Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 35
  2. Negative: 9 out of 35
  1. 30
    Surely something more original than this could have been mined from the history of North America’s largest and most professional police force. As it is, though, Johnson’s film is just firing blanks.
  2. 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.
  3. Technically clever but emotionally's an almost laughably opportunistic movie.
  4. 38
    A compendium of missed opportunities, uninspired action and clichés so tired, you wish the screenwriters had called 911, too.
  5. 20
    Seems best suited to all the couch-potato swinging dicks who get off watching the police on "Cops" keep the public safe from people in possession of marijuana.
  6. SWAT is better than "Gigli," but so is most outpatient surgery.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Cole
    Lots of buildings and cars explode, but there isn't a spark between any of the characters.
  8. A prototypical new-millennium summer movie, S.W.A.T. is no more than an extended trailer for itself.
  9. Looks like the deformed spawn of a development process gone awry.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 6 out of 32
  1. Feb 2, 2012
    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 3-4 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 »
  2. Mar 8, 2014
    If you just wanna see stuff getting blown up and gunfire action, you've found a perfect movie. If you wanna see a movie with real character development combined with intense action, you might want to look somewhere else. Full Review »
  3. Dec 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Odd that people would critique this movie with complaints about no character development, no effective storyline, etc. Whenever you have a dynamic ensemble cast, you must balance the story between character development and the story arc--I.e., action. It's easy to criticize from an armchair, but trust me, actually doing it is difficult and nerve wracking...not to mention, budget eating and time snarfing. And when you have a movie such as S.W.A.T., on top of it all, people pay for the action. I am sure that miles of film are littering the editing room floor that would have fluffed up each character into a movie of their own. However, the sacrifices to the God of action at the expense of the God of brevity weren't without their necessity. I like action. Were there parts that were slow and maybe unnecessary? Of course. But every storyteller, in every medium, wants the target audience to know SOMETHING about the main characters, even if some of the chosen scenes seemed poorly thought out, or in some cases, pure filling...without the satisfying fullness that comes with a good story 'meal.' The action, while a bit murky in a few places, was mostly satisfying. The story, while a bit weak, followed the narrative arc that I would expect, fairly straightforwardly from beginning to end, with only a couple of false steps when it came to individual character story lines. And, of course, as in most good cop, bad cop movies, the filmmaker tried to blur the line between good and evil, with 'good guys' doing the 'wrong' thing, and at least one of the bad guys trying to do the 'right' thing. Ah, Hollywood. One day they may get it right. But for now, real life has more twists and turns than even S.W.A.T. could ever have seen coming, even with their high-powered sniper scopes at the ready. Full Review »