Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
Watch On
  1. A few times every year, Hollywood makes a mistake, violates formula and actually makes a great picture. Falling Down is one of the great mistakes of 1993, a film too good and too original to win any Oscars but one bound to be remembered in years to come as a true and ironic statement about life in our time. [26 Feb 1993, p.D1]
  2. Falling Down is the most interesting, all-out commercial American film of the year to date, and one that will function much like a Rorschach test to expose the secrets of those who watch it.
  3. Reviewed by: Philip Thomas
    80
    While the morality of D-Fens methods are questionable, there's a resonance about his reaction to everyday annoyances, and Michael Douglas' hypnotic performance makes it memorable.
  4. 75
    Falling Down does a good job of representing a real feeling in our society today. It would be a shame if it is seen only on a superficial level.
  5. 75
    Schumacher could have exploited those tabloid headlines about solid citizens going berserk. Instead, the timely, gripping Falling Down puts a human face on a cold statistic and then dares us to look away.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    75
    These adventures would be offensive if you could take them seriously, so it's probably good that you can't. Despite a nicely understated performance from Robert Duvall as a cop on Douglas's trail, Falling Down fails to convince on any level.
  7. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    70
    Douglas's intentionally robotic -- and intense -- performance holds its own. He's scary, normal and funny all at once.
  8. The filmmakers aren't out to make a crisp action fantasy like the vigilante movies of the 1970s. Their disaffected man has no specific enemy or at least not one that he acknowledges; modern life is his enemy. This realization hits him one day and he begins to act on it, spontaneously. He's an existential vigilante. [25 Feb 1993, p.A12]
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    It's hard to know how to respond to Falling Down: deplore its crudeness or admire its shrewdness. But it is occasionally the movies' job to plunge into the national psyche, root around in its chaotic darkness and return to the surface with some arresting fantasy that helps bring our uglier imaginings into focus. In that sense, this often vulgar and exploitative movie has some value. [1 March 1993, p63]
  10. None of the characters ever rises beyond the level of his or her generic functions, and by the end the overall emptiness of the conception becomes fully apparent.
  11. 63
    Sure, the viewer who wants to see a tightly-paced thriller with gun-play and emotionally-satisfying moments won't be disappointed, but there is a little more here than simple escapism. Although it takes a number of wrong turns, Falling Down still has the power to disturb.
User Score
3.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. IntelligentAndThroughtful
    Jul 19, 2009
    10
    Phenomenal piece of film-making. The only ones who think this movie is over analyzed are the people who don't understand its depth. How Phenomenal piece of film-making. The only ones who think this movie is over analyzed are the people who don't understand its depth. How about all of the reviews by white people starting off saying it's a scape-goating white angst revenge film. Supposing that a white man, unlike a black or hispanic man; would have nothing to be angry about in the first place. Typical BS. The only thing more amazing than this film is the fact that it was allowed to be made in hollywood. Those were the good 'ol days! Full Review »
  2. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    What is wrong with the critics? They must be the old guys on the golf course scene! This is a Classic movie! I have have watched it over andWhat is wrong with the critics? They must be the old guys on the golf course scene! This is a Classic movie! I have have watched it over and over and over and over again, this movie never gets old. A whole lot of dark laughs! The character does a lot of things a normal person only wishes they had the guts to do, after putting up with all the crap you face in life.It`s so good I got the DVD today. Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2011
    8
    The movie's symbolism and allegory throughout the entire time was too obvious and prominent. However, its still a unpredictable but effectiveThe movie's symbolism and allegory throughout the entire time was too obvious and prominent. However, its still a unpredictable but effective classic that possibly is Joel Schumacher's best film he directed (and also the last one too). Full Review »