Metascore
60

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

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: This political thriller stars Val Kilmer as career military officer working in a highly secretive special operations force that uncovers a white slavery ring.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    The patter is always fascinating, and at right angles to the action. [Mamet]'s like a magician who gets you all involved in his story about the King, the Queen and the Jack, while the whole point is that there's a rabbit in your pocket.
  2. Is Spartan a perfect, or even a great, movie? Probably not. But in its prickly irascibility and deeply unsettling intelligence, it makes for a very, very good one.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    When Spartan is good, it's surprisingly gripping and fresh, and when it's bad, it's just another overcooked Hollywood paranoid thriller.
  4. Spartan is a character study embedded in an action-hero scenario. Neither aspect ever really breaks loose.
  5. Just cryptic enough to keep you guessing, and for some viewers that may qualify as a night out. But Mamet's gamesmanship was more fun when it was less eager to look important.
  6. 50
    Starts out promisingly, but quickly sinks under the weight of its own plot twists, ponderous pacing and Val Kilmer's monotonous performance as a ruthless special-ops agent.
  7. The heroes (Kilmer, Derek Luke) are all totally good, the villains (Ed O'Neill, William H. Macy) are all totally bad, and the macho one-liners are sufficiently adolescent to produce the desired snickers. I tried very hard to imagine I was somewhere else.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16

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