Street Kings Reviews

  • The structure is in place -- the latticework of corruption -- only there are so many scurrilous men pulling strings that we might be watching a parade of nasty puppets, with Keanu as the chief wooden devil doll.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Street Kings is an absurd if accidentally entertaining potboiler, based on a story by James Ellroy.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • There's plenty of empty bravura, and Reeves is fundamentally blank and uninteresting.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • Street Kings wastes a moderately intriguing premise by filling it with laughably cliched dialogue, one-dimensional characters and implausible turns of events.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • We see the big picture way before the characters do, and that pushes us right out of the movie and back into our seats -- the last place we want to be.

    Desson Thomson — Washington Post

  • [Director] Ayer appears to like the thrill of violence more than its philosophical underpinnings, so the movie is caught between the silly and the profound.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • After its cliched first scene Street Kings becomes an enjoyably tough, blood-splattered action drama that revolves around the one good cop at its center.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • Street Kings is the cinematic equivalent of solid crime-genre fiction. It keeps the visual pages turning for a couple hours and navigates the dark corners of corruption and dishonor among men.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Street Kings has hints of Training Day and the subtle aroma of L.A. Confidential, two movies concerned with the moral ambiguity and compromised honor of L.A.'s finest.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • An anemic attempt to evoke the big, shiny action pictures of the late '80s and early '90s, the heyday of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, when Timothy Dalton was 007 and Clint Eastwood had fewer wrinkles and bigger hair.

    Jim Emerson — Chicago Sun-Times

  • In Ellroy's original scenario Street Kings was a period piece, set in the 1990s just after the Rodney King riots. I wonder if it would've made more sense that way.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Another 'roid-raging dirty cop drama from David Ayer.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Much of the casting is dead-on, from Cedric the Entertainer as a street dealer to Jay Mohr as a slimy cop and Chris Evans as an earnest rookie who saddles up with Reeves' Ludlow for an ill-fated ride.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Street Kings wobbles increasingly as it runs along, beginning well, growing so-so and culminating in a preposterous here's-what-it-all-means confession by the main villain.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • If you've seen Training Day, you've seen Street Kings done better.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • James Ellroy wrote the script; he also wrote the novel on which L.A. Confidential was based. If you're hoping for a similar intelligence, you're out of luck.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • Pic itself is similarly conflicted, glamorizing gunslinging while crying foul over unnecessary force.

    Peter Debruge — Variety

  • Like director David Ayer's previous movies (he wrote Training Day), Street Kings is about the joy of badass coppery.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • Keanu Reeves tries his best to channel Denzel and Clint in Street Kings, a wild and woolly if also slack and silly bad-cops-kill-other-bad-cops thriller.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • The movie belongs to Reeves, who at 43 is finally starting to look like an adult, with greater heft all round. He does Clint proud.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

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