Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    It's gloriously absurd. This movie has holes in it big enough to drive the whole movie through. The laws of physics seem to be suspended here the same way as in a Road Runner cartoon.
  2. Salt moves ever forward -- pushing, pushing, pushing its heroine to greater feats every minute. It doesn't stop for martinis, either shaken or stirred, or any other detours. The movie is lean and muscular, looking for action even in situations where a little sleight of hand might have done the trick.
  3. 85
    Like its star, Salt is a spare and lean piece of work; it's everything a modern action movie should be, a picture made with confidence but not arrogance, one that believes so wholeheartedly in its outlandish plot twists that they come to make perfect alt-universe sense.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    She's (Jolie) got what no other Hollywood woman even tries for, and which is embodied among recent international stars perhaps only by Hong Kong action star Michelle Yeoh: feminismo.
  5. 80
    This is a daring, audacious and sometimes terrifying movie -- purely as a thrill ride, it's probably the summer's best offering so far. That doesn't mean it left me feeling entirely satisfied. There's an emptiness at the soul of Salt -- again, meaning both the movie and the character -- that's extremely disturbing, maybe on purpose.
  6. And really, who goes to summer action movies for cast-iron logic anyway? Or for plausible characters, for that matter? You go for brisk stunts expertly executed, for well-directed action that doesn't allow you to catch your breath and for one of the preeminent action stars of our time. Yes, that would be Angelina Jolie.
  7. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    With a woman-with THIS woman-all the invincible-spy clichés feel fresh and fun again.
  8. In a crackerjack and very lean 100 minutes, the lithe and physically dynamic Jolie burns up the screen and shows the boys how it's done.
  9. Fast-moving, exciting and contains more twists than a tunnel under Checkpoint Charlie.
  10. Salt knows how to stay one step ahead of you in devious, if jaw-droppingly contrived, ways. The movie is fun, dammit. So who cares, really, if it's trash?
  11. 75
    Primed to keep your pulse racing so your brain will stop thinking, "WTF!" Go with the illogic or you'll miss the fun.
  12. Like the "Bourne" franchise to which Noyce's film is indebted, Salt is a combination of pursuit, evasion, name-clearing and a reversal or two.
  13. 75
    Salt's mechanical command of action is what makes it one of the most entertaining films of a summer thin on its once-abundant variety of cheap thrills.
  14. 75
    In a way, Phillip Noyce's film is the anti-"Inception"; it's never dazzling, but it's never confusing, either. It's a Bourne movie minus the exotic locations and sickening handheld camera, and its head spy has way better lips than Matt Damon.
  15. 75
    It's popcorn pulp that collided -- at 100 mph, natch -- with a far more sober and crafty grown-up movie.
  16. The action scenes are imaginative and elaborate without seeming fake. Nothing is belabored, and the stakes never stop escalating.
  17. The only thing missing from Salt is Lotte Lenya's Rosa Klebb with her steel blade-tipped shoes from "From Russia With Love." Come to think of it, the Russian defector here does indeed kill with steel-blade shoes. Nice touch.
  18. It is fun: Watching Ms. Jolie do her own acrobatics, under the direction of her longtime stunt coordinator Simon Crane, is a kick, especially in an era when our knowledge of special effects have so diluted the vicarious thrills of high-wire moviemaking.
  19. 70
    The movie has an air of momentousness, yet most of it is conventional, though well-directed, pop mayhem.
  20. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    As a fierce superspy and mistress of many disguises, Jolie represents the one indisputably kickass element in this brisk, professionally assembled but finally shrug-inducing thriller.
  21. From the start, this character plays to the star's strengths, merging subject and object, warrior and victim, ass-kicker and damsel-in-distress. And hero and villain.
  22. 67
    It's nail-biting good fun, sporting some très haute couture nails.
  23. 67
    Salt is hooey, but in a medium in which hooey is the stock-in-trade, it's effective hooey, and hooey with admirable craft, and, most of all, breezy hooey.
  24. 63
    Salt is more than mere seasoning; it's a full bouillabaisse comprised of bits and pieces of James Bond, "The Manchurian Candidate," "The Bourne Identity," TV's "24," and the Nelson DeMille novel "The Charm School."
  25. Salt offers a sloppy concoction of story elements from '70s espionage classics - the sinister black ops of "Three Days of the Condor," the nuclear dread of "Fail-Safe," the political-assassination scenarios of "The Day of the Jackal."
  26. What Noyce and company don't seem to realize is that there's a huge difference between a superspy and a superhuman.
  27. Reviewed by: John DeVore
    As Jolie's closest professional confidant, Liev Schreiber is his usual excellent, formidable self.
  28. Salt goes down easy, but it's lacking both nourishment and flavor.
  29. Reviewed by: William Thomas
    Enjoyable enough nonsense, even if it barely cracks a smile.
  30. 50
    Salt is a movie constantly painting itself into corners then tromping out with arbitrary twists and action distractions.
  31. 50
    It's still a short-enough time-killer of a thriller -- not the worst of the summer, but a long way from the current state of the art.
  32. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The considerable talents of a strong supporting cast, which includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Liev Schreiber and Andre Braugher, go untapped. The only distinguishing feature to this by-the-book thriller is Jolie, who gets pummeled as good as she pummels.
  33. 50
    Jolie doesn't seem entirely bored with the routine. She has a laugh or two at her bionic image: Evelyn is a woman who uses a maxi pad as a bandage.
  34. 50
    She is the prime special effect, and a reminder that even in an era of technological overkill, movie stars matter.
  35. 50
    Salt contains many conflicts: intelligence vs. counterintelligence, blond Angelina vs raven-haired and . . . well, that's about it.
  36. For all its action thrills, Salt is relatively humourless fare.
  37. Suffice it to say that it's something that would make Austin Powers blush, baby, but it's not supposed to be funny.
  38. 40
    There's one nifty and original sequence--an assassination attempt during a state funeral where the pipe organs in the church all go haywire--but otherwise, this is crushingly generic.
  39. Jolie must eventually become a comic-book supergirl impervious to explosions and bullets, all the better to set up a "Bourne"-like franchise by the final fade-out.
  40. Angelina Jolie is definitely worth her salt as an action hero, but Salt is never worth its Angelina Jolie.
  41. 25
    Salt is about as believable as a secret training program for military pilots consisting entirely of kangaroos in flight helmets. But it must be said that the star carries her load admirably.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 435 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 154
  2. Negative: 26 out of 154
  1. Aug 22, 2010
    (Que deep, gritty, movie-trailer-guy voice) "This summer ... Bourne has had a sex change ... and he's making the same movie like before ...(Que deep, gritty, movie-trailer-guy voice) "This summer ... Bourne has had a sex change ... and he's making the same movie like before ... but not so good" Full Review »
  2. ArjunS.
    Jul 23, 2010
    This Movie looks unrealistic in many places, Jolie is awful and the script is bad nothing new though it has some fun in some places, overall This Movie looks unrealistic in many places, Jolie is awful and the script is bad nothing new though it has some fun in some places, overall it is pathetic, Full Review »
  3. Oct 9, 2011
    Like "Jerry Maguire", "Salt" could have been the usual blockbuster with a obvious script/formula if it wasn't for Angelina Jolie'sLike "Jerry Maguire", "Salt" could have been the usual blockbuster with a obvious script/formula if it wasn't for Angelina Jolie's surprisingly good performance. Full Review »