Never Back Down

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 142
  2. Negative: 27 out of 142

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User Reviews

  1. JohnnyG.
    Aug 13, 2008
    3
    I think this movie promotes too much violence in our schools. We don't need these kind of movies influencing the kids in our schools.
  2. Mar 30, 2011
    2
    This movie was a cheap remake of Karate Kid, with about as much quality dialog. The only thing I liked about this movie was well... the fighting. But the storyline and character development, as well as the theme were B-rate at best. Over all it has some fancy moves for MMA lovers, and fight fans but no substance to back it up.
  3. Tombest
    Apr 6, 2008
    0
    I'll save you 90mins or so of your time: boys dad dies, boy moves to ...orlando (of all places). Boy meets girl, girl has nasty boyfriend. Both boys fight and good boy gets girl. Absolute formulaic crap which should have gone straight to the 1.99 dvd bin. Christiano Ronaldo lookalike does karate kid (badly) with absolutely none of the charm. Worthless film. A complete waste of time. 0/100.
  4. Kickmanjrnotresponsible
    Mar 15, 2008
    1
    MMA is not a style, and you cannot have MMA skills. If you cross train with no particular preference (everybody has their main discipline) you are called a "freestyle" Martial artist and if you compete in the ultra regulated realm of mixed martial arts you are still a free style martial artists. Stupid movie.
  5. Nathanliu
    Apr 2, 2008
    3
    Djimon gives a good performance, but the movie itself was so cliched that i think it was intended to be a comedy. Yes, million dollar baby is cliched too, but at least it has superb performances and excellent direction. You simply don't connect to the characters in this movie
  6. SeonL.
    Apr 5, 2008
    3
    3, only for the professional editing and camera work. Otherwise, ZERO for glorifying violence as an ultimate solution to teenagers in high school.
  7. GeorgeM
    Aug 20, 2008
    2
    This is a horrible movie, no doubt.....bad acting, filmed horribly, and its a cookie-cutter twin of "The Karate Kid", a film thats far superior and ultimately way more inspiring than this crap. The fights (which is what this movie was riding on) aren't even that interesting to watch and im a avid fan of the UFC and MMA, the fights were VERY poorly choreographed and while they seemed This is a horrible movie, no doubt.....bad acting, filmed horribly, and its a cookie-cutter twin of "The Karate Kid", a film thats far superior and ultimately way more inspiring than this crap. The fights (which is what this movie was riding on) aren't even that interesting to watch and im a avid fan of the UFC and MMA, the fights were VERY poorly choreographed and while they seemed brutal, its nothing some slow-mo "foot to face" contact and bone crushing sound effects can't sugar coat. My advice, skip this UFC+The Karate Kid+The O.C.=C.R.A.P. movie and just go rent or buy "The Karate Kid", its probably cheap than "Never Back Down" and its a WAY better film. Expand
  8. JoeT
    Sep 14, 2008
    2
    This is one of those movies that you'll have to scrape your jaw up off the floor after watching. Unbelievable stupidity (dialog referencing 'The Illiad' is downright painful), moral hypocrisy (and I'm a 'Dexter' fan) and more gay subtext than Top Gun (complete with Tom Cruise look-alike) adds up to a downright painful watch.
  9. CoreyG.
    Mar 11, 2008
    0
    Wow, unredeemable in any way, except for being a marketing tool for product placement of lifestyle obsession. I watched a screening today - even with free tickets this movie lacked everything. Amistad was a great movie, why would Djimon Hounsou be in this trash... Can a movie be held together by plot holes?
  10. Enrique
    Mar 15, 2008
    3
    I have seen this staff too many times already. This is a boring application of the same old recipe. Poor script, performances and direction.
  11. MattD
    May 4, 2008
    1
    The sole reason i gave this waste of time a 1 Is that there are a couple of good songs in the sound track, and to any high school student out there, violence solves nothing!!
  12. AlecB.
    Aug 2, 2008
    3
    Tom Best basically did wrap this movie up. The movie looked good to be honest but fell so far from the goal line. At least if you threw in some actors that people know of then the movie would have been good. Go watch Fight Club way better fighting movie then this crap
  13. LouE.
    Sep 4, 2008
    1
    When I first saw the previews fro this film I said to myself: "What the hell is the teeny-bopper crap?". At first, I had already judged it a terrible film, but then I thought hey, let's give it chance, and boy were my first assumptions rights. This movie is awful, but then again, I'm not brain dead or a a teenager who is easily wowed by fight moves that they obviously copied off When I first saw the previews fro this film I said to myself: "What the hell is the teeny-bopper crap?". At first, I had already judged it a terrible film, but then I thought hey, let's give it chance, and boy were my first assumptions rights. This movie is awful, but then again, I'm not brain dead or a a teenager who is easily wowed by fight moves that they obviously copied off of Power Rangers and a bunch of pretty white kids (That's what MTV and the CW are for and still all crap all the same). It's a blatant hypocrite "Violence is not the answer." Oh please, Mr. Director, get your head out of your ass! And the worst part is it's got he guy from Blood Diamond, really?! What are you thinkin Djimon?! I know, this movie is for teenagers, but even for them, at this era of time, this is trash, but the music is fine, the only reason i didn't stuff hot nacho cheese in my ears and gouge my eyes out with twizzlers. To anyone who like it: REALLY?! Expand
  14. AnthonyW.
    Mar 5, 2009
    1
    What a stupid, stupid movie. Not only does Never Back Down succeed in giving martial arts an unnecessary reputation for teaching people how to hurt others whenever they want to, the movie encourages people to be violent and shallow. As a sidenote: the only two people I saw in this movie that had any responsibility whatsoever ALSO HAD A JOB.
  15. DonnyM.
    Mar 15, 2008
    0
    1. Could not possibly be more derivative. In this respect the filmmakers should feel ashamed. Not one atom of originality or freshness in this stale rehash of Karate Kid and Fight Club. 2. You know the whole movie from the trailer; in this respect the film just...is bad. Who wants a movie experience in which you know the end from the trailer? Boy gets beat up. At end he beats up bully. 3. 1. Could not possibly be more derivative. In this respect the filmmakers should feel ashamed. Not one atom of originality or freshness in this stale rehash of Karate Kid and Fight Club. 2. You know the whole movie from the trailer; in this respect the film just...is bad. Who wants a movie experience in which you know the end from the trailer? Boy gets beat up. At end he beats up bully. 3. Another fine example of Hollywood pumping out lame, uninspired product that panders to a youth audience. Expand
  16. 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 this planet were shoved into the movie along with the most cheesy and clich├ęd script ever written. Since when do high schoolers look like they are in their mid to late 20s??
Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
  1. 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.
  2. Sitting through this is groan-inducing enough, but it's spiritually depressing to watch Djimon Hounsou, who deserves better.
  3. 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.