the infamous speech about one of the most bad ass of all film weapons.

This is really Clint's show, but John Vernon is good as the mayor, Reni Santoni is decent as Chico, and Andy Robinson is outstanding as the creepy and menacing Scorpio. Shockingly enough, I had never seen this or any of the sequels until now, and I was pleasantly surprised by the humor. A lot of it (and Eastwood's general mannerisms/characterization) later came up in some of Eastwood's more recent films, which I think is just great. Gran Torino had me cracking up at times, and now I know where it comes from.

The music is good too, although there were scenes where I think it would have been nice to hear it where there wasn't any music. However, one scene in question (when Harry goes from phone booth to phone booth) stands out as a little more tense because of the lack of score (which makes things a bit more realistic.

One thing I like about this and other similar films from the 70s is how it's more than just entertainment. There's a lot of substance here. You could come up with all kinds of analyses about the effectiveness of police brutality, anti-heroes, racism, being macho, violence, etc. Many already have, but it's not like the well will likely run dry very soon.

If you haven't seen this one yet, you definitely need to see it-it's a stone cold classic (despite not being wall-to-wall action and mayhem).
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2007
A tightly-paced, well acted cop drama centering around a bad-ass cop (Clint Eastwood) and the maniac he is trying to take down (Andy Robinson). While it is undoubtedly a little too predictable and the cliches sometimes come unrelentingly, what elevates this from a typical bad cop drama to gritty action thriller is an unforgettable performance from Clint Eastwood, and a very intimidating and frightening one by Robinson as his foe. It's not the absolute classic many claim (for as said, you can see some of it coming a mile away), but it's definitely an important movie in the sense of how it influenced so many of its kind, and its one that includes some great scenes, memorable one-liners, and a remarkable keen eye for the city of San Francisco by its director Don Siegel.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2008
"I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

A San Francisco cop with little regard for rules (but who always gets results) tries to track down a serial killer who snipes at random victims.

Eastwood made cinematic lore out of laconic San Francisco renegade cop Harry Callahan known more for his intolerance of the bureaucratic legal system and his firm belief in justice through violent means necessitated by righting wrongs. In the first of the series he's faced with a psycho serial killer named Scorpio (grinning looney toon Robinson) just begging to be noticed. Directed by Eastwood's long-time mentor Don Siegel the film acts as a parable of the system strangle-holding society and still remains an indictment of how bad things still are. Classic Clint.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2007
the film is not without its problems, but its so much fun that this is one of those films where the problems dont matter as much. its great to watch eastwood lug around that massive gun and dust people.
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