The glossy topcoat provided by the paycheck participation of De Niro and Owen can't cover up the essential emptiness of the project.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
[A] pileup of sub-Bourne action set pieces, sad laughs and cliches.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Simultaneously silly and overwrought...
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
Gary McKendry hadn't directed a feature before this one, and you feel it. Any scene that fails to involve the revving of motors or the breaking of bones is dead.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Killer Elite is distinguished by one no-mercy, eye-gouging, testicle-punching brawl, and one whoppingly indifferent screenplay.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
When Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Jason Statham unite for an action thriller, we should be able to expect something special. Or at least memorable. Instead, "Killer Elite" gives us ordinary.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
And quite the cliche-ridden desultory mess it is, too...
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
This is actually a pretty good thriller, based more on character and plot than on action for its own sake.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The script is a mess.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
If you want some meaning with your mayhem, or even a good line of dialogue or two, look elsewhere.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
With a B+ cast and a script full of pseudo-profound moral complexities, its aspirations are lofty and its achievements are trifling.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Statham is just good enough to make one wish he'd challenge himself.
Tom Long - Detroit News
If you're willing to accept "Killer Elite" as a shoot-'em-up action movie with good actors taking the spots of the usual lunk heads (but spouting the usual nonsense), you'll be pleased with the film.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
A macho, adrenaline-fix suspenser that plays like the bigscreen equivalent of those pulpy spy novels that once clogged grocery-store checkouts.
Peter Debruge - Variety
It doesn't care if you like it, which is why I kind of do.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
A decent yarn, decently told, a tough guy film built around veteran screen tough guys.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Clumsily directed by Gary McKendry and poorly written by Matt Sherring, rookies both, the convoluted movie collapses under the weight of its own cliches.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
To be sure, first-time director Gary McKendry keeps things moving at an adrenalized pace, even through thickets of flashbacks. But this is precisely Killer Elite's major problem: motion at the expense of emotion.
James Adams - Globe and Mail
I had a reasonably good time, on the whole...
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Despite having a perfect cast for a title like Killer Elite, Gary McKendry's feature debut comes across as little more than a generic Jason Statham movie with two high-profile guest stars.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Strives to be a genuinely good film, but unwilling to let go of proven formulas, it falls short.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
When Statham and Owen finally meet in the showdown you've been waiting for, it's rendered in such dizzying, adrenalized style that it's hard to tell who's doing what to whom.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The fun of Killer Elite, such as it is, is all in the hardass action. But there's nothing elite about this disposable time-killer.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Jason Statham cements status as top-level action star.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
In the film's most emotionally honest moment, De Niro helps himself to a giant bag of money.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
It doesn't ask much of the audience, and nor should it: This is a series of pictures of men planning, running, punching, shooting, kicking and scowling at each other.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
A cartoony and messy narrative that is mostly style over substance.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
"Killer Elite" came close to earning a recommendation, but because of the problems with the script and a bit of a drawn-out storyline, it didn't quite get there.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
The Killer Elite is a flabby, cheap looking, mess that has a saving grace in the performance of Deniro.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
McKendry doesn't pull off either the action nor the drama to any satisfaction.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
While it promised to rock us like a hurricane, Killer Elite instead bores us with action movie cliches aplenty and uninspired action sequences.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
It's an extraordinary (and almost plausible) story, and we can only wish that the filmmakers had told it better ... a great cast and plenty of tension, action and gunfire, but unless you know the basic story it is rather confusing, jumpy and jumbled
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Fascinating but often frustrating, this Australian co-production rips along at a frenetic pace with edge-of-seat thrills as the action hots up, but loses its sizzle by a jumpy, clumsy screenplay and direction
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Far more than just another Transporter clone, and far less than the sum of its parts, the result is an oddity you couldn't make up.
Matt Glasby - Flicks.co.nz
Stale and bland, Killer Elite is an emotionless, assembly-line actioner with little to keep even the hardest of hardcore fans interested.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
...an uncompromising, better-than-average actioner that gets the job done on an impressively consistent basis.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
a theatrical release with the star power behind this movie should have delivered something much better
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Even die-hard De Niro fans may be disappointed in his choice this time around. 'Killer Elite' does indeed present an ensemble of terrific actors trying to kill each other. Problem is, this adds up to a serviceable actioner but nothing more.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
While not an elite action film, and overall disappointing, its stars compliment a witty script, a couple of cool fight scenes, and exotic locales.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
The film works well enough, despite the twisted plot, because of some nice performances by a talented cast and some well-staged action scenes.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
[Jason Statham] may be going the way of Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Gary McKendry's 1980s period piece is admirably hard-nosed, but hamstrung by its rather routine action sequences and its utterly cliched 'meaningful' dialogue ('Killing isn't hard. Living with it is,' intones Statham).
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The Killer Elite was one of Sam Peckinpah's worst movies, but even that 1975 dud was better than this.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Can't even manage the not-terribly-artful task of being a good "Jason Statham growls and beats people up" picture.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
I don't know which is more risible: Clive Owen's mustache, which would have been the envy of any 70s-era porn star, or the fact that someone as tough and charismatic as Owen could possibly be saddled with the name Spike.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
The overlong, perfunctory Killer Elite is simply a series of (reasonably well-choreographed) assassination sequences.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
I had a perfectly fine time watching the movie and the antics of its three stars.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The big stunts and action sequences simply dull the brain and the Oman angle is lost inside a scarcely-fathomable plot.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Long, muddled, misguided.
Nick Hasted - Little White Lies
Jason Statham (or his stunt doubles) demolishes two men while duct-taped to a chair. The entire movie has that kind of action.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Jason Statham delivers the action as usual but this time he has the support of Owen and De Niro.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
A few good stunts, some tolerable brooding and one nice, if silly desert chase. But not essential.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
A solid, but mostly forgettable, thriller that has an intriguing plot and solid cast going for it, but isn't particularly well-made.
Stephen Silver - Patch
The surface is glossy, the body count high, and the events opaque and often risible.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
the audience learns that Jason Statham, tied to a chair and unarmed, is more dangerous than men who are both armed and unfettered. Moments like that of pure physicality are too few and too far between
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Fast-paced and disposable. For action fans, that will be plenty. For those wanting more, look elsewhere.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
If you're a fan of Statham or Owen, you will enjoy the action, but what could have been a classic and the start to a franchise, is instead just another guys and guns movie.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert De Niro are the stars, and the movie feels like a vanilla-flavored smoothie of their previous efforts.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Claims to recount true events but is frankly very hard to believe.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Ask yourself: Would The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor be better with scissor kicks? Are The Conversation and Marathon Man a few dislocated bones short of greatness? Even if you answered yes, you should lower your expectations.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
I'm always a fan of more Yvonne Strahovski in my life, but her useless character in the film should have been the first thing to go when they were cutting this convoluted mess down to a reasonable running time.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
Killer Elite is a throwback to an era when action movies still had balls, when muscular bravado easily overcame banal screenwriting and corny narrative earnestness.
Rob Humanick - Slant Magazine
Despite the presence of some notable acting talent, this not-Elite work turns out to be just another dumb Jason Statham film.
The picture entertains, at times legitimately and at others in a cheesy, '80s action sort of way
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
Jason Statham is enjoyable enough to watch that he can occasionally make one forget just how silly and dull a movie like Killer Elite really is.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
Features characters less three-dimensional than most cartoons doing and saying things that are only done and said in movies. Bad movies. Really bad movies.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Filled with action but not terribly engaging and certainly not surprising, this is a mediocre action film at best. (Parental Movie Review also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
First time director Gary McKendry adopts a gritty visual style and puts together a solid direct-to-dvd offering that wouldn't have likely seen a theatrical release but for its impressive cast.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
While the film has decent action sequences, the film is overly convoluted and very hard to follow at times. Wait for the rental!
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
The movie's not stupid. And that makes it more than bearable and often a little fun.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
This is the kind of clunky, badly-written action thriller that you would expect to head straight to DVD.
Caroline Jowett - Daily Express
Have fun, action junkies.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
I don't think Killer Elite is going to blow anyone away, but it's a solid action movie with a slightly-smarter-than-average script.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
The only remotely surprising thing about the new thriller Killer Elite is just how resoundingly unsurprising the entire enterprise is and as it plods on and on.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Though the film tries to achieve Bourne-style grit and depth, it lacks the intelligence and flair that made the Matt Damon franchise so compelling.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
The plot is over-complicated, the screenplay limp and some of the subsidiary acting is hardly up to the mark.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
"Killer Elite" sticks to the ribs when it sticks to simple skullduggery and Stathamian standards of busting heads. Whenever it strives for warrior poetry, it's more like a Nantucket-esque limerick scribbled in a London pub's bathroom.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
I'll admit that nobody goes to a Statham movie hoping the script will be erudite, but could it at least make a little bit of sense?
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Pockets of really interesting action in a sea of tedious exposition.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
There is so much testosterone in this movie, women walk into the theater looking like Taylor Swift, but they walk out looking like Chaz Bono.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
It's an uneven mix, though it still delivers in fits and starts.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
The permanently scowling Statham borders on caricature, while the talents of De Niro and Owen are completely wasted.
Terry Staunton - Radio Times
Statham, Owen and De Niro all give their best effort, but even they can't conquer a poorly written script.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The violence is over-the-top and becomes superficial. I found it all too boring, looking at my watch more than once.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The filmmakers claim their 'Killer Elite' is based on a true story. My bet is everything else about it is phony.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
It's not even that the film is an unwatchable disaster -- it's just a big disappointment.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
De Niro, in what amounts to an extended cameo, is radically miscast. That's still no excuse for his nonperformance, which is beyond lackluster.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
The plot keeps unfolding beyond the point where you might wish it to end.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
Jason Statham is matched with Robert de Niro and Clive Owen in this headcracking hitman yarn, but it's a bit overcomplicated for its own good.
much of Killer Elite is flummoxed by its own make-up
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Look closer at Killer Elite, and you'll see an inky portrait of a world that has lost all moral compass. That's stronger stuff than most action thrillers give you.
Kristian M. Lin - Fort Worth Weekly
Mercenaries target ex-SAS agents who committed Middle East atrocities in a confusing, unsatisfying action thriller.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
The movie is all attitude, successfully delivered by Statham, De Niro, and Dominic Purcell...
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The big names are all present ... but all within an overly complex, erratic thriller framework that has moments of viable tension, but others of dramatic silliness.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
grunt grunt grunt *glower* [insert mockney swearing] bash crash punch kick [insert closeup of unshaven stubble]
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Isn't a terribly convincing movie, and while it's difficult to take lightly, it's best to approach the picture as a brainless creation out to quicken pulses. Accepting any of this as serious business is only going to lead to a headache.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
An uneasy mix of hard-charging action and high-minded 'true story' drama
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
It's an analog thriller that benefits from refreshing injections of low-tech adrenaline.
Jeff Shannon - Seattle Times
Its visual and narrative emptiness is almost beyond comprehension, but there seems to be an audience for such brainless actioners out there.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
This mucho macho testosterone-propelled action thriller is undermined by its formulaic execution.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Rote and joyless, an exercise in disposability.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Killer Elite is too formulaic to overcome a been-there, done-that feel.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
[It] purports to be based on actual events, chronicling the sinister machinations of a shadowy military organization. But this clumsy action movie feels too generic to be real.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
The movie opens with text telling us that 'The world is in chaos,' which is so helpful ... all of the gunfire and violent revenge would have suggested that everyone's hunky dory.
Matt Pais - RedEye
...ust another middle-of-the-road, choppily edited, unsatisfying mess of an action movie. Think of it as The Killer Mediocre.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
A mess from the bottom up.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The fight scenes are brutally authentic while the non-fight scenes are laughably ridiculous.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Killer Elite had potential to be a really interesting, action-heavy political thriller. Sadly, it never really tries to be anything more than another vehicle for Jason Statham.
Bob Westal - Bullz-Eye.com
It's not about aesthetics, and it's certainly not about people, so the film settles on a lot of chaos and whirring bullets. "Killer Elite" is a waste of time and resources.
Comes with enough geezahs!, shootahs! and mouthy nonces! to make the forthcoming Sweeney remake look positively redundant.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Killer Elite has plenty of killing, but the only thing elite about it is the cast.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
Gary McEndry's espionage thriller isn't bad, but it isn't Peckinpah; all the two films have in common are the title and lots of shooting.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Clive Owen, as a toneless bad guy in a mindless thriller, has found his natural home.
Francesca Steele - Sky Movies
Jason Statham beats up two dudes while he's tied to a chair. That is satisfaction.
Matt Singer - IFC.com
Sigh with relief: at least this terrible exploitation feature, wasting the talents of De Niro and company, is not a remake of Sam Peckinpah's last film of the same title
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A serviceable action-thriller that eventually runs out of ideas. What starts as a complex tale with strong action set-pieces eventually dwindles to formula.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
A story that goes everywhere you expect it to go, and nowhere worth going at all.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
[VIDEO] An unhappy marriage of brawny big-screen talent with a nonsensical script, and a newbie director, make for one very mediocre action movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Robust, does the job, but unrefined.
Ellen E Jones - Total Film
A top-notch action flick that stands out. Statham's best movie since THE BANK JOB.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
While the idea of having three fine actors in an action movie together is certainly promising, Killer Elite proves that it doesn't really matter who you cast if the filmmaking is just more of the same old choppily edited, noisy action crap.
S.T. VanAirsdale - Movieline