Paycheck

Paycheck Image
Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 34
  2. Negative: 8 out of 34
  1. 80
    John Woo's smart thriller Paycheck may not intend to be political, but it's marked as much by its era as post-Watergate thrillers like "The Parallax View" or "Three Days Of The Condor."
  2. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    60
    in the end, Paycheck never quite cashes out.
  3. Woo's customary action-film pyrotechnics gather more substance than usual from the implausible but inventive plot, drawn from a Philip K. Dick story.
  4. Running mainly on adrenaline and a gimmick, it's different from other holiday movies in that it's not ambitious, earnest or overblown, and it obviously wasn't made with one eye on the Oscars.
  5. Affleck is no more convincing as a flesh-and-blood action than as a superbrain, Thurman is cruelly photographed and director Woo appears to be imitating his own worst work.
  6. 20
    Maybe it’s time for Woo to finally make that musical he keeps talking about.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  1. Jun 9, 2012
    10
    I think that this movie has many twists and turns that is enough to keep people on the edge of their seats. And it surely has something toI think that this movie has many twists and turns that is enough to keep people on the edge of their seats. And it surely has something to tell. It mentioned that predicting the future is something that we should not try to do. After all, I think that this is a very nice movie. Expand
  2. DWP102589
    May 24, 2004
    9
    [***SPOILERS***] I think I can explain what you don't understand Cameron S. All the machine does is read his palm and scan his brain to [***SPOILERS***] I think I can explain what you don't understand Cameron S. All the machine does is read his palm and scan his brain to figure out what's MOST LIKELY to happen in his future. This, of course, can be changed, and his having the items, changes the odds in his favor, creating a different MOST LIKELY future. Expand
  3. May 5, 2016
    8
    Cool story with some nice action sequences.Special effects are amazing and the concept's quite original, I think.

    Watch it online for free:
    Cool story with some nice action sequences.Special effects are amazing and the concept's quite original, I think.

    Watch it online for free: https://www.primewire.ag/watch-2000-Paycheck
    Expand
  4. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    Paycheck is one of those movies that had the potential to be really, truly great, but due to a series of small problems, ended up as less thanPaycheck is one of those movies that had the potential to be really, truly great, but due to a series of small problems, ended up as less than it could have been and largely ignored. In short (and you can get this from the trailer), Ben Affleck plays a gifted engineer whose particular talent lies in reverse-engineering a company's product so that a competitor can get a head-start to market. In order to maintain deniability, his memory of each job is wiped, leaving him with just a paycheck (hence the title). But after accepting a long-term job, he finds himself a wanted man with no clue why, just a lot of questions. An outstanding premise. It is made all the better by creative writing, particularly the inclusion of a MacGuyver-esque puzzle that wends its way through the entire plot of the film. Dialogue is generally well written, only rarely losing its real-world edge (which is forgivable). Outstanding performances are turned in by Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Aaron Eckhart, Colm Feore, and Joe Morton -- who, although given a relatively thin part, managed to turn it into a major, dynamic element of the plot and really shines. John Powell's original score was outstanding and a perfect balance of driving action music and reflective melodies when appropriate. Really, the faults of the film lie with John Woo, whose now-trite directorial hallmarks end up making their appearances in the film self-ridicule rather than poignant moment. (John, if you're reading: get rid of the flying dove gimmick. It was ridiculous in Mission Impossible 2, and it was ridiculous here. It's a joke, not art.) Woo is still an excellent action director, and the car chases, fight sequences, and other action-driven sections of the film do well by him. But someone else needs to take over when the fists and tires aren't flying; it's only the innate acting ability of people like Affleck, Thurman, and others (did I mention Joe Morton did a great job?) that save some sections of the film. Casting was bang-on, though, and Paul Giamatti does an A+ perfect job as the Voice of Reason and comic relief -- one of those blessed times that you don't groan inwardly when the comic relief character shows up; Giamatti does an exemplary job. And even though the film is, as of this writing, nearly a decade old, it doesn't come off as stale sci-fi -- a rarity. It is definitely worth watching if you're any kind of sci-fi fan (it comes from the mind of Philip K Dick...check out how many of his stories became wildly popular films) -- find a copy and have fun. Collapse
  5. Oct 13, 2014
    7
    While you may not know the name Phillip K. Dick, many of the biggest Science Fiction films of the last thirty years have been adaptations ofWhile you may not know the name Phillip K. Dick, many of the biggest Science Fiction films of the last thirty years have been adaptations of his work. Dick is responsible for the films Blade Runner, The Terminator, Total Recall, Minority Report, and Paycheck just to name a few. Due to the popularity of his work in film and how successful they've been, even a lesser known work like Paycheck has been made into a film. The story includes many of the action sequences and interesting characters associated with Dick's stories, but Paycheck does lack the futuristic Science Fiction that has become Dick's signature, which is the main reason this story isn't as well known as his other works. The story takes place in modern day, where a man is offered an irresistible deal. Jennings (Ben Affleck) is told that if he works on a secret project for the next 3 years, he will receive 100 million dollars. The only catch being that after the 3 years are up, Jennings memory will be erased and he will have no idea what he worked on. As expected, Jennings accepts the deal and returns to his life 3 years later, but nothing is that simple. Soon everyone from the FBI to bounty hunters show up trying to get to him, and the only clues he has come from an envelope he sent himself, containing 19 random items that seem to have little or no value. Ben Affleck stars and by this point we all know how I feel about him. Affleck is a terrific Director, who seems to have little interest in acting anymore. Paycheck however is a 2003 film, a time before Affleck had proven himself and he shows that rare charisma that is only present in his real early work. His performance is outstanding and aided further by his chemistry with co-star Uma Thurman. Thurman is another performer who I find isn't very good unless she's in very specific type of role, and fortunately for Affleck, this is one of those roles. Paycheck is missing the big signature associated with Dick's work and will be somewhat disappointing to his fans. I did miss the futuristic element, but I was intrigued by the mystery Jennings was trying to solve and the 19 items. Combined with the action sequences, (that are always top notch) Paycheck isn't what I expected, but was still very well done and definitely worth watching. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Nov 10, 2005
    6
    THe story has premise, but John Woo's excecution renders the movie mediocre. Even the action ain't all that great. There are THe story has premise, but John Woo's excecution renders the movie mediocre. Even the action ain't all that great. There are moments when the brillinace of the sci-fi story does surface, particularly consequences of looking into the future, but it's not enough to save this film from being merely mediocre stuff. Expand
  7. Jun 11, 2015
    6
    When I first saw this film I didn't even know it was a Philip K. Dick short story. The movie came out almost 12 years ago but it didn't seemWhen I first saw this film I didn't even know it was a Philip K. Dick short story. The movie came out almost 12 years ago but it didn't seem so far off until I realized I didn't remember why he’s being chased. I remembered some of the action scenes and the mystery solving so in my mind it looked more like an action than sci-fi movie. The plot is basically centered around the action, the car chases, gunshots, and explosions - not at a Michael Bay level - but still a very action-centered movie. It made the characters looks quite one-dimensional

    It's funny how this futuristic sci-fi movie is a bit off. I mean the movie doesn't really hold up today. It's still a good science fiction - I meant action - story and I enjoyed watching it, maybe even more now that I recognize all of the supporting cast, but parts of the movie looked...fake I guess, or like it was made in the 80s instead of the 00s.

    Paycheck was awesome when I saw it as a kid, it’s still a pleasant movie to watch but it’s definitely not a film for a nitpicking audience. @wornoutspines
    Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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