Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 35
  2. Negative: 9 out of 35
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    80
    One of those guilty pleasures of the summer. It’s also one of those action movies that could have been ruined if Jerry Bruckheimer had taken charge of it.
  2. 80
    As the team leader, Jackson finds exactly the right tone for the role: a sort of playful cockiness that comes from knowing just how good he is. He's clearly having fun, but he never winks at the audience too much or allows his performance to devolve into camp.
  3. Directed by Clark Johnson in an efficient and occasionally exhilarating style that points to the Emmy-winner's TV cop-show pedigree ("Homicide," "The Wire," "NYPD Blue").
  4. 75
    One of the best cop thrillers since "Training Day."
  5. Aware of its own cuteness because the dialogue plays by the rules of meta-entertainment.
  6. While the movie is stupid, it is -- hooray, and let's put this in all the national ads! -- not appallingly stupid.
  7. Offers up the kind of pleasures that only a summer movie can...The cast is good-looking, the soundtrack is loud, the plot is stupid.
  8. The standout in the cast is James Todd Smith, whose acting talent may soon persuade him to shed his adolescent stage name of LL Cool J and concentrate on mainstream film roles.
  9. The strongest parts of the film aren't these money shots, but the buildup to the gunplay.
  10. 60
    A thoroughly unremarkable police action movie starring the magnetic Samuel L. Jackson.
  11. 60
    As summer shoot-'em-ups go, this is pretty well executed, with plenty of macho posing and gunfire.
  12. Reviewed by: Alan Morrison
    60
    Formula is now the name of the game, although a steady diet of stunts and shootouts ensures that the audience is never bored.
  13. It's just one more competent but routine, midlevel ($70 million) late-summer action movie filled with the usual explosions, shootouts and male bonding.
  14. There is something sneakily gratifying about all this: Not since the days of "Earthquake" have Hollywood producers so indulged their fantasies of trashing the town.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Those who love police overkill, guns, jingoistic race-baiting, guns, macho smugness, and guns will be well served.
  16. 50
    Serviceable, wholly uninspired.
  17. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    I was all revved up to have a whale of a fascist good time, and S.W.A.T. left me let down and pissed-off.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    By the time you've given up guessing whether S.W.A.T. wants to be a half-serious action pic or just affably jokey, its storytelling has turned so ludicrously melodramatic that it doesn't matter.
  19. Though the film's second half has some good action moments, it never fulfills the promise of its earliest scenes.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    Coming in the wake of the physically astonishing "Bad Boys 2," S.W.A.T. seems square.
  21. 50
    Likely won't please fans of the original TV series, but the movie hasn't been made for them.
  22. 50
    What we have here is a model for the paint-by-numbers, perfectly generic, proudly soulless summer action flick. An original idea would die for lack of oxygen in S.W.A.T.
  23. 50
    S.W.A.T. boasts the kernel of a good idea - but it gets buried in the chaff of half-baked plot threads, partly realized characters and unstructured pandemonium.
  24. Noisy, standard-issue cop actioner.
  25. 50
    Actor-turned-director Clark Johnson uses the flashy, up-to-the-minute editing and camera stunts action fans expect, but keeps the mayhem on a recognizably human scale — it's big, but not insanely overblown.
  26. 40
    Mostly standard-issue muddle.
  27. 38
    S.W.A.T. may be an acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics, but by the end of this routine melodrama, it might as well stand for Standard Whacking and Trashing.
  28. Technically clever but emotionally bankrupt...it's an almost laughably opportunistic movie.
  29. 38
    A compendium of missed opportunities, uninspired action and clichés so tired, you wish the screenwriters had called 911, too.
  30. Reviewed by: Stephen Cole
    38
    Lots of buildings and cars explode, but there isn't a spark between any of the characters.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34
  1. Nov 24, 2011
    8
    Great film, Not because one area of the film is amazing but simply because the overall product is good. Solid acting by the cast, GreatGreat film, Not because one area of the film is amazing but simply because the overall product is good. Solid acting by the cast, Great action, and its interesting. Full Review »
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    6
    It wasnt that bad. The acting is solid through out and there is a ton of good action, Its suprisingly addictive to watch. I have seen it 3-4It wasnt that bad. The acting is solid through out and there is a ton of good action, Its suprisingly addictive to watch. I have seen it 3-4 times and I still enjoy it. The plot isnt all that good and rather generic overall, Some parts of the movie are just stupid and make you question why they were added in the first place. Yet still its an enjoyable action film worth the watch. Full Review »
  3. Aug 18, 2014
    2
    "S.W.A.T." is one of those films you do not know why they were made, in the first place. A typical action film, with a bland story and shallow"S.W.A.T." is one of those films you do not know why they were made, in the first place. A typical action film, with a bland story and shallow characters, that ends predictably as bad as it begins. The casting choices are good, but the whole thing is frustrating and forgettable. It won't disappoint action fans, though. Full Review »