The Dead Pool


Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 6 out of 15

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Critic Reviews

  1. 88
    The film is smart, quick, and made with real wit. It's never just a crude action movie, bludgeoning us with violence. It's self-aware, it knows who Dirty Harry is and how we react to him, and it has fun with its intelligence. Also, of course, it bludgeons us with violence.
  2. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    Where the previous sequels have been mostly dour gun blasts, The Dead Pool is a thriller with wit and humor and tension. [15 Jul 1988, p.A]
  3. 70
    The Dead Pool isn't the best and brightest of the Dirty Harry films, either, but just as invincible. It's possible that Clint Eastwood and crew are just enjoying a bit of self-mockery with this one.
  4. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    There weren't any surprises and that's what made it all so comforting. The bad guys got blown away, no questions asked, the snoopy journalists got their comeuppance. When Clint spends the night with his latest girl, you know it only because he wears the same suit the next morning. [21 Jul 1988, p.1]
  5. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Eastwood can earn both laughs and respect just by standing in a crowded elevator and grunting ''Swell'' to his boss. Truth is, this time around, he doesn't get to do much else. [18 July 1988, p.73]
  6. An episodic thriller that certainly has its moments, but eventually peters out into dull formula standbys; Eastwood's Harry seems weary of his own sarcastic witticisms, and the ones here won't make anybody's day.
  7. Fifth entry in the "Dirty Harry" series, a definite step backwards from the fascinating and ultimately disturbing progression of Eastwood's character in Sudden Impact.
  8. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The result isn't pretentious, but is the tongue-in-cheeking ever slight. The murders are treated as jokes, there's a horror-motif rock video, and Harry dodges enough bullets with Patricia Clarkson to arm Sands of Iwo Jima. [13 Jul 1988, p.1D]
  9. 40
    This is Dirty Harry's greatest hits, which is a little fun and a little embarrassing. The best part of the film is a warped version of "Bullitt"'s San Francisco car chase through Pacific Heights.
  10. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The Dead Pool is not a subtle movie or a bloodless one, although it does manage to put its own twist on the usual car chase sequence. [13 Jul 1988, p.59]
  11. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    The Dead Pool isn't much of a movie. It certainly isn't as fun, nor as compelling as its predecessors, and now and then the forced plot gets so ridiculous that it is certain to try the patience of even the most die-hard viewers. [13 Jul 1988, p.E1]
  12. 30
    Unless you're a Clint fan there's little other reason to sit through this one.
  13. The Dead Pool, possesses a couple of good jokes, but nothing can disguise the fact that it's a mini-movie in the company of a mythic figure.
  14. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    With its stylized story-line and almost styleless direction, it sometimes resembles a juggling act with sledgehammers. [13 Jul 1988, p.1]
  15. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    In The Dead Pool, Dirty Harry is downright dusty. The erstwhile right-wing San Francisco homicide inspector has mellowed so much in the fifth installment of his adventures that he's become the darling of the liberal Bay Area media and he seems almost bored by blowing people away. [13 Jul 1988, p.C7]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 12, 2013
    I can’t understand why this movie got so low a score in average from critics, certainly it’s not for this movie’s being changeable, asI can’t understand why this movie got so low a score in average from critics, certainly it’s not for this movie’s being changeable, as Inspector Callahan keeps his iron heart and inflexible working style to the end, and shows not a trace of any possibility of change. Even with his constant role, this sequel of Dirty Harry deserves more cheers.
    I gave it a score of eight, 1 point above that changeable third Iron Man.
    By the interval of one or two years, this movie will appeal to me for another watching. Besides, the lady in the film looks so tender, but she lacks no courage.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 13, 2011
    Completely underrated movie the Dirty Harry Franchise