Total Recall Reviews

  • 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.

    Dean Essner — Variety

  • 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

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