Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Aug 28, 2014
    83
    There's nothing very serious to it, perhaps. But it takes its fun very seriously indeed and – after a long summer of big-budget extravaganzas -- ends up providing a small, end-of-season delight.
  2. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Sep 16, 2013
    80
    It gleams with a faintly-tacky, country club sheen, as if it'd been sheep-dipped in essence of 70s and come out feeling peachy.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Aug 29, 2014
    75
    While it doesn’t hit the highs of the very best movies based on the author’s works — those would be Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” two outstanding examples of American narrative cinema of the ‘90s—it’s also far less slick and ingratiating than the watchable but very Hollywood-processed likes of “Get Shorty” and “Be Cool.”
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Aug 27, 2014
    75
    Thing is, though, for anyone familiar with the Tarantino film, this less remarkable picture will totally seem like a prequel, peering back as it does on younger versions of characters audiences got to know in "Jackie Brown."
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Aug 27, 2014
    75
    Schechter’s soul-scored film is impeccably styled for the time period, and its easy pacing reminds me of the gold standard for Leonard adaptations, “Out of Sight.” It’s not that good, but it’s within striking distance.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 16, 2013
    75
    It's a showcase of proficient storytelling that's eager to entertain.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 4, 2014
    70
    Life of Crime has the authentic Leonard snap, crackle and pop.
  8. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Aug 28, 2014
    70
    As a late-summer caper movie, it hits the spot. The film offers the intriguing contrast of actors and a director (Daniel Schechter) taking a different approach to known material.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 26, 2014
    70
    With the genial pairing of Jennifer Aniston as a rich guy’s trophy wife and John Hawkes as a low-rent criminal at the center of a colorful cast and a pitch-perfect rendering of caste-divided Detroit, Life of Crime is a bittersweet end-of-summer surprise.
  10. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Sep 16, 2013
    70
    Flavorful yet brisk like the book, Life of Crime loses some of its source material’s character development as well as a few minor narrative pieces (the dialogue remains nearly all Leonard’s), but the excellent casting fills in any resulting gaps well enough.
  11. 63
    Life of Crime is lesser-Leonard, an all-star kidnapping comedy that manages to “Be Cool” even if the filmmaker never quite finds the grim faced grins that the best Elmore noirs boast.
  12. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Aug 29, 2014
    63
    All this is more amusing in theory than practice, partly because Leonard’s world of wiseguys and slapstick violence has become so familiar – the caper-movie default mode.
  13. Reviewed by: Patrick Gamble
    Sep 4, 2014
    60
    Schechter's latest marks its arrival with a fanfare of style and sass, but lacks the necessary bite to leave a lasting impression.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Sep 4, 2014
    60
    If you’re in the market for a workaday crime story, Schechter’s film fulfills some of its obligations. You might just wish it had more life.
  15. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Sep 1, 2014
    60
    Missing the punchy plotting of the Coens thriller it resembles, the early chuckles don't quite translate into a satisfying whole.
  16. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Aug 31, 2014
    60
    If Life of Crime transcends its lightheartedness to actually make us care for what happens to its characters, it doesn’t quite transcend its own haphazard, impoverished story.
  17. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 29, 2014
    60
    Mostly, it's fine. The acting is fine. The writing is fine. The story is fine. There are a few laughs. And that should be fine enough. But with material as rich as Leonard's serving as the foundation, just fine is a disappointment.
  18. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 28, 2014
    60
    One of the brighter aspects of Life of Crime, which otherwise ambles along good naturedly, is the casting.
  19. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 26, 2014
    60
    This one belongs to the women: As a gold-digging mistress, Isla Fisher does half-smart expertly, while Jennifer Aniston demonstrates her underrated timing as a wealthy kidnapping victim turned confidante.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 26, 2014
    60
    A solid, middle-of-the-road Leonard adaptation that lacks the singularity to be something more.
  21. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 16, 2013
    60
    Daniel Schechter's Life of Crime starts promisingly and ends with a smile but underwhelms in between.
  22. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Aug 29, 2014
    50
    Life of Crime is like an errant golf putt that appears headed for the hole, but just keeps rolling and rolling, all the way off the green. In other words, just missed . . . by a mile.
  23. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Aug 28, 2014
    50
    Life of Crime feels like a rambling car ride through the countryside with friends. The scenery is great, and the passengers are diverting, but you keep wondering where the driver is headed.
  24. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Aug 28, 2014
    50
    Down to its too-crisp rubber Nixon masks, Daniel Schechter's film revels in obnoxiously self-aware period detail.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    Aug 28, 2014
    50
    Well-made and -acted, especially by Hawkes and Fisher, if it's not exactly gripping or noir-ish.
  26. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 27, 2014
    50
    The comedy's too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story about anxious waiting.
  27. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Aug 28, 2014
    40
    Ultimately it’s the cast, more than the crime, that gives this story life.
  28. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Aug 28, 2014
    38
    The cast does capable work, but you’ll wish the movie concentrated more on the comedy, which has some zing, rather than the straighter elements, which quickly start to drag.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Sep 16, 2014
    8
    it goes a little bit slowly ... i think that it needed to be shaking a little bit ... it may be the type of the movie .... but i don't think that i can see it more than one time .... unlike what i was expecting .... however the cast did a great job ... Full Review »
  2. Sep 7, 2014
    7
    "Life of Crime" stars Jennifer Aniston and an ensemble cast consisting of Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins, John Hawkes, Yasiim Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Will Forte in this film written and directed by Daniel Schechter based on the book "The Switch" by the late Elmore Leonard. This a crime thriller, sort of a poor man's Fargo, that really doesn’t take itself too seriously although it could because the action is there but somehow, in the 1978 environment in which it all takes place, the film remains uncomplicated and easy to watch. It is light yet serious and made all the better due to the fine performances of Ms. Aniston and her fellow thespians. I give the film a 7.0 rating and suggest that it is a nice way to spend 100 minutes in an air conditioned venue.to view a movie that may not be great but it certainly is good. Full Review »
  3. Sep 4, 2014
    6
    In having a compelling premise and written by Elmore Leonard, there's plenty of opportunities for success. Life of Crime manages to take most of them, despite falling short in the third act. Nevertheless, notable performances from both John Hawkes and Jennifer Aniston. Full Review »