Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 18, 2012
    91
    In truth, Haywire is simply a delivery system for ass-kickings, calibrated to the specific talents of Gina Carano, a former mixed-martial-arts star and American Gladiator whose fists (and feet) of fury can rattle skulls and cave in chests.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 19, 2012
    88
    Haywire comes close to achieving Soderbergh's goal of creating "a Pam Grier movie made by Alfred Hitchcock."
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jan 19, 2012
    85
    That she makes it all look so effortless is part of the fun – as long as you're not unlucky enough to be the guy with his nut in the nutcracker.
  4. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jan 19, 2012
    83
    It isn't perversely genre-busting like "Drive." Instead, it feels like somebody turned down the volume on a hard rock album so as to hear the details better -- for which relief, much thanks.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jan 16, 2012
    83
    Pummeling forward from its first diner-set fight scene to a sweeping final showdown on the beach, Haywire is a literal blast.
  6. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Jan 24, 2012
    80
    This is a film built around its star, just as surely as any of its cheesier '80s forebears.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 19, 2012
    80
    Supremely economical, pulse-pounding and undeniably bewildering thriller, which plays like a blend of mid-'90s Hong Kong action flick and mid-'70s European crime drama. Arguably this movie amounts to less than the sum of its parts - but hot damn, those are some parts.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 19, 2012
    80
    There's no deeper meaning to Steven Soderbergh's thriller than what meets the eye, yet its lustrous surfaces offer great and guilt-free pleasure.
  9. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jan 17, 2012
    80
    Where faux-empowering "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" confines sexual power play to the old rape-revenge matrix, Haywire is a real war-of-the-sexes tournament, briskly paced with a tickling sense of black humor.
  10. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    Jan 16, 2012
    80
    A fresh, muscular payback movie shot through with Soderbergh's mischievous indie-spirit. Whether Gina Carano is the new Angelina or the new Cynthia Rothrock, only time will tell...
  11. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Nov 8, 2011
    80
    Paring down narrative and character concerns in favor of a breathtaking application of pure thriller technique, Soderbergh's latest picture is a lean, efficient exercise tossed off with his customary sangfroid and wickedly dry sense of humor.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 20, 2012
    75
    Taut almost to the point of abstraction.
  13. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    One of the reasons Haywire is such a pleasure to watch is that its director, Steven Soderbergh, doesn't overplay the film's hear-me-roar subversions.
  14. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    Beautiful in a girl-from-the-neighborhood sort of way, Carano inhabits Soderbergh's elaborate frame with wit, physicality and just a hint of ironic distance, the suggestion of someone who's not overawed by the opportunity or taking herself too seriously.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    A vigorous spy thriller that consistently beckons the viewer to catch up with its narrative twists and turns. Bordering on convoluted, it works best when in combat mode.
  16. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    The pleasure of this small, eccentric movie is the natural way Carano hurts people - by, say, walking partway up a wall and climbing onto a man's back, by sprinting toward the camera and flying into the human target standing in the foreground.
  17. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    Disarmingly laid back for this kind of fare, with a jazzy musical score (courtesy of David Holmes) and a sleek, straight-ahead style, Haywire may not make much sense plotwise, but it's a rollicking 90 minutes.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    In terms of its title, Haywire doesn't quite go there; it's more "Haywire-ish." But it's eccentric, and the on-screen violence is sharp and exciting - brutal without being either subhumanly sadistic or superhumanly ridiculous.
  19. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 18, 2012
    75
    A film like Haywire has no lasting significance, but it's a pleasure to see an A-list director taking the care to make a first-rate genre thriller.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 18, 2012
    75
    This is one of the director's mainstream efforts, although his penchant for the offbeat and oddly artistic has not been completely reined in. But there's plenty of unsparing, bone-crunching violence to dismiss the idea that Soderbergh is making an art film in disguise.
  21. 70
    Soderbergh tends to get one big idea - a thesis idea - per film and stick with it even when a touch more flexibility would help. Here it's that non-kinetic camera, which he's so wedded to that parts of the film seem underenergized, like a cheap seventies or early eighties picture you'd catch at two in the morning on Cinemax's tenth most popular channel.
  22. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jan 19, 2012
    70
    Haywire doesn't measure up to the best of the director's work - like, say, his Oscar-winning drug drama, "Traffic." But watching Carano kick, spin, flip, choke, crack and crush the fiercest of foes - mostly men about twice her size - is thoroughly entertaining, highly amusing and frankly somewhat awe-inspiring.
  23. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 19, 2012
    70
    There's a good deal of pleasure to be had in the clockwork precision of her hand-to-hand combat, which Soderbergh often shoots in profile to showcase her wall-climbing backflips. The story surrounding it is comparably smooth, skilled, and mechanical, though a lot less memorable.
  24. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 18, 2012
    70
    In truth, the story isn't much. Just betrayal and revenge, basically. But a couple of things make Haywire a lot of fun to watch. One is the cast.
  25. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Jan 14, 2012
    70
    Streamlined, beautifully shot and casually thrilling, Haywire's superior action fun should hopefully draw audiences eager for R-rated, no-frills fare.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Nov 8, 2011
    70
    The script makes no attempt to assert its plausibility or realism; it is, instead, refreshingly frank about what it is, a simple, workable framework for the melees and mayhem.
  27. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jan 18, 2012
    67
    Haywire cavorts around the world - Barcelona, Dublin, upstate New York, New Mexico - with Bourne-again energy and timeline shuffles, making only cursory attempts at plot coherence
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jan 19, 2012
    63
    Serving as his own director of photography under the pseudonym Peter Andrews, Soderbergh picks his angles artfully and allows Carano to demonstrate her arsenal of acrobatic fighting tricks in extended, no-cheating single takes.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 19, 2012
    60
    Haywire, clean and no-fuss as it is, needs more action scenes to match Carano's game.
  30. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 19, 2012
    58
    Soderbergh doesn't always match his pacing to Mallory's fury.
  31. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jan 23, 2012
    50
    The movie is a divertissement; it's lightweight and almost meaningless except for the fights, which are extraordinarily violent. [30 Jan. 2012, p.79]
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 20, 2012
    50
    Haywire is a wannabe, or rather a wanna-B, and that B is for "Bourne." As each imitator comes and (rapidly) goes, my appreciation for the best superspy franchise deepens. Even top directors - in this case Steven Soderbergh - can't figure out the trick.
  33. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    Though Carano isn't without a certain glowering charisma, her flat line readings and apparent discomfort with dialogue-heavy exchanges make her seem like a refugee from a different, schlockier movie, the kind of low-budget, straight-to-video MMA rock-'em-sock-'em that might pop up on late-night basic cable and charm you with its rough-hewn amateurism and animal high spirits. As Haywire's long-seeming 92 minutes limped by, I found myself wishing I was watching that movie instead.
  34. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    Once the talking stops and the action begins, her professionalism is very much in evidence and exciting to watch. And yet, somehow, it cannot quite relieve the tedium of a movie that is too cool even to pretend that there is anything worth fighting about.
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    Carano is her own best stuntwoman, but in the dialogue scenes she's all kick and no charisma. The MMA battler lacks the conviction she so forcefully displayed in the ring. She is not Haywire's heroine but its hostage.
  36. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    For all its kiss kiss, bang bang, Haywire ends up feeling as hollow as the points on Mallory Kane's 9mm ammo.
  37. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jan 19, 2012
    50
    Steven Soderbergh has been telling interviewers that he's planning to take a sabbatical from filmmaking because he has lost his inspiration. His lack of interest is palpable in Haywire, a rote exercise in action filmmaking that is sleek and polished and instantly evaporates from memory.
  38. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jan 14, 2012
    50
    If anything, Haywire is most closely linked to last year's "Contagion," a kindred effort in style, theme, and value-marring detachment.
  39. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 17, 2012
    40
    There's shockingly little thrill in watching Carano bounce off walls and pummel antagonists.
  40. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 17, 2012
    25
    Haywire makes no sense whatsoever, which should come as no surprise. It's the latest brainless exercise in self-indulgence from Steven Soderbergh, whose films rarely make any sense anyway.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 192 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 76
  2. Negative: 18 out of 76
  1. Jan 21, 2012
    9
    The four of us who went together to see Haywire thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an action movie with a common, simplistic plot, but it stands out from the usual fare with its different approach to filming and sound. Gina Carano is terrific. The fact that she did her own stunts lent realism to the film, unlike so many action films that are so outlandishly over the top. Admittedly, it was confusing at first, but it came together as the movie progressed. A very entertaining action film which seemed a bit more grounded in reality than most. Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2012
    3
    Some major flaws with this film. One Gina Carrano has very little acting ability. She's gorgeous and can handle the fight scenes, but otherwise her one word remarks do nothing for the film. Then the plot. It is so confusing. You have no clue what's going on for most of the film. Add to that a horrible score. The action scenes were laden with this 1970's exploitation music. It became so bad, most people in the audience laughed at the beginning of each chase sequence. Put it this way, I've never walked out of theater. I left after an hour of this film. I couldn't take it anymore. Full Review »
  3. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    Finally a woman who actually knows how to throw a punch instead of crappy fighters like Jolie. Corano is hot and able to kick most guys asses. I would like to see her do more. Full Review »