Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 36
  2. Negative: 8 out of 36

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. The film is always watchable, and the confrontations contain undeniable edgy excitement. But even if this weren't a remake, it would be a remake. Hollywood filmmakers have fished these waters so thoroughly that it's virtually impossible to land a big catch.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    One of the more absorbing and palatable entries in the rather disreputable "Death Wish"-style self-appointed vigilante sub-genre.
  3. The film as a whole, while possessing a kind of vicious beauty, feels as cold and as embalmed as a corpse.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ng
    60
    Intentional or not, Man on Fire's over-the-top evocation of Christian retribution goes a long way to making this otherwise standard revenge fantasy watchable.
  5. That there's moral ambiguity to his actions represents some sort of step up from the cinematic norm. Alas, Christopher Walken has very little to do as Creasy's best buddy.
  6. 50
    Where Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" radiates freshness and vigor, Man on Fire feels vaguely like something left over from the 1980s, when action heroes were one-note tough guys methodically picking off baddies.
  7. Scott swaddles this fundamentally straightforward revenge story in a jumble of bleary freeze frames, random changes of color saturation and film stock, jump cuts and stuttering montages, splashing text from some menacing word soup onto the resulting collage of chicly disturbing images.
  8. Despite its high craft level and Washington's participation in it, this movie's showy violence is finally as deadening as the over-emphatic violence in these kinds of films generally is.
  9. 50
    A schizophrenic outing from habitually hysterical director Tony Scott (True Romance, The Fan), Man on Fire is a movie of two unreconcilable halves.
  10. The first hour is sharply directed, character-driven drama that ranks with Scott's best work. Then he lapses into his usual mode - more a bombardier than an entertainer, filling the screen with sadistic violence and arbitrary plot twists. In all, a wasted opportunity.
  11. It is a good hour too long, although it does boast Christopher Walken.
  12. 50
    Seriously, someone needs to stage an intervention, sit Scott down, and tell him that repeated jump cuts, slow-motion shots, and fiddling around with the exposure don’t enhance the viewing experience.
  13. Scott apparently decided it was a good idea for his subtitles -- much of the film is in Spanish -- to shimmy across the screen, to fade in and out dramatically, and in general do even more to distract us.
  14. If your idea of a bargain is two bad movies for the price of one, then shell out for Man on Fire. And don't fret about that incendiary title because this thing is all fuse.
  15. Whenever the movie's point of view turns omniscient, and we're seeing events from the director's vantage point, Man on Fire becomes a blurry, shaky mess.
  16. 50
    On the plus side, the casting is superb - and the acting, too. Although the context is overwrought and the moviemaking over-the-top, Washington acts from the ticker out.
  17. 40
    Scott's latest exercise in assaultive excess nevertheless lingers for two and a half hours, like a drunken houseguest who won't leave.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 358 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 97
  2. Negative: 10 out of 97
  1. Oct 6, 2013
    10
    Another master-class movie with Denzel Washington as the movie's biggest highlight. He plays as Crease,
    a skilled combatant entrusted with
    Another master-class movie with Denzel Washington as the movie's biggest highlight. He plays as Crease,
    a skilled combatant entrusted with the task to protect a little girl; Pita. He is a force that should be feared; especially when you don't give him answers.

    It's clear that most professional critics are cynical They see a man sadistically brutalising kidnappers for answers; I see a man doing the right thing. Those people were criminals. Plus, if you were smart, you would realise that not once did he take pleasure in torturing his targets. In fact, he was more hesitant in doing so. He merely took the measures that were required. If someone you cared for; Pita in this instance, was taken away by these sick bastards, would you just try to talk to them for information? Treat them nicely? Don't kid yourself, I'm sure you would result in brutality out of desperation.

    In saying that, Man On Fire is an excellent movie for its dramatic depth and moral.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2011
    8
    Powered with beautifully frenzied cinematography and poignant performances by Fanning and Washington, "Man on Fire" is a unstoppable trainPowered with beautifully frenzied cinematography and poignant performances by Fanning and Washington, "Man on Fire" is a unstoppable train advancing to the audience with mighty, brazen force. Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2013
    9
    An amazing performance from Denzel Washington makes what would have been an all right movie, into a movie that will be memorable for time toAn amazing performance from Denzel Washington makes what would have been an all right movie, into a movie that will be memorable for time to come. This amazing true story of a mans love and retribution inspire and entertain to the end. Full Review »