Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 27
  2. Negative: 8 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    I'd like to recognize Russell Gewirtz for a screenplay that boasts humor, an impressive plot twist, and for setting up plenty of room for De Niro and Pacino to get their grooves back in order.
  2. Despite how easy it would be to write off Righteous Kill as one sorry excuse for lazy filmmaking, there is still something utterly mesmerizing in the palpable chemistry between the two leading men.
  3. An ordinary cop picture boosted by two charismatic superstars but hindered by its dearth of surprises.
  4. 50
    The movie, which has more than 10 credited producers, feels like one of those slick, for-the-money projects Hollywood studios cook up via graph charts and marketing surveys.
  5. A twisty, turny and ultimately silly thriller from "Inside Man's" Russell Gewirtz.
  6. A relatively harmless movie that becomes killing-a-mockingbird sinful for what it does to its leads.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The entire movie is one big build-up to a twist that, while not exactly cheating, plays is an awfully cheap trick.
  8. 50
    Its failure to live up to even modest expectations is a blow. There's nothing righteous to be found here.
  9. In pairing the two icons, Righteous Kill is definitely an event. What it isn't is much of a movie. Such a waste.
  10. Righteous Kill's script is credited to "Inside Man's" Russell Gewirtz, and you wonder how the sleek, nuanced flow of that earlier movie evaded this one.
  11. Reviewed by: Neely Tucker
    It's astonishing how much intensity and focus these two have lost, but the picture itself is not all that bad -- if you can get the collapsing-career thing out of your head.
  12. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    Watching these old pros play longtime buddies is a pleasure, especially since they're together in most scenes. But this thriller by Jon Avnet (88 Minutes) is mostly by the numbers, and its surprise ending, though effective, feels somewhat forced.
  13. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Slack, morally ambiguous, decidedly sub-Dexter serial-killer-cop story that's been cooked up for them (De Niro/Pacino).
  14. 42
    Trudging through a thriller that would have felt warmed over in 1988, the pair investigate a serial killer.
  15. Of the supporting performances, Gugino, Leguizamo and Wahlberg offer solid turns, but are let down by dialogue.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    It's a sad state of affairs when the best news about Righteous Kill is that it isn't awful.
  17. A clutter of recycled cop-movie and serial-killer film clichés.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Instead of the meeting of maestros at the top of their form, Righteous Kill has the feeling of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds facing off for the first time in an exhibition game. It's like Old Timers' Day at the Motion Picture Home.
  19. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Unable or unwilling to match the visceral chops and moral provocations of superior serial-killer chillers, Righteous Kill is content to be a twisty genre exercise; it's like "Seven" as reimagined by M. Night Shyamalan.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    By the time the movie reaches its protracted conclusion, it feels like a slog. Pacino has a few funny lines, as does Leguizamo, but not nearly enough to save the film from collapsing under the weight of its own self-righteous tedium.
  21. Reviewed by: Jason Matloff
    When actors are as great as De Niro and Pacino, watching them in a movie like Righteous Kill is deadly.
  22. 38
    Under the guidance of Jon Avnet, they're (De Niro/Pacino) both playing New York police detectives - partners, no less - in the cop-and-serial-killer tale Righteous Kill, and they're thunderously mediocre.
  23. 30
    The movie is hectic, exhausting, and baffling. It's an embarrassment.
  24. 25
    Righteous Kill, a.k.a. The Al and Bob Show, is a cop flick with all the drama of "Law and Order: AARP." This movie defines drag-ass.
  25. 25
    A slow-moving, ridiculous police thriller that would have been shipped straight to the remainder bin at Blockbuster if it starred anyone else.
  26. It's not much fun to see these two reduced to "Mad TV" parodies of themselves.
  27. 20
    There's nothing righteous about this tired and tiresome good cop/bad cop NYPD procedural.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 31
  2. Negative: 17 out of 31
  1. Mar 27, 2012
    Spoiler alert - pairing De Niro and Pacino together does not result in a great film alone. Given the chance to star alongside each other for what, on this outcome, may well be the final time, De Niro and Pacino play a pair of veteran detectives struggling to keep up with a serial killer on the loose. Thinking back I struggle to recall either of their characters actually doing any police work in the slightest, this falls to Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo. Both actors play their characters as nonchalant, wise-cracking smart asses. This is a natural character for Pacino but why both need to appear so is unnecessary and just adds to the feeling that their hearts were not in this fully. That said, the story plods along until the dreadful twist at the end that left me more confused initially than anything else until I recognised how the writer had got away with it. A cheap trick, not in league with the writers previous work (Inside Man), that leaves the viewer feeling disappointed with the previous hour and half serving no purpose but lead up to this charade. Ardent Pacino and De Niro fans may be interested but otherwise steer clear. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2011
    You know you're in trouble when you look forward to the scenes that 50 Cent is in. Marvel as two hacks who should be ashamed of themselves collect their paycheques for making little or no effort throughout until Pacino phones in some trademark hysteria and eye-rolling at the end. Gasp as the plot twist which was obvious from the start is revealed to an audience who by this time surely couldn't care less. Cringe as the dodgy sub-plot (she likes it rough) leads to nasty payback. She deserved it, innit. But the audience didn't. Full Review »
  3. Nov 17, 2010
    I turned of my new flat screen tv after watching this movie for five minutes. If a movie starts off really bad, you know it can only get worse. So why waste your time siting through this ? Hollywood's assumption that you can just arrange a date between arguably two of the best actors ever and make it work, did not quite work out.
    I would say the best thing about this movie is that you can tell after 55 seconds that it is crap. That way, you have a choice.
    Full Review »