Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    Some kind of weird of the best movies of the year.
  2. So overstuffed with random fireworks that despite its politics, it's easy to imagine the film getting a four-star rave from Bush or Saddam.
  3. 90
    When it comes to rousing action, whip-smart laughs and moral uplift that doesn't pump sunshine up your ass, Three Kings rules.
  4. 80
    An astonishing movie that keeps you off-balance from the first scene.
  5. Russell's stylish and imaginative filmmaking wages its own war against lunkheaded and sometimes offensive material.
  6. A work of strangely bold, distinctly American pop art - proud to be ashamed, ashamed to be proud, unafraid to ignore its commercial bearings.
  7. Off-and-on cynical and sentimental, Russell's darkly comic tale shows how much can be done with familiar material when you're burning to do things differently and have the gifts to pull that off.
  8. Exhilarating, alternately funny and horrific film.
  9. 70
    Better than the usual Hollywood rot, but dialectical it ain't.
  10. A war movie with a conscience, an action movie with a funny bone, a caper movie with a shifting agenda.
  11. So wild an approach demands straightforward performances that don't draw attention to themselves, and that's what the actors supply.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    An impudently comic, stylistically aggressive and, finally, very thoughtful manner.
  13. 90
    One of the most exciting Hollywood action films in years, and the best Vietnam movie since "Apocalypse Now."
  14. A genre movie with an agenda that's too packed. Inevitably, some of the many balls it's juggling get dropped -- (but it's) one of the most entertaining and original actioners in several years.
  15. 100
    This audacious hybrid of cinematic styles is pure entertainment.
  16. A daring, teeth-grinding experience that doesn't let the viewer rest easy.
  17. 50
    Increasingly muddled, cumulatively monotonous, would-be heartwarming, Three Kings becomes its own entertainment allegory -- searching, Hollywood style, for the point at which blatant self-interest can turn humanitarian, while still remaining profitable.
  18. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    You walk out amazed and refreshed by the way it kicks the assumptions out from under the genre.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Blackly funny, unafraid to shift emotional gears from farce to horror, peppered with spectacular action.
  20. 100
    An extraordinary experience: an original and brilliant combination of comedy, action and sophisticated political comment -- the best American movie of the year thus far.
  21. 90
    The visuals are wild, the sound track has the audacity to underscore the subtext instead of just echoing the obvious, the comedy is irreverent and occasionally slapstick, and the metaphorical details are consistently strong.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    A brilliant exercise in popular but palpable surrealism.
  23. A nifty little war movie that defies convenient categorization.
  24. 75
    Visual pyrotechnics and dark humor aside, Three Kings rules because it dares to dig for such truths, whether banal or significant.
  25. 86
    Russell has combined pathos, terror, and black comedy with a dollop of Hollywood feel-good patriotism to make one of the best studio efforts this year.
  26. As entertaining as it is a viable, political message destined to make viewers rethink their stance on war.
  27. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    It's like a madly inventive hybrid of "Dr. Strangelove" and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."
  28. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Closer to "M*A*S*H" than "Dr. Strangelove," which in itself wouldn't be a bad thing. But for all its engaging qualities, Three Kings doesn't seem to know what kind of beast it is.
  29. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    A biting satire of military myopia and political double-dealing -- possibly the best wartime comedy since Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H."
  30. An all-hell-breaks-loose, panicky fever of a story, all of it drenched in grainy, color-saturated cinematography.
  31. It's full of energy and drops an emotional bomb with its unexpected tale of reluctant heroes.
  32. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    It isn't nearly as successful a showcase for this filmmaker's extraordinary talents.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Oct 21, 2011
    Not for those who don't like politics. I enjoyed the original story, the acting was alright and it has just enough action to keep things exciting. Definitely worth watching, I would say not a popcorn flick. Full Review »
  2. Jul 21, 2014
    Overall, this one is a pretty good film. George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze, are all good here and really help this film out. The direction from David O. Russell was also very good and gave this one a unique feel. Many war films do not really have character development and this one did not have a ton, but it at least had some to let us know the motivation behind the main characters' actions. However, the narrative slacks at times and can be a tad boring at times for my liking and even when it was not, I was never fully gripped by what was happening. It was certainly interesting enough, but the plot was a tad too outlandish and predictable for me to fully enjoy it. Now, the film is still entertaining and is still very well made and well acted, so I can see why it got the praise it did. However, this one was just not fully for me, though it was still a pretty good film in my eyes. Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2013
    The Gulf War was a total waste of time and money, but we all know what it is interesting about this movie surrounded by stars and known direction, is how it exposes issues such as greed, sacrifice, comedy and action as realistically and moving, even if sometimes he is a bit inconsistent in transit and wants to spend time with dubious quality between pure drama and black humor, but other than that he and a lot of fun and their performances are very charismatic cat, especially from Clooney. Full Review »