Edge of Darkness


Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. An intense Mel Gibson performance anchors this brutally effective crime thriller.
  2. His (Gibson) slow-burn fury keeps the movie going, but not enough to invest us in any justice beyond payback.
  3. Campbell’s film offers not surprises, exactly, but craftsmanship and low, brute, cunning satisfactions.
  4. I don't see Edge of Darkness as a great movie, or a particularly exalted one, but I do see it as one made by people who know where the buttons are - and who know how to press them. Hard.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though the experience is nerve-racking and cathartic under Campbell's skilled direction, musings on family and grief and Gibson's intense, but subtle, performance stay with us longest.
  6. 75
    Perhaps the best compliment I can pay to his work in Edge of Darkness is that I wouldn't particularly want to see this movie with grumpy Harrison Ford starring instead. Welcome back, Mel.
  7. 70
    Onscreen much of the time, thicker and more creased than you remember, Gibson can make this rather unshapely movie seem taut.
  8. Both the film and television project were directed by Martin Campbell. He creates a nice level of tension throughout, and there are a couple of legitimate shocks (including one jaw-dropper).
  9. 70
    Edge of Darkness is somewhat stylish, and it's intelligently made.
  10. A meathead revenge picture, but it’s very satisfying. Director Martin Campbell, coming off "Casino Royale," has a style that’s blunt and bruising.
  11. 70
    An efficient, politically inert fantasy.
  12. 63
    Winstone's interaction with Gibson provides the movie with much of its interest. For the rest, it's a skillful exercise in CGI and standard-order thriller supplies.
  13. Reviewed by: Sam Allis
    The movie’s weaknesses include the overuse of grainy flashbacks of Craven’s daughter as a child, and the conversations he has with her after she is gone. Both are tremendously moving ideas but eventually succumb to bathos from repetition.
  14. 63
    Gibson's acting has deepened. Too bad his comeback vehicle springs so many leaks.
  15. Director Martin Campbell does a nice job of creating suspense, and Ray Winstone stands out for his performance as a conflicted hitman.
  16. Reviewed by: Gene Newman
    Apart from feeling misled by the trailers, it's a decent, middle-of-the-road adult thriller that competently goes through the paces.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Campbell's topnotch production team yields predictably polished results, but the director's decision to revisit the late Troy Kennedy Martin's teleplay, finally, feels lacking.
  18. There’s no room for such soul-searching uncertainty with Gibson. After a few rapidly ticked-off minutes of gloom, the mission is clear: Get the sons of bitches, and make ’em pay.
  19. They’ve shed all of the Brit-centric political aspects and updated it to make a riveting, pulse-pounding suspense thriller that really does keep you on ‘edge.’
  20. Reviewed by: Nev Pierce
    An uneven, somewhat meandering thriller is given emotional pull by Mel Gibson’s excellent comeback performance. The lethal weapon hasn’t lost it.
  21. In Hollywood, all is forgiven if you can deliver the goods. On-screen, at least, there’s little difference between this Gibson and the one we remember from earlier films like “Ransom” and “Payback.”
  22. 50
    An odd duck of a thriller. Quiet, talkative, with the occasional explosion of violence, it has ghosts and characters philosophizing, quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald or blurting insensitive non-sequiturs.
  23. 50
    Considering the talent involved and the strength of the source material, there's no way Edge of Darkness should have been this disappointing. Part of the problem is a direct result of condensation - there's no way to cram six hours of the dense mini-series upon which the movie is based into about 110 minutes without paying a penalty.
  24. 50
    Quickly devolves into another showcase for Gibson’s snorting-bull act, a routine he could happily have shelved during his time off.
  25. 50
    Edge of Darkness is reasonably well executed, but its competence reeks of fatigue. Another dead kid. Another angry dad. Another day at the office.
  26. Feels like a movie that wants to bare its fangs, but only manages a mild gumming.
  27. 50
    Martin Campbell directed, displaying none of the flair that made his “Casino Royale” such a hoot.
  28. The larger shell game here is that Edge of Darkness is offered as a political thriller, but with real-world politics removed. What we’re left with is a familiar mechanism for delivering a vicarious, violent, wish-fulfilment fantasy, with Mel in a familiar position, in the driver’s seat, pedal to the metal.
  29. The movie isn't exactly full of twists and turns, but neither is it a long, hard slog.
  30. 40
    Edge of Darkness has the look and feel of a Brit film shot in America – it's all dark, boxy rooms with powerful white men in impeccable black suits discussing how to tidy up the minor mishaps of their game over brandy and cigars.
  31. Here most of the punishment is inflicted on the audience, which gets nailed to a cross of boredom.
  32. Edge of Darkness was one of the most enthralling, intricate and genuinely thrilling productions in the history of the small screen. The big-screen version--directed by Martin Campbell, who did the original--offers an example of why the studios' numbers often add up, and why, at the same time, so many of today's Hollywood movies leave us cool if not downright cold.
  33. 25
    A thriller boasting Mel Gibson's first starring role in eight years, elicits a gigantic wow -- as in ``Wow, does this movie suck!''
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Feb 22, 2013
    Edge of Darkness is a dark and gritty crime thriller, based on a 1986 British Mini-series of the same name. The story was actually prettyEdge of Darkness is a dark and gritty crime thriller, based on a 1986 British Mini-series of the same name. The story was actually pretty good, filled with twists, turns, crosses, and double crosses, but the problem was that it was all too familiar. Murdered daughter, angry father looking for justice, Mel Gibson on a crazy rampage....and why are these things always in Boston? Does Hollywood have some secret underground bet about who will have the worst accent? That being said, Gibson, (minus the accent), was terrific. Say what you will about him as a person, but when it comes to a dark, action thriller, there is still no one better than Mel Gibson. His character was very reminiscent of Porter in Payback, intense, strong, and smart as a whip. As I said before, this is a good story, made even better by Gibson, but it's a familiar story that's been done to death! Edge of Darkness is very entertaining and has some nice twists, but ultimately it's not much different from a dozen other films with a similar tagline. Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2012
    You realize how much as an audience we have missed the volatile intensity of Gibson and his ability to elevate over-plotted genre materialYou realize how much as an audience we have missed the volatile intensity of Gibson and his ability to elevate over-plotted genre material into something genuinely engaging. Assisted by a privately amused Ray Winstone who works as a detached counterpart to Gibson's grief stricken Boston cop. Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    Although the plot is pretty laughable, the movie does feature a pretty mesmerizing Mel Gibson performance in the center role.