As the brutish Kable, Gerard Butler must find out who's pulling his strings, but it's the audience whose chain gets yanked by this headache-inducing techno-violent mishmash.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
In the press materials Mr. Butler informs us enthusiastically that the movie "has all the hallmarks of Neveldine's and Taylor's sick, yet genius minds." At least he's half right.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
The game sequences are all familiar flash, and zero tension.
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
There's plenty of violence, but the movie's already-passe fear of a Web-based world is standard-issue.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were responsible for the delirious Crank and Crank 2 but left the magic behind.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
Literally playing an action figure, bulky Butler doesn't deliver a performance so much as a workout routine; the best that can be said for him here is that he shows endurance.
Rob Nelson - Variety
This was never going to be much, but it could have been more than this.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Bodies and buildings blow up but this is carnage of the most lacklustre sort, with any momentum petering out long before it's "game over."
Jason Anderson - Toronto Star
Add an element of interactivity into the hyperkinetic, repetitive action, plodding narrative, and stupefyingly obvious social commentary, and the potential might exist for something entertaining.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Crass, nonstop action triumphs over narrative and character in this movie-length simulation of a video game.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
It's a deeply cynical and joyless point of view, completely lacking in the winking visual style that made Crank worth a look.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Times
Like so many movies, the set-up and presentation of Gamer is awesome. The story, characters and writing... not so much.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Dean Essner - Dark Horizons
Dave White - Movies.com
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
Wait for this one on Cable... jeez I'm saying that a lot. What is really going on in 2009?
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Neveldine and Taylor simply spray their venom across the screen with little vision, once again making a friendly trip to the multiplex feel like undeserved torture.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
What to make of short-attention-span artists satirizing a short-attention-span world? [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Incoherent and interminable...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
At times striking, and at others silly, and and yet at others sickening, but never too stupid, at least not compared to so much else flash and pop peddled to the masses these days.
William Goss - Cinematical
a big, loud mess that loses its few good ideas in a morass of convoluted storytelling that it has, sadly, confused with stylish innovation
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
A streak of genius runs through this dystopian vision of a world in where VR games are played with real people ... it touches some exposed nerves before retreating into cliches.
Maitland McDonagh - AMCtv.com
Gamer feels like a video cheapie that just time warped in from the 1990s . . .
James O'Ehley - fantastiqueZINE
Like the 'Crank' films, this is an absurdly exaggerated, outlandishly crass and alternately inventive and appalling depiction of a man violently fighting to liberate himself from the forces that seek to control him...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Edited with the finesse of a toddler on a sherbet dib-dab rush, the film dashes from one over-stylised battle sequence to the next.
James White - SFX Magazine
If you are a gamer, and like shooters, science fiction, action, and wouldn't consider gratuitous boob shots gratuitous, you won't feel short-changing on leaving the cinema after watching Gamer.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
It won't win points for originality or depth, but the Crank boys are still on their game as far as sex, violence and sheer unapologetic excess go. High concept, high octane, highly likely to end up a post-pub staple.
Tony Horkins - Total Film
Can I get back the ninety minutes of my life that I squandered sitting through this miasmic upchuck of techno sludge? What was the story again?
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
With its nano-technology synching different brains together, spyware programs attached to DNA, and a double dose of bad taste served up with a side-dish of splattered brains and skull fragments, Gamer is still mad, bad, and dangerous to know.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
An injection of adrenaline straight to the eye - which isn't entirely a bad thing.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor deserve some credit for being upfront about their desire to deliver purely adrenaline-driven action cinema and for making it look brilliant.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
While packed with guns, girls and gore, there's none of the gleeful knowingness that made their earlier films such guilty pleasures.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
The action sequences are disappointing, there's a distinct lack of wit or invention in the direction and it's also impossible to care about the characters when they're so thinly sketched.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The film is a cacophonous mess without a single interesting character.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Were Stanley Kubrick and Russ Meyer alive and their minds merged "Being John Malkovich"-style, the clash of their ids and egos might yield "Gamer." It will make you feel putrid, but it's satire that's sadistic, salacious and audaciously entertaining.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
attempts to lure audiences in with its fast-action but also provides a surprisingly thoughtful commentary on control and freedom and the means some will go to achieve it.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
Takes itself far too seriously, saying nothing of timeliness or value in a banally overblown fashion.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Puts the viscera in visceral but a thought-provoking exploration of our increasingly disconnected society in drag as mindless action.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
Poor editing makes Gamer overlong, and the negative portrayal of gamers is as hard to swallow as the cheesy plot.
Maddy Myers - Boston Phoenix
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have slowly started garnering actual critical consideration for their Crank movies; with Gamer, they make another good case for taking them seriously.
Vadim Rizov - L.A. Weekly
A profound assessment of society's dangerous potential, made by people who are part of the problem.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Perhaps the most deliriously demented film of the year. I say that with honest admiration for the deliriously demented.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
It is, in the end, a migraine in search of a movie-goer, one that hypocritically berates pop-culture's bloodthirst even as it eagerly quenches it with a sadistic barrage of severed limbs and crushed skulls.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Crank's Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor direct with their usual flashy brio, and basso profundo Keith David has a sublime cameo as a cop indignant at the thought of a pistachio peanut butter sandwich.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out New York
A lot of good actors waste their time and talent in a very disappointing movie
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It's visually incomprehensible, emotionally empty, thematically nihilistic, almost entirely plotless... and it thinks those are virtues.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A cautionary tale issuing a dire warning about the prospects for humanity in a world where machines lead and people follow.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
A virulently ugly, unpleasant movie to look at as well as an incredibly stupid one, an insult to the eye as well as the brain.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A mindless and tedious sci-fi action film that's high on style while low on substance and palpable thrills.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
For starters, it's just plain goofy.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
About as gloomy as looking into the head of a hacker.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
I happily anticipated seeing what the writer/director team of the two 'Crank' movies would come up with next.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Gamer scratches at the shameless energy of the Crank films occasionally, but it mostly goes, as if on rails, to the inevitable conclusion.
James Rocchi - Redbox
It's a mess of a film mainly because the "CRANK"-style of filmmaking doesn't really fit with the material because for the most part, the movie is played straight. It's a real shame cause the premise sounded ridiculously fun
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
...a film that isn't merely offensive but borderline irresponsible, and all the more so because the filmmakers might consider that description a compliment.
Todd Gilchrist - Sci Fi Wire
Unfortunately, most of the ideas Neveldine and Taylor use to create an alterna-world in "Gamer" were already used to better effect in the brilliantly crappy "Crank."
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Shoot-em-up auteurs Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor straddle the line between aping and perfectly executing violent action movies.
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
...it's clearly intended as comedy - the two filmmakers play a constant game of "can you top this" in a manner that suggests they dared one another to make each scene loonier (and more solidly R-rated) than the last.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
In the space of ninety minutes, we get a body count that has to be in the triple digits, loads of T & A, and even a full on musical number
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
A dull slog of endless action and sex, trying so hard to push the pleasure centers on the brains of its adolescent male audience that it wears itself, and the audience, out
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
The action scenes are a giant blurry glob of explosions, sudden attacks and spontaneous graphic deaths.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
Where Neveldine/Taylor lose their way is by trying to marry their no-shot-lasts-longer-than-five-seconds style with overstuffed storytelling.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
When they open a Bad Movie Hall of Fame, there'll be a display case waiting for Amber Valletta's shorts.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
It should be ridiculously easy to have fun with a concept like this, but the joyless, coarse, bordering-on-hostile way this whole thing is put together just smacks of contempt for not only the audience, but storytelling in general.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
Butler is perfect as a piece of barbequed beef, Kyra Sedgwick plays a sexy talk-show host and there are small roles for John Leguizamo and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Stunningly impersonal and underdeveloped, Gamer consists of pawns posing as people going through the motions of directors Neveldine's and Taylor's ugly orgy of style over substance.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
At what point would we resist an opportunity to indulge our desires in a supposedly guilt-free setting? Kudos to Gamer for managing to be both action-packed and thought-provoking.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
While it's a decent and sometimes effective thriller, the guys have done better -- a lot better
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Gamer is a laborious bit of sci-fi grimness that dully updates The Running Man for the 21st century.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
There's a reason Neveldine and Taylor have been heralded by action junkies as potential saviors of the genre -- after years of interchangeable formulaic entries, they're giving audiences something different yet familiar at the same time. Is it perfect? Ha
Rick Mele - AskMen.com
Neveldine & Taylor certainly have no shortage of ideas but their fundamental flaw is that as filmmakers, they have no idea of how to properly execute them.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
It's clear that Neveldine and Taylor could have come up with something deeper, darker, and better for their third act. Instead, they lean on the easy cheat codes of conventionality, somehow forgetting they're better at exploding them.
Josh Modell - AV Club
Gamer grabs you by the back of the head and runs you through a minefield with internal organs flying at you around every corner...It's fast, mean and dirty as all hell.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
click to read the full review
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses