The Gunman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gunman Reviews

April 16, 2015
Part of the problem is the script's determination to drag some of Spain's most scenic spots into the action whether or not they suit the mood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 16, 2015
If you want a thriller about architecture, here is your thing. Gaudi with Guns, they could have called it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 27, 2015
Rarely, though, have two Academy Award-winning actors been so stunningly off the mark in the same movie.
Read More | Original Score: 2.0
March 23, 2015
I object to The Gunman because it's unconvincing and incoherent.
March 20, 2015
A dull, generic retread, made far worse by Penn's self-seriousness as an actor, by the banal political pieties he's grafted on as producer and co-writer, and by the presence of a pitifully retrograde female lead role.
March 20, 2015
I doubt The Gunman will do much to advance Penn's foray into action-hero bankability, and that's probably a good thing. He's too fine an actor to be mired in nonstop shootouts while flashing his pecs and looking scowly.
Full Review | Original Score: C
March 20, 2015
This isn't so much a film in which every ageing male fantasist can invest as a film that works as an allegory for the state of Penn's career alone. A specialised taste, I suspect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 20, 2015
The Gunman degenerates into dreary setups for guns and gore. Penn merits more. So do we.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
March 20, 2015
The actors are good and the action is thrilling. And if the film isn't quite as seriously political as I'm guessing Penn told himself it was, it's definitely an offbeat change of pace for us.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 20, 2015
Like a queasy blend of Still Alice and The Bourne Identity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
March 20, 2015
Obviousness prevails.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 20, 2015
The kind of throughly anonymous and undistinguished film that barely would have passed muster as a mid-2000s DTV project top-lining a third-tier TV star.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 20, 2015
It devolves into a mess of worn plot lines. If Morel wanted to give Penn's career new life as a world-weary action hero, he missed his target.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
Part of the contract that movies of this sort forge with moviegoers is that the reasons for all the running and gunning won't get in the way of the action. "The Gunman" doesn't play by those rules.
March 19, 2015
Penn is dour and not the least bit heroic in this movie. He survives the action sequences but neither they nor his participation in them gets the blood pumping.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
Penn's gym-bunny loveliness is the most attractively toned part of the film. Everything else is out of condition.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 19, 2015
Sean Penn has spent a lot of time in the gym lately. We know this because, well, it's hard to ignore when a 54-year-old man grimly grabs every opportunity to shed his shirt.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 19, 2015
A plot that makes no sense, characters that are barely there, and a denouement that is an insult to everybody's intelligence, all combine to make Penn's action-man debut fire blanks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 19, 2015
If the film's intent is to condition the audience into a distaste for violence through boredom, it succeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
Mr. Penn, aiming for weary, battered intensity, settles into a zone somewhere between fatigue and indigestion.
Top Critic
March 19, 2015
A dum-dum action picture that briefly pretends to be about world aid before returning to muscular, middle-aged men beating the snot out of each other.
March 19, 2015
I've pretty much always enjoyed watching Penn in everything, not despite of his hambone tendency to milk every moment of every shot but because of it. This stupid movie is no exception ...
March 19, 2015
Whatever else we might think of Sean Penn's bid for an active middle age via The Gunman, we can't doubt his enthusiasm.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
Director Pierre Morel is the real hero here, supercharging the genre material with touches of brilliance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 19, 2015
OK, we've seen the biceps and the abs. Very nice. Now, back to the brain.
Full Review | Original Score: C
March 19, 2015
The only redeeming feature about The Gunman is its exotic locations.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 19, 2015
I can imagine Sean Penn agreeing to star in this Taken knockoff on the condition that it educate moviegoers about humanitarian crises in Africa; it does, but the film feels misshapen as a result.
March 19, 2015
"The Gunman" is a predictable slog through action-movie tropes, and Penn's intensity isn't a good fit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 19, 2015
A well-executed thriller that leaves us stirred but not shaken.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 19, 2015
There's a grubby, redemptive quality that makes this tough-minded flick feel like the son of "Serpico" and "Salvador."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 19, 2015
"The Gunman" may start as a genre exercise of promising purpose, but it winds up being just a lot of bull.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
March 19, 2015
It's a tasty cast, but the script does not do its job in crucial areas, letting the audience get way, way out ahead of the reveals.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
It succeeds, partly because the moral climate it presents seems so confused, but mainly because of Penn's particular aura of irascible integrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 19, 2015
Penn remains a furiously committed method actor, even in a paycheck role such as this one. But he's not enough to prevent the film from becoming the same-old.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 19, 2015
Yes, there are plot holes aplenty, but the action is tautly staged by Morel and that makes "The Gunman" a satisfactory time-passer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 19, 2015
A lightweight thriller posing as a heavy political drama, or vice-versa. Not thoughtful and no fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 19, 2015
The Gunman is too disorganized and sloppy to make sense as political commentary or to work on the most basic level as a globe-trotting chase thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
March 18, 2015
Unfortunately, nobody ever won an Oscar for washboard abs. And nobody is going to win five seconds of admiration for 115 minutes of tedium in The Gunman.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
March 18, 2015
Watching Penn pump iron and denounce capitalism for two hours would be roughly as illuminating as this monotonous Euro-thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 17, 2015
Too often feels like just another slice of brainless Eurotrash, packed with saw-it-coming plot twists, half-hearted car chases and an angsty hero with zero charisma.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 17, 2015
Penn's need to be seen as a guy of integrity is left naked in The Gunman, but at least he's having some fun with the action-movie trappings, and with taking his shirt off.
March 12, 2015
The kind of film that can't be bothered to do any more with its Spanish setting than have a showdown at a bullfight.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
March 6, 2015
Sadly, Penn's veiny, sweat-glazed biceps are the most objectively impressive feature of this rote, humorless thriller, a distinctly unconvincing attempt to refashion the star ... as a middle-aged action hero in the Liam Neeson mold.
March 6, 2015
Ultimately this feels like a vanity project designed to do for Penn's bankability, Africa, Spain and mercenaries what the Taken franchise did for Liam Neeson, Paris and Albanian gangsters.
March 6, 2015
What begins and ends as an exploration of Western exploitation of the Congo mostly follows the standard track of the retired hit-man who realizes that he hasn't quite yet eluded the sins of the past.