Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Summary: A CIA black ops agent and the young woman he's assigned to protect fight for survival after a team of heavily armed assailants attack the top-secret remote CIA base where she works as a code operator.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 26, 2013
    75
    The agent in this interesting little thriller — well played by John Cusack — is up to the Company’s usual dirty tricks.
  2. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Apr 23, 2013
    70
    There are some decent shootouts, but the movie's strongest assets are the soulful performances Danish director Kasper Barfoed, making his American debut, draws from Cusack and Akerman.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Apr 25, 2013
    50
    Director Kasper Barfoed defaults to intense replays of surveillance audio recordings, frantic strokes on computer keyboards, and standard-issue chases.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 28, 2013
    40
    Sentencing a sad-looking John Cusack and a hard-working Malin Akerman to roughly 90 minutes of solitary confinement in a poorly lit underground bunker, this glum, juiceless spy thriller is a by-the-numbers affair indeed, unlikely to find an audience on any frequency.
  5. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Apr 21, 2013
    25
    Sits awkwardly between shoot 'em up and psychological thriller without offering the excitement of either.
  6. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 25, 2013
    20
    This dreary spy drama is as flat and airless as the concrete bunker in which it unfolds.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Apr 25, 2013
    20
    A predictable hodgepodge of uninteresting psychological cat-and-mouse, dimly lighted action.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jul 27, 2013
    8
    Actually a really suspenseful movie new concept, no overly complex backstory, characters that aren't overexplained. John Cusack carries the movie, the bad guys are bad and believable, the narrative is structured for slow unveil. Worth watching. No clue why the critics hated it. Expand
  2. Jun 3, 2013
    7
    John Cusack is a terrific actor and he proves it once again in The Numbers Station. Recently, Cusack has done a lot more direct-to-video stuff, deciding to be a big fish in a much smaller pond, and it has worked out very well. The Numbers Station is a secret CIA base in a secluded part of England, where encoded messages are sent to agents in the field. Emerson (John Cusack) was one of those agents, until his conscience caught up with him, and he is assigned to guard the station, a quiet, lonely job, until terrorists break in, and he is the last line of defense. A movie like this, with a small cast in a secluded location, only works if the stars of the film can keep you're attention and make the story believable, and both Cusack and Malin Akerman both do a terrific job of it. This movie is more about the intensity of the situation and the reaction of the people involved than it is about killing bad guys, and that is why Cusack was perfect choice for the lead in this film. Few actors bring the experience of intensity that John Cusack brings to a project. The story here, wasn't anything unique or extraordinary, but it was an action film from a more psychological point of few. Most action films are more about big explosions and special effects, the story is secondary, but in The Numbers Station, things are reversed and that's why I liked it so much. It's a fun film, that will keep you guessing, with a cast that will engage you the whole way. It may have been an independent direct-to-video film, but it has the bite of a much larger beast. Expand
  3. Aug 4, 2013
    7
    Unfairly maligned by most everyone who seemed to be demanding Grosse Pointe Blank II. This definitely is not that movie. Also not the standard action thriller suggested by the trailer. It is a very good existential portrait of a spy/assassin ground down by the reality of his profession. Emerson Kent could be Martin Blank, 15 years later, if he had missed his high school reunion. Cusack's performance reminds me a bit of John Hurt's anxiety- ridden killer in The Hit (1984). Expand
  4. Jul 14, 2013
    4
    The Numbers Station had a very interesting plot with tons of potential. The problem was, the movie was actually very boring, I hated John Cusack's take on his character, and the last 10% of the film was just stupid. Addressing each of those issues one-by-one, the bore factor was on the mediocre writing. The setting had the potential for an intense spy thriller but it was badly underutilized. As for Cusack, while I'm normally a fan of his, I didn't like the direction they went with his character. I think a Jason Bourne type of personality would've came across better on the screen. Instead Cusack almost seemed just empty. While I imagine that's what they were going for, it doesn't make for a very good protagonist. Lastly, the ending was just weak. Without getting into spoilers, it just felt unrealistic and almost rushed. For a movie that went nowhere for way too long, everything wrapped up a bit too quickly. Overall this film had some potential but was poorly executed. Collapse
  5. Sep 15, 2013
    1
    And all the nonsense we do not even say that the actors brought this horror on their backs. I do not understand what he was director and screenwriter Do not Look! Anyone who does so, that would take! Expand

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