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Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 246

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  1. Jul 26, 2014
    This film is too over the top and very crazy, it's not as explosive as Michael Bay's action flicks but it's just another crime film that tries to get out of the action range but Ed Harris puts on a nice performance.
  2. Jun 21, 2014
    A True story that was not all that true, makes for a pretty unentertaining movie. It just bored me throughout most of this film. Sub par acting and action scenes that just didn't stick with me made for a underwhelming movie.
  3. May 25, 2014
    Yah lets make a movie about true story of murders but let's put a comedy feel to it so we try to make root for the bad guys. The movie overall is entertaining but nothing special i wouldn't recommend that watch this expecting it to anything other then another Michael Bay movie. The editing is weird is it supposed to a comedy or is it a dark comedy either way Michael Bay can not due comedy simple as that. The film is so choppy and there is no one main character. Everyone has their own voice over about what's going on and so it just seems all over the place with no structure.

    The characters all were good Dwayne Johnson was my favorite though it was great seeing Tony Shalhoub in baller status. Ed Harris is a bad ass detective he has a minor role in the film but when he is on the screen it's great

    Overall i give it a 5.0 the trailers did makes this look good and i was hoping for a god Michael Bay film but i guess that will not happen
  4. May 21, 2014
    Definitely something out of the norm compared to Michael Bay's more recent movies. Rather than focusing on huge explosions and other large action set pieces, this one is largely focused on it's crazy story that is based on actual events. For a film that's part comedy, I found that the humor often failed to connect. Still, despite that this is one that is still worth a watch thanks to it's great cast and unbelievable story.

    As always Mark Wahlberg nails it. His performance, along with the rest of the cast, is excellent. However the real show-stealer here I found to be Dwayne Johnson. This is probably one of the craziest characters Johnson has ever played, and he plays it to darn near-perfection. As far as plot goes this is one of the craziest movies I have ever seen. There's a lot of crazy and shocking stuff happening on screen, and most of it because of how hilariously idiotic the characters are. Obviously there are differences from the actual events, but I was surprised to find out just how much was gotten right here. Honestly it might not be the best or smartest film out there, but it is quite entertaining. Especially when you consider that it's based on a true story.

    Overall it's a good movie. Not everything comes together perfectly in the end, and the humor never really connected for me outside of a few one-liners, but it's still worth a watch. It's one of the crazier movies I've watched in recent memory, and that actually makes it pretty fun despite the violent and disgusting stuff that often happens on-screen. My total score for the film is a 7.8/10=Good.
  5. May 18, 2014
    pain & gain is a comedy by Michael Bay about a murder case (based on a true story) where the killers are our protagonist that we are suppose to root for, while the victim is a rich jerk who is mean to everyone and deserves to be kidnapped, and robbed. And since this incident took place fairly recently, the (real) family members of the victims get to watch as their loved ones be portrayed in a bad light; as if killing them wasn't a bad enough. What kind of sick, twisted person makes a movie to poke fun at a horrible event in an attempt to make everyone laugh at it by turning it into a comedy. Now I understand that laughter can be a great cure for sadness, but you don't do it by trying to justify what the murderers did by orchestrating events that didn't happen in an attempt to make them likable in a film that's suppose to be based on a true story. I can't even imagine how the family members of the victims must feel to have someone close to them die then have a movie made to basically tell them that they deserved to die in a comedy. Let's not forget the survivors who have to watch themselves be degraded in the movie after what they went through. They even make the deaths accidental to help yo to sympathize with the murderers. The movie not even funny. Sure there are a few chuckles here and there, but the film really isn't funny. The humor basically revolves around either racial jokes or sex jokes (mainly gay-sex jokes) which come off as being either stupid or offensive (sometimes both). Expand
  6. May 4, 2014
    Surprisingly really enjoyed this and laughed along with the characters all the way. Great cast! It's Michael Bay, so my expectations were low to average, but I thought this was terrific and criminally fun. Mark Wahlberg and the Rock have always been those actors that you just like the minute they appear on screen!
  7. Mar 15, 2014
    Desolante e vuota thriller/commedia amara filmata Michael Bay. Al di là della sciatteria della messa in scena e della regia anche il film non diverte mai e dopo i primi 30 minuti già mi ero pentio di averlo iniziato a guardare. Michael Bay non ne azzecca mai una, tutti i suoi film sono scialbi e noiosi, ma forse, nell'era in cui si dice che Kubrick è noioso, ci meritiamo registi di questo calibro. Expand
  8. Mar 14, 2014
    Pain and gain is one crazy mess.Not all bad, I did find some stuff pretty funny. It`s crazy, funny, strange, and dumb, all in one movie. I find some of this stuff hard to believe that it could be a true Story. I mean if you pick out any of the ridiculous stuff that happen I can believe it, but all in one wow! The Rocks character lol How did this guy not die by age 15.This was definitely original for me. Expand
  9. Jan 17, 2014
    Pain and Gain was a mediocre film that fell very short in many aspects it was not really a funny comedy as everyone said neither was it and action film I really cannot think what category Pain and Gain should be in but it definitely is not a comedy and by far not and action movie. Yes there was a few funny moments in the movie but unfortunately it was just not enough to make this a funny and hilarious comedy. The acting is what saved this movie from receiving a low score but it missed the plot of the genre and really cannot receive a high score either. Although it is based on a true story I believe it needed more time to perfect it Expand
  10. Jan 3, 2014
    I have some truly amazing news. Michael Bay has made a movie which isn't total This has only happened once before in 1996 with The Rock. He's still one of the worst directors on the planet, but I did find Pain and Gain to be mildly enjoyable.
    Much like in the ridiculously popular Transformers movies the female characters are still used as a cheap way of attracting men. One woman is a
    stereotypical stupid stripper, another overweight and foul mouthed, the most amazingly sexist a huge breasted druggie with an exaggerated large ass and many bikini wearing extras at a gym swimming pool. All are mind blowingly offensive and unfunny, not that all of the other characters aren't just as insanely crude. By way of plot it's surprisingly good for a Michael Bay movie because it exists, which is more than you can say for some of his previous travesties. I could not believe my eyes when Pain and Gains three leads were actually played quite well. Wahlberg, The Rock and Mackie all give respectable performances and will not be nominated for any Golden Razzies like Shia La Douche. While it is quite obviously exaggerated for dramatic effect, despite a caption occasionally popping up saying: This is still true, the plot is very interesting and not like any other movie I have seen this year.
    Following directors tradition Pain and Gain has no inner message even if it tries to be philosophical, but in contrast to the directors tradition it is very exciting and not just moving pictures infront of your eyes which do not engage your brain
    Pain and Gain is the most surprising movie of the year even if it's not very good. I found it to be mildly enjoyable.
  11. Dec 3, 2013
    Simply a crazy movie. About a lot more than just moving iron up and down.It's about motivation, perseverance, and a will to rise above yourself.
    The music they had in the movie was hilarious, and they had they same theme playing for a long time. It was very different and moving, Also it has comedy, babes, and action, what more could a guy want.
  12. Nov 15, 2013
    The story of stupid bodybuilders trying to get easy money and involved in a criminal story. The cast is great, the dumbness of characters seemed very convincing and fun. The movie seemed a bit long for me. Overall, worth watching if you like black comedies and yeag, this is based on a true story.
  13. Oct 18, 2013
    A sad, disturbing movie with some really fun actors doing great satire. Like Fargo or Burn After Reading but much better. More than just a comedy saying "People are stupid", the finger here is pointed squarely at masculinity and the "American Dream".
  14. Oct 13, 2013
    I didn't know if this movie was meant to be a comedy or not. But, I didn't find it funny. The beginning was the highlight of the movie, but half way through the movie. It fell apart.
  15. Oct 8, 2013
    Pain & Gain is a movie that critics and movie goers seem to dislike a lot. If people didn't know that Michael Bay directed it, audiences would be more open-minded in my opinion. Once people see Bay's name they automatically assume that the characters won't have depth, and there is going to be bloated action sequences. This just isn't the case with Pain & Gain.

    The Rock and Mark Wahlberg
    deliver one of the best performances that I have seen from them. I haven't been a fan of their work, but here they do a great job. Ed Harris and Rebel Wilson do fantastic in their minor roles. The action scenes in this movie need to get praise also. Unlike most of Bays work, the action seems really focused and you can comprehend what's happening onscreen. It's not an overload of explosions and special effects.

    The comedy in here I liked. It was dark comedy for sure, and isn't a laugh-out-loud comedy, but it has its funny moments. Anthony Mackie is easily the funniest, and he adds a lot of humor to this movie. The humor is morbid, but it works.

    I do have problems with the movie though. Voice-overs are used way too much. Slo-motion is also a bit overused, but it works more than the voice-overs do. Being that this is a Michael Bay production, its running time is too long. Even though this movie is fast paced and not dull for the first 90 minutes, the last 30 to 40 minutes slow down the pace drastically. Some scenes are crucial to the story, while others should have been left out entirely.

    Pain & Gain for me is a very entertaining movie. The story is very well told and probably Bays best storytelling movie. It isn't going to win an Oscar or anything, but it does a great job telling a painfully true story.
  16. Sep 24, 2013
    Idiocy, and to a lesser extent, wonder. Truly that's what I took away with me. How there 3 criminals could be that confident and stupid made me wonder why they weren't caught sooner, people didn't suspect anything let alone how they performed it.

    Twice the audience is told this is a true story. It must be if were told twice because this surely could happen in the real world? But then
    you find out it was and I curiously looked it up after the movie to learn more. Wow.

    I'm not sure if it was intended but there is a message in this film: The American dream is not achievable for everyone, which means people will resort to any means to get it. Especially when you're a fitness freak with unlimited, zealous confidence and optimism. I left the cinema thinking all these positive messages out there are great but they too needs to be restrained. Otherwise we'd be like Daniel Lugo have an inflated sense of self worth, importance and direct all the energy into something wrong, stupid or bad. And that corrective thought is a good thing.

    It's a silly, funny, ridiculous ride with a serious ending to reaffirm that desires can make you do stupid things
  17. LTR
    Sep 15, 2013
    I'm having trouble on what I think of this film.I like the story and idea,but the fact that these people actually did this,you can't really like the characters even though the movie wants you to.
  18. Sep 15, 2013
    to be honest i thought this movie is going to be a terrible one, i mean come on it's a movie by michael bay, but i found myself laughing and enjoying this movie pretty well, i actually found it so entertaining that i decided to watch it again, mark wahlberg gave a fantastic performance of being obnoxious, there are few mistakes in this movie such as you can see the camera man on the door mirror, and some scenes are just too weird, you keep finding yourself on a weird place again and again, but overall the movie is entertaining in a good way. Expand
  19. Sep 10, 2013
    Best thing I can say about this movie is that I've see worse. There's a couple of funny moments in it but for the most part it's just a bit of a mess. There're a lot of seemingly major events that just kinda happen without any point or purpose. There's not a lot of depth to any of the characters either, though that's more the fault of the writing than the actors themselves. The whole thing just seems very erratic and aimless. At the end of this film you'll be sat wondering what the hell just happened, go home wondering what the point was to the film you just watched and ponder over what else you could've done with that two hours (although it'll seem like you've been in the cinema for way longer). Expand
  20. Sep 7, 2013
    Holy crap....The Rock can actually act?

    I will admit, I had low expectations coming into this, but I found myself laughing and genuinely enjoying every second. It was a bizarre, action packed, dark comedy that is definitely worth a watch.
  21. Sep 4, 2013
    This was a decent movie. I thought that it was a lot better than the reviews give it credit for. There was a lot of over-the-top violence, and I thought that it was disturbing that they presented this true murder in a comedic tone, and it would have been better if it was a drama, not a comedy. This was good, but way over-the-top.
  22. Sep 2, 2013
    As Michael Bay wants us to know, Pain and Gain is based on a true story, something mentioned twice during the film as to make the point that stupid things happen in this world, a point that seems so important to remind people of that Bay makes his characters stereotypical morons, even when things get serious. When personal trailer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) discovers one of his clients is insanely rich he decides to kidnap him and steal his things. He enlists the help of evangelist Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and his friend Adrian (Anthony Mackie) to help him pull it off. While trying to be a true crime tale of three people doing horrific things it lacks any kind of fun but Pain and Gain is not a crime film, Sure it's a film about a crime and its story is definitely true but at its heart. Pain and Gain is a surreal comedy as the actions of this trio of idiots really do make toy laugh out loud. The inner monologues that writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have given each and every one of the three leads helps add context to this twisted tale but most of all it gives you a healthy wallop of hilarity as their inner most thoughts show them to be the dense yet oddly lovable people they are, with Dwayne Johnson being excellent as religious ex criminal Paul, a man who only really finds himself doing these things because of peer pressure (despite the quite obvious fact he is a grown man). Admiring these criminals for how far they got on limited smarts is part of the films charm but the film lacks an ending and the comedy peters off when things start hitting the fan and real people, as Bay has so subtly reminded us, start dying. Therefore the end isn't funny and it has no real resolution making Pain and Gain a rather pointless watch despite the hilarious first half, Expand
  23. Aug 31, 2013
    Good film. It's without any doubt one of Michael's best pictures. It was very funny and I would watch it again!! Great action film. I saw it when it first came out and I really enjoyed it!!
  24. Aug 30, 2013
    This movie is basically what spring breakers would have been if it had male protagonists, was a true story and was somewhat decent. Same idea: main characters want to improve their lives so they turn to crime, get in deeper and deeper, so on and so forth. Visually pleasing as you'd expect from bay, but more creative and artsy than i was expecting. It's definitely a strange one, but worth the watch. You're kind of grow to like the characters and then towards the end you have a realization that they are just terrible terrible people. Expand
  25. Aug 27, 2013
    So Michael Bay returns to his Miami roots with an action packed, humorous look into a shocking true life story about the lives of three misguided body builders trying to make a big score. Personally I enjoyed the fact that Bay's back to classic action, with a very witty, comical script, which boast a lot of twists and shocking turns. The lead role portrayed by the boisterous Mark Wahlberg is executed with great conviction, as you almost feel for this bone-headed thug in his naivety of achieving the American dream. His co-stars are also very convincing, and Dwayne Johnston's portrayal of the simple minded ex-con is hilarious. Its great too see that at least one WWE star has a little more to offer than a set of impressive muscles. The movies great, although it does run a bit long and could have be done in about 15 minutes less. Bay's directing hasn't lost it, and he still has a few good innings left to produce some "pumped" up action. Let's just hope that he sticks to this kinda "Bad Boyish" style and has put the alien robots behind him for a while. Forget Transformers 4....Let's see Bad Boys 3 already!!!!....Will where are you?!!! Expand
  26. Aug 21, 2013
    I really don't know where they were going with this movie. It was a terrible mixture of action, comedy, and drama that just did not work well together. The fact that the actors put far too much effort into their characters really ruined the like-ability of them. If Pain & Gain was intended to be a comedy then they really missed the mark on this one because it was not all. It was just really, really stupid, The kind of stupid where you laugh because you can not believe someone actually thought that was a good idea to put into a film. Not to mention the run time, 2 hours long, was absolutely brutal to sit through.

    Overall, Don't even bother. Pain & Gain is a confusing mess that seems to drag on and on with no end in sight.
  27. Aug 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view.'s definitely the best Michal Bay movie I've seen...but that's not saying much. The story is cool because it's based on a true story (and the true story is pretty insane to begin with so not much Bay did seemed that nuts compared to what really happened). The problem with this film (other than Michael Bay's ADD style of filmmaking) is the movie doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy with a violent edge or a violent film with a comedy edge.

    The film jumps back and forth from being brilliant and annoying constantly but the one thing that holds it all together is The Rock. Dwayne Johnson is constantly hilarious and made the film for me.
  28. Aug 16, 2013
    People need to realize this is based on a true story about one of the most bizarre cases ever! They made it weird and they way it was supposed to be. This isn't a typical movie.
  29. Aug 16, 2013
    First off I just want to say I loved this film, fantastic story with twists, suspense, comedy and thrills. Mix in some brilliant acting, especially from The Rock and you've got yourself a fantastic film. It does help if you lift weights because you find it more relateable, but there's still much fun to be had if you don't. Well worth watching.
  30. Aug 15, 2013
    Another example why you shouldn't listen to "critics" who lover scores because it's not silent, black and white, heart braking war story that either makes you sleepy or feel horrible inside. It's fast-paste dark comedy that would make you laugh at things you shouldn't. Just watch it and decide for yourself.

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: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 2, 2013
    The movie needed some more detachment – and brevity – but Wahlberg shows once again he has the comedy chops.
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Aug 27, 2013
    The ever-present air of madcap, goofball insanity carries it through. A seriously guilty pleasure.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    Aug 26, 2013
    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.