Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Genocide is hard to decorate with the trimmings of dark farce. The Hunting Party wants to get at political truths through audaciousness, but it keeps bumping into that problem of taste, only to back down.
  2. 30
    The action plot is lousy with cliched suspense scenes of back-road executions halted at the last possible instant.
  3. The title of The Hunting Party doesn’t evoke much in particular. “War Correspondents Gone WILD!” would be more like it if the film itself--messy, but fairly stimulating--had more of the scamp in its soul.
  4. The movie often seems glib in the face of tragedy. And when, near the end, Shepard tries to pour on the hearts and flowers by showing us just what made Simon crack up on camera, the bathos is icky. The whole movie is icky.
  5. What makes The Hunting Party an original, gonzo treat is the way that Shepard plants the movie's tone somewhere between hair-trigger investigative danger and the from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire glee of a Hope/Crosby picture.
  6. Black comedy becomes funnier as the action becomes darker and more perilous, but The Hunting Party fails to locate the absurdity in the central situations and goes for midget jokes instead. In the end, you're not sure if you're supposed to be watching "The Three Amigos" or "Hotel Rwanda."
  7. 50
    By the time the end credits roll, you're still not sure what kind of movie The Hunting Party is supposed to be, other than just queasy.
  8. Everything about this political thriller is ridiculous.
  9. 50
    Shepard, who directed "The Matador" and the pilot for "Ugly Betty," can't quite get the disparate elements of The Hunting Party to mesh into a satisfying whole.
  10. Throw in some business with the CIA, add a small army of Serbian thugs and a mysterious Croatian beauty, and The Hunting Party picks up speed, careening through the forests where the Fox may or may not be hiding out. Whatever fate awaits, it can't be good. But it can be fun.
  11. 67
    The characters are flat, too: Richard Gere plays your typical desperate, embittered war reporter; Terrence Howard is your typical cameraman/sidekick/narrator; and Jesse Eisenberg rounds out the standard-issue trio as your typical nervous rookie, in over his head.
  12. A complete bust, but the ways in which it fails are interesting.
  13. As energetic and irreverent as it is -- the movie never finds the inspired blend of edgy black comedy and gleeful journalistic adventure that it's after.
  14. 83
    It's a hilariously half-baked scheme, one that quickly turns them from hunters to hunted, but the strength of The Hunting Party is its shaggy-dog quality.
  15. The Hunting Party does a good job of illustrating Winston Churchill's observation, "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result."
  16. Writer-director Richard Shepard assembles all the elements for a dark suspense comedy only to lose his way in a surfeit of plot mechanics and unlikely behavior.
  17. A misfired, misguided would-be satire.
  18. 50
    A dismal misfire that attempts to make black comedy out of the adventures of war correspondents and the dirty business of international politics.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    When a movie is a hybrid of this sort, it can be tough to strike just the right tone. Mostly, The Hunting Party manages.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    Alternately glib, superficial and amusing, pic vainly attempts to absorb some degree of Serbian irony into a story that's unavoidably lessened by its privileged American vantage point.
  21. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    90
    Like many of the best movies about war and its lingering echo, The Hunting Party is full of dark humor. Writer-director Richard Shepard, maker of 2005's "The Matador," is becoming a master at finding the right tone, balancing the seriousness of his characters' purpose with the madness of their intentions.
  22. Truth be told, none of it is actual living, and all of it is secondhand re-spinning of such better movies as "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Welcome to Sarajevo." To use an antiquated newsman's cliche: Get me rewrite.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. FoasjianoS.
    Mar 10, 2008
    9
    Excellent, good story, good cast, none of this randomness and subplot metaphoric bull, that ncfom, and twbb had. Go and see it.
  2. mikeg
    Feb 9, 2008
    9
    very well done movie. suspenseful from beginning to end. it's a much better movie than most of the crap Hollywood's turning out.If very well done movie. suspenseful from beginning to end. it's a much better movie than most of the crap Hollywood's turning out.If you want to watch a few dvd rentals this year, this movie has to be one of them. Only criticism is that the story isn't that accurate and they cast the cia in a bad light for having the fox step down form power instead of killing him. How many times has the CIA tried to kill Castro? over 100. Full Review »
  3. ChadS.
    Feb 2, 2008
    7
    Once you go black, you can never go back; black, as in comedy, not...never mind. At the outset, "The Hunting Party" establishes Simon(Richard Once you go black, you can never go back; black, as in comedy, not...never mind. At the outset, "The Hunting Party" establishes Simon(Richard Gere) as the sort of narcissistic television journalist who covers wars for his own glory, rather than preserve the journalistic notion that the public has a right to know. Simon is an adrenaline junkie; the near-death experience is his fix. He loves the spotlight; Duck(Terrence Howard), his cameraman, is a junkie, too, who gets high on whizzing bullets and the afterglow of Simon's fame. The less we know about these men's personal lives, the better. "The Hunting Party" is a rollicking good time when the three C.I.A. poseurs(Benjamin, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is like the virgin you see in teen sex-comedies who pops his cherry by the third reel) keep an emotional distance from the mayhem and heartbreak that ethnic cleansing creates, by cracking wise in a protective bubble of fearless obliviousness. Clearly, this filmmaker wants to be a maverick like the late-Robert Altman, but "The Hunting Party" loses some of its verve and "M*A*S*H"-like spirit, in a scene that explains why Simon committed career suicide during a live feed from Bosnia. This display of Simon's humanity doesn't derail "The Hunting Party"; the film quickly finds its footing with its precarious balancing act of absurdism and reflexiveness(pertaining to the action-movie genre), but it hurts the film's agenda, I think, to portray contemporary television journalists as being transparent and insincere fame-mongerers, who get into the reporting racket, solely, for the self-promotion and accolades it affords them. Full Review »