Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 5, 2013
    It shambles and ambles, seemingly without focus or pattern, from one thing to the next. Yet at the same time, it's predictable, not from moment to moment, but in its outlines.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 44
  2. Negative: 5 out of 44
  1. Dec 5, 2013
    A solid film with brilliant performances. Bale disappears into his role as usual and has a heartbreaking scene with Zoe Saldana. Affleck is haunting as a damaged veteran, and Harrelson is great at playing unhinged characters. Cooper seems to lose control of the pace of the film in favor of atmospherics, which are affecting if a bit on the nose and overused. I would love to know if there were debates between Cooper, Ingelsby and the cast over the ending of the film which could have gone many different ways. Definitely worth your time for the performances alone. Full Review »
  2. Dec 5, 2013
    Christian Bale delivers a subtle, nuanced performance in this highly enjoyable film. The setting is essentially a principal cast member it's Deer Hunter country: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Southern Jersey. Much like Winter's Bone, the director effectively establishes the extra-legal power structure in these mountain towns. Tradition rules of law and order do not apply. The harsh reality of steel mill careers, military life, and prison stints underline a very traditional story of desperation, justice, and revenge. The trailer suggests much more action and excitement than the film actually delivers, but I very much enjoyed this film for its emotionally resonant, quiet sequences featuring a stellar cast. Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2013
    One of the best movies I've seen all year. Surprised by the relatively low critic score but a definite must watch. Very gritty film and well shot. Great cast of characters with very strong performances. Full Review »