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
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
Offers up the kind of pleasures that only a summer movie can.
Michael O'Sullivan - 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 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
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
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)
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)
...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
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
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
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
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)