The ultimate crime of this paranoid enemy-of-the-state pulp, directed with more style than brains by Antoine Fuqua, is how dull it is.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Muscles bulge and heads explode in this thoroughly reprehensible, satisfyingly violent entertainment about men and guns and things that go boom.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
The cinematic equivalent of one of those chunky special-forces-porn airport novels.
Andrew Pulver - Guardian [UK]
Despite gripping chase sequences and a few awe-inspiring fiery explosions, gaping holes in the convoluted plot make Shooter heavier on style than substance.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's a story that can be transplanted from genre to genre, because we never grow tired of it, which is to say that it fits snugly into the paranoid drift of American movies, and the value we place on one honest man with a gun.
Scott Eyman - Washington Post
A stylish but essentially businesslike smash-and-crasher.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The plot is so dense and cockamamie, trying to follow it isn't worth the bother.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Shooter's covert intent could have been satire. Overtly, though, it's definitely about shooting, betrayal and shooting. In that order.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
A sleek, scattershot and vigorously incoherent vigilante flick that assumes the high ground just long enough to slay every corrupt dirt-ball in its path.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Director Antoine Fuqua knows how to stage and shoot scenes of violence and chaos so that they build without ever bubbling over into absurdity.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
Shooter boasts a likable hero and the possibility of a sequel, and Hollywood rarely asks for a more storybook ending than that.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
This is the first big-studio action picture (the director is Antoine Fuqua) with some of the disgusted, bloody nihilism of the post-Vietnam era.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The engaging, fast-talking idiosyncrasy of [Wahlberg's] performance in The Departed has vanished.
David Denby - New Yorker
While it's fast-paced and often something of a nail-biter, Shooter doesn't really pay off, other than merely give us a lot of action, merely for action's sake.
Bill Zwecker - Chicago Sun-Times
For years Wahlberg has been turning into a real actor, and if he ever gets the action hero role he deserves, we'll let you know.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The story is often ridiculous, but director Antoine Fuqua provides plenty of fun distractions, including an evil Russian in a wheelchair, a conniving U.S. senator, and a heroine who favors tank tops.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
A chase movie and a pretty crafty thriller, Shooter owes a lot to Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
A high-caliber action movie that gives '70s revenge fantasies a contemporary spin.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Begins with a semblance of rationality, then flies off the rails, plunging into a series of bloody shootouts and pointless explosions.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Dean Essner - Variety
Its skeptical, disillusioned take on big government and official deceptions should strike a vibrant chord with a wide range of audiences.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Though the movie has some mild pretensions to rank with great paranoia films like Three Days of the Condor, mostly it's content to deliver Salisbury steak-and-mashed-potatoes action.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It features a gritty, macho performance by Mark Wahlberg, stinging political commentary and more 'Here's how you do that' moments than the complete MacGuyver collection on DVD.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It may not qualify as a masterpiece, yet is a masterful thriller nonetheless.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Like most modern action films, Shooter is too explicit, more interested in mayhem than motive.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
Shooter is far more complicated than it needs to be, taking more crazy twists and turns than it should.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Though much of the action in Shooter is beautifully photographed, the movie's force is as a blunt instrument of metaphor.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Even in a climate where the pervasive influence of 24 can be argued to have caused 'thriller fatigue,' Shooter is worth the price of admission.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Definitely a cut above the average action thriller.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Then come the plot holes, the cartoonish performances (especially from Ned Beatty as a crudely drawn, corrupt Montana senator) and -- oh, yes -- the stuff that gets blowed up real good.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Shooter is an honorable rather than exceptional addition to the canon.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Suspended over a deep gully of disbelief, where logic takes more bullets than the bad guys, Shooter still makes the grade as hard-ass action escapism.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Shooter is executed with such efficiency and energy by action maestro Antoine Fuqua that ignoring flaws and becoming involved in the proceedings isn't a matter of choice.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Shooter is nothing special, but a combination of appealing performances, intriguing plot twists and exciting action sequences mean that we're never less than entertained.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
There's enough unsettling paranoia that you don't exactly know how it's all going to turn out. It feels more like it could have come from the early '70s, when happy endings might not necessarily be right around the corner.
Dave White - Movies.com
Gory vigilante political thriller for adults only.
Heather Boerner - Common Sense Media
It jumps from typical action one-liners to political discussions about Abu Ghraib. I mean, you can't have a character named Swagger and expect me to take you seriously.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
It's a bit of fun but nothing you haven't seen before.
Drew Turney - Dark Horizons
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
... the twists within twists become so laughable that you can't take anything seriously... the only thing missing here is a laugh track.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
If you don't mind watching a rerun of a few other, better, spy thrillers, Shooter isn't half bad.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Despite its slew of genre cliches, Shooter works in fits and starts as a valentine to a simpler era in action films.
Stax - IGN Movies
The only way to watch it without considering it unbearably ridiculous or morally revolting is to focus purely on the action, the fighting, the explosions, and the quick pace.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
Wahlberg isn't as confident or credible as a tough guy with a mantle of regret.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
An impressive shoot-'em-up, work-it-out action drama.
Tony Horkins - Empire Magazine
Ultimately, it's just a vigilante picture with ideas above its station.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
Halfway decent script, good acting, good chases and stuff gets blown up. What more do you want? Godzilla?
Eric Lurio - Times Square
A exhilarating, big budget action thriller about corruption, betrayal and integrity.. Director Antoine Fuqua delivers thrills on a large scale and Wahlberg is a charismatic hero, overcoming all the odds to find justice far away from the Justice Department
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
There are plenty of things wrong with Shooter but the quantity and indeed the quality of the explosions isn't one of them.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The film's weird, thin politics become harder to swallow as it lurches from set-up to set-up.
Ben Walters - Time Out
It's no masterpiece, but it's way better than the usual big gun/small brain fare.
Jamie Russell - BBC
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
purports to question the way in which the military can take over the political process, but its answer is little more than the very violence it's supposedly critiquing.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Shooter is a real stinker.
Chuck O'Leary - FulvueDrive-in.com
Mark Wahlberg is an effective weapon of mass destruction as an ex-marine set up to take the fall for an ugly political cover-up.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It's the execution that matters, and for the most part ... the formula is executed well.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
This notion that villains might be identified and "dealt with" is rather quaint.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The result is fun in tiny spots but with no thrills to go around.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
Usually conspiracy thrillers don't work. And few fail on as many levels as Shooter.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Yet another movie selling violence and revenge as the answer to our political problems.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
... Falls victim to lazy filmmakers ...
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
You do wish somewhere along the way that "nuance" were as effective as all those dead patriots.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
The acting is solid throughout, which helps the film over the rather large plot holes.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The character's laughable name be damned, Wahlberg's a smart enough actor not to swagger through the role.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Wahlberg's hard-charging heart and rugged determination capture the essence of strong-and-silent-types who fall hard for the lofty rhetoric of idealism.
Brent Simon - FilmStew.com
It's not often that one complains of an action movie not being mindless enough, but that's precisely the problem with Shooter.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
It has one triple-super sudden-death revenge overtime too many. But inhale this meaty, juicy thriller like you would a Thickburger - before the dripping grease congeals on your fingers and you start thinking about what you're eating.
Nick Rogers - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
At its heart, this 'Shooter' just doesn't have the amunition to make us care.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
Shooter is the very epitome of the kind of instantly disposable film that has become all too common a sight in recent months.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
It's one of those conspiracy thrillers that keeps on asking you to take a leap of faith, until you get tired of leaping and you just start laughing in all the wrong places.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
It has just enough straight-faced bravado that you can sort of buy it, the same way you swallow the addictive preposterousness of '24' every week.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Creatively, this Shooter ends up firing blanks in its patchy profile of skepticism involving big brass governmental misconduct.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
Esquematico do inicio ao fim, parece desconhecer o conceito de sutileza; um problema que, ao ser aplicado ao seu discurso politico, acaba por enfraquece-lo de vez.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
It is probably not the best thing for the future of moviemaking if Shooter proves to be a big hit, but in this tiresome age of irony, there is something refreshing about a movie that would rather be explosive than plausible.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Ballistic fetishists and anticorporate activists will find common ground in each violent act against political fat cats, but the rest of us are left to wallow in the bloodlust and wonder who switched the reels.
David Fear - Time Out New York
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
While not boasting a very original plot, 'Shooter' provides a showcase for Mark Wahlberg's versatility as an actor.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
The story is basically predictable, so you have to judge this film on how good the action is... and I wanted the hero to be victorious, I was entertained.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Director Antoine Fuqua chooses to numb, rather than engage.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Shooter winds up being the movie that would have left us scratching our heads about Wahlberg's choices had he actually won the best supporting actor award for his terrific work in The Departed.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
It feels fat at more than two hours, and it's much less efficient than movies covering similar ground.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
This movie has a wide variation of action, suspense and thrills. Not to mention some of the best special effects I have seen.
Vince Koehler - Entertainment Spectrum
The picture molders under the predictable fiery explosions that fill the screen while any pretense of believability remains extinct.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
As smart action films go, Shooter generally hits its target.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Director Antoine Fuqua and screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin have let a perfectly good political action thriller get completely and ridiculously away from them.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
...a great popcorn movie. It won't make you think, but it won't insult your intelligence either.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The movie's politics may miss their mark, but its thrills are dead-on.
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
Less subversive and infinitely less intelligent than 1999's Wahlberg-starrer Three Kings.
Marrit Ingman - Austin Chronicle
The crushing two-hour-plus running time and Tom Clancy-for-dummies plot sabotage the film, which becomes particularly ridiculous in the last 30 minutes.
Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle
I could never get past the idea that this film is a blatant rip-off of another bad movie, only "Most Wanted," knew what it wanted to be and was at least fun.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
[Writer Jonathan Lemkin] never streamlined the plot enough to make this the fully accessible 'popcorn picture' it aims to be. Frankly, I defy any average moviegoer to accurately recount Shooter's knotty story.
Gary Goldstein - Reel.com
The movie's big conspiracy is only a peg on which to hang the suspenseful action. Toss in beautiful locations and great cinematography, and you have a solid action film.
Robert Folsom - Kansas City Star
It's not that the movie's terribly bad; it's more that nothing in it is really that good.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
the perfect movie for guys who still daydream about re-enacting 'Combat' and 'The A-Team' episodes in the backyard. But it's also a thriller with an undeniable political message...'Burn, baby, burn.'
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
A less musclebound 'Rambo' reimagined for the politically disgusted era of Dubya...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It whips from tense to flat-out ridiculous and leaves you feeling dumb for having once cared about it.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
It accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do--entertain while playing to everyone's most basic fears. American big-studio filmmaking. Ya gotta love it.
Lewis Beale - Film Journal International
Shooter doesn't try to be anything but a simple piece of pure action escapism and, on that level, it definitely hits the target.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
A sleek, taut entertainment spiked with timely political bile.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
An intermittently preposterous, drawn-out but sometimes entertaining story about an unstoppable ex-Marine.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
On the heels of a surprise Oscar nomination for his role as a cop with a bad attitude in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Mark Wahlberg takes a misstep with this poorly conceived and executed thriller from Antoine Fuqua.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
[A] competent if uninspired action thriller.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Without Wahlberg's rock-solid presence as a former Marine sniper turned hunted man, the mediocrity of Shooter would be clearer sooner.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
A perfectly watchable time-killer that delivers on its promises but also kind of wears out its welcome.
Scott Weinberg - Cinematical
As the body count increases, the kills become so gratuitous that the effect is numbing, like watching a line of metal ducks get pinged at the state fair.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Shooter knows what it's aiming for and is consistently, satisfyingly on-target.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Without the silly politics, this is a slam-bang, nonstop man-on-the-run conspiracy thriller with a reprehensible moral and an absurd factual basis, despite abundant graphic violence.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
This is a solid edge-of-your-seat thriller that smacks of political intrigue.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
It's not a movie to think too deeply about... It's better to just get the big tub of popcorn, the 82-ounce soda and sit in the front row
Kevin Carr - Film School Rejects
Shooter eventually gets in its own way by hitting things too hard, too loud and too long.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
They don't make movies like this anymore. I mean, seriously, they don't make movies where someone gets wronged and then kicks the wrongdoers' asses.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Shooter won't win any Oscars, but it has blood and brains, and even some heart. They're splattered all over the screen.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
The movie feels like a prelude; and since Swagger is also the protagonist of two other Hunter novels, if this picture flies, they may soon follow it into production. That's a pretty big "if," though.
Kurt Loder - MTV
It's best to turn your brain off, half an hour in.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
As Bob Lee Swagger, marksman, sniper, death dealer, Wahlberg in Shooter has his most physically perfect role since Boogie Nights.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
A thrilling action movie because director Antoine Fuqua knows how to blow stuff up and Marky Mark knows how to kick some booty!
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
As a formidable A-list action pic, the film is an unexciting throwaway. As an R-rated exploitationer, it doesn't understand that such a thing should actually be fun to watch.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
How (could) someone as drab and monotone and Wahlberg could have ever been nominated for an Oscar?
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Shooter ain't Shakespeare, but on a lazy Sunday afternoon with nothing else to do, you'll be glad this flick exists.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
a mash-up of "First Blood" and 2007's "24" White House rot intrigue that all feels vaguely like last year's "Deja Vu" without the sci-fi and "Cliffhanger" without the cliff hanging.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The script defies narrative logic, is implausible, lacks real characters and has more holes than the Gardner Expressway in the spring.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
He has to walk toward us in slo-mo? And the bad guys have to cackle over their total domination and corruption? And there have to be not one, not two, but three explaining villains?
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Oh, no they didn't!
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Don't go in with high expectations for a coherent story and you'll be fine.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Mark Wahlberg will only get props for balancing out the utter implausibility of [Antoine] Fuqua's new crash-boom conspiracy melodrama Shooter.
Bob Thomas - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Here's a customized way to gauge whether or not you'll enjoy Shooter: Give it three stars for each gun you own.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
The thinking person's 'Rambo'--depending on the thinking person's IQ--but gorgeous British Columbia scenery, awesome explosions, make it all worth the price.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Even if the film stumbles, it has just enough goofball lust to keep it entertaining, especially when Swagger is in full government spank mode.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
The saving grace of most bad movies is that they're brief and undemanding. This one makes you work at it.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A feel-good celebration of political vigilantism...As a piece of empty-headed action entertainment, it misses the target by a wide margin.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Shooter wants to be the Manchurian Candidate of today. But it adheres more to the formula of a forgettable Clancy paperback than a truly confrontational work.
John Thomason - Orlando Weekly
The movie's called Shooter, not Tea Cozy, so it's no surprise it's a man's man's man's movie. And a very entertaining one, at that.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Shooter is a well-timed reminder that cinematic violence can qualify as something other than mindless -- it can even, in deft hands, be mindful.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Comparisons to Sylvester Stallone's equally ill-treated combat vet from two decades ago are paper-thin, since this film is anything but a Rambore.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
It definitely has its moments, but Shooter is a near miss.
Alex Markerson - E! Online
A generically titled studio action picture that turns out to be a surprisingly deft satire about Americans' loss of faith in their government following the 2000 election, the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
It's best to hold your disbelief in abeyance and just go along for the thrill ride.
M. K. Terrell - Christian Science Monitor
The thinly veiled political rant hits all cylinders whenever its crosshairs land in action mode
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Is it preposterous? You bet. Will the politics piss off a good number of people? Most definitely. Do the bad guys get it, and get it good? Oh yeah. I think I just summed up the pitch meeting.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
An immature, angry polemic against military brass, the government, and politicians that is so simplistic, the movie ends up being more brain-dead for it.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
A last act climactic cleanup is what's calling forth the boos and hisses that aren't altogether fair to a chase-revenge thriller with so much character, skill and gripping power.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Swagger, after all, has undergone the most intensive training known to man: He's watched "First Blood" every day for 14 years.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
For a movie that the creators want to think of as a 'thinking man's' actioner, very little thought seems to have been expended on some pretty basic questions of ethics.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The bad guys are bad and the guns are smokin' hot, hey, that's why they call it a thriller!
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
A predictable and preposterous picture with more plot holes than Bonnie-and-Clyde's machine gun riddled car.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Some old dude steals the movie by saying, "I still have the shovel."
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
RAMBO with less pomposity and better acting. Mostly.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
This old-fashioned revenge actioner suffers from a prepsoterous plot and lack of logic and credibility, a peculiar combo of an inner-directed hero that would make John Wayne proud and a cynical tone of conspiracy thrillers like Three Days of the Condor.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com