Smith, in other words, does exactly what you'd expect the hero of a bloody, trashy, volcanically depraved action movie to do. He just does it a little bit...more so, and that's the rollicking good joke of Shoot 'Em Up
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Shoot 'Em Up is a witless, soulless, heartless movie that mistakes noise for bravura and tastelessness for wit.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
There are laughs in Owen's loathing of various male affectations but it's ultimately wearyingly crude and calculating.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
For mainstream audiences, its whiplash pacing, frenetic camera work and offhand manner toward blood spillage probably will be disturbing.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's just gunfights strung together, without a whisper of coherence or meaning.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
It's a cocktail made up of three parts testosterone to one part brains.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
This is likely the fastest-moving intentionally funny action movie ever made.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Like Quentin Tarantino without the aesthetic posturing, the film is giddy with pop references -- and embraces the sloshy fun of exploitation genre-tweaking...
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
The most audacious, implausible, cheerfully offensive, hyperactive action picture I've seen since, oh, Sin City, which in comparison was a chamber drama.
Roger Ebert - Denver Post
Shoot 'em Up will become, I suspect, some kind of legend in the murky depths of extreme action.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Really, this thing is pretty rank.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
One can certainly be amused and entertained by writer-director Michael Davis's hyperbolic action frolics -- I was -- but not without feeling pretty low and stupid.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
For sheer audacity and adrenaline-fueled carnage, Shoot 'Em Up hits its target pretty much dead on.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Deliriously tasteless and shamelessly entertaining, Shoot 'Em Up is the guiltiest pleasure of the year.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Bang. Bang. Bang-bang blood, blood, blood. There, you've seen the movie.
Tom Long - Detroit News
With its absurd anti-gun "message," the film certainly could be called a satire, yet it remains firmly within the genre it is satirizing.
Kerry Lengel - Arizona Republic
Good taste is the first fatality in this gonzo thrill-seeker, sure to offend mainstream dispositions, yet too stylistically audacious to dismiss outright.
Peter Debruge - Variety
You know Quentin Tarantino is probably over the hill when he can be so parodied with such deadly precision in Shoot 'Em Up.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
The most amoral action film since Crank.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
If John Woo had directed a Bugs Bunny cartoon written by the creators of South Park, the result might be something like Shoot `Em Up, but with a crucial difference: Bugs Bunny cartoons were always less than 10 minutes long.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
...an affectionate, often very funny Simpsons parody of its whole eponymous genre. It's a live-action McBane as co-directed by Quentin Tarantino and Chuck Jones.... Shoot 'Em Up is Hot Fuzz gone to the Dark Side.
Mark Bourne - Film.com
There is no wisdom or critical acumen in evidence in Shoot 'Em Up, however. Just 100 or so cool scenes masquerading as a movie.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
The sum of the movie's exploding parts adds up to nothing -- not even just good, sick fun.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
I get it that as soon as graphic novels or video games are invoked as references in a movie, we're all supposed to chuckle indulgently at the content. But I refuse to relinquish my right to be repelled by this nasty piece of work.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Drinking the full adrenaline-with-a-wink cocktail might be too much, but there's nothing wrong with sampling it.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Anyone looking for subtlety, character development or layered plotting will be disappointed, but action fans will find plenty to amuse them.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
After about an hour, though, it all becomes a mind-numbing barrage.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
This wet dream for action junkies leaves out logic and motivation -- you know, all the boring stuff.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Over-the-top doesn't begin to describe Shoot 'Em Up's set-pieces, most of which are undeniably entertaining.
Kevin Crust - Los Angeles Times
Far from being a spoof on the genre, Shoot 'Em Up is an action movie with the flab removed - with no more than maybe ten minutes of exposition, you're left with a series of interconnecting money shots, each one more gooey than the last.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
Hank Sartin - Time Out
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Jeff Otto - ReelzChannel.com
Merrily amoral, shamelessly watchable and outlandishly funny, Shoot 'Em Up is not for all tastes, but those with a dark sense of humor will have a ball.
Tim Grierson - Screendaily
Say what you will about Bugs Bunny, at least he never needed a backstory.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
...it's certainly impossible to deny the effectiveness of the three central performances.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Clive Owen is ideally cast as the likeable loner (with a tragedy in his past, of course) whose self defence and killing efficiency is declared with deadpan delivery.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
...painfully uncool one-liners, a flat performance from Clive Owen, a disgusting job by Paul Giamatti and a plot that reveals itself to be idiotic.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Shoot 'em Up dispenses with plot, character development and coherency, but it's a blast all the same.
Christian Toto - Washington Times
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
a sometimes hilarious, sometimes eye-goggling reductio ad absurdum of the action flick to its barest kinetic essentials - like one of those porn compilations of money shots, only in a different genre.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
...essentially just one long chase sequence that becomes much too monotonous much too soon.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
...arguably the best-directed movie of the year.
Luke Y. Thompson - OC Weekly
Uma versao idiota de Filhos da Esperanca.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
The whole thing is supposed to be played for laughs, but it is too bloody, too brutal and too sadistic to be remotely amusing.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
It is obvious that this is a movie where the filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing, which is why I believe this movie will live on much longer than its box office receipts indicate.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Forget style over substance; the style is the substance here, and it's hard to complain when it's all, quite simply, so much damn fun.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The cast alone makes it worth seeing this semi-serious satire of cowboy diplomacy action flicks.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Watching Shoot 'Em Up was akin to watching latter-day Saturday Night Live: I could tell what they meant to be going for, but the comedy just fell flat flat flat.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
A deliberately excessive homage to John Woo.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
For the most part, this is strictly kiss kiss, bang bang, yawn yawn.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
While it's easy to curse Hollywood after watching this film with grumbling words like 'ridiculous,' 'oh, come on!' and 'utterly unrealistic,' remember: director Michael Davis clearly wasn't trying to be realistic.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
While gorehounds and fanboys will line up (if only to see two examples of death by carrot stick), it's 50-50 as to whether other palates will savor this particular dish.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Shoot 'Em Up is too silly for its glib violence to seem mean, and too dumb to mean anything, or take notes on, but it's not without wit.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
The term 'suspending disbelief' hasn't been this apropos since Democrats watched President Bush take the oath of office.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
But by the time it's done with all the "phallic mumbo jumbo," the movie doesn't seem to be saying much that's new.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The inspired action sequences are brilliantly staged and imaginatively shot, and at 86 minutes it doesn't outstay its welcome.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Bullets through umbilical cords, shootouts during sex and gunfights in gun factories: this is one movie that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
The film is so fast it is over almost before it begins and so empty-headed it demands little but your inertia. On the way there are moments of weird charm, conjured by the movie's velocity.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Bang, bang you're dead: Clive Owen romps his way through Shoot 'Em Up, an outrageously shoddy, audaciously choreographed exploitation flick that loves the smell of gunpowder in the morning.
Jamie Russell - BBC
Impressively directed, frequently silly but nonetheless enjoyable thriller that delivers exactly what the title suggests - 86 minutes of non-stop shoot-'em-up fun.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
This is seedy, morally defunct, low-IQ cinema for airheads: it's toe-curlingly violent and mostly plain nasty, but quite fun in a debauched kind of way.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Michael Davis' new film asks the question, "What would happen if you took your average action-movie mayhem-a-thon, eliminated all the boring parts (like motivation and character development) and then called it what it is: 'Shoot 'Em Up'?
Kurt Loder - MTV
OTT action and amoral humour are the entire point.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph
A bold, brash blast of a movie that will fade from memory like a puff of gunsmoke but still has the cordite whiff of a future cult hit about it for the leathered-at-2am crowd. Just don't expect plot or much depth.
Tom Hawker - Total Film
A smattering of great one-liners and a sense of its own ridiculousness make this the movie of the week by a mile.
Dean Essner - Daily Mirror [UK]
Brit writer/director Michael Davis deserves top marks for his sharp shooting.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
It is utter nonsense and completely reprehensible morally. But it's an outrageous amount of fun.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
A film that would be odious were it not realised with such verve and gleeful, inventive 'Looney Tunes' audacity, and only a trim 86 minutes long.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
Thanks to its sneakily subversive tone (the plot, with heavy irony, involves gun control) and grandstand performances, the flashy result mostly hits the target.
Neil Smith - thelondonpaper
It pokes fun at the American obsessions of guns, breasts and violence, says the producer. But can we have a proper storyline next time round, Mr Davis?
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Completely retarded and totally awesome...
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Works on a kind of stripped-down, pure, gleeful violence, committed by characters who aren't capable of anything else.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
"Shoot 'Em Up" belongs to the "Transporter"/"Smokin' Aces" school of modern western grindhouse cinema.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
With a thunderous pace and an outrageous level of violence and mayhem, this film blasts its way onto the screen, as the title suggests, dragging its reluctant hero into a series of increasingly ludicrous set pieces.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Indeed, the entire movie can be seen to exist on the comic ultraviolence spectrum that began with Bugs and Elmer's arms race from The Rabbit of Seville
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
Perhaps the most refreshingly creative explosion of pure bad taste to come our way in far too long.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The real problem is that 80 minutes of essentially non-stop action...are eventually wearying
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
For all its absurdity, the action is good enough to keep adrenaline junkies juiced ...
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
A depraved B(ullet) ovie that may not quite be John Woo's wet dream, but which is good enough to make the maestro shift uncomfortably in his sleep.
Tom Ambrose - Empire Magazine
This swift, rank, enjoyably dark movie presses against so many limits, it achieves the threshold of a new limit.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
A one-dimensional cinematic treat best savored with one's brain on pause.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
Rock out with your **** out!
Rob Humanick - Stranger Song
It's great fun... until it gets tedious.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
A big bloody disappointment.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Bullets fly and bad guys die. The action is non-stop and rather original in this hour-and-a-half burst of testosterone.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Offering frenetic, absurdist, over-the-top violence, it's a silly, smarmy, shell-shocked live-action cartoon.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Shoot 'Em Up contains several ridiculous sequences, all freshly-minted classics, in which physics are bent, exploited, and flat-out flushed down the toilet.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
This movie has got both sex and violence. What more do you want? A plot that makes sense?
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Ugly, disgusting, revolting, sadistic, and pointless...If it is intended as a satire, it fails. If it isn't, it is a grotesque disgrace.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
You wouldn't believe me if I told you how this movie opens.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The excessive but wonderfully creative bloodlust in Shoot 'Em Up takes glorified violence to a new level. Let's just say the film lives up to its title.
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
Within the genre of baffling, what-the-hell-is-this? movies, Shoot 'Em Up is a fine specimen.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Giamatti plays his villain role with a purring fervency that implies he wishes he had a properly twirlable mustache.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Dean Essner - Screen International
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
(Y)ou gotta love the primal potency of Shoot 'Em Up. It's been a long time since any movie has made such a strong connection to our cave dweller cravings.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Shoot 'Em Up is filled with ingenious moments. This movie is seriously cool.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
it's really nothing more than Charlie's Angels 2 all over again... with Clive Owen and a fetish prostitute instead of three young, hot chicks.
Kevin Carr - Film School Rejects
Shoot a(TM)Em Up is like a manual of creative mayhem, a distillation of Sergio Leone Western and John Woo Hong Kong gun-gasm.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Jaw-dropping only hints at the reaction to the intricately staged fights, especially a shootout between Smith and a dozen or so villains as they step out of a jet and plummet toward Earth sans parachutes.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
A tasteless cartoon that uses the high-minded ideals of satire and social commentary to cloak the fact that it is shamelessly pandering to the most base, juvenile parts of our nature.
Brandon Fibbs - Christianity Today
Even more distressing is the presence of Owen and Paul Giamatti. I understand the concept of working as much as possible while you're hot, but it's a slippery slope.
Ruthe Stein - San Francisco Chronicle
The method to the madness behind Shoot 'Em Up is etched in stone from a surreal popcorn perspective drenched in cynicism and silliness.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Bang! An instant cult hit...
Susan Green - Boxoffice Magazine
If you're a fan of Looney Tunes live action, it doesn't get much better than Clive Owen juiced up on beta-carotene.
Richard Horgan - FilmStew.com
Dave White - Movies.com
A former storyboard artist, Davis orchestrates the film's nearly wall-to-wall action sequences with breakneck precision and exhilarating verve -- the more outrageous the mayhem, the better.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
Loaded for fun, a trigger-happy full-frontal assualt on our senses that really seems to be winking at a whole macho-movie genre.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
The ultimate target audience will undoubtedly have the added benefit of libations.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Fully dedicated to finding newer and more creative ways to annihilate countless bad guys, Michael Davis' ultimate guy movie isn't just testosterone-heavy, it's doused with it, sprayed with diesel, and set ablaze.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
...clunky dialogue, a patchwork plot and a poor turn from sexpot Bellucci take the air out of this exercise. A couple of cheesy set pieces may be amusing, but on the whole Shoot 'Em Up is a bore.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Mike Barnard - Future Movies UK
The movie I've been waiting for my whole life. Michael Davis is my soul mate.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
The actors, unquestionably and predictably, are leagues better than the material deserves.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
It's inevitable that a movie this trigger-happy shoots itself in the foot.
Dezhda Gaubert - E! Online
The smartest stupid movie I've seen this year.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
There are only so many ways to shoot people, and the movie gets repetitive in its gleeful nihilism and downright boring when the gunfire stops and characters start trying to explain what little plot exists.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Though it has no real characters and a completely nonsensical plot, it is a welcome respite from other uber-violent movies like 300 that are itself parodies and don't even realize it.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
It's funny without being toothless, adrenaline turbocharged without being mean, and utterly deranged in the best sense of the word.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
As for a plot, the film is too busy piling up dead bodies to have much of one. And, with dialogue consisting almost entirely of movie poster tag lines, Shoot 'Em Up shoots blanks.
Meg Jones - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
To approximate the experience, simply record a minute-long TV ad, watch it 86 times, and imagine the profanity, scatology and gore that broadcast censors had to cut out of it.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
Davis rigs his action scenes like intricate and deliciously clever Rube Goldberg devices that are a delight to see play out.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
A fun, if messy, compilation of the most absurd action scenes ever put on celluloid.
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
That Giamatti appears in Shoot 'Em Up is bad enough, but he's not even good in it, chewing the scenery in service of mostly unfunny lines.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
a giddy, deranged, pumped-up theme park ride in Bullet Land
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
If there's a Hell, an honest-to-God place of eternal torment, Shoot 'Em Up would make the ideal introductory video, promising a lifetime of anguish to come.
Brian Orndorf - eFilmCritic.com
Not one second of the film is anything other than ludicrous, which is exactly why it rocks.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Everything about this neo-noir version of an Itchy & Scratchy marathon is casually ludicrous, right down to its back-handed advocacy of - wait for it - gun control.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
In the end, you care about the characters on screen as much as you do for those in video games, which is not at all.
Andy Spletzer - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Shoot 'Em Up is simply wild fun and nothing more, though suspiciously intent on blowing away the whole kick butt genre with a wink, while taking down as many bad guys as possible in sight.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
The best guilty pleasure of the summer... arriving just a couple of weeks too late.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Simultaneously a spoof, throwback, and tribute to the ballets of violence that precede it, Shoot 'Em Up is the guilty pleasure of the year.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Badass, unabashedly malicious fun.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
There is not yet an expression to describe how over-the-top this hyperkinetic action comedy is, from its John Woo/Rube Goldberg inspired set pieces to its painful self-awareness of its own darned cleverness.
Robert Newton - Christian Science Monitor
Seems in pursuit of being the ultimate 'guy movie,' but fans of this sort of glamorized killing spree aren't the kind of guy that most guys want to be.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Viscerally exciting, but without a brain in its head...like an outstanding ten-minute audition reel repeated nine times.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
You might be able to say you had a good time watching it -- but felt dirty about it afterwards.
Jeffrey Chen - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Simultaneously declares its love for over-the-top action movies and demonstrates how ridiculous they are.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
ludicrous, ridiculous, campy and wildly over the top, which is just the way it should be.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Ridiculously violent, comically bloody and so over-the-top that one can only view it as a cartoon that just so happens to be live-action. As for the says-it-all title, it is truth in advertising taken to the extreme.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Writer-director Michael Davis has stripped the action movie down to its essence in a mind-blowing mash-up fueled with testosterone, adrenaline, and weapons-grade explosives.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
A vulgar, smug and willfully stupid movie that's both a lazy pseudo-parody of action films and a particularly egregious example of the genre itself.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
It's hard to get too worked up about a film whose very title announces its maker's intent.
Chuck Wilson - L.A. Weekly
This hyperkinetic, ultra-violent, guns-a-blazin' actioner from writer-director Michael Davis can be accused of many things - stupidity, misogyny, the death of American film as we know it - but false advertising is not one of them.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
If you're impressed by the way Owen takes out bad guys while holding an infant, wait until you see how he manages mid-climax (yes, I mean that sort of climax).
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
by far the greatest video game masquerading as a movie ever.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
a high-impact, adrenaline pumping, laugh-out-loud film that is so preposterously over the top that it is almost poetry
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
[A] gloriously deranged orgy of Bugs Bunny-style action and nonstop gunplay...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
For those who can stand the nonstop assault on their sensibilities, it's delightfully trashy, albeit irresponsible.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
The 'Best Use of a Carrot as a Weapon Award' goes to Clive Owen as Mr Smith
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Awesome! Perfect! Surpasses the high-octane genre. Should not be missed!
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Maintaining a surprisingly light touch and upbeat tone... Shoot 'Em Up is one of this year's best guilty pleasures.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Getting worked up over Shoot 'Em Up's excessive bloodshed is playing right into its hands.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Terrific, envelope-pushing gun fighting that both parodies and pays homage to Sergio Leone and John Woo.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The biggest problem I have with a spoof of action/ carnage/ car chase/ gunfire movies is that this genre is a spoof of real life to begin with. What's with spoofing a spoof?
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Not only riffing on John Woo's Hong Kong flicks but cranking up the action until it becomes quite literally a madcap cartoon.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Fast-paced, ultra-violent, spectacular and preposterous, Shoot 'Em Up may be the most pleasurable, kinetic, and trashy actioner, a truly cult midnight flick, since Rodriguez's El Mariachi and Desperado.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant