Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 29
  2. Negative: 11 out of 29
  1. 50
    There's a point at which its enigmatic flashes of incomprehensible action grow annoying, and a point at which we realize that there's no use paying close attention, because we won't be able to figure out the film's secrets until they're explained to us.
  2. 38
    The clichéd and predictable Suspect Zero is the latest evidence that Hollywood has run the serial-killer thriller into the ground through overuse - the same way it earlier exhausted, say, buddy action-comedies.
  3. The truth is, the freakiness kinda turns the director on, and he nearly strangles Suspect Zero with love.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    38
    The movie's premise is as dopey as they come: A serial killer with a conscience is killing other serial killers.
  5. 50
    Eckhart, who gets more rugged by the picture, certainly works hard to bring the audience along. But he's a nervous wreck for nothing. This movie isn't talking to us, it's talking to other serial killer movies.
  6. Fails to provide one essential ingredient: suspense.
  7. Finally, a serial-killer movie so preposterous, so garnished with accidental laugh lines and absent essential narrative logic it may actually put a permanent kibosh on this tediously overworked crime subgenre. Here's hoping, at any rate.
  8. 50
    A novel twist in the second half succeeds in distinguishing this from the pack but also wrenches it away from the meager characters.
  9. 30
    Suspect Zero is loaded with cheap thrills for the expensively educated.
  10. Instead of building suspense and tension, Suspect Zero devotes its efforts to creating a weird and creepy milieu that will leave fans of police procedurals wanting and avant-garde enthusiasts scratching their heads.
  11. Kingsley gets the film's one big emotional scene and makes it count.
  12. Merhige understands how exciting going to the edge of credibility can be without falling off, and he has the bravura talent and imagination needed to pull off the sheer, hurtling audacity of Suspect Zero.
  13. Preposterous, physically hideous paranormal thriller.
  14. 20
    A grisly, depraved and wholly uninvolving exercise in empty mannerism.
  15. The script isn't really good enough to worry about whether it's being over-directed; in fact, E. Elias Merhige's over-direction is one of the best things about this movie--along with Ben Kingsley's grimly unstoppable killer-of-killers, Benjamin O'Ryan.
  16. The trouble is that the plot is so elliptical to be almost unfollowable (though it helps to have seen the trailer).
  17. When, in its eventful final act, Merhige finally reveals what this thing is REALLY all about, it comes not with any blissful storytelling satisfaction but a grinding sense that this strange movie is a structural mess.
  18. With its spooky atmosphere to spare and a riveting central performance by Kingsley, an actor who manages to elicit both terror and sympathy, I was able to forget all those things, basking in the pleasure of my own goose bumps. So, for an hour and a half, will you.
  19. 40
    Given nothing to do, Carrie-Anne Moss looks on from the sidelines as the film halfheartedly toys with the tired old notion that only a thin line separates the dogged investigator and the compulsive killer. She looks bored, and she should.
  20. Suspect Zero has enough going for it to eventually develop a cult following. But compared to "Silence of the Lambs" and "Seven," it's still the minor leagues.
  21. 30
    None of the principals is remotely likable--although Kingsley does appear to enjoy swanning around the great Southwest like a low-rent Anthony Hopkins.
  22. Merhige is too talented to be dismissed as a wannabe, but here his gifts for clever angles and oogy feelings are tethered to blasé genre redundancies and clunky storytelling. Looks great, less thrilling. I blame the screenwriters.
  23. It's merely adequate, with one riveting element but limited chills.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    50
    Ultimately the story of someone who preys on other serial killers, but can't seem to come up with an original way in which to do it.
  25. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    30
    It's not easy to make a thriller that's both incredibly convoluted and intensely boring, but director E. Elias Merhige scores on both counts with this lame excuse for a spooky crime story.
  26. Reviewed by: Jeremy Knox
    30
    The movie contains not one surprise, not one shock, not one scare, not one bit of interest for any moviegoer over the age of ten (mentally or physically).
  27. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    25
    Among the lamest serial-killer movies ever made.
  28. Reviewed by: Jim Fusilli
    60
    Directed by E. Elias Merhige, the film is never less than entertaining, but Sir Ben's portrayal of a sympathetic psychopath gives it a special zing.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    40
    A plodding and familiar "cop sees what the killer sees" riff that plays like a poorly inflated "The X-Files" episode.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  1. Sep 28, 2010
    1
    "Suspect Zero" is really as bad as thrillers come - it looks and feels like it took its inspiration from daytime television and bad serials."Suspect Zero" is really as bad as thrillers come - it looks and feels like it took its inspiration from daytime television and bad serials. The movie builds tension and suspense, but at no time did I wonder what's going to happen next - I just kept wondering why the movie was going through so much effort to get there. Ben Kingsley could be considered a saving grace, but to me the fact that he is in here at all is more an indicator of how badly his career has fallen this decade (just look at his recent filmography). Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    4
    Movies like this absolutely kill me! The story they have to work with is top notch, the cast is terrific, and the movie sucked. The movie isMovies like this absolutely kill me! The story they have to work with is top notch, the cast is terrific, and the movie sucked. The movie is all about tracking down this infamous serial killer with a horrible and gruesome reputation. They don't show what led to this reputation, any of his crimes, or what got them to that point. It's like jumping into a crappy direct to video sequel, after missing the blockbuster film that led to it. Nothing significant ever happens in this movie! Which then begs the question, what's the point in even making it? Full Review »