Dead Man Down


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 24
  2. Negative: 8 out of 24

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Mar 7, 2013
    Oplev composes shots with grace and an understanding of where everything is geographically and how scenes relate to each other in the multi-threaded plot. Like everything else in Dead Man Down, his direction is beautiful and brutal at the same time. Whoever thought that this movie would be as entertaining as it is existential is either lying or psychic.
  2. 75
    Lumpy title, lively movie. Dead Man Down proves to be a frisky gangster flick cum elaborate thriller cum off-beat romance. Yep, there’s a whole lot going on here, but this is one of those plot-heavy scripts that carries its weight with confidence – the intricate twists don’t cheat.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 10, 2013
    The tone and pacing of Dead Man Down have a distinctly European flavor, which may explain why American viewers, used to having background and exposition pared down and cleanly delivered, may feel adrift at the outset.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Apr 29, 2013
    A pleasingly intricate double (or is it triple?) revenge plot anchored by excellent acting, with a terrific burst of action at the climax.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 7, 2013
    With so many twists, the movie feels like it's trying too hard. Some moments are cleverly constructed; and others seem as if the filmmakers have left themselves no plausible escape.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 7, 2013
    Before it devolves into typical American-style action, there’s an intriguing, European-style complexity to Dead Man Down.
  7. 60
    More of a character-etched mood piece than a tautly calibrated caper, Dead Man Down benefits from potent visuals and a compelling international cast that also includes lead Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Isabelle Huppert.
  8. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 8, 2013
    J.H. Wyman's script is grim and fairly audacious, without anything so goofy as the silliest stuff in "Dragon Tattoo." The story involves some Grand Guignol violence, but its wildest notion is that a suicide-mission plot might somehow yield a happy ending.
  9. 50
    More a dark fairy tale about vengeance than the action-packed crime thriller it purports to be, the film is at times exhilarating, bold, and beautiful — when it’s not busy being ludicrous, fragmented, and just plain stupid.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 7, 2013
    As a gritty thriller, Dead Man Down doesn't stand out among its bullet-riddled brethren.
  11. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 7, 2013
    Dead Man Down, unfortunately, turns out to be too innocuous to qualify as either actually good or delectably bad.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 7, 2013
    Before this urban revenge melodrama falls apart in a clatter of plot absurdities and pretensions, it has its loopy charms.
  13. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 7, 2013
    Dead Man Down is actually mildly entertaining, without being particularly fun.
  14. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    May 3, 2013
    A way-too-leisurely thriller whose destination is fairly obvious from early on, but to which the talented cast apply themselves with effortful seriousness.
  15. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 13, 2013
    It’s clear this director sees carnage as nothing more than an opportunity for music-video production values.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Mar 10, 2013
    A long, dull swim through narrative syrup interrupted occasionally by poorly choreographed acts of violence. It’s essential only for those wanting to hear Farrell try on a Hungarian accent.
  17. 38
    Rapace is all over the place with her performance — needy, then self-assured, enraged, then in love. The always feral Farrell seems as dismayed by her as the rest of us.
  18. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 8, 2013
    The film has been directed in a murky, rhythmless fashion by Niels Arden Oplev.
  19. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 10, 2013
    Dead Man Down exerts an unconscionable level of effort for minimal reward: It aspires to exquisite world-weariness, but just ends up feeling exhausted by its frenzied yet fruitless exertions.
  20. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 7, 2013
    It's all so much turgid brooding, dialogue underlined with import, and leaden symbolism involving Rapace's white and red dresses, none of which is salvaged by a typically understated Farrell performance.
  21. Mar 7, 2013
    The action merely meanders when it should be hurtling forward, running in circles when one expects it to head toward a conclusion or some sense of resolution.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 3, 2013
    Director Niels Arden Orpev was in charge of the original "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," starring Rapace, but fails to create a revenge thriller with anything like the same focus.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 7, 2013
    As Scandi directors go, Niels Arden Oplev couldn’t be hotter. After putting his stamp on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the Dane has what appears to be his pick of projects. So why follow it up with such revenge-fantasy dreck as Dead Man Down, a derivative collection of brazen plot holes and latenight-cable cliches into which he drags “Dragon” star Noomi Rapace?
  24. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 7, 2013
    While a mob thriller can be as nasty as it likes, what it can’t be is silly.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Mar 8, 2013
    A strong character piece filled with developed and visually distinct characters in this police-less gangland. The romance is genuine and theA strong character piece filled with developed and visually distinct characters in this police-less gangland. The romance is genuine and the acting is to a tea. Everyone succeeds in their prospective roles interestingly and with panache. Full Review »
  2. Mar 8, 2013
    Director Oplov has done it again! Dead Man Down is unusually brilliant. The paced movie packs up a lot in its 2 hours but it keeps you hangingDirector Oplov has done it again! Dead Man Down is unusually brilliant. The paced movie packs up a lot in its 2 hours but it keeps you hanging till the end. Terence Howard is the actor that nailed it in the film. And when this movie ends you don't want it to. Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This movie was done an injustice by critics, I found the movie highly emotional, dynamic and intelligent. I felt the scars on my face when Beatrice looked at them in the mirror and when she ran her fingers down her reconstructed face, I felt victor's pain when he mailed the picture squares and watched the home videos. The movie had a lot of plot twist and dramatic moments that were not predictable in the slightest. Great movie, would have gotten a 10 if not for the a few minor things. Full Review »