Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: John Semley
    Mar 28, 2012
    Where George Roy Hill's "Slap Shot," the former reigning champ of the narrow hockey-film canon, descends into anticlimactic late-game zaniness, Goon fully commits to its theme of violence for violence's sake. It's "Paper Lion" by way of Sam Peckinpah.
  2. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Apr 26, 2012
    Goon is a hoot.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 29, 2012
    Crude, violent and deeply enjoyable.
  4. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 25, 2012
    Put on your best Southie accent and say it with me: This film is wicked fahwkin' retahded and I loved it.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 5, 2012
    The movie is harsh, nasty and vulgar like you wouldn't believe. And often, it's hilarious.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 30, 2012
    The dialogue, while filthy, is wickedly funny, and sounds perfect coming out of the mouths of these beaten-down characters in their low-rent surroundings.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 28, 2012
    The charm of Goon is that Doug Glatt (Scott) is a genial guy from a nice family. Just because he hands out concussions doesn't mean he dislikes anybody. He's just happy to be wearing a uniform.
  8. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Mar 31, 2012
    The film has weight in ways that you don't quite expect. Or maybe it's just Scott's subdued, slow-burn performance, which may have intended to convey stupidity but actually helps create an overall mood of convincing despair.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 30, 2012
    Scott has made an art - or at least a career - out of playing the affable dimwit. And with Goon, a salty Canadian comedy about the rise of a minor league hockey enforcer, Scott finally has his Hamlet, a role that calls for every blank, uncomprehending look in his toolbox while accessing the cuddly puppy within.
  10. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Mar 29, 2012
    Seann William Scott is the best comic Neanderthal in Hollywood (American Pie, Role Models), and he's found the perfect story in this fictionalized adaptation of a memoir by minor-league hockey brawler Doug Smith.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Mar 27, 2012
    When considering the moral implications of such gladiatorial violence, the film comes out squarely in favor, asking what's crueler: enjoying the spectacle of blood on ice or taking away a livelihood from those who can't do anything else?
  12. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 25, 2012
    One of the things making Goon so enjoyable is its fairy-tale suggestion that all humanity's violent impulses can be exorcized in a Zamboni-groomed ice rink.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Mar 25, 2012
    The picture has a first-rate team of actors who visibly enjoy their roles and the sharp dialogue by Baruchel and Goldberg.
  14. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 28, 2012
    He can barely skate, but it hardly matters: As a goon, he's a genius.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 29, 2012
    Behind the film's brass knuckles are tender fingers. Why else would Goon use music from Puccini's "Turandot" to underscore critical dramatic moments?
  16. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 29, 2012
    Aside from Scott, only Liev Schreiber - as an aging competitor - manages to steady the frenetic swirl. Whenever the two of them are together, Goon stops skating around in circles, and matures into the funny, surprisingly touching movie it wants to be.
  17. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Mar 27, 2012
    Despite being as pathetically penile-obsessed as any postmillennial comedy, Goon prevails where other sports-film farces fail thanks to Scott's winning, unwinking performance; Liev Schreiber's spot-on turn as a wizened, clock-punching rink assassin; and a pucked-up love of a bloody game.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 25, 2012
    Brutal, bloody and presided over by a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, the Canadian ice hockey in this movie is a cross between Rollerball and a prison riot: harking back to the robust certainties of Paul Newman's 1977 bonecruncher "Slap Shot."
  19. Reviewed by: Rosie Fletcher
    Mar 25, 2012
    Lionising the pulverising, this is more fun than it has any right to be. The hockey technicalities may alienate, yet the demented, bone-crunching scraps, war-time team mentality and Whip-It style anarchy is addictive.
  20. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Apr 12, 2012
    The movie's unlikely sincerity can't completely offset its ugliness for less bloodthirsty viewers, but it helps, and it does smooth over some narrative rough edges.
  21. 50
    What a disappointment.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    May 25, 2012
    When a film's clich├ęs are so obvious that its cast points them out for you, you've got to wonder how hard it's really trying.
  23. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Mar 29, 2012
    Goon feels like a movie starring a gimmick, not a person.
  24. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 25, 2012
    A second-rate dude comedy in which an untalented knucklehead becomes a star through brute violence.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Mar 12, 2014
    Lots of comedy added with brutal hockey violence turned out to be way better than I expected. I may not be the only one. It was a riot. A big, fat, hilarious, violent, sporty comedy for any fan of sports, even those that are not fans of sports are sure to find the humor Goon carries right in front of itself. Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2013
    A very funny movie that's crude, vulgar, and violent but has a huge heart. They did an excellent job with the casting, Seann William Scott is flawless as the main character and the supporting cast does an outstanding job. Despite all the blood and f-bombs there's a sweet side to this movie that makes it all worth while. So if your a hockey fan or just like a good comedy this is a must watch. Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2013
    Goon flops out oafish quirk that doesn't really work as its main selling point. Poor characterisation and predictable story doesn't improve the situation. The film improves at the half way mark but not in the spectacular way necessary to make it particularly good. Full Review »