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Jack Reacher Review Critics


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Walking Tall Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Jack Reacher, which Christopher McQuarrie directed from his adaptation of a Lee Child crime novel, is not just another dumb thriller. It's almost peerlessly self-important, weirdly incoherent and eerily smarmy. It's also mysteriously inept, considering that Tom Cruise plays the title role.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Despite a terrific cast, Jack Reacher comes up empty-handed.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    That Cruise fails to make a case for Reacher's allure, though, has less to do with physical dissonance than it does with the film's inability - stupefying inability, really - to otherwise make a case for the character's originality in a movie so choked with visual clichés and dreadfully moldy dialogue.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    McQuarrie... is a real writer; his banter has snap and bite. His directorial skills are still catching up with his writing skills; the movie loses steam in the final half-hour.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Tom Cruise is in fine form as mysterious tough guy Jack Reacher finally reaches the big screen.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Serviceable but forgettable Cruise thriller is very violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tom Cruise stars as the title character in Jack Reacher, an adaptation of Lee Child's novel One Shot. Reacher is a former military police offer who's enlisted to find a sniper who fired six shots into a crowd, killing five people. This thriller is violent, and vigilante Reacher shows no qualms breaking the law to make sure justice is done -- at least his version of justice. There's some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") and a bit of sexual tension between Reacher and co-star Rosamund Pike, but no actual sex and very little drinking. Still, there are allusions to torture, and the fight scenes are sometimes brutal; a few are very tough to stomach. Even though there's little blood or gore on screen, the film is more appropriate for older teens and up.

  • Families can talk about what makes this PG-13-rated movie different from R-rated films. Is the violence less graphic or upsetting? Why or why not? What impact does seeing this kind of violence have on teens?
  • What do you think about Jack Reacher's vigilante actions? Is it right for one man to dispense justice to people who are clearly villains?
  • Why does Jack Reacher live the way he does? How do his actions in this film show what he wants out of life?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Bad guys get what's coming to them, courtesy of Jack Reacher, a loner/vigilante who dispenses his own brand of justice, which mostly bypasses the legal system. That said, there's also the message that it's worth looking beyond appearances to find out the truth.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Reacher doesn't hesitate to break the law to achieve his goals -- he participates in assault, auto theft, coercion, intimidation, and outright murder -- but all of his victims have it coming to them. (Well, mostly.) He uses smarts and intuition in many cases (in addition to his more violent methods). Helen is able to separate her emotions from her job.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Plenty of violence right from the start, when a lone gunman shoots five people with a sniper rifle (a scene that's revisited later in the movie). Jack Reacher, the main character, is a former soldier, highly trained with guns and in hand-to-hand combat, and the film finds plenty of chances to showcase his abilities. He takes on a group of toughs in a few street brawls, leaving them bloodied and sometimes with broken bones. Other scenes feature execution-style killings, allusions to torture, and men beating up women. Few of these scenes actually show blood or gore, but they do make it clear that bodies are taking serious damage and the people are in pain, and a few shots may be hard to watch. There's also a high-speed chase through city streets that damages plenty of cars.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One scene shows a woman in her underwear getting dressed; Reacher is shirtless in another. Some sexual tension between the two main characters never leads to anything. One scene has some flirty banter when a woman comes on to Reacher, though he's clearly not interested.

  • language false3

    Language: Relatively infrequent swearing includes a couple uses of "f--k," plus "p---y," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "prick," "damn," "hell," "ass," "goddamn," and more.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Several car brands are mentioned and/or get prominent screen time. Helen drives a Mercedes, and the bad guys spend a lot of time trailing Reacher in an Audi. Another character drives a Cadillac, which is referred to by name. Some of the characters drink Budweiser when relaxing, and Bud signage is visible in the background in a bar.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One scene takes place in a bar where plenty of people in the background are drinking, though Reacher sticks to coffee. He later shares a beer with Helen when they're relaxing in a motel room. References to meth use; drug paraphernalia is shown.