The movie is a series of glum interrogation scenes that lead nowhere special, with a not-quite-sci-fi urban murkiness that makes it look like someone was trying to shoot Blade Runner in Cleveland.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Max Payne is content to be an efficient vehicle for the delivery of a familiar range of sensations, some of which almost rise to the level of feelings.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
The film combines ferocious self-importance with lashings of really nasty, unreflective violence.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
You can't help but wonder where the fine actor in The Departed and even Invincible has gone. It's not been a good year for Wahlberg: First The Happening, and now this.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Sexy girls and lots of automatic weapons are involved in an occasionally coherent plot.
Mike Mayo - Washington Post
The filmmakers aim their cynicism more at us than at any government or drug company.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
No amount of generosity could excuse the levels of ineptitude on display here.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Honestly, you find yourself rooting against Payne's survival, even with a good actor in the hollow role. There's nothing inside the film's sour, slovenly spirit of vengeance.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Max Payne is a junkyard dog of a film that is true to its video-game roots even as it transcends them.
David Hiltbrand - Philadelphia Inquirer
Dark, moody, extremely twisted and hard to enjoy on any level.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Max Payne may be the worst movie of the year. The "may be" qualifier is only because the year isn't over yet.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The story, involving conspiracies, doesn't always make sense. And the surprises are easy to predict; director John Moore doesn't try to hide them.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Moore artfully blends vidgame and film-noir aesthetics while editor Dan Zimmermana(TM)s measured rhythms yield a more coherent, less frenzied work than one might expect from the source material.
Justin Chang - Variety
A weak little sister to Sin City.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
As good as a couple of its action beats are, Max still suffers from the heartlessness that makes games emotionally inferior to movies. Nobody ever shed a tear over a video-game character's death.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Maybe somebody decided the movie was already so convoluted and leaden that throwing in a few swooping, screeching valkyries could only help. They do not.
Rob Salem - Toronto Star
Laremy Legel - Film.com
Max Payne, game or movie, has precious little to say.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Maybe fans of the game will be okay with the cinematic adaptation but for those who aren't new to Max and his world, this isn't an impressive introduction. Clunky action, chaotic plotting, and embarrassing dialogue are not ways to impress newcomers.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The emotional underpinnings and psychological depths of great detective fiction get tossed aside for a wallow in stylistic excess.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
A straight-up action picture, and a rather bombastic, familiar one at that.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The moviegoers are passive hostages on a long ride they've taken so many times before. So gameboys are advised to man their PlayStations this weekend; action-movie fans in search of red meat can wait for the inevitably more graphic DVD version.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Max just drags on as it drags you down. If you stay and watch the endless end credits, there's a short scene that hints a sequel is coming. That's what I call real pain.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Miserable, in every sense of the word.
Sam Adams - Los Angeles Times
Hank Sartin - Time Out
Dean Essner - Digital Spy
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Never comes close to captivating its audience like the game did before it.
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
The willfully absurd action sequences help the movie slog along, but slog it does, right through to the obligatory after-credits scene to establish the possibility of a franchise.
Jeffrey Bloomer - Paste Magazine
Based on a Finnish shoot-em up video game, Max Payne is all style and little story, cheerless detective Max (Mark Wahlberg) drifting through a washed out and snowy New York in search of his wife's killer.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
It held my attention, which is more than I can say for some of the so-called "art films" that come out at the end of every year.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A detective story, a pharmaceutical miracle drug and winged creatures from some demonic dimension sprouting like weeds in the spring. Too much and too artificial.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Imagine The Constant Gardener after a frontal lobotomy, and that's basically Max Payne in a nutshell.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
[A]ll [the] wide-open possibilities about where this story can go get so narrowed down into something banal and bleak and ordinary that you can hardly breathe with it...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Badly written, poorly acted and surprisingly dull action thriller that substitutes loud gunfire for thrills and doesn't bother to develop the characters beyond their video game origins.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Loud and completely devoid of wit or interest, this empty-headed action movie looks terrific thanks to its big budget and heavily stylised visuals. But it's impossible to care about anything that happens.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
No high-octane, fast-paced shoot 'em up this, Max Payne may well be the most tedious trip to a cinema you make all year. Truly, the minutes pass like hours. It's akin to one of those straight-to-DVD titles you only ever find in petrol stations.
Dean Essner - Daily Mirror [UK]
This tired, neutered action thriller won't cause you max pain, but you might wince every now and again.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
I didn't hate Max Payne, but it's hard to summon up strong feelings of any kind about something so slick, remote and vacuum-packed you barely feel you've seen it.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
It would be far too easy to say that max pain sums up Mark Wahlberg's latest lead role.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
A massive waste of time and a glaring missed opportunity.
Orlando Parfitt - IGN Movies UK
Max Payne? Maximum Payne in the butt more like.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Dean Essner - Irish Times
John Moore directs the hell out of the action, while Jonathan Sela's glistening photography captures the snow and rain that fall on these bloody New York streets. But you'd have to be on crack not to guess the 'surprise' finale.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
The occasional muzzle-flare of stylish violence, but that's it. Dull, depressing and dragging its knuckles at 100 minutes, Max Payne misfires and Wahlberg's leading-man jinx continues.
Chris Hicks - Total Film
If you can follow the plotlines of this swingeing approximation of the well-known video game of the same name, you are a better customer for John Moore's spectacular thriller than I was.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Among the best films adapted from videogames. Say no more.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
Director John Moore is clearly more interested in hot babes, body tattoos and slo-mo shootings than he is in story or characterisation. Max Payne offers Min Pleasure.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Mark Wahlberg's titular hero hasn't cracked a smile in seven years. The surprise is that he makes the lonely cop seem half human with half a dozen words and a staggering amount of violence.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
Mark Wahlberg glooms about the land in the latest computer-game makeover, a noir action thriller of such scowling, benighted violence that it could send manic depressives over the edge and make newcomers to that condition of us all.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Mark Wahlberg shifts the dank micro-climate that is his charisma to Max Payne, a "neo noir" action thriller which means it snows a lot in murky New York.
Victor Olliver - Teletext
The moment of the film when you should be going "oh my god I can't believe it," you're thinking, "I wonder if we could sneak into the end of Beverly Hills Chihuahua."
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
I yperstylizarismeni kinimatografikotita poy koybalaei o Max Payne os paradosi sta video games, sta ohi kai toso ikana na ti heiristoyn heria toy Moore, metatrepetai oriaka se parodia, poy plakonei tin tainia toy me mia akathorista atheliti hlapatsa dithe
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Max Payne. Epic Fail.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
What are you going to do? It's cool to be the first game to put players in control of a John Woo gunfight, but to be yet another movie waving double guns in slow motion, not so much.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Slaloms between gritty action and comic-book noir before skidding out into overblown fantasy. The plotline is weak and stretched-out. As the end nears, the pacing gets choppy. But by then, Max Payne lost that important sidekick, Minnie Pleasure.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Take in the pleasure, because Max Payne is the most beautiful video game adaptation yet.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Elegaic where it should be electrifying, dundering where it should be sharp, Payne is lovely to look at and that's about it
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
This trashy film is a case of big guns and small brains.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Hey, it's Chris O'Donnell! Remember him? In an actual movie that's shown outside his own home! On a big screen that isn't built into his own living room wall! Where the viewer has a ticket he didn't receive because of a DUI!
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
...even less of a story than the videogame on which it is based...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
As revenge films go, 'Max Payne' is a little less than average.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Much happens -- some of it incomprehensible, most of it pointlessly preposterous and all of it slightly less involving than watching algae grow on a stagnant pond.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Max Payne is one of those ludicrous action movies based on a videogame that's all style and little substance.
Mark Peikert - New York Press
Every shot, every edit is well thought out. But in the end, I didn't care about anyone.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
A thrill-less video game adaptation.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
The fans attracted to Max Payne will readily leave any disbelief by the doors as the action ramps up.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
I am still a big Mark Wahlberg fan but his choice of roles is beginning to try my patience
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Watching Max Payne is painful to the max.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Simple, it is as by-the-books formulaic as can be, and there's not a surprise around that the corner that isn't obvious immediately.
Mark Bell - Film Threat
Your quintessential guy film. If you have any significant level of testosterone in your blood stream, you'll find something to enjoy about it.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
This just in, Video Game movies still suck.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
It snows one day in Max Payne, rains like crazy the next, and then it snows again. But any way you slice it, the movie's all wet.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Max Payne starts out promising but eventually begins to unravel, only to end in an awful mess.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
A dumb film with a great conceptual hook from a director who visualizes better than he dramatizes.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Although dialogue may be less than stimulating in 'Max Payne,' its powerful images relate what needs to be said -- and this approach worked for me.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
James Verniere - Boston Herald
It's stylishly directed by John Moore, and his actors don't embarrass themselves, despite the iffy premise.
Jason Heck - Kansas City Star
Dave White - Movies.com
Give 'Max Payne' the modest credit it deserves. It's a gloriously dumb, over-the-top slice of convoluted pulp fiction, and far more entertaining than I would have expected.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Another laughably bad movie based on a popular video-game title.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Director John Moore pays homage to the video game by pushing the slo-mo button during action sequences in a fashion that would make John Woo weep tears of sorrow. He's not the only one.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
A critic can stay alert through movies that would put elephants into comas, but I doubt most people will stay awake for Max Payne.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
A big reason why videogame-to-movie adaptations are currently batting .000 is that filmmakers work so hard at recreating a game's look that they ignore the obvious problem of assembling a bunch of lame cutscenes into a story.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Like other video game adaptations there's barely a third dimension to any of the characters, but there's spades of neo-noir mood.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Though the film's action scenes won't win awards for originality, they can't be faulted for either their scale or love of slo-mo.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
I don't have a problem with brainless entertainment playing it safe and overloading on cliches but Max Payne makes the fatal mistake of being cliched and boring.
Marco Cerritos - Boxoffice Magazine
The few thrills it does have are outweighed by its rather dumb plotting and an overly familiar sense of style.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Wahlberg packs the talent to add depth to most roles. In this one, though, he does little more than mope around and blast away (video-game style) in this barrage of rapid fire.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Painful to watch, but it's nothing an aspirin can't fix. Might as well save yourself the headache, though.
Alex Markerson - E! Online
The film should have been about Payne getting addicted to drugs, having a good heart, but doing really bad things to search for the man who murdered his family--not this mess.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
A profound feeling of laziness hovers over the entire picture, suggesting that it was as joyless to make as it is to watch.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Coco Forsythe - Future Movies UK
Did Wahlberg read the script, or was it hidden under the pile of money that the producers dropped at his door step?"
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
That the freaky angels all over the ads aren't even real is akin to if audiences had flocked to see Jurassic Park back in 1993 and discovered that the dinosaurs only appeared in a couple brief dream sequences.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
It boasts a stylish surface, but there's nothing new beneath it.
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Simply terrible. An insult to gamers and action fans. Frankly, it doesn't even deserve notoriety as one of the year's worst; it deserves to be forgotten.
Russ Breimeier - Christianity Today
It is stylish, slick, loud and empty as the producers wanted it to be.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
There were moments that needed some explanation and characters that needed a quite a bit of fleshing out. But it was violent and fun and since that's why I played the game, I left the theater satisfied.
Jenna Busch - UGO
A movie that cares much more for poetic choreography in explosive gunfights than gaping lapses of logic in a flimsy crime narrative.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
The movie is styled to death %u2014 it's hyper film noir without the philosophical resonance %u2014 and it's certainly something to see.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Video game adaptation is bloody but boring.
James Rocchi - Common Sense Media
Mark Wahlberg, who has proved himself a very capable actor, seems to have nominated himself for the Russell Crowe Lack of Charisma Award, and is running a pretty convincing campaign.
John Anderson - Newsday
This intense action thriller will be recalled for its exciting visuals and relentless action rather than its acting.
Des Partridge - Courier Mail (Australia)
Let's hope next time they get a literate script, an engaging plot, a better-suited supporting cast and a more restrained director.
Jane Stevenson - Jam! Movies
There are several old adages actors should follow when considering a film role: never work with children, cute barnyard animals or do movie adaptations of video games.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
As shiny and hollow as its used shell cases, Max Payne doesn't have much to offer beyond a recycled noir attitude and a progressively violent, predictable story.
Tim Grierson - Screendaily
Andy Samberg's imitation of Marky Mark as Barky Bark is vastly more amusing than Wahlberg's latest action vehicle.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
Eventually, Max pieces together a conspiracy, but Max Payne spells it all out so obviously that the densest audience members will put the pieces together at least half an hour before the hero finally does.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Though the PG-13 rating of Max Payne limited the amount of violence, the film still succeeds mainly due to the dark, gritty and beautiful cinematography.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
The producers of movies based on video games must think their audience is nothing but easy-to-entertain morons. It's the only explanation for a movie this dark, dull, and dumb.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
There simply has yet to be a decent film adapted from a video game. Why studios persist is a testament to the lobotomised throngs who encourage them by paying to see this type of gleet.
Jarrod Walker - FILMINK (Australia)
Visually compelling and with a cast willing to make the effort so that we'll take it seriously, this is a solid action film.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Given the effect Max Payne has, by the close you may feel that they've misspelled the hero's last name.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The film's best line sums up my feelings on it perfectly "Stay away from Max Payne." But they probably don't mean it the same way I do, huh?
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
The movie's excellent design and mood almost -- almost -- outweigh the stupid story.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Unable to really turn chilly menace into tough, action-packed fun.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
... the resonance of the mythic imagery and potential of the premise creates a fascinating film in the margins of the pulp story in the foreground.
Sean Axmaker - Seanax.com
Max Payne joins Fox's steadily increasing roster of entirely ineffective action pictures, alongside such underwhelming disappointments as Hitman and Live Free or Die Hard...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
This noisy, dull, structurally messy adaptation of the popular videogame is a step down in the blossoming career of the gifted actor Mark Wahlberg.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
nothing we haven't seen before
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
This action saga is driven into unintentionally self-parodic territory only a seven-year-old boy could reasonably stomach.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
It's a one-dimensional detective noir rather than an exciting shoot-em-up.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
85 minutes long, rated PG-13, released by Fox, directed by John Moore, and a screenplay based on a video game. That's a recipe for disaster.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
A big nothing, not even hokey enough to watch for the sake of laughing at it.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
No one actually cares if the story adds up in a movie based on a video game. Audiences expect to have their nerve endings stimulated (or frayed), as they will be by the aggressive, bass-heavy sound mix.
Hank Sartin - Time Out New York
There are guns blazing, mysterious winged creatures, a symbolic tattoo, an elusive blue elixir, an unresolved murder and big stunts, yet Max Payne is surprisingly lacklustre.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
I never trust a film in which the protagonists have conversations or even arguments in the pouring rain -- without umbrellas.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile