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Generally favorable reviews- based on 386 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 386

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  1. Aug 21, 2010
    Action: Yes. // Plot: No, convoluted is an understatement // Fun: a little at times. // Characters: Forgettable and some are hard to figure out if they are a good or bad. // Disappointing Moments: Jet Lii not kicking butt but getting his butt kicked and Mickey Rourke having a decent size part but doesn't participate in any of the actual action. // Best Actor: Terry Crews with a pretty neat gun and the only one that took bad lines and made them passable // Summary: Most people going to see a movie like this know what to expect, however that being said the story/plot is exceptionally bad. You could write a novel size review of all the problems this movie has; but, If you don't mind turning your brain on mute and just going with the flow you might enjoy the experience. // Worst Line: Kidnapped Chick "How are you here?" - Stallone "I Just am" Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    "The Expendables" isn't a movie you would visualize, a movie pertaining Macho man with AK's and M16's kicking asses with a mind blowing plot twist. What you will see instead is old Stallone running around with his Macho grandpas, following a extremely fragile plot with 2% character development.
  3. Aug 29, 2010
    Action movies like this (think "Tropic Thunder" without the irony) will always have their, mostly male and indiscriminate audience satisfied with endless shoot-outs, explosions, beat-downs and big shiny guns and knives, but there is a way for such movies not to be this tired, unoriginal and humourless - a talented director and/or a good script. With a cast and budget like this, someone like Tarantino might have made a classic. Still, I hope Eric Roberts and Dolph Lundgren jump-start their careers with their villainous performances. Expand
  4. Aug 15, 2010
    This movie was seriously disappointing. In my opinion, there was too much Stallone face-time and not enough of the actors who had good performances such as Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, and Randy Couture (better than most people thought he would be). Also, they built up Schwarzenegger and Willis being big roles, but instead they only had like 2 minute cameos.And in that cameo Schwarzenegger was billed as Stallone's rival which could have let to some sort of plot twist involving Schwarzenegger, but that was too much to expect. Anyone could of been in those 2 minutes, they were completely worthless other than just to barely include Schwarzenegger and Willis so they could add them to their list of stars, that said, the President line was great. Overall the movie had amazing action scenes, but wasted a lot of potential that could of led to the movie to be the greatest macho movie of all time. Expand
  5. Aug 31, 2010
    From the very beginning, I knew this movie would be boring and predictable. If you have seen some 1980's action films, then you already know what is going to happen with the movie. There are not twist, turns, or surprises to be had. The best thing about this movie was the stars of yesterday all coming together into the movie that never was. However I found myself bored during the movie just wishing for it to be over. The expendables is not a good movie, it's not even a good action movie. There is a reason 1980's style action films are dead, watch this film and you will know why. Expand
  6. Aug 13, 2010
    Sorry but I found the movie completely stupid. Stallone's talent has long deserted him and the other action heros would have been better off staying retired and remembered for their successes. The plot was lousy, the special effects looked more fake then usual, the dialogue was retarded and the fight scenes were pathetic. Third rate action rehash!
  7. Oct 18, 2010
    The Expendables reminded me of the films Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly) make in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 film Boogie Nights (Angels Live In My Town, et al.), both because of its preposterous plot and the terrible quality of the acting. Of course, Boogie Nights was a masterpiece, whereas The Expendables could have easily been renamed The Inexplicables. Another point of coincidence between both films is the ridiculous nature of the names of the characters. Obviously, Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell (from Boogie Nights) are meant to be humorous, whilst the plethora of asinine monickers in The Expendables (Lee Christmas, Yin Yang, Toll Road, Gunner Jensen, Hale Caesar, Dan Paine, even the somewhat appropriately named Mickey Rourke as -simply- Tool) are all employed without an ounce of irony. And I think that might be where The Expendables fails miserably: it takes itself all too seriously, even though it is the silliest of affairs. It takes itself all too seriously, even though no-one else will. The screenplay is childishly obvious. Puppet-like Latin American dictator, badder-than-bad baddies, beautifully exotic girl, good-hearted tougher-than-nails group of protagonists, and explosions galore. But someone should have told the producers that if you are going to make a FILM you need to have at the very least ONE ACTOR in it. The cast list looks like an inventory logbook at a meatpacking plant, or the VIP door list at the Gym from Hell. Jason Statham's idea of acting is talking the way Tom Waits sings, all the way through the film. Stallone invariably looks like a wooden mannequin with no flexible joints whatsoever. And the rest of the cast... well, you get the idea. Not a good film. Expand
  8. Mar 7, 2011
    In all honesty, making this film was the biggest error in judgement in film history, until this film was bought for me as a present. I would have preferred to be the poor guy appointed as Messrs. Stallone, Willis, Rourke, Schwarzenegger and Lundgren's personal masseuse to knead lumpy knots out of their ageing liver-spotted backs on-set than sit the whole way through it again. There are some larger-than-life explosions; always entertaining, as well as some pretty cool knife throwing but the very thin space between over the top and unnecessary is constantly misjudged and fallen over clumsily rather than toe-d in the Die Hard spirit of things. Expand
  9. Aug 16, 2010
    No offense to Jason Stratham and the other guys, especially Jet Li, but the moviegoer wants Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Rourke on that plane with Sylvester Stallone, en route to Vilena, because in order for the killshots and explosions to jar the senses, the climactic violence needs ameliorating, a context that would remind the moviegoer of "Commando", "Die Hard", and "On Deadly Ground"(c'mon Seagal, why'd you have to be such a Ty Cobb in this "Killing Field of Dreams"?), masterpieces of cheese, all. To everybody's disappointment, Schwarzenegger and Willis are nowhere near a bazooka, grenade launcher, or AK-47; they're near God, in a church where In theory, a scene that pairs Stallone and Schwarzenegger, together at last, should be a monumental event, like when Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro joined forces in Michael Mann's "Heat", until you realize that both actors are better appreciated for their physicality and catch phrases. ("Yo, Adrian!" and "Hasta la vista, baby," respectively.) As for Willis, wouldn't it be appropriate if he died, hard, in the line of duty, in a film that salutes the action films of the eighties? Sadly, the more famous stars let the lesser lights do the heavy lifting, save for Rourke's loopy, probably improvised riff on an E.B. White-inspired tattoo for Stratham. So in "The Expendables", Stallone is Barney(oh, we get it; Stallone is old, a dinosaur) Ross, who returns to the fictional South American country, run by an evil dictator, the puppet of a rogue CIA agent, out of guilt for leaving Sandra(Gisele Hie), a woman the moviegoer presumes he loves, behind to face the music for being a traitor. But Sandra, a Mexican, turns out to be just a woman, and not a potential love interest. As they go their separate ways, Barney tells her, "You take care," perhaps, out of paternal concern. But that's not it. Something doesn't sit right to these ears when Lee(Stratham) says, "I never thought she was your type," as if it was a nostalgic trip through 1952, and not 1982(the year "First Blood" was released). In Fred Zimmerman's "High Noon", Kane(Gary Cooper) ends up with Amy(Grace Kelly) by default, because being with Helen(Katy Jurado), the Mexican saloon owner, is never an option for the cowboy. Sandra might as well be a guy, like the thirsty Hispanic drug dealer in Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country For Old Men", when Barney, just like Llewelyn Moss(Josh Brolin), mercenaries both, become mercenaries with consciences, as both men return to dangerous scenes. While Sandra is no Eva Mendes, she's not chopped liver either, so it's very conspicuous that "The Expendables" skirts formula when man and woman don't ride off in the sunset together. This is no country for old men with old social mores. Expand
  10. Dec 1, 2010
    i was excited about this film . it has almost every action star from the last 25 years in it . i thought with this many of them sighning on this cant be a bad film . i thought sly must have some thing good in this script. well he didnt . the whole film is a giant mess plot wise . the charicters are so one dimentional its laughable . the only decent thing about this film was the action which is so over the top and so much **** gets blown up on the last 15 min i actaully asked myself " jesus is there any thing left to blow up" this film may have felt abit cooler if it came out 20 years ago ... maybe Expand
  11. Sep 7, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Why oh why would you let Stallone write and direct a movie? This movie was terrible. I kept expecting Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson to make an appearance. After all it had everything else, from a exploding tents to the cliche helicopter the bad-guy will make his escape in. Other than Statham the rest of the entire cast did absolutely nothing. Even Jet Li was a let down. Stallone was incomprehensible, Schwarzenegger's cameo was redundant, Crew and his big gun was total overkill and the rest of the cast barely made a mark in a movie who's plot could only be have developed by George Bush on crack. So what was the point of this movie? Simply put, nothing. It made as much sense as vomit-flavored mouthwash. Don't waste your time on this one. Expand
  12. Aug 20, 2010
    Remember when we all thought, how cool would it be to get all the 80s action stars together in one movie. That would kick ass! Well, Stallone was the man to bring this idea to the screen and the resultsâ
  13. Aug 23, 2010
  14. Sep 1, 2010
    Stallone's effort to recreate the heyday of 80s/90s action flicks is a tired look-alike that doesn't even meet the low expectation of sitting through a collage of high-adrenaline and explosions. What he seems to forget is that in order to make your heroes look badass you really need a good villainous plot for them to fight against. In this case, the evil bossman (I don't even remember his name, but he was played by Eric Roberts) doesn't have nearly enough motive or screen-time to develop himself as a villain worthy of the collective of action heroes. On top of that, this collective isn't even that great of a team - Jet Li and Mickey Rourke seemed like they just showed up for the paycheck because their characters are completely useless. This, along with the tired storytelling, leaves us with a movie that could only possibly be enjoyed by unwavering action aficionados who need their fix. Expand
  15. Oct 3, 2010
    easily the worst movie I've had the misfortune of sitting through all year. i don't always pay close attention to the directing but it was so incredibly terrible throughout the film that you had to notice. in some scenes you can see the insane amount of makeup that is caked on Sylvester Stallone face. sly looks so ridiculous at this point that it is hard not to laugh at his appearance. he looks as if his face has been frozen while he was in the middle of his best Charlie Chaplin impersonation. I was fully expecting this to be an action packed movie with a weak story and yet I was still disappointed and at times really bored with the movie. I can only pray that the rumors of a sequel are false, however, maybe Sly could do a remake of the Chaplin biopic. Hes already got the facial expressions down. Expand
  16. Jan 31, 2011
    well i found expendables kinda boring, the action scenes especially the hand to hand fight scenes where mediocre at best. They tried to give the character some depth but they got nowhere. The plot was weak a 4 year old could have made a better one. Maybe one that could have kept my attention more. The special affects made battlefield earth look good haha ok they weren't that bad but they weren't goo either. Expand
  17. Nov 10, 2010
    I really wanted to see this movie. All the action film heroes of the last twenty/thirty years. Bad script, bad plot, bad acting. I would accept it all. The only thing i desired was Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone in full action. Unfortunately, that's not the case. You'll see Arnie and Bruce for just a few seconds. I think this movie would be entertaining if these guys weren't taking themselves too serious. Plus, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal could've made this movie more enjoying to watch. Too bad they turned down Stallone's offers. Expand
  18. Jun 13, 2014
    Complete and utter nonsense.... From start to finish.... So cheesy, I'm amazed the these old (washed up actors have lowered them selves. And I'm also amazed they got funding for a second
  19. Jan 4, 2011
    Lets be fair; is the â
  20. Nov 19, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film is a bit of a mess. Although the action is there, most of the time the plot, characterisation and acting is not. Arnold Schwarzenegger's cameo is pointless save for a joke about him 'wanting to be President', Mickey Rourke's part is well-written but the character is underused, and as for Jet Li's character he spends most of the film getting his ass kicked! The plot of overthrowing a Latin American dictator is confusing and serves as more a template on which the action was put on. And Sylvester Stallone's relationship with a girl about 20 years his junior does slightly disturb... Expand
  21. Jan 12, 2011
    I can't rate this, it's pointless and i can't say good or bad cause I'll get mauled for it... So there is no chance i am going to say just how bad this movie is!
  22. Jun 14, 2013
    The films cast of A-List action stars was certainly a huge draw but The Expendables is let down badly by its incoherent plot, cringe worth attempts at introducing an emotional element and sloppy directing. Thankfully Stallone took more of a back seat for the much better sequel.
  23. Sep 7, 2011
    The Expendables promised so much - not movie magic by any means, but at least a decent bit of nostalgia looking back at retro action movies. It doesn't deliver. The action is competent rather than spectacular, the effects are a bit dodgey, the dialogue is awful, the story even worse. Jason Statham is the only one of the cast who bothers to project anything even vaguely resembling emotion. Stallone is the worst offender, not only mumbling atrociously through every scene (even by his standards) but proving himself to be one of the most unimaginative and cliched filmmakers working today (he made the ill-advised move to direct this one). It does have one sensational scene, however. It's an 80s action movie fan's wet-dream - Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnie in the same room. It's a five minute dialogue scene in a church, and it's the most compelling scene in the film. We have moved on from American 80s action movies, to the extent that Hollywood can't even cast anyone who isn't from the most obscure locality as a villain. The Cold War is over, and so are it's stars. It's even more tragic that examples of a younger generation, who actually have talent (Statham and Li) have been roped into this debacle.The greatest crime of all The Expendables commits (as a film full of saggy, jingoistic hooligans) is that it tries to take itself seriously. Expand
  24. JLW
    Oct 7, 2011
    Quite possibly the lowest moment ever in action movies. What a piece of **** No, it's worse than that. I'd rather rewatch Conan the Destroyer or any of the Robocop TV series. God. How **** embarrassing. So utterly contrived, cliched, and downright terrible. Don't ever watch it for the B grade factor. This is quiet seriously like kicking the 80s in the balls and spitting on its grave. In fact, I think I will now watch the original I Spit On You Grave just so the rape scene will cleanse me of this atrocity. Expand
  25. Jul 30, 2011
    Completely generic, muscle ridden plot-line that never should have made it in the big-screens. It only did because a horde of big-name actions stars namely Stallone...wanted to bring back his old days. Most of the cast was terribly underutilized and the movie felt like Stallone/Statham manliness battle. It simply could have been a much better film if you take account of budget and cast. Actors like Jet Li, Randy Couture, and Terry Crews held little to remember them by. Did I mention the horrible appearance of Arnold? This is simply a complete mess and joke for the serious intellectual watchers. Expand
  26. Aug 18, 2012
    As much as Expendables has alot of cameos and appearances from famous and popular action super stars, it falls short when it comes to the main aspects of a movie such as presentation and storyline/script. Expendables was pretty boring and its action was stale, majority of the plot was pretty much predictable, but usually it isnt a bad thing, but in the case of the Expendables, its far too flawed. The trailers which came out before the movie made this movie looked good but the movie itself is a far cry from what the trailers depicted it to be. Expand
  27. Dec 29, 2011
    If people expect it to be good because it had a ton of hit action stars when they are stupid. I had low expectations for this film and I was suprised that it turned out as decent as it did. The plot was rather generic and had very little of it. It did have far too much over the top (and highly unrealistic) action for my taste as well. It was like watching a modern day 300 imo. Overall it was ok for an action movie but trash when considered anything else. Collapse
  28. Jan 19, 2012
    Upon opting to see this film at the cinema I went in with the expectation of it being 'crap but fun', which isn't too hard to achieve. Unfortunately The Expendables manages to be just, well, crap. I felt so let down by this film. Such a promising cast of old action heros, yet such a horribly made film. The action parts are fine with lots of explosions and stuff. But the padding in between is just torturous with a horrid horrid script that's just embarrassing to behold. This film captures none of the fun and frivolity of the past action films it tries to mimic and comes across as being far too self aware. Such a wasted opportunity and quite possibly one of the worst films I have ever paid to see. Expand
  29. Dec 5, 2012
    It's a solid action film and it is enjoyable to watch but what hurt this film's value is the over the top violence. I am sure it would appeal to some but when you have guys flying back in the air from a few bullets, It just gets silly. Besides that, The story was alright but pretty generic for an action flick. Acting was alright as well. Not really memorable about it though.
  30. May 30, 2012
    Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham. Jet Li. Mickey Rourke. Terry Crews. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bruce Willis. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dear reader, though you would be wrong, it is not ignorant of you to assume that what I am about to review is the latest Old Spice commercial.

    The names mentioned above are, in fact, the entire advertising campaign of "The Expendables." In posters, in
    trailers, in interviews, that is all you hear mentioned, asked, and promoted. Never before in movie history has there been a bigger opportunity to fabricate the most epic action movie of all time. And never before has there been such a more embarrassing failure to seize such an opportunity.

    The producers of "The Expendables" may have been so busy casting our action heroes that they ended up forgetting to hire a credible writer and director. But no worries, because good 'ol Stallone himself has volunteered to fill those empty, very essential roles.

    Read more here:
  31. Nov 7, 2012
    Too many characters try to do too much in what is a murky, underdeveloped story that leaves us unmotivated and unmoved.
  32. Dec 8, 2012
    Short on plot like I expected, but it's surprisingly short on action as well. The Expendables was not the kick-ass collaboration it should have been. Forgettable.
  33. Dec 31, 2012
    I thought it was going to be a good movie when I saw who was all in it but as I watched it, lots of people who are usually the main people in a few only had 30 seconds in the entire movie. The fighting scenes had too many explosions and too unrealistic but thats what you get when you watch a Stallone movie. And besides that fact, there werent enough fight scenes. I was bored pretty much the whole time. Expand
  34. Jul 1, 2013
    A film about a group of men taking down bad guys and dictator. Big deal! You don't need to be intelligent to make a film like The Expendables that caters to lesser minds. A group of action heroes with some entertaining action sequences is a sure box office success but how many more films are they going to make like this just for the sake of money.

    We don't need, or want, to see more of
    the same crap. A "homage" to 80s and 90s action films. Yeah right, that's what they want you to believe and that's what the filmmakers justify as a good movie. The Expendables is just as modern as the movie adaptation of The A-Team. Plot and funny dialogues, or memorable one-liners, are nowhere to be found.

    Sylvester Stallone doesn't get to hog the screen just because he's the director when there's a group of A-listers starring in the same film who, compare to Stallone, happens to take the back seat. A film that stars Bruce Willis, who's only in the movie for like 2 minutes. Mickey Rourke may not be participating in the "epic" action sequences but his performance outshines the whole cast. How can he star in a whack job of a movie?

    We've moved on from the 80s and 90s, films standards are higher now. Haven't you heard of a saying "We can't live in the past!" Stallone, you're not Rambo anymore. A film starring a group of big named actors should hit harder but nowadays, they mostly don't. Don't waste your time or money on this crap.
  35. Feb 9, 2013
    It truly hurts me saying it, but the movie sucks. What looked like an homage to the 1980s-1990s action flicks with a dream cast turns out to be a mountain of disappointment in this plot-less, characterless, humorless pseudo homage. Hell!! Even the action scenes are horrible!! A film shouldn't be a prisoner of it's own genre. An action film genre does not excuse a poor script, just as an horror film genre does not excuse flat and uninteresting characters. Defending an action film that has no story by saying "all that matters are the action scenes" in one of the most widespread fallacies. Take a Die Hard, or a Bourne film. The movies are great because the action scenes are great but TIED TOGETHER by a good when not great story. Which is why The Expendables cannot get any grade higher than 1 by my standards. The only semi-developed character is Statham's (and I didn't care, it was just so flat and boring), and the rest is pretty much useless. Which is a shame when you see that a movie such as Sin City manages to introduce you to up to 12 memorable characters in 2 hours, and The Expendables fails to even make you like one in 1 and 1/2 hour. In total, both villains must have a consolidated screen time of 6 minutes, which isn't much, especially when you add how flat and boring they are. You do not understand them, you don't like them, you don't fear them, you don't even dislike them. You simply couldn't care less about them. Rourke's emotional moment that is supposed to be the pivot of the film comes out of nowhere and falls flat. As for Stallone motivations... And to make even things worse, you don't even believe that they are a bunch of friends used to fighting together. Couture's pseudo-funny moment about his ears falls flat too, and so does the buddy effect.// The script is so dull it looks like it didn't even care about it's own credibility. I didn't buy for a second the whole dictatorial mini-state that pops out of nowhere. And last but not least: the action scenes: THEY AREN'T EVEN GOOD!!!! The editing is so erratic you can't even enjoy the fights! All you see are 10 frame long close-ups of body parts moving and probably hitting other body parts, cut every once in a while by a wide angle 15 frame sequence shot. Couture's fight against the villain's lieutenant is not interesting, the main villain's death is bad borderline ridiculous. And they blow up. In conclusion, I'd say that the premise of the film is what killed it: by wanting to put too much, you end up with nothing. Expand
  36. May 31, 2013
    It was awfully written, even by action movie standards. I expected a movie with solid action and a passable plot. The action scenes weren't bad; that's the only reason I'm not giving it the lowest possible score. But the writing and acting was some of the worst I've seen. I had to turn it off half-way through. It tried to be big but flopped massively.
  37. Aug 15, 2014
    This is a fine example on what could happen when an actor (Sylvester Stallone) directs a movie.

    There are some positive things about this movie, and one of these is that there are a good amount of action sometimes, but not often. There are also some unique scenes in this movie, but not many. It also got some funny stuff, and I really enjoyed the action in the ending. But The Expendables
    doesn't got as much action as I thought it would have, the actors just had boring conversations. The Expendables also got a terrible story.

    The Expendables is on the cliff to fall down into the deep black hole where all the bad movies are, and it just went down!

    The Expendables get a 3,5/10
  38. Jan 3, 2014
    This movie was pretty much a mashup of all the stars and movies like Rambo 2 and Commando. Although it had some iconic moments and funny jokes the action scenes were far from satisfying. The heros just spray and spray and explosions go on and somehow the bad guys always miss... Overall, I think this movie could have been much better considering the number of great actors that it had.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 35
  2. Negative: 7 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Expendables is the closest thing to movie Viagra yet invented. It's reprehensible. It's stoopid violent. It's a lot of unholy fun.
  2. A who's who of classic action stars light up the screen for pure combustible entertainment in Sly Stallone's The Expendables, a sort of "Dirty Dozen" meets "Inglourious Basterds"--and then some.
  3. 50
    If anyone gets a career boost from The Expendables it will be Dolph Lundgren, playing a drug-addicted loose Howitzer booted from the team and flipping to the bad side.