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Dead Man Down Review Critics


Dave White Profile

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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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    As a gritty thriller, Dead Man Down doesn't stand out among its bullet-riddled brethren.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    More of a character-etched mood piece than a tautly calibrated caper, Dead Man Down benefits from potent visuals and a compelling international cast that also includes lead Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Isabelle Huppert.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The tone and pacing of Dead Man Down have a distinctly European flavor, which may explain why American viewers, used to having background and exposition pared down and cleanly delivered, may feel adrift at the outset.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Solid revenge thriller has gun violence, other edgy content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dead Man Down is a revenge-themed thriller from the director and star of the original Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's not nearly as intense as that movie, but it does have plenty of violence, language, and sexuality. There are close-range shootings and several gunfights, with dead bodies and some blood, and a character is briefly tortured (tied up and covered with rats). A minor character has sex with a prostitute, though no graphic nudity is actually shown. The male and female leads kiss on two occasions. "F--k" is used several times and "s--t" a few times. All of the main characters smoke cigarettes, and an illegal cocaine facility, with piles of cocaine, is briefly shown. Though the main character experiences some redemption, he's still driven by vengeance, and there are no repercussions for the killings he commits in the name of revenge.

  • Families can talk about Dead Man Down's violence and revenge. How does the movie justify the main character killing so many people and getting away with it? Who doesn't he kill? Is he a sympathetic character despite his actions? Why?
  • How is Beatrice's revenge different from, or similar to, Victor's revenge?
  • Are the main characters likable here? Are they intended to be role models? Why or why not?
  • How does Victor's friendship with Darcy affect his plan? Does friendship weaken a person or make you stronger?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's main theme is revenge, and although there are a few hints of redemption at the end, it sticks close to that motif, with the main characters killing without repercussions.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The movie's main character is a killer who's working for a gangster and looking for revenge. He kills two different, opposing groups of gangsters. All of this happens without consequences/repercussions, though he does show some kindness and appear to have learned some lessons and found a kind of redemption at the end. The main female character is a survivor but also a victim.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Two huge gunfights with shooting and dead bodies, though not much blood is shown outside of minor injuries. A frozen corpse is shown. Characters are shot in the head and shot at close range. Other characters are shot by long-range rifle. A character is hanged with a rope. A character is briefly tortured -- tied up and covered with hungry rats. A bloody ear is shown after an operation. A woman is briefly held hostage during a shootout. A car crashes into a building.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A minor character is shown having sex with a prostitute (she demands her money afterward). Very little nudity is shown: The woman wears her bra, and though she doesn't have underwear on, she covers herself. The two main characters kiss on two occasions.

  • language false4

    Language: "F--k" is used several times, in various permutations, throughout the movie. "S--t" is also used a few times. "Bitch" is used once.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Tupperware is mentioned a few times. A delivery service that resembles FedEx is used but is fictionalized for the movie.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One scene takes place in an illegal drug facility, with piles of cocaine shown. Almost all of the main characters smoke cigarettes at least once. The main female character drinks a beer in a restaurant.