Haywire

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 346 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 346

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 26, 2012
    5
    I mostly blame the marketing team of Haywire - they'd convinced me I was going to get something between Bourne and Nikita, and I didn't. I accept that's not what the film ever aimed to be, but because of the misleading trailers and publicity I can't help but feel a little duped. What Haywire actually is, is a pretty old-fashioned slow-burning spy movie with the occasional bone-crunchingI mostly blame the marketing team of Haywire - they'd convinced me I was going to get something between Bourne and Nikita, and I didn't. I accept that's not what the film ever aimed to be, but because of the misleading trailers and publicity I can't help but feel a little duped. What Haywire actually is, is a pretty old-fashioned slow-burning spy movie with the occasional bone-crunching fight scene to savour. All due credit to Steven Soderbergh, the film is shot beautifully (particularly the Dublin sequence), has some nice stylistic touches, and the film as a whole isn't anywhere near as far up its own backside as some of his previous directorial efforts (Ocean's films I'm looking at you!). Gina Carano makes a decent, confident protagonist, and her mixed martial arts background makes the various scrapes that Mallory Kane gets into extremely creative, brutal and entertaining to watch. Michael Douglas also appears to relish his role as a high-ranking government agent, and his performance as an authority figure is very believable now that he's the spitting image of his dad. The rest of the cast I found a little underwhelming, with Ewan McGregor and Channing Tatum coasting, Antonio Banderas playing Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender, though continuing to prove himself as a decent character actor, still slips back into his natural Irish lilt now and again. The actors' failings may have been overlooked had the script been decent, but Lem Dobbs' dialogue leaves a lot to be desired, and is probably the element that detracts most from the film as a whole. The pace of the film is extremely uneven too, and no matter how interesting Soderbergh makes his numerous long takes, you may find yourself pining for a few more all-out scraps. Maintaining a shot for the sake of tension only works up to a point, and after he pulled this trick for the third or fourth time I found my attention waning. I also found the conclusion to this story, which started so well, completely underwhelming. It may be good-looking, well-choreographed, and well-told up until the final act, but in the end, I found Haywire a little lifeless, and occasionally quite dull. Expand
  2. Jan 20, 2012
    5
    You know there's something's wrong with an action-thriller when you don't really care who lives and who dies. This is not a bad film per se but a decent plot might have helped.
  3. Jan 22, 2012
    6
    Although the film is flawed, I thought Gina Carano was terrific. Unlike many female action stars she actually has a personality. She smiles at times and comes across as human, instead of a killer machine. The movie was WAY too complicated with that horrible technique of going back and forth to different time periods. Ever since Pulp Fiction writers and directors can't seem to getAlthough the film is flawed, I thought Gina Carano was terrific. Unlike many female action stars she actually has a personality. She smiles at times and comes across as human, instead of a killer machine. The movie was WAY too complicated with that horrible technique of going back and forth to different time periods. Ever since Pulp Fiction writers and directors can't seem to get enough of it, and it's getting annoying. The only thing I liked about the film was Carano, and she made it just good enough to recommend. Expand
  4. May 12, 2012
    5
    Well she certainly can fight, and despite being beaten to a pulp, often, she only has a few bruises to show. Unfortunately she's stuck in a silly movie that panders to adolescent fans. Nothing wrong there had this been a B movie director not Soderbergh of Michael Clayton and Syriana fame. This time he gets some famous buddies to take on cameos so he can showcase the fighting chops of hisWell she certainly can fight, and despite being beaten to a pulp, often, she only has a few bruises to show. Unfortunately she's stuck in a silly movie that panders to adolescent fans. Nothing wrong there had this been a B movie director not Soderbergh of Michael Clayton and Syriana fame. This time he gets some famous buddies to take on cameos so he can showcase the fighting chops of his MMA champion. The dialogue is dull, the holes in the plot are truck size and it's all just an energy bunnette flic without even humor to redeem it. Expand
  5. Jan 24, 2012
    4
    Saw it a week ago and cared so little I'm just getting around to reviewing it. Tired formula that still works for guys action flicks... when its done well. But, (and this is an "big butt") unless your a butch feminist who wishes Dirty Harry were a woman... your not the target audience. A few big name actors with passable performances but none of it was compelling or convincing. Wait forSaw it a week ago and cared so little I'm just getting around to reviewing it. Tired formula that still works for guys action flicks... when its done well. But, (and this is an "big butt") unless your a butch feminist who wishes Dirty Harry were a woman... your not the target audience. A few big name actors with passable performances but none of it was compelling or convincing. Wait for the small screen. Expand
  6. Nov 10, 2012
    4
    I have come across several of these films with a decent cast but I well know that this is no guarantee of a decent film. Yes, the fight scenes are pretty spectacular, but no more so than those in the
  7. Jun 19, 2012
    5
    It's okay, but nothing impressive. Steven Soderbergh can do better, and I'm disappointed that he didn't. There was a good movie to be made here, but somehow Haywire fails to effectively connect the dots of its disjointed story. It wasn't a waste of time, but I didn't feel like I was ever really drawn in to care about the main character (who is played by Gina Carano - she turns in aIt's okay, but nothing impressive. Steven Soderbergh can do better, and I'm disappointed that he didn't. There was a good movie to be made here, but somehow Haywire fails to effectively connect the dots of its disjointed story. It wasn't a waste of time, but I didn't feel like I was ever really drawn in to care about the main character (who is played by Gina Carano - she turns in a decent performance). Simply put, Haywire is the espionage cousin to Ocean's 11 without the swagger and charm. Expand
  8. Jan 25, 2012
    5
    Gina Carano, a famous MMA fighter, has thrown her hat into the action star ring. Under Steven Soderbergh's direction, she got stuck in a lackluster plot of international intrigue. He's surrounded her by a strong cast (Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas) to help boost her adequate acting. Unfortunately, much of the movie's time is spent with low-key dialogueGina Carano, a famous MMA fighter, has thrown her hat into the action star ring. Under Steven Soderbergh's direction, she got stuck in a lackluster plot of international intrigue. He's surrounded her by a strong cast (Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas) to help boost her adequate acting. Unfortunately, much of the movie's time is spent with low-key dialogue and uneventful chases. The infrequent fight scenes are well-staged, but not especially original or impressive. Soderberg's detached style doesn't blend well with this genre. As a result, there's too much mediocre activity and not enough action. Expand
  9. Feb 10, 2013
    5
    Haywire is a fun action movie. The star studded cast and notable director give it a bit more kick than the usual fare. Still, despite the general quality of whats' on offer, the film doesn't escape it's own vapidity. Haywire is fun but it isn't meaningful in any way.
  10. Feb 22, 2012
    6
    Maybe it's Soderbergh's taste in action than any typical action movie. Boring? Check. Lame dialogue and background music? Check. Kick-ass Carano? Check. Action? Double check.
  11. Sep 19, 2012
    6
    Haywire has style, almost too much style. Since it is a Steven Soderbergh film, a certain amount of gloss and creative camera shots are expected, but Haywire has more gloss and polish than average. It also has in-your-face brutal violence. There are relatively few firearms; the violence is one-on-one mortal combat to the death between somewhat evenly matched opponents, even though oneHaywire has style, almost too much style. Since it is a Steven Soderbergh film, a certain amount of gloss and creative camera shots are expected, but Haywire has more gloss and polish than average. It also has in-your-face brutal violence. There are relatively few firearms; the violence is one-on-one mortal combat to the death between somewhat evenly matched opponents, even though one of the fighters is a woman. It Expand
  12. May 8, 2012
    5
    Putting in mildly 'Haywire' is a major disappointment! All the marketing i.e advertising and basic hype indicated that we were going to get a female Bauer or Bond unfortunately we get no where near those bad asses! I was excited for this movie but it just never got going. People may criticize Angelina Jolie as a female action star but the woman knows her stuff and has the Hollywood,Putting in mildly 'Haywire' is a major disappointment! All the marketing i.e advertising and basic hype indicated that we were going to get a female Bauer or Bond unfortunately we get no where near those bad asses! I was excited for this movie but it just never got going. People may criticize Angelina Jolie as a female action star but the woman knows her stuff and has the Hollywood, blockbuster appeal. Gina Carano sadly doesn't. Yes, she is a fighter but an actress? And that's the main problem with the whole film. She lacks the conviction and chrisma as an actress. That aside, the plot seemed enticing. An ex-black ops soldier sets out to avenge those who betrayed her during a mission unraveling the conspiracy in the process. I was fooled! Actually, the film was sold on the premise of unfair and unmerited comparisons because where the likes of Bauer, Bond and Bourne all exceed in the genre this film fails. Apart from the brutal and at times barbaric fight sequences it's all meaningless. It's very lightweight in that department because it doesn't draw you in which I was surprised at given the nature of the cast. Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas are all in the movie so you would have been forgiven for expecting a good movie. Ultimately I found Haywire to be a huge letdown and an opportunity gone begging, they had the star names in abundance to succeed however they delivered nothing more a mediocre movie at best, great shame! Expand
  13. Apr 29, 2012
    6
    I don't care who you are. Casting a fighter as the lead in an action film is always a bad idea. Casting Channing Tatum is usually a bad idea. Having Steven Soderbergh direct a action film is sometimes a bad idea. Put all three together and your doomed! Wait, it's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes! Let's just ignore that fact because this film just suck!
  14. May 15, 2012
    4
    I can't understand how anyone enjoyed this movie. It was so slow, and dull. I am a huge MMA fan so I watched this because of Gina Carano. Boy was I disappointed. Glad I only rented it from red box for a dollar.
  15. May 9, 2012
    5
    What do you get when you cross great Soderbergh cinematography with bad porn acting and script?

    The most high-budgeted, star-studded action B-movie I've ever seen. Soderbergh REALLY half-assed this one. You get over Gina Cerano's one-dimensional-line-reading acting (hey, if it worked for Arnold and Vin Diesel, why should we double-standard her?), it's already cemented that an action hero
    What do you get when you cross great Soderbergh cinematography with bad porn acting and script?

    The most high-budgeted, star-studded action B-movie I've ever seen.

    Soderbergh REALLY half-assed this one. You get over Gina Cerano's one-dimensional-line-reading acting (hey, if it worked for Arnold and Vin Diesel, why should we double-standard her?), it's already cemented that an action hero doesn't need to know how to act in Hollywood. But the whole story line feels unfinished and seems more like a draft than the final cut. The scenes are idiotic, the characters are none-dimensional (because one-dimensional is just too much) and the whole thing is just plain out lame!

    Michael Douglas (I hate him but he's still a big name), Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor (can anyone remember his last good movie?), Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano (the only one that actually delivers his lines without sounding like he's in a school play in this whole thing), Antonio Banderas, Mathieu Kassovitz ... So many names ... for what!?!? You usually bring WWE stars to make these kinds of movies with, not Hollywood A&B-listers!!!

    What's more, after reading the critic's reviews to this I can finally say: Hollywood, you've won! You've lowered the standards so much that this is an 80% fresh movie on RT! WOW!

    I could fill the page writing all of the things that are just stupid and wrong about this movie, but there are just too many for it to be worth my time so instead I'll just say: Bad Steven, Bad! You know what? I dare you, I double-dare you to watch the movie all way through. I bet even you can't watch it!

    Oh wait, in all fairness, the fight scenes are good. Not great, good.
    Expand
  16. Jan 21, 2014
    6
    An enjoyable, if formulaic spy romp with some great fight scenes and a strong female lead. The shaky cam style works in the film's favor. Just don't expect too much from the plot.
  17. Jan 27, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To put it simply it's a B-movie. For the entire film the audience is unsure of particular motives and plot details until the end with the reveal from McGregor's character. It made the movie confusing, and the introduction of new characters cheesy. Like when another character makes a reference to a mysterious "Paul," a character we haven't seen yet. I don't know, it just kind of comes off amateurish. Also the acting and writing were very average. Carano wasn't convincing and the others were just very average. And with the writing, what is with the sex? They mold this character into a sex symbol who kicks ass instead of creating a character much more original than that. The audience doesn't need sex, it needs interesting characters with justified motives. Overall like I said, it was just an average, b-movie, action movie. Expand
  18. Feb 14, 2013
    6
    Soderbergh is good at directing great actors such as Michael Douglas and Ewan McGregor, but this film lacks entertainment. Haywire is one of the few movies to escape in January.
  19. May 8, 2012
    6
    What does it take to make an action film? Well, apparently it's plenty, looking at the failure of this film despite its pedigree. Gina Carano has the physicality but all her action scenes are shot in an anemic fashion. Critics call it 'less confusing', but to me it's boring. Soderbergh may be one of my favorite director, and yes this is a 'bold' experiment for him but he is no actionWhat does it take to make an action film? Well, apparently it's plenty, looking at the failure of this film despite its pedigree. Gina Carano has the physicality but all her action scenes are shot in an anemic fashion. Critics call it 'less confusing', but to me it's boring. Soderbergh may be one of my favorite director, and yes this is a 'bold' experiment for him but he is no action director. If you want to see a 'similar film', see 'Salt'. It's far more exciting than this snoozer Expand
  20. Jan 23, 2012
    5
    I liked Gina Carano in this film and she looked like she was actually kicking the crap out of everybody unlike other female action stars (Angelina Jolie). However, they tried to cram so much plot into a movie that lasted an hour and thirty minutes that it feels disjointed and messy. Also, the theatrical score was horrid and really distracted me throughout the film. It almost sounded likeI liked Gina Carano in this film and she looked like she was actually kicking the crap out of everybody unlike other female action stars (Angelina Jolie). However, they tried to cram so much plot into a movie that lasted an hour and thirty minutes that it feels disjointed and messy. Also, the theatrical score was horrid and really distracted me throughout the film. It almost sounded like 1970's porn music. Expand
  21. Jan 23, 2012
    4
    Soderbergh, perhaps in a misguided attempt to show that acting isn't so hard fails spectacularly with this lifeless film. The limp narrative, all too familiar elements of the genre, and acting limitations of the lead keep Haywire from thrilling at all. Carano deserves praise for her impressive stunt work in what seems like a direct rebuke of the camerawork and editing of the Bourne series.Soderbergh, perhaps in a misguided attempt to show that acting isn't so hard fails spectacularly with this lifeless film. The limp narrative, all too familiar elements of the genre, and acting limitations of the lead keep Haywire from thrilling at all. Carano deserves praise for her impressive stunt work in what seems like a direct rebuke of the camerawork and editing of the Bourne series. This was a sizable disappointment from one of the best directors today. Expand
  22. Jan 27, 2012
    4
    I am going to say this once it was ok but not worth paying for what so ever. The plot was simple and had a strong cast to make it great, but it never did. The fights felt amazingly lackluster, the music threw off the mood of the film almost as if it were an an 80's montage of action films and the editing was very poorly done. The movie progressed to nothing really. So no I would say waitI am going to say this once it was ok but not worth paying for what so ever. The plot was simple and had a strong cast to make it great, but it never did. The fights felt amazingly lackluster, the music threw off the mood of the film almost as if it were an an 80's montage of action films and the editing was very poorly done. The movie progressed to nothing really. So no I would say wait on this one and rent it. Expand
  23. Mar 31, 2012
    4
    The only good thing about this movie is the music. Otherwise completely forgettable. The fights have been clearly adapted for Gina Carano and looked to me too much as a wrestling match. Which in itself would have not been bad if the said actress could actually act. The plot is boring and the motivation of the characters unclear.
  24. Jun 4, 2012
    6
    I liked it, loved that I believed the lead would kick my ass one handed (Carano does just fine, and better than some actors who get regular work), and Soderberg did some pretty good work with the camera. Fight scenes feel like they hurt which is good for a fight movie. However, the whole thing ends up just a little off, mostly because some sections that pop up occasionally (loud musicI liked it, loved that I believed the lead would kick my ass one handed (Carano does just fine, and better than some actors who get regular work), and Soderberg did some pretty good work with the camera. Fight scenes feel like they hurt which is good for a fight movie. However, the whole thing ends up just a little off, mostly because some sections that pop up occasionally (loud music drumming with no other sound) - the style gets in the way. Can't fault them for trying some things, though, and if the trailer interests you, you'll probably enjoy this, at least a bit, and maybe more. Expand
  25. Aug 22, 2012
    6
    Steven Soderbergh's Haywire ends up being an exercise in genre, but a shameless and self-aware one, kind of like a less-violent (and not-as-good) Drive. Carano makes for a surprisingly good lead and even though she kind of pitters out in dialogue heavy scenes, she makes up with nuance when she's not talking and by dealing exhilarating fight scenes in spades. It is reminiscent of the BourneSteven Soderbergh's Haywire ends up being an exercise in genre, but a shameless and self-aware one, kind of like a less-violent (and not-as-good) Drive. Carano makes for a surprisingly good lead and even though she kind of pitters out in dialogue heavy scenes, she makes up with nuance when she's not talking and by dealing exhilarating fight scenes in spades. It is reminiscent of the Bourne movies in style (with Soderbergh credited as the director of photography under an alias) and has the same pulse-pounding pace. While certainly not an action classic, 'Haywire' is entertaining and stylish enough to divert us while not killing our brain cells. Expand
  26. Jul 15, 2012
    5
    I'm quite surprised at the strong critical reception to this film, as on the whole it left quite a lot to be desired. Soderbergh certainly lends his extremely creative, quirky skill in appropriate ways (the action sequences are rather unconventional and very well shot), but it's abundantly clear that this movie was written solely around Carano's fighting skills, which is a blessing and aI'm quite surprised at the strong critical reception to this film, as on the whole it left quite a lot to be desired. Soderbergh certainly lends his extremely creative, quirky skill in appropriate ways (the action sequences are rather unconventional and very well shot), but it's abundantly clear that this movie was written solely around Carano's fighting skills, which is a blessing and a curse. Anyone who has followed her career knows that she is an extremely capable fighter, and she shows off her athletic dexterity admirably and believably in the film. She's a much more believable action star than, say, Angelina Jolie, and it's exciting to witness her antics with her numerous male adversaries in the film. However, given the bland, generic storyline (you've seen it a million times before) coupled with very poor writing and lack of true suspense, the film ends on a very dull note. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that Carano is an absolutely terrible actress. She just had no idea what she was doing, and she lacked even the slightest emotional connection to her role. This really is too bad and the film would have gained a lot if she had been more prepared. If she wants to continue her film career she's going to have to invest a significant amount of time in some proper acting training, as her performance was about as animated as a cardboard box Collapse
  27. Jul 21, 2012
    4
    I was really looking forward to this, there just aren't enough movies where a woman gets to run around kicking ass and always makes a refreshing change. The fact that this has a genuine cage fighter in 'Gina carano' should have made it even better. But, oh dear! Once again soderbergh can't help but express his art house tendencies, ok so the plot was thin, but done right the 'point blank'I was really looking forward to this, there just aren't enough movies where a woman gets to run around kicking ass and always makes a refreshing change. The fact that this has a genuine cage fighter in 'Gina carano' should have made it even better. But, oh dear! Once again soderbergh can't help but express his art house tendencies, ok so the plot was thin, but done right the 'point blank' revenge thriller can still be entertaining, but soderbergh does his best to wring out any excitement or adventure, probably because he thinks it would make the film too cheesy, so we get slow, awkward scenes, that lack any atmosphere. The use of god awful jazz for the score throughout doesn't help. As for the acting, all things considered i would say carano can hold her head high, but for some reason she manages to drag the 'proper' actors down, this is without doubt ewan mcgregors worst performance. He's main scene in a room with carano has to be seen to be believed. Overall, a wasted opportunity. Expand
  28. Aug 14, 2012
    5
    The marketing behind Haywire is just embarrassing, and that's probably why the film was seen as a mixed bag by audiences. The trailer promised a kick a$$ action movie, yet what we got was totally different. Nothing interesting happens in this movie. It's all bark with very little bite. Some of the fighting sequences are ok to look at, but when they're over, it's back to the uninterestingThe marketing behind Haywire is just embarrassing, and that's probably why the film was seen as a mixed bag by audiences. The trailer promised a kick a$$ action movie, yet what we got was totally different. Nothing interesting happens in this movie. It's all bark with very little bite. Some of the fighting sequences are ok to look at, but when they're over, it's back to the uninteresting story. One thing that I thought was weird was the film's attempt to be stylish at a point or 2. This is weird because it conflicts with how serious the rest of the movie takes itself, so some scenes just come off as unintentionally laughable. It's not a bad movie, but the marketing pretty much ruined it. Expand
  29. Dec 5, 2012
    6
    I wanted to see this film because I was intrigued by how much audiences panned it (40% user rating on RT). After finally seeing it, I'm very shocked by its negative reception. I personally think there's a lot of fun to be had with this film, and Soderbergh's touch is evident throughout. The plot is a bit heavy at times, but the action, direction, cast, and acting are all solid. GinaI wanted to see this film because I was intrigued by how much audiences panned it (40% user rating on RT). After finally seeing it, I'm very shocked by its negative reception. I personally think there's a lot of fun to be had with this film, and Soderbergh's touch is evident throughout. The plot is a bit heavy at times, but the action, direction, cast, and acting are all solid. Gina Carano's lack of acting experience is apparent in many scenes, but she carries the film extremely well nonetheless. A solid, entertaining, thriller. Expand
  30. Jun 19, 2013
    6
    A solid film from Steven Soderbergh. He continues to pack his films with really good acting talent and with the addition of Gina Carano the action really works.
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: Ian Buckwalter
    Jan 24, 2012
    80
    This is a film built around its star, just as surely as any of its cheesier '80s forebears.
  2. The New Yorker
    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]
  3. 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.