“Get Your Ass To Mars!”
Total Recall is too much -- but it's too much of a good thing.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Melding the ever-more-workable Schwarzenegger mystique with a better-than-average science-fiction premise, the director Paul Verhoeven has come up with a vigorous, superviolent interplanetary thriller that packs in wallops with metronomic regularity.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
It's still a guilty pleasure - though the guilt quotient is a bit higher - and that's down to the still-extraordinary presence of the massively gym-built Arnold...
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
A gratuitous explosion of vainglory and guts, the movie is all firecrackers and giblets and broken glass. The overall effect is like wading through hospital waste.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Recall is full of the musclebound action that [Schwarzenegger's] fans presumably enjoy. It also means that this Mars-bound movie is violent, nasty and expensive (it cost Tri-Star well over $60 million).
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
There may be people who overlook the Arnold Schwarzenegger performance in Total Recall who think he isn't really acting. But the performance is one of the reasons the movie works so well.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A worthy entry in the dystopian cycle launched by Blade Runner, this seems less derivative than most of its predecessors yet equally accomplished in its straight-ahead storytelling, with plenty of provocative satiric undertones and scenic details.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
It's not a masterpiece, but it is a fast-moving thriller, one worth revisiting (and, evidently, remaking).
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
The fierce and unrelenting pace, accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek strain of humor in the roughhouse screenplay, keeps the film moving like a juggernaut.
Neither Arnold Schwarzenegger nor Paul Verhoeven have stretched their talents here.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A wickedly violent, action-packed old school piece of warped, twist-filled sci-fi and Schwarzenegger cheese. You'll wish you had three hands to hold this one.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Minor Verhoeven, well-above-average Schwarzenegger, and as well-made as any action movie from around the turn of the 1990s you could name.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Total Recall's caricaturing of Schwarzenegger, its flip ribbing at his stocks of action-hero cache, signal the deep, almost atomic level at which its satire functions.
John Semley - Slant Magazine
When the leader of the rebels turns out to be Baby Herman from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it's clear that the satirical bull's-eyes Verhoeven nailed in RoboCop have here been turned into a more benign state of rib-nudging.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Verhoeven's version of Philip Dick's story is vigorous, exciting, and inventive sci-fi thriller, combining pulp savviness, ultra-graphic violence, and Oscar-winning special effects.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It's a blockbuster from another era, when a big idea, rather than a pair of 3D goggles, gave the film its extra dimension.
Jason Solomons - Observer [UK]
Still a ripsnorting yarn with lashings of sex and violence that hasn't aged a day.
David Jenkins - Little White Lies
An absolutely superb sci-fi film and a true modern cornerstone of the genre not seen since the deeper though less entertaining Blade Runner nearly ten years previous.
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Not only one of the best films of 1990, it's one of Arnold's finest cinematic accomplishments -- a fireball of a film...still disembowels like a champion.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Total Recall is fine entertainment, complete with breathtaking action sequences and special effects that impress even in these computer-generated times.
Richard Luck - Film4
Ugly, stupid, loud, offensive, and pointlessly violent.
- TV Guide's Movie Guide
Say what you will about Verhoeven's penchant for extravagant theatrics, when he's not yanking the arms off people or putting bullets in their forehead, he tells a good story.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
The future doesn't come any better.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
...people are allowed to change their minds
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Thought-provoking, flashy, and FULL of action!
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Spence D. - IGN Movies
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Oh for the days when Verhoeven was still in Holland.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
...one of the best action flicks to emerge out of Hollywood in the '90s (or ever, really).
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Josh Gilchrist - Billings Outpost (Montana)
Mediocre sci-fi. Gained a cult following, for some unknown reason.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
While it may seem dated today, the film showcases Sharon Stone, evil wife to Schwarzenegger. You may want to take notice of how precious air is after seeing it.
Moira Sullivan - FilmFestivals.com
This is a very interesting film and is also successful as a headlong roller-coaster ride of a pure action film.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
This futuristic science fiction is based on a Philip K. Dick short story, and features award-winning special effects.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Brandon Judell - PopcornQ
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
A cheerfully reprehensible bloodfest, spiced up by Verhoeven's imaginative mayhem.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Mindless, harmless popcorn flick. Emphasis on the mindless.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Watching it now especially, it seems even more ahead of its time with it's altered-reality storyline.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Ridiculous, but also plenty of fun
Dan Jardine - Daily-Reviews
Perhaps it goes without saying that Total Recall is no The Terminator, but let the records show.
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fool to think he'll make it as the Johnny Carson of action films.
Jeremiah Kipp - Filmcritic.com
Worryingly satisfying in a purely gruesome, beat-em-up kinda way.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
It should please pretty much anyone who likes science fiction films. It should have a broad range of appeal on many levels.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
You'd think by the year 2084 villains would have learned they shouldn't mess with Mr. Biceps. But no-o-o-o.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
[A] well paced, entertaining and thought-provoking piece of science fiction cinema, a truly superb, yet disregarded gem of that particular genre.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Verhoeven keeps the whole thing chugging along neatly with a huge dollop of ultra-violence and gore. Schwarzenegger is at his best ever.
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Schwarzenegger has enough inherent charm and likeability that he's better off when he just lets the story pull him along, as he does here.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher