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Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 89 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on a shocking true story, Killer Elite pits two of the world’s most elite operatives—Danny, an ex-special ops agent and Hunter, his longtime mentor—against the cunning leader of a secret military society. Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of cat and mouse—where the predators become the prey. (Open Road Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 29
  2. Negative: 7 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 9, 2011
    80
    A macho, adrenaline-fix suspenser that plays like the bigscreen equivalent of those pulpy spy novels that once clogged grocery-store checkouts.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Sep 21, 2011
    63
    Best of all, the filmmakers took the time to give these hard men just the right things to say - not catchphrases, just lines that smell of blood and gunpowder every time Statham, Owen or DeNiro utter them.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Humanick
    Sep 23, 2011
    63
    Killer Elite is pleasurable enough, but with a steadier hand, it could've been one for the books.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    The script is a mess. It's an object lesson in taking a nonfiction book ("The Feather Men," about a cadre of ex-British Special Air Service operatives) and making a hash of it.
  5. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 29, 2011
    40
    There's nothing here for the viewer to do, no kinks to work out, no double-crossings to anticipate, not even a half-hearted flail at figuring out how Danny ticks.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Sep 20, 2011
    40
    Killer Elite is distinguished by one no-mercy, eye-gouging, testicle-punching brawl, and one whoppingly indifferent screenplay.
  7. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 22, 2011
    20
    Whatever the case, Mr. Owen and Mr. Statham (who provides a nice duet with a chair) make a prettily matched pair amid the pileup of sub-Bourne action set pieces, sad laughs and clichés.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. Sep 23, 2011
    9
    I do not know how anyone, and I really enjoyed the film.
    Of course, it is undeniable that all of the latest films from Statham out the same.

    But it does not mean that they're bad!

    For that I appreciate the kind of films - it's brutal!)
    Very cool and enough for me to put the film 7 points, 2 points but I'm adding to my favorite actor - Jason :-)
    Expand
  2. Oct 25, 2011
    8
    "Show me a beautiful woman, and I'll show you a bloke who's sick of her s**t." Davies, Killer Elite

    This is just one of several
    nuggets of meat-headed wisdom you will pick up from this cast of "blokes". Sure...this is a testosterone-driven guy flick, but there is enough regret, romance and moralizing to make it potentially palatable for the more adventurous members of the softer sex. The movie does assume you know the background of the story.

    To enjoy this film in the proper context, you will need to know a little something about the Special Air Service ("SAS"), an elite British Army corp. Think of it as the equivalent of the American Navy Seals. According to my "sources" *, the SAS was originally commissioned in 1941, and since that time has been disbanded and then resurrected on numerous occasions, most recently for purposes of counter-terrorism. According to Michael Smith, author of the book Killer Elite, members of the SAS told him in confidence that the SAS did operate in Oman to protect British oil interests. It is interesting to note that because this Oman mission was secret, it would be difficult to document the veracity of these accounts, leaving the author with great latitude to embellish the details. The film Killer Elite is based on Smith's book, and it makes for a tense and riveting action movie, true or not.

    With that background, the story opens on professional assassins Danny (Jason Statham) and his long-time mentor and partner Hunter (Robert De Niro) as they are making a hit in Mexico. After Danny blows the guy away in his limo, he sees there is also a child in the car. As Danny looks at the boy's stunned, blood-spattered face, he loses focus, almost botching the getaway. Immediately following, Danny vows to get out of the business and lead a quiet, respectable life with his lady love near his childhood home in Australia. Easier said than done. Danny is everyone's cash cow, and partner Hunter has a family to support. However, because it is Danny who is in demand, Hunter is suckered into becoming a decoy in Oman. In order to save him, Danny is coerced into taking an assassination job in England worth 6 million dollars.

    And what a job. Danny must find the SAS operatives who killed the three sons of Sheik Amr, first obtaining a videoed confession AND making it look like an accident. Danny is more than capable, and with the assistance of Davies (Dominic Purcell), he makes it look easy. However, Danny does not count on the Feathermen, a secret society of former SAS who continue to carry out government objectives with a "light touch", except for renegade Featherman Spike played by Clive Owen, who cannot detach from the intensity of his former life in the SAS. When the "accidental deaths" of two comrades who served in Oman come to his attention, Spike's loyalty sets him on the path to prevent the death of the third. In the end, Danny is pitted against Spike for the final face-off. On top of this, the agent played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is willing to compromise Danny for his cut of the $6 MM.

    The beauty of this film is not just the intrigue or the fight sequences, but how it ultimately elevates both a mercenary assassin and a renegade soldier to anti-hero status, ennobling their killing with higher purpose and redemption. It's worth watching just to appreciate this phenomenon alone. Jason Statham (Crank, Revolver) is in fine form, his menacing face and hardened body serving once again as an unstoppable fighting machine. Clive Owen (Duplicity, Children of Men), complete with damaged eye, looks and plays the part of Spike with grizzled passion. Robert De Niro (Limitless, Little Fockers) brings bumbling humor and good will to the role of Hunter, while Yvonne Strahovsky brings the sexy, girl-next-door sweetness to the woman waiting at home for Danny. If you are unfamiliar with the background, Killer Elite will leave you behind for the first 15-20 minutes, but it is no less riveting as you begin to piece the story together. I highly recommend this film for lovers of high octane action thrillers. * Wikipedia

    This review also appeared at www.filmdilettante.com
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  3. Jan 23, 2012
    7
    Jason Statham delivers another outstanding performance as the top action star. Some of the stunts are fantastic. The story is deep enough to keep you hooked, but I was disapointed that Robert De Nero's involvement surroumnts to a cameo and his involvement in the film was very limited. A decent action film from top to bottom/ Expand
  4. Sep 24, 2011
    6
    The Killer Elite is saddled with a vague and forgettable title but at least it sounds more lethal than the book it is based on by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, â Expand
  5. Jan 8, 2012
    5
    "An all-star cast brings to life the true story of Billy Beane, a former jock turned general manager who uses unconventional methods to bring the best players to the Oakland A's, a major league baseball team struggling against financial hardship." Expand
  6. Nov 15, 2012
    4
    Killer Elite is just another benign thriller that doesn't let us in on its reason for existence. What really perplexes me, is why big names like DeNiro, Statham, and Owen chose to participate in this swill. Expand
  7. Oct 1, 2011
    0
    Good lord this was a terrible movie. The dialog was pointless and full of cliche lines, fight scenes were hard to follow (in particular, the hospital fight was very choppy and filmed too close), the love interest was worthless and just slowed things down, and the plot turns on a killer getting a conscience.

    Oh yeah, and it's way too long.
    Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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