Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Ruffalo makes a dent as a dogged narcotics detective, and the Spanish superstar Javier Bardem appears as a crime boss. Overall, however, Mann seems content to play games with his fast cars, cool streets, and loud rock, leaving Collateral squarely within the action genre.
  2. If only all this wonderful talent wasn't in service to a story that pushes credulity beyond the breaking point, perilously close to the realm of farce. Too many coincidences, too much convenient timing, too little honest plot development.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Preposterous without being much fun about it. That's a shame: How often do you get to see Cruise play a professional assassin with Bill Clinton's hair?
  4. The best thing Mann brings to his picture is a strong sense of time and place.
  5. 88
    This is a rare thriller that's as much character study as sound and fury.
  6. Really two movies: a taut, terrific, realistic crime drama, and, by the end, an over-the top, high-tech extravaganza which tries to out-Woo John Woo and turn Cruise into another Terminator.
  7. Stylishly made, if less intellectually resonant than first-rate Mann films like "Ali" and "The Insider."
  8. 50
    Suffice it to say that Cruise never seems right in this part--never as treacherous as he should be, nor as mysteriously tortured. Foxx has his moments, but there's no room for his trademark humor, and we can never quite get our minds around the idea that the hit man has beguiled the cabbie.
  9. Reviewed by: Colin Kennedy
    80
    Perhaps the best premise for thrills since "Speed," only this time the bad guy’s on board and the battle of wits is more philosophical debate than pop quiz.
  10. Michael Mann's tensely funny and alive Los Angeles night-world thriller, is, in its own twisty way, a very high-stakes buddy movie, yet it doesn't look like one, because it leaps off from a situation more jangled and threatening than we're used to.
  11. Reviewed by: Pete Vonder Haar
    70
    After a solid hour and a half, the climax almost seems to have come from a different movie. Collateral is still a hell of a ride, but could've used a smoother landing.
  12. 70
    Like "Heat," Collateral will doubtless go down in film history as the noir marvel it undoubtedly is, but I don't quite buy its characters, and I came out of the theater still wondering what it had to say. Me, I have a soft spot for that old ’60s radical.
  13. As a result of Mann's craftsmanship and concern, Collateral crackles with energy and purpose, a propulsive film with character on its mind and confident men and women on both sides of the camera.
  14. 75
    Collateral is a small, modest movie writ large by people so talented, they aren't capable of anything less.
  15. The whole movie is something of a joke, a feature-length prank that mixes stark violence and shock humor in the mold of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." Though it is a far less ambitious entertainment than Tarantino's masterpiece, it has its moments.
  16. Most of the time we are with Cruise and Foxx, and their interplay is never less than galvanizing.
  17. 75
    Stylish - if predictable - thriller.
  18. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    Mann vividly captures the nocturnal pulse of East L.A. in this taut, confined game of cat and mouse. In the homestretch the thrills get too generic and farfetched for their own good. But the first two thirds are a knockout.
  19. Foxx makes what he does look effortless. He's the reason to see Collateral, as he walks into the frame and walks off with the picture.
  20. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    75
    Devolves into a contrived, coincidence-driven, by-the-numbers thriller in its final act. That's not to say the movie's a failure. It's impossible to dismiss a film that starts out as such a sensuous, existential crime story.
  21. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    63
    If there was ever an example of a movie's visual language leaving its verbal and narrative components in the dust, this, unfortunately, is it.
  22. 75
    Cruise is chillingly credible as the cold, cruel Vincent. And Foxx shows unexpected depth and humanity as Max, whose night encapsulates the cliché about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  23. 88
    No crime film in years boasts a cooler vibe than Michael Mann's dazzling Collateral.
  24. 60
    If you boil the psychology of Collateral down to its essence, what you get, mostly, is Vincent badgering Max for not having enough chutzpah -- in essence, for not being enough of a tough guy.
  25. Collateral is a good idea for a movie, backed up by expert execution... It's straight-up entertainment, not something to see and then talk about a month later, but definitely something to enjoy.
  26. Cruise is a man whose youthful cockiness has aged into self-assurance and cool confidence. It's a masterstroke of casting. The dynamism of Collateral, however, comes from Jamie Foxx.
  27. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    It's too bad that halfway through, Collateral turns into a series of loud, chaotic, over-the-top action set pieces in which the existentialist Mann proves he's lousy at action.
  28. 70
    Mann's moody Collateral unravels toward the end, faltering at its conclusion but dispensing enough atmosphere, characterization, and world-weary humanism along the way that audiences would be wise to enjoy the ride without worrying too much about the final destination.
  29. The first half is exhilarating, and the rest is a tolerably honourable surrender to Hollywood conventions.
  30. The movie never really gets below that surface. It sticks to the mean streets of Los Angeles without much introspection or analysis. But those surfaces are slick and beguiling.
  31. The director, Michael Mann, remembers the best of film noir pretty well, but it doesn't protect his film against its ultimate Movieland silliness.
  32. Pitched between interludes of anxious intimacy and equally nerve-shredding set pieces, Collateral scores its points with underhand precision.
  33. 80
    Shot by shot, scene by scene, Mann, whose recent work includes “Heat” and "The Insider," may be the best director in Hollywood. Methodical and precise, he analyzes a scene into minute components.
  34. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    As much a dark, odd couple comedy as it is a quirky, efficient little thriller.
  35. 60
    It's essentially an urban variation on "The Hitcher" (1986) with nothing much going on underneath.
  36. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    Shake it all up and you get Collateral, a movie with only one conceivable flaw: its disinclination to break new ground, though no one held that against "The Fugitive" more than a decade of Augusts ago.
  37. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Occupying a dramatic, philosophical and sensory twilight zone that casts a considerable spell, this intensely focused piece soars not only on the director's precision-tooled style but also on the outstanding interplay between leads Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.
  38. Collateral is a slim drink of thin beer, remarkable only as evidence that Mann might have a modern masterpiece in him if he were cut loose and allowed to roam around in his own obsessions.
  39. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    90
    Hugely entertaining thriller.
  40. The best kind of genre filmmaking: It plays by the rules, obeys the traditions and is both familiar and fresh at once.
  41. If Collateral is all formula, it's polished to a fine sheen.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 95
  2. Negative: 8 out of 95
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    8
    Veteran Director Michael Mann's "Collateral" is a very smart movie. It silences the audience with rich visuals and carefully chosen words, changing a average story into a amazingly tense one. Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    This movie is my all-time favourite. It offers awesome acting from Jamie Foxx and especially from Tom Cruise, in one of the finest performances I've ever seen. It also boasts great dialogue. Combine this with absolutely thrilling scenes and tense moments, and you get a breathtaking, heart-stopping thrill ride from director Michael Mann. A masterpiece. Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2013
    8
    Collateral was a good, action-packed thriller with enough taxi shots to last me a lifetime. Tom Cruise is at his best, and so is Jamie Foxx. Both actors contribute well-rounded,tough characters into a good cast, also including Javier Bodem and Mark Ruffalo. This movie had a pace that was just right, as well as a story that was gripping and fun to watch. It also gave you a feel of time, because of the 5 jobs Tom Cruise had to pull. You knew were you were in the movie based on how many were left, granted you can do math. In summation, this was a good tale of two very different people having to put up with each other, even when guns are drawn. Jada Pinkett Smith tied the movie together, and also played the role well. The only negative thing i have to say is that it got a tiny bit slow at points, and the dialogue as well as camera shots could've been cleaned up a bit. But other than that, this is a flick worth watching. Full Review »