Adapted from a graphic-novel series (and what isn't these days?), this unholy mess of horror and Western cliches is, at least, blessed with a wonderfully loony premise.
Adam Markovitz - Entertainment Weekly
The film, based in name only on a series of South Korean graphic novels, has nice, washed-out desert exteriors and some cool jet-powered motorcycles, but there's nothing in the hackneyed story or the derivative action scenes to make you take notice.
Mike Hale - New York Times
"Priest'' is based on a series of Korean graphic novels. What it's really based on, though, is other movies - a whole lot of other movies.
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
[If] you're looking for a diverting sci-fi actioner that handily mixes the DNA of several different movies, with a few flying crosses thrown in and a heavy dose of Western mythology, sink your teeth in.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
High production values and slick editing can't save this picture. Nor does its overbearing soundtrack music, which tries to strong-arm viewers into believing they're watching a pulse-pounding thriller.
Tirdad Derakhshani - Philadelphia Inquirer
Not exactly an unholy mess, but still a rather too pious retread of classic sci-fi/action/horror riffs that lacks originality or pizzazz.
Leslie Felperin - Variety
A mash-up of vampire horror and period westerns stewed with Blade Runner cityscapes and ridiculous religious images in a bubbling cauldron of dumb ideas and sinfully bad dialogue.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
Too good-looking to be dismissed entirely, not bad enough to be worthy of outright scorn, but not good enough to watch, either.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
Doesn't have a prayer.
Ray Bennett - Hollywood Reporter
The film is somehow a disappointing combo of too-full and oddly empty.
Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times
Another broad yet eclectic little genre-blender to (maybe) toss into your rental queue.
Priest is one of those films you will forget about approximately five minutes after it's over. There is absolutely nothing memorable here.
Jeff Beck - We Got This Covered
The good news is that Priest is not nearly as painful to sit through as Legion. But that's about it for the good news.
Steve Newton - Georgia Straight
'Priest' is about five beads shy of a rosary.
Priest is a lousy action movie with boring characters, a convoluted plot, and, most unforgivable, very little compelling action.
Ben Kendrick - ScreenRant
"Priest" is one of those films you will forget about approximately five minutes after it's over. There is absolutely nothing memorable or noteworthy about it
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
- Dark Horizons
anyone who has seen the trailer has seen a good 80% of anything worth watching here
James White - SFX Magazine
90 minutes of inconsequential action and cliche recycling...painful to watch a semi-interesting setup get squandered and become stuffed into a familiar-as-hell framework where nothing ever seems at stake.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
An ugly exercise in genre filmmaking and religion bashing, Priest marks a new low in the action/horror hybrid, and once again proves why Paul Bettany is the worst action star working today.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
What's not to like about badass Catholic vigilantes who fly through the air to punch demons in the face? (Don't answer that.)
Clem Bastow - The Vine
Predictable action sequences & lazy character development add up to an all too blatant cash in at the box office
- FILMINK (Australia)
Bettany is a great actor who does melancholy very well, he also has a sense of mischief. It would be nice to see it shine a bit before it, too, fades to grey.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
Its visual style veers between bleached desert tones and slimy undercover dankness, but the 3D version is undistinguished.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
Some scenes on the train have a certain chill, but overall this is likely to short-change genre lovers.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
At the very least, the film's herky-jerky mood swings will keep viewers on their toes long after they become bored with the main plot.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Vampires, cowboys and warrior priests: an unholy mess.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
Priest 3D might be of interest for those keen on the comics but for others it's a very loud and chaotic but lame fantasy effort with much mayhem but insufficient payoff.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Director Scott Stewart has fun with the genre, making effective use of 3D technology and amid the ridiculous, delivers an often surprisingly compelling B-movie with some superior elements.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
...as dull and intolerable an actioner as one can easily recall...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
There's an overriding sense that many aspects of the movie have either been shockingly underdeveloped... or left on the cutting room floor.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
Priest is the sort of movie you walk into knowing full well its IQ is significantly less than the bucket of popcorn balanced in your lap...
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
That's what churches are for... get in a man's way (especially when he needs to kill a horde of vampires).
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
A poorly conceived, pointless exercise in genre filmmaking.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
A sort of futuristic fantasy western with 'The Searchers' as its granddad, 'Priest' is an action adventure that will attract fans of the graphic novel and folks who like fantasy in general.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
It's great-looking but lifeless.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
it is effective within its own terms
D.K. Holm - Vancouver Voice
The inspiration may be John Ford and the credited source may be a Korean comic book, but it resembles one of producer Roger Corman's 1980s 'Mad Max' rip-offs, pumped up with charmless and overbusy 21st-century digital effects.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
These vampires are bestial-looking, eyeless, fanged somethings that look like...Gollum on crystal meth.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Creepy, pulpy and shamelessly derivative sci-fi.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Bettany exudes an intensity that lays the groundwork for an interesting character, but Priest hasn't a prayer of creating anything more subtle than the giant cross tattooed on his face.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The po-faced filmmaking and acting only highlights how unoriginal it is, from production design to music to action sequences
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
You sit in your theater seat imagining how much better it would be if it were rated R and garnished with tons more vampire violence and digital death.
Dave White - Movies.com
It's a lot of talky-talky and very little smashy-smashy.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
The parallels between Priest and The Searchers are extensive, and spotting them provides some fun in what might otherwise be a pretty dismal experience.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
As happens with big-screen comics, the dialogue fizzles at times. But mostly this is a delicious mash-up of styles and genres: gothic, steampunk, Wild West, martial arts, dystopian fun.
Peg Aloi - Boston Phoenix
Priest is so not a good movie. In fact, it's a pretty bad one, but it's also the most fun I've had at a bad movie for some considerable time.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
yet another in a long line of dim, contrasty postmodern stews that appeal to a particularly dark, pseudo-Gothic sensibility, but probably not to anyone else, including those who enjoy the various genres from which it steals.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
The God of Aborted Franchises will be pleased.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Same old same old about humans fighting vampires in a futuristic society - been there done that. Still the movie does have good action and a nice performance by Paul Bettany.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
It may not be great, but it's pure, and it deserved better.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
In all of this utterly dispiriting, ill-written and spastically-directed tripe, there is one bright spot, and that is Karl Urban as the villain.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
So bad it's almost good...almost.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Priest could never live up to its geek cool promise
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
If you've watched any of the trailers, they make about as much sense as the full feature does.
Elias Savada - Film Threat
Things progress in a thoroughly cliched manner
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
After a strong beginning, Priest ends with a whiff of Jonah Hex about it.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
If you have an action movie that doesn't have enough loud, wham-bam, explosive fun to wake a sleeping baby, which was the case at my screening, then you, my friend, have an action movie not worth seeing.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The action's fairly toothless, and the abrupt, anemic ending promises a sequel. The filmmakers will have to pray pretty hard for that miracle.
Brett Michel - Boston Herald
They could have called this one 'Something Borrowed' because everything feels lifted from other films.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Bettany has little character and the 3D effects are appalling.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
...society is protected by a band of licensed-to-kill clergy who power up with prayer and shoot cross-shaped ninja stars.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
An irritating, lifeless experience, so bad it sucks the fun right out of moviegoing.
Already seems this aggressively B-level entertainment will quickly wither and disappear in the face of Hollywood's A-level events.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
On a visceral level, Priest offers enough action and cool bits to probably hold the interest of most 14-year-old boys, but its hodgepodge story and overall derivative nature make it feel like a movie that should have come out back in the '90s.
Jim Vejvoda - IGN Movies
I guess you could call it a guilty pleasure.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The whole thing -- which in less than an hour-and-a-half manages to insult Catholics, Native Americans, John Wayne fans and anybody with two I.Q. points to spare -- all climaxes in a lot of fire and smoke and CGI explosions.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
I liked Priest, and I wouldn't much mind any of these characters returning.
S.T. VanAirsdale - Movieline
A soulless sci-fi thriller about crucifix-tattooed warriors battling vampires, Priest is too serious to be any fun.
Peter Paras - E! Online
While I hardly hold Priest 3D sacred, I'm not throwing holy water on it and casting it out, either. It's fine, as long as you're fine with adequate horror actioners.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
When you watch Bettany, you can't help wondering why the hell a talented actor is stuck in such an ungodly mess.
In the way it unimaginatively regurgitates familiar genre elements in service of preachy piousness, director Scott Charles Stewart's cinema is the equivalent of Christian rock.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
At $12.75 a movie ticket, you might be better off buying the comic book.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
There are some nifty touches in the big city sequences ... but the vampire-heavy scenes are nearly incomprehensible.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Lately, it feels like there are two things you can count on in a Screen Gems movie. 1) It will suck. 2) It will feature Cam Gigandet. And he will suck.
Alonso Duralde - HitFix
The simplistic directness of its storytelling is refreshing. It's as if the filmmakers realize they're wasting everyone's time, so they at least want to take up as little of it as possible.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Maybe I'm giving the filmmakers too much credit, but I'd like to believe there was once more to Priest than the tedious, hollow, joyless jumble that's presented here
Brian Orndorf - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Priest's shortcomings should not really come as a surprise. Previously, Stewart directed the equally lame Legion, which also mixed religion and demonic creatures.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
Its truncated running time suggests that a huge amount of it was left on the cutting room floor.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A surprisingly effective piece of genre filmmaking, littered with flaws but none so glaring as to sink the film as a whole.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
It just makes me sad to think director Scott Stewart and all the artists under him had high ambitions and substantial resources... for this.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
The over-optimistic promise of a sequel will hopefully be one premise which remains dead and buried. For ever and ever. Amen.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
In an era where monster mythology has become raw material for all sorts of mediocrity, Priest is one of the best examples of a broad-scale vampire blockbuster.
Todd Gilchrist - Boxoffice Magazine
[E]ven though it's easy to point out how derivative it is in a lot of ways, it's also sort of thrilling in how spare and clean and unself-conscious it is about itself...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A melange of apocalyptic western, gothic horror and vampire action movie, Priest won't win any awards for originality. Still, it's streamlined and executed well enough to earn a tip of the cap from those in its target demo.
Brent Simon - Screen International
At best, Priest is a passable time-waster. Mostly, it's like watching an extended Gorillaz video.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
Did Paul Bettany know, when he donned the cowl of the albino monk in 'The Da Vinci Code', that he would soon be typecast as Hollywood's go-to guy for God-bothering multiplex action movies?
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Paul Bettany in a cassock with a cross biroed on to his forehead, potholing with vampires. In 3D.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Clawing away under its 3D dinge and slick but desensitising effects, the movie is deadly, even when it's cool - a comic-book adaptation ruthlessly shorn of the word "comic".
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Drab, eye-rollingly stupid and with noisy effects designed to drown out audience snores, Priest is just about as bad as it gets.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Catherine Bray - Film4
There's a wealth of material to be mined from crises of faith and the idea of the church as supreme governor. But it quickly becomes apparent that subtext is too much to ask of a film that just wants cowboys and clergymen to fight vampires.
- Total Film
Priest is stylishly conceived and has the odd decent action sequence but it's also derivative, curiously flat and neither as scary nor as much fun as it should have been.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
A dourly humourless, futuristic farrago.
Alan Jones - Radio Times