Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. That conscious absurdity is at the core of The Quick and the Dead. It's a rousingly grotesque, often wildly entertaining western horror-comedy, with co-producer and star Sharon Stone as a sexy lady gunslinger taking on all comers in the gunfight tournament from hell. [10 Feb 1995, p.C]
  2. Apparently no one bothered to tell Stone the movie was a joke. She plays it without a hint of the tongue-in-cheek required, and totally against her strong star persona, so that she serves mostly as the unnecessary straight woman to all the giddy male comedy. [10 Feb 1995, p.3]
  3. Ms. Stone's presence nicely underscores the genre-bending tactics of Sam Raimi, the cult director now doing his best to reinvent the B-movie in a spirit of self-referential glee. Mr. Raimi is limited by a sketch mentality, which means his jokes tend to be over long before his films end. But his tastes for visual mischief and crazy, ill-advised homage can still make for sly, sporadic fun.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Hip, jokey western from cult director Sam Raimi. Recommended as an antidote to anyone still suffering from Wyatt Earp hangover.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Sharon Stone rides into a Western dust hole bent on revenge. Gene Hackman, virtually reprising his Unforgiven heavy, gives this goofy genre-bender some authenticity. [17 Feb 1995, p.4D]
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The Quick and the Dead is a sly, savvy Hollywood sendup of Sergio Leone Westerns with Sharon Stone playing the Clint Eastwood righteous avenger role and Gene Hackman the heavy. You'd call it a spaghetti Western, but the budget is too high. Maybe we'd better think of it as Hollywood's first angel-hair-pasta Western. [10 Feb 1995, p.47]
  7. Thanks to him, The Quick and the Dead is more than moribund. How much more? Let's just say that there's motion in the picture. Indeed, speaking of accomplishments, Sharon Stone appears clad throughout an entire feature - gee, give a gal a gun and there's no telling what she can achieve.m [10 Feb 1995, p.C1]
  8. Reviewed by: Andrew Collins
    This ankle-deep story has a cheekful of tongue, providing opportunities galore for hammy, quick-draw melodrama and the perfect vehicle for Ms. Stone.
  9. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    In the end, this Western is serviceable enough. Herod says if you're born bad, you're bad forever. The Quick was born bad, but it got better. [20 Feb 1995, p.72]
  10. Sam Raimi tries to do a Sergio Leone, and though this 1995 feature is highly enjoyable in spots, it doesn't come across as very convincing, perhaps because nothing can turn Sharon Stone into Charles Bronson.
  11. 50
    Quick and the Dead plays like a crazed compilation of highlights from famous westerns. Raimi finds the right look but misses the heartbeat. You leave the film dazed instead of dazzled, as if an expert marksman had drawn his gun only to shoot himself in the foot.
  12. 50
    As preposterous as the plot was, there was never a line of Hackman dialogue that didn't sound as if he believed it. The same can't be said, alas, for Sharon Stone, who apparently believed that if she played her character as silent, still, impassive and mysterious, we would find that interesting. More swagger might have helped.
  13. Yet all this work, all this skill, serve as little more than an elaborate setting for a rhinestone. At its core there is no passion, no sincerity of conception, nothing that might have made The Quick and the Dead into anything more than moment-to-moment stimulation. You get lots of clothes here, but no emperor. Or rather, no empress.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    The Quick and the Dead takes on a more serious tone - as if, even in this loonily amoral environment, we're supposed to care about atrocities. The film builds to a satisfyingly catastrophic climax full of biblical flames and fluttering bank notes, but there's far too much dead time along the way.
  15. 50
    If movies were rated solely on the basis of style, The Quick and the Dead would score highly indeed. With its dazzling photography, inventive camera angles, and throbbing bass score, the film is an experience for the eyes and ears. Director Sam Raimi and cinematographer Dante Spinotti have woven a beautifully elaborate tapestry: colorful and evocative -- and depressingly two-dimensional.
  16. The Quick and the Dead is too light to pack the dramatic punch of a true Western and too flat to pass as cheeky revisionism. It ends up in its own amiable, slowpoke limbo.
  17. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    The Quick and the Dead is made bearable by director Sam Raimi, who bombards us with frenetic editing, crazy-angle shots and enjoyably cartoonish cliches. But all the stylistic sleight of hand in the world can't hide the central problem: The star of the show is more Dead than Quick.
  18. AT once an old-fashioned adventure and a postmodern pastiche, The Quick and the Dead walks a slim tightrope with impressive skill and humor. Its main reference point is the work of Sergio Leone, the Italian maestro whose "spaghetti westerns" reinvigorated the genre during its last major phase about 30 years ago. [13 Feb 1995, p.13]
  19. 30
    It's a mess, and one that even the pickled cowboys behind me found yawningly tedious, and that's not something I ever thought I'd be saying about a Sam Raimi movie with the word “dead” in the title.
  20. The Quick and the Dead is showy visually, full of pans and zooming close-ups. Rarely dull, it is not noticeably compelling either, and as the derivative offshoot of a derivative genre, it inevitably runs out of energy well before any of its hotshots runs out of bullets.
  21. Reviewed by: Amy Gamerman
    Ms. Stone. She alternates between two expressions here: sullen, and aghast. Then again, if you were listed on the credits as the co-producer of this violently dull piece of shlock, you'd look that way, too. [16 Feb 1995, p.A12]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. PatC.
    Jun 18, 2007
    This movie is a non-stop compendium of every western cliche, with a generous helping of Clint-Eastwood's-feminist-sister-as-gunslinger. The show misses no opportunity to sacrifice logic and relevance for entertainment value. It has no business working, but entertainment is never about content, only the way the content is treated, and as entertainment this movie borders on being a masterpiece. It's just plain good old fashioned story telling. If you want to look deeper, fine. Stone's character has hints of Hamlet trying to muster up the courage to bring his fathers murderer to justice. But overall the good characters are redeemed after being bad, and the bad are bad beyond belief. This show was a no-brainer put-down for professional movie critics who make a living trying to sound intelligent. But there's a reason this movie has become a staple of cable TV. It's the basics: plot, script, screenplay, elements that appeal to all tastes, and editing - all coordinated to make for a presentation as digestible as jello. The content is stupid, over the top, unoriginal and disposable, but I would rather see garbage turned into entertainment than entertainment turned into garbage. And there's nothing wrong with cliches, only how they're used. Here they're used in a context where they work. So kick back with a six pack and enjoy top grade movie making without bogging down in cognitive thinking. Full Review »
  2. Jul 20, 2013
    This isn't the best western around, certainly. But people who say this is a bad film have something wrong with them. It isn't a bad film, but it isn't a particularly good film either. The acting isn't astonishing, with actors such as Richard Gere delivering the only really good performances. Sharon Stone's never really been all that good of an actress anyway (Casino, no matter how good it is, is no indication of the rest of her career), and in what seems a trend of his early roles, Leonardo DiCaprio isn't that good in this film either. However, it is rather interesting, both when it comes to the plot, the sets and the characters. This is a good film to watch if you want to catch some western on a Sunday night, but I don't recommend going out of your way to see it. Full Review »
  3. Jan 30, 2011
    Good solid cinematic foundations that are let down by patchy direction. The film feels like it deserves better but the script, the acting and the narrative all interweave like a sweater knitted by your Gran. Not made with any nod to fashion and something that would have looked odd at any point in history. Though a sweater is a sweater and it will keep you warm but that depends on the fabric. 65/100 Full Review »