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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle sets his sights on overeager mob boss Billy Russoti. After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out for vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished. (Lionsgate) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 24
  2. Negative: 12 out of 24
  1. Assuming you can appreciate the high level of gore and assorted sadistic weirdness, the action is satisfying.
  2. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    50
    The script isn't what matters here: This is a slasher movie with guns, and, uh, huh-huh, that's pretty cool.
  3. 50
    It looks great, it hurtles through its paces and is well-acted. The soundtrack is like elevator music if the elevator were in a death plunge. The special effects are state of the art. Its only flaw is that it's disgusting.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    38
    A disappointingly schlocky effort that gives up on trying to make a realistic Punisher movie, settling instead on a hokey, multi-colored-neon gun rave best enjoyed in Rob Zombie's family room.
  5. The acting is better than the script deserves and Lexi Alexander's cut-to-the-hearse direction lends the film considerable kick.
  6. There is no stylistic thrill to this blunt object of a callous action film. It's content to bludgeon the audience into numb resignation.
  7. 0
    All Alexander proves in Punisher: War Movie is that a martial-arts-trained woman can make a film just as stupid, coarse and numbing as any muscle man.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 45
  2. Negative: 10 out of 45
  1. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    This is my favorite of the 3 Punisher movies although I thoroughly enjoyed the one starring Dolph Lundgren. This one is gritty, **** in your face death and destruction with no apologies. The action is sweet, the weapons are bad-ass, and Ray Stevenson's Frank Castle are spot on. Expand
  2. Aug 26, 2012
    7
    Where the 2004 'Punisher' movie was more focused on a revenge-fueled story rather than blood-fueled carnage, 'Punisher: War Zone' flips the table completely. While there is a story to be found in here, this sequel undoubtedly works more as an action film than it's predecessor. I didn't find it as good as the first film, but I did enjoy it nonetheless. The action and violence may turn some off, but I was enjoying myself as The Punisher was blowing people to bits and destroying faces with the might of his fist. Expand
  3. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    Ray Stevenson and a few ridiculously funny scenes can't completely save this rather dull and forgettable movie. Although some poeple were not fond of the previous film, I found some interesting aspects that kept my interest. This is just cinematic chewing gum, quite enjoyable while its on but has no lasting impressions what-so-ever. I can only recommend this to die hard Punisher fans. Expand
  4. Feb 3, 2012
    3
    For a film that is claiming to represent a 'war zone', its scenes are far too stilted, calculated, and formulaic. Stevenson unengagingly mopes around depressed for the time he isn't killing people, which makes for incredibly boring dialogue. Though, when the story is this cheesy and cliched it doesn't matter how it is delivered. That being said, the acting (particularly from Dominic West) is so campy that it contradicts the movie's attempt at a gritty noir-esque atmosphere. The one saviour for War Zone is its unapologetic ultraviolence, which is just too silly to be considered disgusting, and keeps the film from becoming too tiresome. Give this a pass unless you are particularly fond of the source material. Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2012
    3
    There's so much potential with a superhero film like this - a tormented, religious vigilante cleaning up city streets by any means necessary, no spandex, no mercy. This potential is largely wasted with Punisher: War Zone thanks to a woefully underwhelming script, a pedestrian and cliched plot and a general lack of passion. Ray Stevenson can do so much better than this (the excellent TV series Rome for instance) but is limited to glowering and reducing goons to pulp. Even if he's brutally killing evil thugs, Frank Castle needs to be somewhat relatable to be a compelling protagonist, and it takes more than pulling a sad face whenever the film flashes back to the tragic deaths of his family. The rest of the cast are a mix of the good and the bad. Dominic West's performance as scarred mob boss Jigsaw is hammy, and often comes across as a really bad Robert De Niro impression, and Colin Salmon plays the same character he plays in every film, another cool authority figure. At least Wayne Knight's backstreet armourer and Dash Mihok's sympathetic bumbling cop provide the film with some much-needed comic relief, and Stephanie Janusauskas acts everyone else off the screen as a little girl who is brought into Frank Castle's life because of a tragic accident. The film does have a pleasingly over-the-top and bloody final set piece where The Punisher shoots, explodes and stabs his way through a hotel full of heavily-armed gangsters and mercenaries. It really takes something for a film to attempt to be this dark and broody, and to come across as camp, but this film somehow manages it at an alarmingly frequent rate, and the big over-arching theme of the film, the failures of the American Justice system has been handled much better in nearly every other film that has tried to tackle it, even Law Abiding citizen, which wasn't a good movie. Punisher: War Zone is a missed opportunity in short. It's not awful thanks to a few laughs, a few thrills, and young Stephanie Janusauskas, but it's pretty bad. Expand
  6. Mar 4, 2012
    3
    War Zone is like a bomb going off in your TV. Its a nerve-jangling cacophony of noise and flashing lights and splattering DNA that doesn't bother with anything resembling story. But strangely, I couldn't help feeling slightly more entertained than I did with the Thomas Jane outing. Expand
  7. Nov 26, 2011
    2
    It went from the solid previous film that had good drama and interest to a pointless action packed film that was far too unrealistic. While Ray Stevenson is a good lead and a good choice for the punisher, The rest of the cast sucked. Expand

See all 45 User Reviews

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