“A Gritty Action Film.”
“Death Sentence Is A Ride Of Revenge, That I Think Action Lovers Would Like." ”
“It Started Out With Great Tension And A Decent Revenge Kill, But It Kinda Went Down Hill From There.”
“It's Really Not As Bad As You'd Probably Expect It To Be.”
“If You Started A War... God Help You.”
“Death Sentence Is A Ride Of Revenge, That I Think Action Lovers Would Like.”
“Extremly Well Done”
“A Great Revenge Movie!!!”
“A Must See Movie For Action Buffs”
“AW[Wait For It]SOME!”
“Best Bacon Movie!!!”
“Overall It Was Probaly One Of The Sadest Action Films I've Seen In A While!”
“In All Honesty, Death Sentence Is Truly A Revenge Masterpiece.”
The morality of revenge is barely at issue in a movie that pushes the plausibility of revenge right over a cliff.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
A tedious, pandering time-waster.
Matt Zoller Seitz - New York Times
Only drinking a pint of paint-stripper would leave a nastier taste in the mouth.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Is the movie trying to show how bloodlust and revenge can destroy a person? If so, it simultaneously revels in violence. Trying to have it both ways diminishes the entire undertaking, rendering it despicably hypocritical.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
In Death Sentence, Kevin Bacon may not be the baddest dad who ever cocked a shotgun to defend his family, but he's the most insanely resolute -- and the least understandable.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The cynics will slap their foreheads, the squeamish will cover their eyes.
Dean Essner - Boston Globe
Bacon's performance in Saw creator James Wan's laughably extreme revenge thriller Death Sentence is six degrees of ham.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
It may be the most depressing action movie ever made. Its calamities are well staged, and its acting, beyond some histrionics, is fine. But you don't enjoy this film; you endure it.
Bruce Westbrook - Houston Chronicle
Utterly humorless and unrelentingly grim. Giving it a grainy, washed-out, fidgety look and choreographing scenes to create an atmosphere of claustrophobic disorientation, Mr. Wan has made a movie that is literally unpleasant to watch.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
There is a courtroom scene of true surprise and suspense, and some other effective moments, but basically this is a movie about a lot of people shooting at each other.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This graphically violent film suffers from cursorily developed characters whose primary function is to advance the creaky plot.
Joshua Katzman - Chicago Reader
From the perfect family home movies that open the film, to its unconvincing 'urban' settings, Death Sentence is one-dimensional, cliched.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Death Sentence takes the pulp revenge thriller to the edge. And then falls off.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Both the story and (literal) execution here are cheap and somewhat embarrassing for Bacon and company. Kill this movie.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Death Sentence most certainly is not a good movie.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
This well-made, often intensely gripping genre piece packs some bizarre tonal extremities and a few moments of self-critique into its tale of a grieving father seeking his own brand of justice.
Justin Chang - Variety
Fails to provide any sort of genuine social context for its violence.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
An unsatisfying and not-that-smart vigilante thriller.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
. At both its best and worst, it feels like the missing third part of the faux retro double-bill Grindhouse.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Bacon, as usual, is very good even when he's slumming, and as a trashy B-movie redo of Death Wish the movie works well enough for a Saturday afternoon with a case of brewskies.
Mark Bourne - Film.com
Kamal Al-Solaylee - Globe and Mail
The result is such a mish-mash of conflicting tones and ideas that it doesn't play well on any level.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Watching this crude vigilante thriller feels more like a life sentence.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
Cliff Doerksen - Time Out
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
It's a gritty, adrenaline-soaked thriller -- and if that's as deep as you care to dig, you'll be entertained. But for those who care to contemplate, it's quite a bit more.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
It's a powerful, visceral revenge flick, and Kevin Bacon does a fine acting job bringing the vigilante to life.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
A gritty and gripping revenge fantasy %u2026 Kevin Bacon's talent and persona to make us sit up and take notice
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Death Sentence is a laughably bad exercise in the pornography of sadism and the American appetite which voraciously consumes it.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
This Sentence is as grisly and violent as the trailer portends.
Christian Toto - Washington Times
I really enjoyed what [it] had to offer with takes on morals, war, and the damage violence can do to people in its grasp...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Death Sentence tries to do two things: be a stirring family drama and a balls-out gore soaked revenge flick. It achieves only one of those goals.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
Begins promisingly but ends putridly.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
...the film's schizophrenic nature eventually proves to be its downfall...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Don't hire Kevin Bacon for a role you wrote for Charles Bronson.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
The graininess of the film generally makes everything look as ugly as it feels. Death Sentence deserves no reprieve.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Think of it as one long worship service in the Church of Vigilante Justice.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Even with its overly stylized look and cartoonish bad guys, Death Sentence is not a film that you can easily shake off.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Death Sentence is a better film than many might expect and also delivers several good doses of action for fans of shoot 'em-ups.
Stax - IGN Movies
The best that can be said about 'Death Sentence' is that it doesn't try to be too deep or arty.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Scott A. Mantz - Entertainment Insiders
Exploitive and overwrought with extreme violence - one of the worst movies so far this year.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
A parking garage chase is impressive, but Wan's ultra-kitschy use of melancholy indie-pop music at moments of intense emotion transforms the movie into pure camp.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The practical side, the details of the plot, run to the ridiculous and dampen the film's more prickly parts.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
An alternately dull, unintentionally funny and rather ugly movie that wants to have its revenge and decry it, too.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Bacon's performance ensures that even at its most bombastic, the film remains grounded in truth.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
It's unbelievable and with a few exceptions, not all that exciting.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
The theme remains the same only this time the movie gets the James Wan treatment.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
Charles Bronson is alive and well in the form of Kevin Bacon.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Unremittingly stupid, with characters and even a setting that bear no relation to the recognizable world.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
It's terrible and it's so disappointing because I love Kevin Bacon and I love Aisha [Tyler] and you have good actors here who are trapped.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
There's about six degrees of separation between this and a good movie.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Stumbles away from its smart thriller open, completely immerses itself in a one-man vs. gang-of-thugs, love-of-guns flick with Bacon more like Bourne than corp VP.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
As Hume's life spirals out of control, so too does the film. Director James Wan... fails at the finer emotional details and at making the action play out believably.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
Brutal, senseless, depraved %u2013 but most of all, dumber than dumb - Death Sentence most certainly is complete and total flapdoodle.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
With Death Sentence, James Wan continues to beat us over the head, though this time he has the decency to do so with some semblance of human emotion.
Rob Humanick - Slant Magazine
Some of the scenes in 'Death Sentence' reminded me of old B-movie Westerns where the bad guys shoot and shoot and shoot yet always miss their targets.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
slap-dash, sleazy, and unsophisticated.
Keith Breese - Filmcritic.com
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
What begins as a family drama centered around the tragic loss of their son, somehow manages to turn into an over-the-top action extravaganza.
Michael Ferraro - Film Threat
As entertainment, the film is equally unpleasant and captivating. As a more serious drama, it alternates between heartbreaking and heavy-handed.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Death Sentence is a wonderfully tight little thriller, the kind of statement cinema an up and coming filmmaker needs to establish his overall eagerness to achieve.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
The pretension of this movie is exasperating.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
The lesser moments still work because of Bacon's commitment to the part, and the better components are a firm indication that James Wan is improving with each successive film.
Scott Weinberg - Cinematical
Death Sentence seesaws wildly between being both brilliant and terrible, but ultimately it's worth seeing for some terrific action sequences and Bacon's committed performance.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Initially, it calls to mind recent events in the UK - but in truth, it's more like a new-fangled B-movie than a treatise for our troubled times.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Goofy overstatement, improbable plotting and an overwrought finale.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Lurches on too long and topples into bathos.
Martin Hoyle - Financial Times
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
A father goes on an angry mission of revenge after his family are attacked as part of a gang initiation crime.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
There is simply no way to make a >i>Death Wish-retread like Death Sentence believable.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
makes no pretense to be anything other than pulp junk. Those who haven't been inured to this sort of graphic, gritty, limbs-blownoff style of cinematic violence should be forewarned
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Connoisseurs of sleazy movies won't be bored, but don't mistake this for anything other than trash.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Kevin Bacon fails to rescue this absurdly rickety plot as the film veers between a sentimental melodrama and violent thriller, resulting in a confused mess.
Ed Andrews - thelondonpaper
God is busy. Sometimes He needs help.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
By the end, many will be outraged by the sheer irresponsibility of it all. The rest will be too busy laughing.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
For a guy who analyzes risks for a living, Nick [Kevin Bacon] takes a lot of stupid ones, and yet he's still not the dumbest thing in Death Sentence.
Alex Markerson - E! Online
Death Sentence is not exactly a fun time at the movies, but it is riveting.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
An old-school exploitation picture, polished off with a modern sensibility by Saw director James Wan.
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
Blunt, bloody and far too busy with its sledgehammer plot and mighty gunplay to waste time on the main character's inner life, Death Sentence is a baseline entertainment.
Steven Winn - San Francisco Chronicle
Dave White - Movies.com
As rancid as its title is lurid, an example of pulp fiction run amok.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
It's as if Wan was given the chance to step away from his slasher-movie sensibility - which says more gore is always better - but couldn't turn away from what's worked for him before.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
In the same way that Quentin Tarantino and Kurt Russell elevated Death Proof, James Wan and Kevin Bacon go beyond what would have been satisfactory to crowds craving a good bloodletting.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
If only the world were a more peaceful place, we wouldn't have to sit through movies like Death Sentence.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
From the novelist who spawned Death Wish (1974) comes another story of vigilante justice that'll make you want to hurt someone. Anyone.
Stella Papamichael - BBC
Why does it think it's serious drama when it's actually something closer to a parody of Charles Bronson movies?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It's got style to burn and is more gruesome that any schlock-horror gorefest.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
It turns out Wan is a legitimately atrocious filmmaker, and Sentence is his Exile on Main St. of awful.
Brian Orndorf - eFilmCritic.com
Death Sentence has a crude, naturalistic style that fails to disguise the fact that its twists and turns become increasingly preposterous.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Sadly, the final reel exposes Wan's true colours (he directed the horror movie Saw), the vigilante machismo betraying this as an updated version of Death Wish.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
The only thing worse than the movie's cliche vengeance script is the clunky way James Wan directs it.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Finally, the costly price you pay for watching Death Sentence is the 105 minutes that you're never going to get back and that could have been spent doing something more constructive, such as beating your head against a brick wall.
Kevin Maher - Times [UK]
Kevin Bacon gives another stellar performance and there are some powerfully good action scenes but the structure of this Sentence doesn't feel like it was ever well-defined.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
This reductive revenge thriller preaches at the same time it panders to base payback fantasies.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A film so uncertain about its tone and sensibilities that it just doesn't work. If Wan and screenwriter Ian Jeffers had just embraced the ridiculous retribution-based violence, it might have been more entertaining, albeit odious.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
An ugly, stupid and meaningless thriller.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Death Sentence evokes the low-down spirit of an early-'70s exploitation flick, something that might have filled the undercard at a drive-in or a long-in-the-tooth movie palace.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
[An] exercise in do-it-yourself-justice-mongering.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
It has Kevin Bacon. How bad could it be? Bacon makes everything better, whether it be a cheesy movie or a cheeseburger! I'll never think that again as this movie becomes more absurd by the moment.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
There's an inherent disconnect with the material.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
...ultimately undone by a ridiculous final half hour in which Bacon turns into the Terminator.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
It's OK for sleazy, late-night entertainment until the statement of 'the world is a scary place' starts sounding like 'violence might be the answer.'
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
With the subtlety of a bulldozer comes this dubiously pedigreed revenge thriller.
Robert Newton - Christian Science Monitor
In the more sensational and gruesome aspects, the film fails miserably, getting more ridiculous and unbelievable as it goes along.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
While it is a sleazy and decidedly amoral revenge tale, it is an uncommonly well-made and fairly effective take on the genre.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
More tainted yuppie superhero wet dream, than the original Charles Bronson anti-inner city backlash burb paranoid freakout. And as a result, the lines are more clearly drawn as to distributed dark sides of these sympathy-challenged characters.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
Tawdry and unintentionally hilarious...so ludicrous that it's hard to suppress a guffaw while you watch it.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Even as the film slides into unintentional comedy, it's almost redeemed by John Goodman's demented supporting performance as a mysterious character who, in a better film, would have held the key to everything.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press