Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel Eagan
    Pitched cannily at World Beat fans as well as martial-arts zealots, this Luc Besson production aims to please and nails its targets with more speed and style than most of its higher-priced competition.
  2. 75
    This is a hot modern martial art. Not only do the shots look convincing, not only are they held long enough to allow us to see an entire action, but Belle in real life does a version of this stuff.
  3. With a thumping score and whirling cinematography, District 13: Ultimatum delivers two or three awesomely choreographed chase-and-fight-and-chase-and-fight-again sequences. The dialogue (in French, with subtitles) is not this movie's strength, nor should it be.
  4. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Awesome, awesome action. Skimpy, skimpy plot.
  5. 75
    There’s no reason a conspiracy this outlandish should work twice. But it’s so hilariously within the realm of plausibility that it does.
  6. It’s easy to call this film a video action game starring real people, but that “real” part means a lot.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    This time, with Besson scripting / producing and Patrick Alessandrin directing, it amounts to a raucous and colorfully junky helping of seconds.
  8. It’s pleasurable nonsense and another reminder that one of the great pulls of cinema is the spectacle of other bodies in blissful motion.
  9. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    The fight sequences (choreographed by Raffaelli) are especially creative, with the combatants using any available object, including a priceless Van Gogh painting, to get the job done.
  10. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    This sequel to the French actioner "District B13" (2004) offers more of what made the original such a sublimely stupid pleasure.
  11. 67
    Due in large part to its cultural relevance, this is also one of the few sequels that nearly succeeds in topping the original.
  12. 63
    The best Parisian action movie of the week is District 13: Ultimatum, a serviceable thriller with a lefty message.
  13. There's little difference between the first and second movies -- both written by Besson -- so the perfunctory story line will feel familiar to fans. But the action, and the head-spinning stunts of those agile lead actors, will never get old.
  14. Reviewed by: Phil Wilding
    The dialogue and storyline are both a little on the clunky side, but the action excels.
  15. Somewhat underwhelming sequel.
  16. It’s campier than its predecessor, but its gung ho union of black, white, and Asian gangs against reactionaries who’d destroy them is a virtuosic assertion of punky Parisian multiculturalism.
  17. 58
    More of the same, only more. Yet here, “more” means a more needlessly convoluted plot, a more cartoonish parade of ethnic stereotypes, and more leaden political metaphor than viewers can digest.
  18. 50
    Though it fails to live up to its dynamic predecessor in almost every way, District B13: Ultimatum should still be enough to satisfy the earlier film’s small but faithful core of American fans.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Works only when at full sprint.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Oct 5, 2013
    The story is, as one reviewer said, rather absurd. I admittedly never watched the first movie since apparently this is the sequel. I was impressed by some of the parkour sequences and the fight scenes were decent enough (some are very creative). Never really felt invested with the characters and there wasn't really progression, but strong characters and plot are evidently not the focus in this somewhat over-the-top action movie. That being said, as another reviewer mentioned there are some significant political and social commentaries being made here that help excuse the plots absurdity. Full Review »
  2. Jun 15, 2012
    Un scénario qui sort de l'ordinaire et qui se montre intéressant, des acteurs au talent incontestable, une mise en scène personnelle travaillée à la perfection, une bande originale qui déboite... Voilà les atouts qui auraient pu valoriser Banlieue 13 si les productions Besson étaient des chefs-d'oeuvre. Ce qui n'est, en ce monde, pas du tout le cas. Et avec avec Banlieue 13 - Ultimatum, on nous prouve une fois de plus que ce qui fut l'un de nos plus grands réalisateurs nationaux (ne pas oublier Nikita, Le Grand Bleu et Léon), ne produit et n'écrit plus que des navets de bien piètre qualité (quoique certains peuvent sortir du lot, comme Taken), et n'aide donc pas vraiment ses chers poulains (même si la carrière hollywoodienne de Louis Leterrier est bien lancée). Bref, Banlieue 13 n'était qu'un divertissement vite oubliable et ce malgré quelques cascades. Et sa suite ne vaut guère mieux ! Full Review »
  3. Apr 30, 2012
    There really are very few sequels that equal or surpass the original film. District 13: Ultimatum has more complex and entertaining action, a better story, more energetic direction and far more political subtext than its predecessor. It's not just a great action film, but a smart and relevant thriller with two great performances by David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli - both real-life action men who can actually emote! Philippe Torreton also impresses as a moral and caring French President, and Daniel Duval makes an appropriately sinister villain. The new director Patrick Alessandrin manages to pull off a far more evenly-paced film than his predecessor Pierre Morel managed in the original - there are very few, if any, scenes in Ultimatum that lose momentum, or that fill like unnecessary padding between action sequences. However, like in the first film, there are elements of the plot that feel a bit daft, even for an over-the-top action movie (you might find yourself holding back a snort of laughter at the film's finale, which showcases the ludicrous outfits that the supposedly threatening gangs of District 13 choose to wear - it just looks like they've been caught in an explosion at a sex shop). A certain amount of silliness is not really to the detriment of the rest of the film though, and you'd be hard-pressed to find many other action films that are as consistently exciting as District 13: Ultimatum, and still fewer that offer so many surprises along the way. Full Review »