Critics Consensus

Though Dick's short story has an intriguing premise, Woo reduces it to a lot of meaningless chases, shoot-outs, and explosions.



Total Count: 156


Audience Score

User Ratings: 164,277
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Movie Info

Brilliant computer engineer Michael Jennings routinely has his short term memory erased, so he can't divulge any information about the top secret projects he works on throughout the year. For his most recent gig, he expects to receive over four billion dollars. Upon completion of the job, however, Jennings is given a filled envelope--not with a check for his billions, but containing random objects. It is communicated to him that he had agreed to forfeit his payment for this specific project. With his memory erased, the meticulous engineer attempts to use the objects in the envelope to figure out what happened to him in his now obscured past. Soon, federal agents are after Jennings and he teams up with his old flame, Rachel, who helps him uncover the mystery of his past--and the question behind why the people whom he once worked for, now want him dead.

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Ben Affleck
as Michael Jennings
Aaron Eckhart
as Rethrick
Joe Morton
as Agent Dodge
Michael C. Hall
as Agent Klein
Peter Friedman
as Attorney General Brown
Kathryn Morris
as Rita Dunne
Ivana Milicevic
as Maya-Rachel
Fulvio Cecere
as Agent Furman
John Cassini
as Agent Mitchell
Claudette Mink
as Sara Rethrick
Ryan Zwick
as Street Kid
Calvin Finlayson
as Balloon Boy
Kendall Cross
as Scientist
Darryl Scheelar
as Plain Clothes Federal Agent
Mark Brandon
as Lottery Host
Roger Haskett
as Lottery Official
Steve Wright
as Allcom Helicopter Pilot
Craig Hosking
as FBI Helicopter Pilot
Emily Holmes
as Betsy, Salesgirl
Krista Allen
as Holographic Woman
Robert Clark
as Member of String Quartet
Andrea Siradze
as Member of String Quartet
Isabelle Roland
as Member of String Quartet
Peter Caton
as Member of String Quartet
Ryan Robbins
as Husband
Chelah Horsdal
as Young Mother
Craig March
as Janitor
Jason Calder
as Wolfe Goon
Mike Godenir
as Wolfe Goon
Brad Kelly
as Wolfe Goon
Brent Connolly
as Wolfe Goon
Michelle Anderson
as Nursery Customer
Lori Berlanga
as Nursery Customer
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Critic Reviews for Paycheck

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (114)

Audience Reviews for Paycheck

  • Jul 16, 2014
    Inspired by a Philip K. Dick short story, Paycheck is an adrenaline packed sci-fi thriller. Starring Ben Affleck, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman, and Paul Giamatti, the film features an impressive cast (though Thurman's performance is exceptionally poor). The plot follows a reverse engineer named Michael Jennings who finds himself on the run from federal agents after completing a job in which his memory was erased; but he left himself a series of clues (in the form of 20 random items) to kept himself alive and avoid capture. The writing is rather clever in how it spins the mystery as to how Jennings will use the innocuous items he sent himself to change his future. Think too hard and the whole seeing the future thing kind of falls apart, but on the surface it works. And, director John Woo delivers several intense chases and fight sequences that energize the film. There are some problems here and there, but overall Paycheck is a fun and entertaining adventure.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2012
    Another classic Philip K. Dick story is brought to the big screen only this time its been 'Woo'd'. To be very very honest this is pretty much a poor mans 'Minority Report' with a bad cast, accept for the big chinned Eckhart, why this short story has not been given the same care as 'MR' I don't know. The film plays out with Affleck (yes -_-) as a 'reverse engineer' who...actually I still have no idea really what he is suppose to do in his role, all I know is it involves having his memory wiped after he's done each job but this time he has been used and set up by the evil Eckhart. Cue allot of running around, guns blazing everywhere, your typical Woo car/motorbike chase with standard silly slow motion stunts and of course your typical standard Woo point blank face off...or Mexican standoff. The concept for the film is pretty neat, not totally original in today's film world but it has promise, unfortunately like 'M.I.2' Woo was totally the wrong director for such a decent sci-fi story. The whole thing looks bad, especially during the finale which looks like its been filmed on a set from the 60's Batman TV show, plus the acting is poor and hammy from almost everyone. Its all too predictable and quite simply its been done allot better with other films.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2012
    I originally didn't intend to watch Paycheck if it wasn't for me getting the wrong movie ordered to me. What I unfortunately got stuck with was a movie with potential made worst by Ben Affleck being the lead. Paycheck is about an engineer who's paid big money by a high-tech firms for working on hush-hush projects. After he finishes his most recent job that leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased. The movie has some interesting ideas and a promising premise, but they never get developed and are quickly forgotten. I found it ironic how in the movie the villains have a device that can easily erase people memories, the reason I say it's ironic is mostly because you'll forget out it in minutes after watching it. The same goes with the characters, but mostly Affleck Razzie wining performance, as they are uninteresting and honestly while watching it all you want to see are the end credits. As for the violence, it's more realistic compared to John Woo other works and it's unimpressive at best. These action scenes are too long and unnecessary in a already boring movie with dull characters and bad leading actor Affleck to be consider watchable. Now I don't have allot to say about this movie since it's extremely forgettable, the main reason for me was Ben Affleck terrible, terrible, terrible performance. Wow was he unmotivated, unconvincing, and nearly put me sleep every time he was on screen. Now I'm not saying he's a bad actor as I've seen him in better movies, but wow he did deserve the Razzie he got for worst actor in this one and that's one thing I think the audience could agree on. The rest of the cast were just as bland, bad, and forgettable. Even someone as cool and talented as Uma Thurman didn't have anything to offer in this mess of a movie and was completely wasted for this movie. Paycheck is a movie that has interesting ideas, but it's poor writing and leading actor makes it a boring and forgettable experience. It's dull, unconvincing, boring, and Razzie wining material just like it lead actor performance.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2011
    Not a fan of Ben Affleck or Uma Thurman at all but what I saw was ok. I like the twists and turns as I tried to figure out what had happened to him. At times it felt rather slow and lethargic which ruined the atmosphere. Not something I'd watch again but a good watch for anyone interested in Philip K. Dick and time travel stories.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer

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