Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. 100
    Broken Arrow delivers the hippest action fun around. Travolta's "Dr. Strangelove" exit will blow you away. Ditto the movie.
  2. There are lapses in character motivation, and at times the film takes on a cartoony feeling. But if you worry about those things, you shouldn't be watching action movies. For its genre, Broken Arrow is a class act.
  3. Reviewed by: Barry Walters
    Broken Arrow isn't the ultimate fusion of Hong Kong surrealism and Hollywood realism, but it points the way to nerve-shattering possibilities.
  4. Woo has turned out a slick piece of business, filled with explosions and assorted acts of violence brought off with considerable movie-making skill.
  5. Reviewed by: Joey O'Bryan
    A lively action picture with a spirited sense of humor, Broken Arrow is a great deal of fun, even if it isn't exactly a return to form for its celebrated director, former Hong Kong action auteur John Woo.
  6. Broken Arrow is much better than the average big-time action movie because Woo has blazing style and a unique, even eccentric viewpoint. [9 Feb 1996, p.C]
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The vestiges of Woo's achingly romantic style play badly in this can-do context, while the mayhem is never more -- and occasionally less -- than competent.
  8. 75
    Broken Arrow is "Speed" gone nuclear. Yet, despite all the explosions, violence, special effects, and other choreographed excesses, this film doesn't have quite the same impact. It's fun, to be sure, and the wild ride doesn't let up for a moment, but the level of tension isn't quite as high.
  9. Mr. Woo orchestrates his giddy, daring stunts on a newly spectacular level. There's plenty of physical audacity on screen.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The audience gets as pulverizing a workout as the stars do. Or rather, the stars' stunt doubles, who deserve Oscars for best supporting masochism.
  11. John Woo directed this giddy, mindless jaunt with polish but only a modicum of personal investment from a script by Graham Yost.
  12. Joy has been replaced by a sense of laboriousness, even though the action sequences move along energetically enough and the movie does have moments of comic-book charm. [9 Feb 1996, p.A12]
  13. 50
    One fundamental problem with the movie is that John Travolta is seriously miscast as a nuclear terrorist. Say what you will about the guy, he doesn't come across as a heavy.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Though John Travolta and Christian Slater don boxing gloves to open the dippy but zippy Broken Arrow, the real slugfest in director John Woo's elaborately mounted action pic is between content and style. Call it a draw, and call the movie's content a Speed derivative. [9 Feb 1996, p.1D]
  15. Broken Arrow conforms faithfully to the tongue-in-cheek, post-Die Hard action genre, with the usual spectacularly choreographed action sequences and rudiments of a story line. Even considering the meagre demands of the genre, though, character and plot seem woefully underbaked and the reliance on improbable solutions soon makes the groans of incredulity outnumber the gasps. [9 Feb 1996, p.C1]
  16. With its lightweight hero and its random spray of ''high-powered'' action, Broken Arrow is like an underpopulated version of The A-Team. It's not just John Woo who gets swallowed up by the impersonal mechanics of big-budget mayhem. It's the audience, which pays for a sleek, dark thriller and gets recycled pulp instead.
  17. It's fun in places, and moves like a bullet, but it's also clumsy and mostly quite routine - and seems a particular letdown considering it was made with a blank check from 20th Century-Fox and the services of John Travolta at the peak of his career. [9 Feb 1996, p.25]
  18. The screenplay has some amusing punch lines, and Samantha Mathis steals a scene or two as a park ranger who never expected so much excitement on her usually peaceful turf. [9 Feb 1996, p.13]
  19. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    It's entertaining in a laughable, six-pack kind of way, acceptable if you're in the mood, slightly irritating if you're not.
  20. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    Arrow is about as abysmal as abysmal gets.
  21. 0
    Broken Arrow, a deafening, brain-deadening action thriller, takes a mighty blase approach to nuking Denver.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. May 22, 2014
    Very possibly the most cliché-filled movie I have seen since Airplane or Naked Gun -- but this isn't supposed to be a comedy. Horrible actingVery possibly the most cliché-filled movie I have seen since Airplane or Naked Gun -- but this isn't supposed to be a comedy. Horrible acting synergizes with overused and predictable plot devices, and cheap, tawdry, slow-mo camera shots of pilots saluting as they walk into the hangar for a wretched, camp, inaccurate military "thriller" that fails to deliver. Watch this movie if you want to see something pathetic and embarrassing. Full Review »