Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Jul 15, 2013
    83
    As Refn counts down the days and ratchets up the tension, Pusher shifts from a subdued lowlife sketch, with lots of raunchy conversation between Buric and his horndog ex-con buddy Mads Mikkelsen, to a nail-biting look at a man running out of options.
  2. 80
    Each film in Nicolas Winding Refn's mesmerizingly brutal Pusher trilogy can stand on its own, but it's fun to see all three and observe the way the bad guys in one become the sympathetic heroes (or anti-heroes) in another.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Jul 15, 2013
    80
    There's something rotten in Denmark, as Mean Streets meets GoodFellas in Copenhagen, and while it could never rival either of the above, this striking, powerfully gritty tale about a week in the life of a drug dealer is still well worth seeing. A promising debut.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Lim
    Jul 15, 2013
    80
    As botched-drug-deal tales go, Pusher digs surprisingly deep— its surface clichés give way to an existential despair that finally swallows the movie whole.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jul 15, 2013
    80
    The film practically vibrates with youthful aggression, sly humor and gathering tension, hurling itself forward like a junkie toward the next fix.
  6. Reviewed by:  Gunnar Rehlin
    Jul 15, 2013
    80
    The subject has been done before, but Refn avoids the cliches, both in the story itself and its telling.
  7. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jul 15, 2013
    75
    [Refn] mixes jittery hand-held camerawork, improvised dialogue and available light to create a nightmarish world of sex, drugs and horrific brutality that will turn off many viewers while delighting others.
  8. Reviewed by: Ethan Gilsdorf
    Jul 15, 2013
    75
    Refn's direction in Pusher exhibits an uncanny prescience for techniques that would peak a decade later as reality TV -- low-budget, digital video; the use of a tipsy, peripatetic camera; and a wide-angle lens to engulf all the action.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 15, 2013
    70
    Pusher begins as a fairly standard ’90s crime saga, almost an open imitation of Quentin Tarantino... But something happens on the way to the film’s haunting and ambiguous conclusion.
  10. Reviewed by: Wendy Richmond
    Jul 15, 2013
    60
    Despite the gritty subject matter, combined with some clichéd set pieces, interest is retained right through to the bleak end, largely due to the direction and Refn's handling of the excellent cast.
  11. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    Jul 15, 2013
    50
    Mr. Refn may yet have justification for boasting about his natural talent. There is one magnificent scene in Pusher... Maybe Mr. Refn's next film will take us into that emotional territory.

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