Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
Watch On
  1. 75
    Formulaic and derivative, but sufficiently well made to work as both teen-angst melodrama and bone-rattling brawl picture.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    70
    Although the movie set in the hot new arena of mixed martial arts is a bit short on star power, it's energetic and warm-hearted enough to become a word-of-mouth hit.
  3. 63
    The movie is just a cheesy, preposterous, semi-eroticized way of yelling, "Fight! Fight!," when two people go at it in the school cafeteria.
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    60
    Best part, though, is the cast: Everyone's a model, everyone beats each other half to death, and no one looks as if they've ever suffered so much as a coldsore.
  5. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    60
    A modest surprise: better acted than needed, better made than expected.
  6. 50
    Director Jeff Wadlow and screenwriter Chris Hauty are so committed to following through on the "Karate Kid" formula that they don't care for novelty; it's enough for them just to hit their cues and play up the slo-mo MMA brutality. In the future, movies this derivative will be made by robots.
  7. Jeff Wadlow directed this exploitation flick, which seems designed for students on spring break.
  8. 50
    This movie isn't bad just because it follows a formula slavishly but because it does so without verve or passion.
  9. 50
    A disposable sports drama.
  10. A junior version of "Fight Club," only with no movie stars and different moves.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    50
    By the time ever-noble, ever-watchable Djimon Hounsou shows up to teach earnest young Jake honor and roundhouse kicks, the power-rock and smashmouth idiocy become like a fever dream, sweaty and hard to shake off.
  12. 50
    Borrows from other movies almost shamelessly.
  13. It’s a little “Karate Kid,” a smidge of “Fight Club” (with none of the ironic ambivalence toward violence that David Fincher brought to that story), a lot of “The O.C.” (evil boy Gigandet played an evil boy on that series), and presto: probable hit.
  14. Reviewed by: Felix Vasques Jr.
    40
    About as bland, predictable, and self-important as you’d expect.
  15. Reviewed by: Nick De Semlyen
    40
    "The Karate Kid" meets "Fight Club" but it's no way near as good as it sounds.
  16. Reviewed by: Jason McBride
    38
    At times, the film is more fun than it deserves to be, and it's probably a lot more fun if you're a 13-year-old with an addiction to "Bully: Scholarship Edition."
  17. The movie speeds up and slows down as though controlled by a director in the grip of competing medications. For those who make it to the final beatdown, however, the only pill worth taking is the one that makes you forget.
  18. While too bland and stupid to be offensive, Never Back Down spouts a hollow message of nonviolence while celebrating the brutal satisfaction of beating the crap out of someone.
  19. 25
    A formula flick that should have tapped out in the script stage.
  20. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    25
    Movie is dopey. And with its emphasis on stupid violence, xylophone abs, and getting yourself on YouTube, it's yet another product that makes you feel bad about today's youth culture.
  21. Sitting through this is groan-inducing enough, but it's spiritually depressing to watch Djimon Hounsou, who deserves better.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 53
  2. Negative: 16 out of 53
  1. Mar 31, 2015
    3
    This storyline had the potential to be a hit, however all this potential glory was butchered when the worst actors and actresses alive on thisThis storyline had the potential to be a hit, however all this potential glory was butchered when the worst actors and actresses alive on this planet were shoved into the movie along with the most cheesy and clichéd script ever written. Since when do high schoolers look like they are in their mid to late 20s?? Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2015
    6
    Premissa fraca,porém o filme foi bem executado,Cam Gigandet dar uma boa performance como vilão,Djimon Hounsou sempre com uma ótimaPremissa fraca,porém o filme foi bem executado,Cam Gigandet dar uma boa performance como vilão,Djimon Hounsou sempre com uma ótima performance,Amber Heard é ótima,e Sean Faris dar uma sólida performance mas não é suficiente para um ótimo filme. Full Review »
  3. Nov 5, 2014
    8
    I definitely don't agree with the critic ratings, and sometimes I wonder about those people who do them. This movie is full of action and youI definitely don't agree with the critic ratings, and sometimes I wonder about those people who do them. This movie is full of action and you get to see different people adapt to different situations. The music definitely fit the movie and at times it can really get you pumped up. It definitely keeps your interest throughout the whole movie and it's one of those movies that you can watch multiple times and not get bored of it. It's definitely worth watching/owning. Full Review »