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Max Payne Review Critics


Dave White Profile

lazy action-film creation 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.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's just a grindingly inert death-wish thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A banal revenge melodrama-cum-detective story, but fans of the video game on which it is based should not be alarmed.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Max Payne couldn't be more appropriately named. Sitting through this stylish-looking but derivative, vacuous and bullet-riddled movie inflicts maximum pain.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The film provides ample opportunity to attack the MPAA's hypocrisy. Max Payne is a bloodbath, yet it manages a PG-13 rating by keeping the explicitness of the killings just a whisker shy of what would be necessary for an R.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Video game adaptation is bloody but boring.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this video game-based action movie -- which was originally rated R and still feels more like that than a PG-13 -- is extremely violent and loaded with images of characters shooting or being shot. The plot revolves around a major corporation murdering to protect the money it's making after turning a failed military performance-enhancing drug into a street drug. The lead character takes a couple of doses to take advantage of the drug's energizing properties after a near-fatal drowning, so the last 20 minutes of the film are seen, in part, through his hallucinatory perspective. In addition to the constant violence, the movie also has plenty of salty language, sexual content, and drinking.

  • Families can talk about why Hollywood turns video games into movies, and whether the (theoretically) interactive experience of playing a game is different from the more passive experience of watching a movie. Does violence impact you in different ways when you're participating in it vs. just watching it? How so? Families can also discuss revenge and vengeance -- movies glamorize them, but are they, in fact, ethical things to pursue when wronged? How else can people seek out justice?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The lead character is motivated by the death of his wife and baby son. A major corporation is involved in bribery, murder, drug trafficking, and other criminal activity. The villain explains how committing murder made him feel liberated, as if all his problems could now be solved by force and will.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Constant extreme violence, including shootouts, shootings, knife-fights, and fistfights; blood and dismembered body parts are shown; one sequence shows a close-up of fingernails being torn from the hands of a man at the edge of a building before he falls to his death; shotgun murders, slow-motion bullet entrances and exits, explosions, and more, with dead bodies visible on screen. The closing credits are over a computer-animated collage of guns being shot, reloaded, and so on.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Some partial glimpses of naked breasts, panty-clad bottoms, and scantily clad women; indistinct flashes of a sex scene in a flashback. Kissing. An underwear-clad woman writhes on a bed and makes sexual advances, which are rebuffed.

  • language false3

    Language: Strong language, including one non-sexual use of "f--k" also "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "piss," "hell," and more.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A Macintosh computer is clearly visible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink hard liquor, wine, and beer to excess (some also drink more responsibly). A character poses with a cigarette but doesn't smoke it. An experimental military performance-enhancing drug is abused and sold as a street narcotic, with supporting characters suffering fierce cravings for it. The lead character takes two doses of it to rouse himself after a near-drowning, and viewers see his resulting violent hallucinations, including black-winged demonic angel-like beings. A major corporation traffics the drug on the street.