Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Cold Light of Day Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Ripley, believe it or not. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    A catastrophe worth noting only for the presence of its name cast.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A preposterous thriller where the only thing more disappointing than the ending is the 93 minutes it takes to get there.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    A by-the-numbers thriller that often looks as murky as its plot.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Clark Collis

    The result apes "The Bourne Identity" so slavishly yet so boringly it winds up with no identity at all.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Cold Light of Day reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Amazingly dumb thriller has violence and sexual content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Cold Light of Day -- a kidnap/rescue thriller set in Madrid -- has lots of shooting and car crashes, and characters are beaten up quite frequently (and there are deaths), but there's not much blood. Language is sparse, but contains two uses of "s--t." Though there's no real nudity or sex, there's a subplot about an extramarital affair and its consequences. There are also a couple of shots of the main character shirtless and some supporting characters kissing. Characters drink in a background way, though in more than one instance, it looks as though they're trying to get drunk.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does it compare to what you've seen in other thrillers and action movies?
  • At the end of the movie, the main character is praised for his actions, even though a lot of people were hurt and killed and a lot of property was destroyed. Should there have been consequences for these actions?
  • Are any of the characters role models? Are they meant to be?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Nobody learns much of anything here. After his adventure -- and causing untold amounts of violence, wreckage, and death -- the character is offered a job (so there are no negative consequences).

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character spends the entire film trying to rescue his family and doesn't seem to care how that comes about. He could actually be collaborating with terrorists, though the movie isn't clear on that point. He argues with people, wrecks cars and property, and, though he doesn't actually kill anyone himself, he's certainly around when people die. The rest of the characters aren't around enough to be role models.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many bullets are fired, but characters seem to die more often from car crashes than anything else. One main character dies, and people are kidnapped. Lots of fighting and beating people up, but not a great deal of blood. In one harrowing scene, a character tries to help a gunshot victim, first by digging around inside the wound to find the bullet, and then cauterizing the wound with a hot spoon -- though most of this gory stuff happens just off screen.

  • sex false2

    Sex: No nudity or sex, but (spoiler alert) in a subplot it's revealed that the main character's father had an extramarital affair that resulted in another child; he kept this second family secret from his first family. Otherwise, the main character is seen shirtless in a couple of scenes, and another supporting character is seen in a bikini and kissing her boyfriend.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent language includes one "f--k" and a few "s--t"s, as well as "bitch," "goddamn," "hell," and "oh my God." One character apparently says "f---ing," but the word is drowned out under the noise of a gunshot.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Quick shots of a Coca-Cola can, a BlackBerry mobile device, and a MasterCard.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A family drinks wine at dinner. One character gulps down a glass after hearing some bad news. A minor character, a nightclub owner/manager, drinks lots of hard liquor every time he's on screen.