The way I watch this action thriller is as a field guide to perceived current audience tastes in casting, characters, and storytelling style.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
S.W.A.T. is mostly standard-issue muddle.
Elvis Mitchell - New York Times
Reasonably entertaining for the first half-hour, after which your eyelids will be heavy.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
There have been far worse movies this summer, but the best justification for seeing this spinoff of the mid-'70s TV series is if your date or mate is holding you hostage in the theater.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Offers up the kind of pleasures that only a summer movie can.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
While the movie is stupid, it is -- hooray, and let's put this in all the national ads! -- not appallingly stupid.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
Those who love police overkill, guns, jingoistic race-baiting, guns, macho smugness, and guns will be well served.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A rigmarole of stranded cliches and thrill-free action-movie legerdemain.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
Fresher popcorn than most of the sequels that have come and gone.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
An over-amped action film with just enough character shadings and color to make us wish it were better.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
A fun way to kill two hours.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
Strictly standard issue.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
There is something sneakily gratifying about all this.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
A well-made police thriller.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A big, near-incoherent action thriller best suited for audiences who don't mind being pummeled into submission.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
As summer shoot-'em-ups go, this is pretty well executed, with plenty of macho posing and gunfire.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
S.W.A.T. is by the numbers, by the book, and, by the way, pretty good.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
An outstanding pulp thriller.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's every police movie you've ever seen wrapped into one, done so stiffly that the characters are barely able to bend at the waist to collect their hundreds of spent shell casings.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Director Clark Johnson strives for realistic detail and action. Unfortunately, such adherence to technical purity proves to be a weakness for the movie.
Robert Koehler - Variety
A lifeless trudge through squandered opportunities and god-awful dialogue.
Megan Lehmann - New York Post
A worn-out yawner of a cop thriller where even the cliches seem to realize how dated they are.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
S.W.A.T. has blockbuster ambitions, but it develops characters and plot at a leisurely pace better suited to the small screen than the big one.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A film full of phony swagger and dialogue so awful you hope for once-distracting conversations to break out in the theatre around you.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
You can't get mad at it -- except for the two hours of your life it steals from you.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
The director, a TV guy named Clark Johnson, doesn't shoot action very well, which is sort of a handicap.
David Edelstein - Slate
A high-octane, brain-dead action picture that happens to feature cops as the characters.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A noisy, standard-issue cop actioner.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
What we have here is a model for the paint-by -numbers, perfectly generic, proudly soulless summer action flick.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Though the film's second half has some good action moments, it never fulfills the promise of its earliest scenes.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
By-the-numbers explosion flick -- no surprises.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Never quite rises above the level of merely watchable.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Mark Halverson - Sacramento News & Review
A lively, mindless police thriller.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Solidly entertaining without being spectacular.
Alan Morrison - Empire Magazine
he high definition SWAT training footage resembles a US Army recruitment ad, appropriate since TV journeyman Johnson imagines downtown LA as an unpatrolled Baghdad, swarming with guntotin' mercenaries pursuing their share of the bounty.
Jessica Winter - Time Out
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Watching the wheels come off of S.W.A.T. is quite a sight.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Is there an actual character in S.W.A.T.? A plot? A single intelligent or exciting sequence?
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
...a case of a modest workmanlike film exceeding diminished expectations
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
This is an enjoyable entertainment, but I can't really call it any more than average.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
I think intentions matter. On its own terms, this vaguely retro S.W.A.T. is honest filmmaking and bang-up entertainment to boot.
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
I didn't pay nine bucks for this in the theater. I know which movies are worth paying for, and which barely merit an absent-minded dumping to the bottom of my NetFlix queue.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
James Verniere - Boston Herald
... S.W.A.T. is an action movie for those of us who want to see more than shiny cars and musclebound meathead heroes of the Vin Diesel variety.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
S.W.A.T. may well be the set up for a movie franchise. Let's hope the producers understand why this one works.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
'Meat and potatoes action cinema.'
Paul Arendt - Teletext
Anton Bitel - Movie Gazette
Dean Essner - Sunday Times (Australia)
Um filme interessante, mas nao muito eficiente.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
It's just a shame there's not more substance to the style. Plenty of crash, bang. Not a lotta wallop.
Nev Pierce - BBC
SWAT is a pale replica of the 1970s cop adventure show with only some of the panache and only slightly better acting.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
I was very disappointed in this movie. Not because it was bad, but because it was good. I had all these lines made up to make fun of it and now I can't use them.
Dan Marcucci and Nancy Serougi - Broomfield Enterprise
The fast pace robs the characters of depth, but there's never time to be bored. S.W.A.T. is an arresting good time.
Terri Clark - Apollo Guide
Forgettable Friday night thriller that's short on action set-pieces but compensates with decent characters and performances.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's not a particularly original movie.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Satisfying fare and worthy of a sequel.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
Why not just make an action film without pretending to be something more?
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
... another film franchise based on an aging property because Hollywood would rather spend a few bucks on a barely-remembered property instead of a lot of bucks developing something new themselves.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
The script is tight and lean.
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Its assertion that realism is more serious than abstraction caters to literal-mindedness at the expense of interest.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
A reasonably rousing, if utterly predictable, cop romp, S.W.A.T. delivers precisely what it promises: plenty of kick-butt action and a cool cast capable of spouting sassy quips with drop-dead aplomb.
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
S.W.A.T.'s last, seemingly interminable 45 minutes make the Mini Cooper chase of The Italian Job seem practically Truffaut.
Paul Povse - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
It gives S.W.A.T. that kind of feeling where it should be corny, but everyone is just too cool to care. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a movie in uniform.
Shawn Bowers - Kansas City Star
A sleek but vacant exercise in cop movie cliches.
Adam Nayman - eye WEEKLY
A macho, melodramatic misfire.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
...entertaining enough to overlook small flaws...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
There's no there there.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
As written, this film feels like nothing more than two guys interested in grabbing a paycheck and getting out. Overall, S.W.A.T. is more of a S.P.L.A.T.
Susan Michals - FilmStew.com
The so-so summer movie syndrome continues with this poorly written but finely cast action-thriller based on yet another long-buried television series.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
The movie is an admiring salute to the men and women who protect and serve.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Considering that S.W.A.T. is about a highly trained, strategic police force, it's disappointing how quickly the movie dissolves into a formulaic cop movie.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Played out like a cop show that should have been cancelled seasons ago, S.W.A.T. is nothing if not boring.
Rachel Deahl - Pulse Weekly
While S.W.A.T. hits on practically every cop movie cliche, it just seems to work.
Kevin Carr - Film Threat
... Dumb, lazy, predictable and usually preposterous. Occasionally it's fun, but that's no excuse.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
...The film succeeds in developing its story, characters and action even though every step of the way is a formula-ridden minefield.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
The ludicrousness reaches often dizzying proportions, yes, but -- the crucial, mitigating measuring stick for any action movie -- its excitement does not flag.
Brent Simon - Entertainment Today
I think J Lo said it best only last week -- 'It's turkey time.'
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Irony is not dead: 'S.W.A.T,' we are informed during the opening credits, is an 'Original Film.' That's the name of one of the production companies responsible for this regurgitation of the ABC series...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Surely something more original than this could have been mined from the history of North America's largest and most professional police force.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Severely Washed-up Asinine Tossaway.
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
There could be more, but in a summer full of less, S.W.A.T.'s an OK bargain so far. I give it Matinee for execution, veracity, and surprises.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
S.W.A.T feels as aimless and baseless as the flashy bullets it shoots around in arbitrary fashion. So here's to saluting 2003's arrival of the insufferable S.W.A.T: a (S)olely (W)asteful (A)ction-packed (T)easer.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
The plot is an overstuffed and undercooked collection of cop conventions all wrapped around a frankly boring tale of one sneering and villainous Frenchman.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
The movie doesn't contain a single original character or plot point, but it's entertaining -- and, oddly enough, kind of charming -- in its familiarity.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
S.W.A.T." does little to reinvent the cop movie ... but it works within the conventions of the genre to deliver solid, reliable entertainment.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The best movie in the police genre since 'Narc.'
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Colin Farrell as Jim Street may well be one of the great screen performances.
D.K. Holm - Movie Poop Shoot
A thoroughly unremarkable police action movie.
Bill Gallo - Dallas Observer
It's big, but not insanely overblown.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A muscular, efficient police procedural with enough tense action to make up for truly awful dialogue.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
'S.W.A.T' is the perfect August release - not too much dialogue, a whole lot of action, and an easy to follow plot populated with believable characters.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
A summer popcorn actioner that strictly follows procedure.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
Monotonous to the point of despair.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
We want a little more, get a little less, and keep thinking to ourselves that we should have known better.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
SWAT is better than Gigli, but so is most outpatient surgery.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
"S.W.A.T." is exactly what it promises to be; a fun summer movie that doesn't leave you shaking your head in regret afterwards. Besides, a man in uniform is always a good thing, right?
Vanessa Sibbald - Zap2it.com
As summer popcorn movies go, you could do worse than S.W.A.T.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
From the minute S.W.A.T. starts rolling, it's clear we've got a wanna-be blockbuster on our hands. And we all know what that means.
Leigh Johnson - Hollywood.com
Despite the usual macho posturing and testosterone poisoning that are the hallmarks of such projects, S.W.A.T. finds some room for a comfortable lived-in quality among a small, likable cast that exudes terrific chemistry.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Neither dull nor particularly exciting ...no one is likely to hold this film up as his or her shining moment when it's time to put together a career retrospective.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I liked the characters, the action, and the story, but the sophomoric dialog keeps this from being a great cop movie.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Dah'n DAH...dah'ndah, dah'ndah.... OK. It's impossible to hum in print. So maybe, if you're familiar with it, you can just imagine television's "S.W.A.T." theme providing the background as you read this.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Schlocky, slam-bang fun.
Bob Campbell - Newark Star-Ledger
Bolted for action but flabby all over, it is derived in a stupid, distilled sense from the 1975 ABC-TV show that enshrined a paramilitary elite unit of police, full of Vietnam vets and gonzo for firepower.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
The S.W.A.T. teamers exemplify what seems a set of ideal contradictions -- militaristic but individualistic, cartoonish but sort of relevant, elite but regular, dangerous but sensitive.
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
You'll probably leave the theatre singing that theme song.
Jane Stevenson - Jam! Movies
The movie has the feel of several episodes of a series that have been jammed into a feature-length helping.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Starts off strong, delivers a few adrenaline rushes, and loses steam before it coasts to a stop and drops us off safe and sound.
Sean O'Connell - Flipside Movie Emporium
S.W.A.T. has more filler than a cheap hot dog, and it's about as tasty.
Jeffrey Bruner - Des Moines Register
A lean, muscular action built around the sort of pulpy premise for which summer movies were made.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
S.W.A.T the movie is two hours long, but doesn't contain enough interesting material to fill a one-hour episode of the short-lived television series.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
One of those generic cop-slash-war movies of the Jerry Bruckheimer school -- where men are men and so are the women, where the hardware is fetishized.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Johnson's jagged shooting style, with handheld camerawork and well-deployed video images, works on the audience's nervous system, tensely conveying the chaos of crime and the brute force S.W.A.T. uses to stop it.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
S.W.A.T. delivers some of the best thrills and excitement of the summer.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
Like a bullet shot from a rifle, this is one shiny, noisy and mechanical affair.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
S.W.A.T. is exciting but utterly devoid of meaning.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
It is just a solid, by-the-book police melodrama with characters and situations we have seen dozens of times before on the big and small screen.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
First-rate drama delivered in a steadily paced film with a terrific climactic ending.
Diana Saenger - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
About as much mindless fun as you can expect from a good old fashioned American Western transplanted to 21st century Los Angeles.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
S.W.A.T. is one of the most pleasant surprises in a summer movie season that's been filled with surprising unpleasantness.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
S.W.A.T. is a compendium of missed opportunities, uninspired action and cliches so tired, you wish the screenwriters had called 911.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
S.W.A.T. is like a chauvinist on a first date.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
A straightforward yet interesting yarn.
Jack Zink - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Cliche reheated many times over
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
The best summer action movie since 1994's Speed.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The fresh cast breathes some life into the proceedings, and it looks good on screen, but the formulaic plot gets less and less believable as it goes along.
Dean Essner - Christian Science Monitor
In this summer of sequels it is almost a breath of fresh air to see an action film that doesn't have a number at the end of the title.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
S.W.A.T. fits its late-summer release date. It senses we've been worn out by blockbusters, and doesn't try too hard to please us.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
The camaraderie is realistic and heartening, the escape plan is exciting, and the ladies will love it when LL flashes his abs.
Dean Essner - E! Online
A sexed-up recruitment movie that strains to do for cops what Baywatch did for lifeguards.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
A throbbing dose of high-testosterone schlock in which logic, credibility and characterization also are dispensable in the name of that all-consuming end: keeping things moving.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
S.W.A.T. merely aims to be no-nonsense entertainment and totally delivers the goods.
Bill Pearis - Citysearch
The film is nothing special and feels like a cliche every step of the way.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Best-of-the-best cops make for a better-than-average action flick thanks to street-level direction and blue-collar heroics.
James Rocchi - Netflix
One long adrenaline shot that never takes itself seriously and never pauses long enough to worry about making much sense.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
As close as we're going to get to a 2003 version of The Fast and the Furious.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
If this movie was going to be sold in a grocery store, it would be in a plain white box with black letters that say, "GENERIC SUMMER EXPLOSION MOVIE."
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
(CNN.com) Paul Clinton - CNN.com
[Jackson and Farrell] manage to keep us interested with pure charisma.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Farrell and Martinez overflow with testosterone.
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
A great poster, a great tagline and a great theme song do not a great movie make.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
It can only meet you halfway: you have to be able to grin at this stuff, not sneer.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Good cop; bad cop. Bad TV show; bad movie. That about sums up S.W.A.T.
Bob Townsend - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By the end, you'll think they have already made `Bad Boys III.'
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
A game of "Cops & Robbers" offers far more excitement. Until ITS eventual big-screen appearance.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
[N]ot... actively awful -- it's just sort of boring and completely predictable and a little bit laughable in its psychology.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
When even the dynamic, charismatic, scenery-chomping Samuel L. Jackson seems so bored that he might as well be phoning in his performance, you know your action movie is a lifeless failure.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The actors have an appealing enough chemistry to overcome some of the sillier moments and make "S.W.A.T." a better film that it probably has any right to be.
Peter Sobczynski - Critic Doctor
S.W.A.T. proves something of a throwback entertainment in this summer of digital-effects duds. The story couldn't be more cliched or conservative.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
An agreeable throwback...an action movie that, despite its modern sheen, has an almost charmingly old-fashioned feel.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
This movie ain't worth didly s.w.a.t.
Danny Minton - KBTV-NBC (Beaumont, TX)
S.W.A.T. is a fast paced action flick with an interesting hook
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Colin is cute, Sam is snarky, and that's pretty much all we have to cling to
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
It doesn't even stink in any meaningful way, completely forgotten before it's even over.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
There's a good movie hidden beneath the prosaic rubbish we've been served up. Unfortunately, no matter how far we dig, we'll never be able to reach it.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
An edge-of-your-seat film that doesn't tire you out.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
Think of a citywide version of John Carpenter's B-movie gem Assault on Precinct 13 and you've just imagined a better movie than S.W.A.T.
Jeremiah Kipp - Slant Magazine
Director Clark Johnson keeps the action and the story interest flowing without letting romance and other distracting details bog things down.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
This film is proof you can make a pretty exciting cop movie based on a fairly lousy cop TV show.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Even critics dial p-a-s-s-a-b-l-e.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve