Pain & Gain - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pain & Gain Reviews

Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
Pain & Gain weighs about 700 pounds when it ought to weigh 2.
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
August 27, 2013
The first hour may be Bay's career high point: it's fast, freaky, gloriously tasteless and startlingly pointed in its attacks on western insecurity, shallowness and greed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 2, 2013
In between scenes of the muscleheads torturing their victim, Bay indulges his taste for treating women as sluts and grisly brutality as a nifty excuse for a cheap laugh.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 26, 2013
Now [Bay] hits new levels of both artistry and sleaziness in the black comedy Pain & Gain, which I strongly recommend if you don't overvalue taste, subtlety, and moral decency. I liked it.
Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
April 26, 2013
This crude and ugly entertainment is as crass as everything this depressingly successful filmmaker has done.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2013
It's official. Michael Bay, director of the Transformers clobberfests, knows how to make movies about humans, too. The problem is, he thinks humans are robots.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 26, 2013
It may be the best movie Michael Bay's ever made. And suggests that, if you just kept his toys put away a little longer, someday he might even make a better one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
April 26, 2013
It's like a giant sculpture that is so strange and off-putting, it's instantly, intriguingly post-modern. Swept up in the film's pile-driving self-assurance, even Bay-haters may absorb the pain to enjoy the gain.
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
April 26, 2013
Skillfully made, genuinely funny and appalling for making light of true horror.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 26, 2013
The combination of the words "Michael Bay" and "steroids" should be enough to give any moviegoer pause ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 26, 2013
"Pain & Gain" brings the pain, but it's difficult to see the gain.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
April 26, 2013
The whole thing is played for laughs that almost never come.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
April 25, 2013
Kudos to Bay and his screenwriters for making sure we're laughing at them, not with them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
April 25, 2013
Michael Bay sends a clear message to those of us who've been making fun of him: He's been in on the joke the whole time.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2013
It makes for some stupid/slap-shtick fun of the Stooges variety -- that is, if Larry, Curly and Moe had been hunky gym rats engaged in illegal activity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 25, 2013
This isn't great cinema, but it's vastly entertaining in an overblown, in-your-face sort of way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Lawson
The Atlantic
April 25, 2013
I left Pain & Gain wondering how it managed to be both Bay's most off-putting movie and his most artistically successful.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 25, 2013
Not only hollow and assaultive, but frenzied, madly violent and skullnumbingly loud.
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
April 25, 2013
Pain & Gain brings fun to the multiplex with its story of knucklehead bodybuilders with pumped-up dreams and 98-pound weakling brains.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
April 25, 2013
I'm still not sure whether to mildly like or mildly hate this movie.
Top Critic
April 25, 2013
[Bay] blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.
Top Critic
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
April 25, 2013
But at heart, it's still a Michael Bay movie: loud as a Harley at midnight, empty as a dance club at noon, yet as beautiful to look at as a sunrise in Miami, where it's set.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 25, 2013
Wahlberg and Johnson are the saving graces of an in-your-face movie about weightlifters who kidnap, extort and dismember their victims.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 25, 2013
"Pain & Gain" could have been a dark comedy about lowlifes chasing the high life, but lacks the guiding vision to hold its clashing elements in balance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 25, 2013
Plays like "Fargo" for idiots.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
April 25, 2013
A brash, vulgar, exhilaratingly vigorous, spontaneously complex hoot of a true-crime movie.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 25, 2013
A dizzying lowlife saga that's fast, smart, wicked, sort of ambitious and blazingly ironic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
April 25, 2013
Behind the lunatic corruption of Pain And Gain there's a kind of monstrous clarity. Do with it what you will.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 25, 2013
Bay ... doesn't seem to realize the film has gotten away from him. He's still trying to maintain the same jaunty tone even after the content's gone gruesome.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 25, 2013
You may feel the grisly laughs sticking in your throat.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 25, 2013
In telling a true story about hapless thugs who are the embodiment of Michael Bay fans, the director has made the most fiendishly enjoyable movie of his career.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic
April 25, 2013
You can't thread a needle this fine with a script filtered through Bay's puerile id.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Simon Abrams
Chicago Sun-Times
April 25, 2013
As ambitious and vibrant as it is ugly and scattershot, "Pain & Gain" is the most charming Michael Bay movie in a long while.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
April 25, 2013
A movie that tries to turn a torture chamber into a comedy club.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
April 25, 2013
Bay is no Paul Verhoeven, but he's coming from a similar place here, purposely amplifying the ugliest qualities of American culture.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 25, 2013
It all leaves you pondering whether you have just seen a monumentally stupid movie or a brilliant movie about the nature and consequences of stupidity.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 25, 2013
A badly constructed, blood-spattered caper that comes unglued early on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 25, 2013
After an hour of "Pain & Gain," it felt more like "Pain & Pain."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
April 25, 2013
Any pretensions of satire, moral ambiguity, or social commentary get lost in a hurricane of empty, mindless spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 24, 2013
This is easily Bay's best movie, the work of a filmmaker with a cracked sense of humor that he is able to share with the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
April 24, 2013
All but the faintest flashes of humanity and pathos are flattened by the cinematic cyclone that is Michael Bay.
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
April 24, 2013
With Pain & Gain, his surprising true-crime comedy, Bay has finally decided to lighten up a bit.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ciara LaVelle
Village Voice
April 23, 2013
Though this story needs no embellishment, Bay can't help himself.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
April 23, 2013
A ham-fisted, thick-skulled comic caper about bodybuilders-turned-criminals which, like its three protagonists, fully lives down to its own potential.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
April 23, 2013
Bay can be a master of exuberant chaos, but here the violence mostly lands with a sickening thud, which is fitting, one supposes, but also ultimately numbing.