The Jackal

Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 20
  2. Negative: 8 out of 20

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    With its strong premise, a couple of fine performances and highly polished tooling, The Jackal scores as an involving high-tech thriller that occasionally hits peaks of pulsating excitement.
  2. 60
    Plotted densely enough to make the lulls forgivable, this movie concerns a contract killer (Bruce Willis) who employs several small-business owners to craft his super-high-tech weapons and the many accessories that enable him to assume multiple identities.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    It's a good job this works so well as a machine-made movie, because its grasp of political realities is nebulous.
  4. 50
    Actually, the more distance the studio places between the two films, the better, because the 1997 production can't hold a candle to the 1973 release, and an attempted comparison only makes the new Bruce Willis/Richard Gere vehicle look worse.
  5. The Jackal, like most expensive thrillers nowadays, knows how to do gadgets, pyrotechnics, underground subway chases and panicked crowd scenes. But except for Mr. Gere's uphill battle, it has only the vaguest idea of how to do people.
  6. Amusing performances -- especially from Willis, who takes on a new personality with each new hairstyle -- can't disguise the fact that the film is basically a pastiche of recent movies.
  7. 50
    The Jackal isn't much--it certainly isn't up to the 1973 Fred Zinnemann Day of the Jackal it loosely adapts and updates--but it does offer the fascination of watching big-ticket actors attempt to spin their images.
  8. A trashy, frenetic remake of Fred Zinnemann's 1973 The Day of the Jackal, The Jackal is mired in blood, cheap shocks, and a random network of improbability.
  9. Though consistently handsome, the film never quite achieves the shallow but hugely seductive intensity of its MTV-style opening credits sequence.
  10. To enjoy it, however, you have to do the mental equivalent of squinting your eyes, so the credibility is only fuzzily ridiculous.
  11. 40
    At best, The Jackal is an uninspired, by-the-numbers action thriller.
  12. The Jackal is based on a fabrication so absurd that it almost made me laugh out loud.
  13. 38
    The Jackal, on the other hand, impressed me with its absurdity. There was scarcely a second I could take seriously.
  14. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    30
    Not since "Peacemaker" have we witnessed such a battle of wits.
  15. Sporadically effective, it appears not to have particularly excited the people who made it, and that lackadaisical quality is a drawback.
  16. This remake of Fred Zinnemann's well-regarded Day of the Jackal (1973) not only fails to match the modest entertainment value of Frederick Forsyth's workmanlike source novel, but actually moves into late contention for the title of 1997's most tedious movie.
  17. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    30
    Michael Caton-Jones' pompous and coarsely stupid inflation of what remains a superior thriller, Fred Zinnemann's The Day of the Jackal (1973).
  18. What keeps coming to mind throughout The Jackal is that for what it cost to make this movie you could probably pay some nice hit man to eliminate everyone at Universal who thought making the movie would be a good idea, and still have enough left over to throw one of those hit man parties and have a really great time.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    10
    The usually reliable director Michael Caton-Jones hasn't a clue how to freshen up such stale material.
  20. 0
    Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones continues to fritter away the last traces of his talent with this ugly variant on Fred Zinnemann's 1973 original, The Day of the Jackal.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 31, 2011
    10
    An amazing movie, a real gem. Bruce Willis stole the show, the character he played was amazing, everyone has a rush of excitement for a masterAn amazing movie, a real gem. Bruce Willis stole the show, the character he played was amazing, everyone has a rush of excitement for a master of disguise. We know films and this is a must see. Full Review »
  2. FraserW.
    Apr 3, 2006
    9
    The Jackal was an impressive movie. good rolls for the main characters and everybody played their part good. But Bruce Willis and The Jackal was an impressive movie. good rolls for the main characters and everybody played their part good. But Bruce Willis and assasinators have become a stereotype now ha Full Review »