The Suicide Squad

2021, Adventure/Action, 2h 12m

348 Reviews 2,500+ Verified Ratings

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critics consensus

Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths. Read critic reviews

audience says

The story isn't amazing, but the over-the-top action and (sometimes literally) side-splitting gags make this Suicide Squad a major improvement. Read audience reviews

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Movie Info

Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out--even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today's do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone's favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave...and Amanda Waller's government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they're dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone's laying down bets, the smart money is against them--all of them.

Cast & Crew

Margot Robbie
Harley Quinn
Idris Elba
Bloodsport
John Cena
Peacemaker
Viola Davis
Amanda Waller
Sylvester Stallone
King Shark
Voice
Joel Kinnaman
Colonel Rick Flag
Jai Courtney
Captain Boomerang
Joaquín Cosio
Mayor General Mateo Suarez
Juan Diego Botto
Presidente General Silvio Luna
Steve Agee
John Economos, On-Set King Shark
Sean Gunn
Weasel, Calendar Man
James Gunn
Screenwriter
Zack Snyder
Executive Producer
Deborah Snyder
Executive Producer
Walter Hamada
Executive Producer
Chantal Nong
Executive Producer
Nikolas Korda
Executive Producer
Richard Suckle
Executive Producer
Henry Braham
Cinematographer
Fred Raskin
Film Editor
John Murphy
Original Music
Beth Mickle
Production Design
Alan Hook
Art Director
Lisa K. Sessions
Set Decoration
Judianna Makovsky
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The Suicide Squad

Audience Reviews for The Suicide Squad

  • Aug 31, 2021
    A great superhero movie that is fast and funny. The violence is over the top but the characters are well drawn out and it holds your attention. Gunn is a talented director and it shows here. Robbie, Cena, Kinnamen and especially Alba breathe much life into the film. Much better than the first! 08-30-2021
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2021
    Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn doing what he does. His iconic visual style and choice of music really carries through and turns what could have been another mediocre DC installment into something quite entertaining. I think the character stories could've been a little stronger or more fleshed out to co-exist with the plot but what we're given more than often serves it's purpose and in the little moments where they do work it's nuanced and well incorporated. Suicide Squad makes due with just being abrasive fun and that's good enough for me. Also does anyone even remember what the 2016 film was like? I totally have no recollection of it.
    Drake T Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2021
    When Disney foolishly fired writer/director James Gunn for offensive past tweets, tweets the studio had already known about before hiring him to helm the first Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel movie, the brass at DC was more than happy to pounce. They offered Gunn the opportunity to tackle any of their many superhero properties. Gunn had earned a reputation as a blockbuster filmmaker whose bizarre sense of humor and style made him just as much as selling point as the property itself. Gunn gravitated to the Suicide Squad, though he didn't want to be beholden to the 2016 film from writer/director David Ayer. The studio gave Gunn free reign. He could do whatever he wanted creatively, which just happened to be an extremely violent, R-rated sequel that also serves as a soft reboot. Gunn was the perfect person to tackle a project like The Suicide Squad and even with all his goofy humor, gallons of gore, and slapdash dispatching of numerous big names, there's a real affection for these scruffy characters. Not that there was a big hurdle to clear, but this is clearly the superior big screen Suicide Squad. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has assembled another team of criminals and has-beens and tasked them with a mission. If they fail, or deviate from their orders, she will detonate an explosive placed within the skulls of Task Force X a.k.a. the Suicide Squad. Skilled marksman Bloodsport (Idris Elba) is extorted into being the defacto leader of a band of squabbling misfits that includes Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the patriotic warrior Peacemaker (John Cena), the vermin-controlling Ratcatcher (Daniela Melchior), and even a giant living shark, King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), with a voracious appetite. The squad must destroy a scientific station on an island nation that has undergone a military coup and great political instability. Within that station, run by mad scientist The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), is a threat that could doom the world. Enter the Suicide Squad, but can they even be bothered to save the day? It feels like Gunn wanted to take the most ridiculous, pathetic characters in DC cannon and then find a way to make them appealing and worth rooting for. There is a strategy to take the scraps of the comic book universe and to make gold out of them. Case in point, Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), a figure easily ridiculed by fans and populating just about every list of the worst villains of comic book lore. Gunn takes the maligned character and says, "Yeah, I'm going to keep his dumb power of flinging polka dots, and by the end, you're going to care," and you do care, or at least I did over the course of the film's 132 minutes. Gunn is drawn to strange, dysfunctional found families, the misfits of society who find an unexpected kinship with one another. You can tell that even when Gunn is at his most irreverent, he still has an acute sense of reverence. The team-comes-together aspect of these sort of movies plays as a predictable but satisfying formula, and while I wouldn't say anything took hold of my emotions like the best of the Guardians entries, I did come to care about the core of the team. I cared about the father/daughter dynamic between Bloodsport and Ratcatcher. I cared about Polka Dot Man coming into his own as a hero. I cared about King Shark feeling like he had a group of friends. The fact that I typed those last two sentences, which would sound insane absent context, is a testament to Gunn's strengths. The climactic villain, whom I will not spoil, is the greatest example of making the most with the least. It is immediately goofy to the point of laughter but still threatening and creepy. Gunn has taken one of the weirdest characters in comics and given it its due. Even by the end, as this villain is vanquished (not a spoiler), the movie finds a small moment to re-contextualize this absurd character as another victim. It was happier before being kidnapped and experimented upon by its devious captors. Even that extra passing consideration is impressive. The movie also lets its weirdos have their fun. Watching bad guys, who are somewhat bad at being bad guys, try their hand at being good guys, but badly, or at least not as well, has plenty of comedic possibility as well as setting up the redemption and community payoff. The opening beach assault sets the sardonic and sloppy tone. I consistently enjoyed the contentious banter between the different members of the Squad and the jockeying for position. The gag about Polk Dot Man envisioning every enemy as his abusive mother is enjoyably goofy when visualized from his perspective (Elba's line reading for "It's YOUR MOM!" is a delight). King Shark's dullard nature is a routine source of comedy that almost wears out its welcome. Nothing seems out of bound for him to say or do, whereas the others have more defined comedy boundaries. I laughed out loud frequently though some of the comedy bits feel a bit too stale and juvenile even for Gunn (a 69 joke?). This all feels very much like this is Gunn's $180-million-dollar Troma movie he miraculously got to make with a studio blessing. The violence is over-the-top, occasionally gasp-inducing and occasionally beautiful. That's an odd but an adept combination for Gunn as a filmmaker, a man who digs into the grimy bins of exploitation cinema and elevates it upon a bigger stage while still managing to stay true to his own silly style. Gunn hasn't dulled the darker reality of his rogue's gallery either. Bloodsport and Peacemaker get into a macho contest of killing foot soldiers in increasingly theatrical and flamboyant ways where their flippancy and hostility toward one another is the joke. King Shark is portrayed as a dumb brute who also tries to eat team members. Many, many characters have similar back-stories where their parent or guardian or captor experimented on them and live with the lingering trauma, trying not to have their pain define them. The 2016 movie wanted you to see the Squad as PG-13-approved antiheroes. The 2021 movie wants you to remember that they are indeed crazy, demented, dangerous, and murderers. Even Peacemaker, meant to evoke shades of the patriotic Captain America, says he will ensure peace "no matter how many men, women, and children I have to kill." Harley isn't fetishized as a punky pinup in short shorts like in 2016 (digitally shortened), but she's still a psychopath who makes impulsive decisions. Her recognition about always falling for the wrong kind of man is a mixture of sadness, character growth, and a clear reminder that you should not let down your guard around this woman. Spending time with these characters is made even better from the superb casting. Elba (Hobbes and Shaw) is the biggest welcomed addition; his character was likely initially intended to be the continuation of Will Smith's Deadshot. Elba is charismatic and self-effacing and handles the comedy and action with equal measures of confidence. When he loses his patience, or opens up about his hidden phobia, it's even more amusing because of how it contrasts with how naturally suave he is as a default setting. I wasn't missing Will Smith at all with Elba and his natural accent. Robbie (Bombshell) was born to play Harley Quinn and should hopefully get many more opportunities. Cena (Fast and Furious 9) is so natural at comedy and slides comfortably into a macho blowhard coming into conflict with the other alpha males on the Squad. I loved the simple visual of him strutting around in vacation shorts for a long period of the second act. Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) is always excellent and might be the scariest character of them all. There are many joke characters played by actors firmly in on the tongue-in-cheek game. As a second chance at franchise-making, The Suicide Squad is a brash, bloody, and irreverent retake and the best DCU movie yet from a studio that seems to be throwing anything at the wall to see what potentially sticks. That has its benefits, like allowing Gunn the creative freedom to make a movie this crazy and schlocky and entertaining. It's a shame, then, that this Squad movie looks like it will make a whopping hundred million less in its opening weekend at the box-office compared to its 2016 predecessor. It's a sign that the traditional theatrical market hasn't quite rebounded from COVID-19 (even Marvel's own doesn't look like it will crack $200 million domestic). It may also be a sign that audiences are not terribly interested about a sequel to a movie they didn't really care for five years prior. Beforehand, I would have bet even money that the studio would give a blank check to bring Gunn back for more after he fulfills Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3 for Marvel, but maybe that's not the case. Maybe The Suicide Squad will be more of an entertaining one-off than the start of a new direction for this lagging franchise. Regardless, if anything good came of Disney firing Gunn on dubious terms, it's the existence of this movie in the interim for the in-demand filmmaker. While not everything works in The Suicide Squad, and the emotional depth is sacrificed for giddy gory bombast, it's what you would hope for with the combination of James Gunn, wacky superheroes, and a commitment to an R-rating. Nate's Grade: B+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2021
    The very fact that this film even exists just baffles me. When Suicide Squad hit theatres back in 2016, I really wasn't a fan. I enjoyed nearly all of the characters, but I felt they deserved a much better film. It was a jumbled mess and therefore tainted any need to rewatch it. Once Warner Bros. decided to hire writer/director James Gunn, giving him the freedom to choose whichever property he wanted, I was shocked to see him choose The Suicide Squad. Serving as both a very loose sequel to the previous installment, while also being a reboot in itself, this is the best film based on DC Comics to come out in a while.  If you haven't seen the original film, they do a good job getting you up to speed in the first act. The opening of the film lets you know that Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is still continuing her Suicide Squad projects, pulling people in and out of prison to do her dirty work. Within minutes of starting, the film ramps up by delivering a very surprising action sequence that really caught me off guard. From there, the film is both funny, emotional, and extremely entertaining from start to finish. This is easily one of the best examples I've ever seen from a major studio that fixes its old mistakes.  Before I start gushing about how good this film truly is, I'll get a few very small negatives out of the way. As soon as the second act begins, the film definitely begins to feel its length a bit. I wasn't fully invested in the side story involving Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), but where that story ends up was worth it, so that complaint sort of fizzled itself out eventually. Still, the pacing in the second act could've been a little tighter. On top of that, even though this isn't a complaint of mine, people who ended up loving the previous film will probably not get too much enjoyment here if they're looking for something similar. I can see people thinking this one is far too weird and bizarre in comparison. Again, those aren't my thoughts, but more of a heads up.  I could go on for a very long time about what to praise about The Suicide Squad, but I'll keep it brief. The shock factor alone sold me from the very beginning. There are surprises sprinkled throughout the entire film and I hardly saw any of them coming. The chemistry between Idris Elba (Bloodsport) and Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher 2) was the beating heart of the film. Their presence made the film infinitely better than it already would have been. The climax of the movie feels absolutely bonkers but also earned. Even cast members like John Cena and Joel Kinneman deliver career-best performances here. In particular, I loved the evolution of Kinneman's Rick Flag from the first Suicide Squad.  Overall, from the quirky dialogue to the pure fun that James Gunn brings to all of these films, I found my eyes glued to the screen. Nearly everything about this film felt like an improvement on the last. Again, I feel that a couple of scenes in act two could've been shorter or cut out, but I'm honestly scraping the bottom of the barrel to find things I didn't like. The Suicide Squad is a wacky, fun, and absolutely eccentric ride at the movies and I can't recommend it enough. I will say this though; take the words "wacky" and "eccentric" very seriously and then have another look at the trailer. If you don't think it's for you, that's because it's not. This movie embraces its R-rating and is simply a blast. If you know what type of film this is and are already interested, I'm pretty confident you'll love it as I did.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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