Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 42
  2. Negative: 10 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 25, 2013
    88
    A dizzying lowlife saga that’s fast, smart, wicked, sort of ambitious and blazingly ironic. It’s as unpredictable as a Lindsay Lohan drive to the grocery store, as overstuffed as the pictures on Anthony Weiner’s Twitter feed and as hilarious as me on the bench press.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 25, 2013
    75
    In telling a true story about hapless thugs who are the embodiment of Michael Bay fans, the director has made the most fiendishly enjoyable movie of his career.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 25, 2013
    75
    It's funny as hell at times with a twisted sense of humor that one typically expects from the likes of the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino.
  4. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 25, 2013
    75
    This is easily Bay’s best movie, the work of a filmmaker with a cracked sense of humor that he is able to share with the audience.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 24, 2013
    75
    Even though Pain & Gain does indeed mine laughs from some very violent acts, there is nothing in this movie that glamorizes those three meatheads. Kudos to Bay and his screenwriters for making sure we’re laughing at them, not with them.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 24, 2013
    75
    With Pain & Gain, his surprising true-crime comedy, Bay has finally decided to lighten up a bit.
  7. 70
    Pain & Gain gives you a rush while at the same time making you queasy about how you’re getting off.
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 26, 2013
    70
    Michael Bay sends a clear message to those of us who've been making fun of him: He's been in on the joke the whole time.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Apr 26, 2013
    70
    It's like a giant sculpture that is so strange and off-putting, it's instantly, intriguingly post-modern. Swept up in the film's pile-driving self-assurance, even Bay-haters may absorb the pain to enjoy the gain.
  10. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jun 11, 2013
    63
    As ambitious and vibrant as it is ugly and scattershot, Pain & Gain is the most charming Michael Bay movie in a long while.
  11. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 24, 2013
    63
    An outrageous based-on-real-life tale that's perfectly suited to director Michael Bay's insanely overblown stylistic and thematic temperament.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Apr 24, 2013
    63
    It’s just too much — too much graphic violence, too many plot wrinkles, too much stupidity, too many supporting players to track...For a movie as physically fit as this one wants to be, Pain & Gain is carrying way too much extra weight.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 2, 2013
    60
    The movie needed some more detachment – and brevity – but Wahlberg shows once again he has the comedy chops.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Aug 27, 2013
    60
    The ever-present air of madcap, goofball insanity carries it through. A seriously guilty pleasure.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    Aug 26, 2013
    60
    Michael Bay goes back to a Bad Boys budget and a big boys’ rating, for a true-life crime story that’s inconsistent and frenetic, but also funny and wilfully outrageous.
  16. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Aug 24, 2013
    60
    Like all of Bay’s work, it’s over-the-top, brash and exhausting to watch. But like the lifestyle its characters aspire to, there’s an allure too.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 25, 2013
    60
    Wahlberg and Johnson are the saving graces of an in-your-face movie.
  18. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 25, 2013
    60
    It all leaves you pondering whether you have just seen a monumentally stupid movie or a brilliant movie about the nature and consequences of stupidity.
  19. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 26, 2013
    50
    A day and half after walking out with a sensation, primarily, of physical relief—at two hours and nine minutes, Pain & Gain makes for a long, loud, relentlessly assaultive sit—I find that my thumb is wavering at half-mast. I’m still not sure whether to mildly like or mildly hate this movie.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 26, 2013
    50
    Nobody in it seems to possess a nervous system.
  21. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    The script’s occasional gestures toward making this an allegory of the failed American dream are extremely unconvincing in the context of a movie that revels in the excesses of macho culture while laughing at the hapless and stupid who can’t get it right.
  22. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    That sense of extreme, excess, over-the-top everything is there from start to finish. And isn't that what Bay fans count on even at cut-rate prices?
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    A badly constructed, blood-spattered caper that comes unglued early on.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    It's a homemade protein-and-steroids smoothie of a plot, combining elements of gore, self-parody, 1990s nostalgia overload and an attempt to say something -- while actually saying absolutely nothing -- about the American dream.
  25. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    Yep, it's all fun and games until someone gets brutalized repeatedly. Before you can avert your eyes, it's Katie, bar the door and break out the chain saws.
  26. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    Bay blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.
  27. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    There’s a certain kinetic charm to the first half of the movie, a freewheeling silliness to these outsized characters that makes you curious to see just how wrong things will go. But as the weightlifters’ plot spirals out of control, so does the movie’s.
  28. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    Yes, the canon invoked for this film is that of the Three Stooges, but it’s still not as magnificently berserk as they can be. Set your expectations carefully for this one.
  29. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Apr 23, 2013
    50
    Bay can be a master of exuberant chaos, but here the violence mostly lands with a sickening thud, which is fitting, one supposes, but also ultimately numbing.
  30. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 24, 2013
    42
    The movie's best performance — and worst defamation — belongs to Tony Shalhoub, playing the first victim as a conniving, egotistical jerk who deserves to be kidnapped, maimed and ruined financially.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 62
  2. Negative: 10 out of 62
  1. Apr 28, 2013
    7
    Pain in Gain is what I consider to be the beginning of the big dumb summer films. While it is not as action pact or EXPLOSIVE as other summer films as well as other Michael Bay films, it is certainly one of the most crazy films I've seen in a while. It sounds like the dumbest plot ever until you are reminded that the story being told is based on actual events. The film is great for what it is and considering other Michael Bay films, this is definitely one of his better ones. Michael Bays "style" works well with this story and all the acting is good. Marky Mark does a fine job but the star in my opinion is Dwayne Johnson who is a riot. Besides a few dumb moments and some pacing issues I think this movie is extremely entertaining and funny. It's a shame it's not getting as much praise at it deserves because Michael Bays name is on it but overall, it is worth a watch. Full Review »
  2. Apr 28, 2013
    9
    Pain & Gain is what it looks like when Michael Bay decides he wants to make a little movie, as opposed to another action epic. The director known for making bombastic action blockbusters has taken a step back to make a smaller film based on a true story, but it does not mean he put his signature style in check. Pain & Gain is very glossy film, gorgeous at times, and certainly not subtle. It is also an incredibly dark comedy, with a story so ridiculous that it has to be true, and it is. Based on a true crime story, this film does its best to depict what happens when seemingly good-natured crooks get in way over their heads and resort to drastic measures to achieve their American dream. While Bay's style can be grating for some, the mix of a strong cast and a messy, but compelling story makes this a film with a lot more going on than the standard Bay blockbuster. You want to be the same as they?
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    Full Review »
  3. Apr 28, 2013
    8
    an undeniably entertaining movie with a great line of actors who all deliver. I found my self to be the only one laughing at times haha. overall the movie delivered and the ROCK is massive. Full Review »