Never Back Down - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Never Back Down Reviews

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Armond White
New York Press
March 19, 2008
Maybe it's just a genre picture, but scene after scene in Never Back Down displays vitality and wit. This is the year's first good-looking and fully enjoyable American movie.
Michelle Alexandria
Eclipse Magazine
March 17, 2008
When I think of tough fighters the first thing I think is Disney World. You can take so much of that place before you want to go and beat the heck out of someone.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
March 17, 2008
If you thought the problem with Step Up 2: The Streets was that there weren't enough kicks to the head, this virtual remake is for you.
| Original Score: 2/4
Ethan Alter
Film Journal International
March 17, 2008
Compulsively watchable...there's always something viscerally exciting about watching kung fu fighters whaling on each other.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 17, 2008
I laughed so much at the litany of clichés that I finally had to admit I was entertained from start to finish by this cheesy knock-off.
Tim Cogshell
Boxoffice Magazine
March 17, 2008
Pretty much all of Never Back Down is shot like an episode of Punk'd, with a soundtrack from an MTV2 playlist. Which is all perfectly appropriate and kinda fun.
Sean McBride
Sean the Movie Guy
March 16, 2008
proves to be a bit of a guilty pleasure
| Original Score: 2/4
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
March 14, 2008
You could call this "Fight Club Jr." blended with "Karate Kid Redux" and "The Fast and the Furious Again."
Full Review| Original Score: 2.5/4
March 14, 2008
As Tennessee Williams so often intimated, there's always something to prove down south - typically one's homoerotically-charged sense of manhood.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 14, 2008
It's a little Karate Kid, a smidge of Fight Club...a lot of The O.C. (evil boy Gigandet played an evil boy on that series), and presto: probable hit.
| Original Score: 2/4
March 14, 2008
This unlikely hybrid of The Karate Kid and Fight Club is formulaic and derivative, but sufficiently well made to work as both teen-angst melodrama and bone-rattling brawl picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
March 14, 2008
Towering above all is Hounsou, whose performance grants Never Back Down a measure of dignity.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
March 14, 2008
The fights are parceled out at intervals during the last half, all leading to a climactic battle. But it's hard to build suspense when you know it is coming and you know who will win.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 14, 2008
This movie isn't bad just because it follows a formula slavishly but because it does so without verve or passion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 14, 2008
Even though it's as predictable as a pro-wrestling match, what it lacks in originality it makes up for in the nervous energy of youth and testosterone.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
March 14, 2008
Never Back Down offers extreme fighting as the modern-day alternative to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 14, 2008
A formula flick that should have tapped out in the script stage.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
March 14, 2008
By the time ever-noble, ever-watchable Djimon Hounsou shows up to teach earnest young Jake honor and roundhouse kicks, the power-rock and smashmouth idiocy become like a fever dream, sweaty and hard to shake off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Donald Munro
Miami Herald
March 14, 2008
Director Jeff Wadlow finds a sort of nobility in the subject matter than you might not expect for a film that consists in large part of bloodthirsty mobs clamoring for violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Brian Tallerico
The Deadbolt
March 14, 2008
Definitely better than a swift kick to the head, but it's just about as subtle.
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