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Shoot 'Em Up Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… rips off John Woo's Hard-Boiled 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Violent thrills and massive blood spills are the essence of the absurdly over-the-top action flick that is Shoot 'Em Up.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Anyone looking for subtlety, character development or layered plotting will be disappointed, but action fans will find plenty to amuse them with this film that makes "Hard-Boiled" look restrained.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Its pulpy violent excess will tip over...into slightly more excessive excess. That's its silly, scuzzball joy.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The most audacious, implausible, cheerfully offensive, hyperactive action picture I've seen since, oh, "Sin City," which in comparison was a chamber drama.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Over-the-top action with guns, guns, and ... guns.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this over-the-top, gun-focused action movie brims with wild violence and its effects. Much of it is presented in a comic, cartoonishly excessive way, but characters are still left torn, bloodied, bruised, and broken. Violent acts are mostly shooting-related (one particularly extreme sequence features characters shooting at each other during a fall from an airplane), but there are explosions and car crashes too -- all with painful-looking results. Sexual content includes references to the heroine's work as a prostitute (she's introduced in brothel), plus shots of naked breasts and cleavage, and a prolonged sex act during a violent assault. Language is quite salty (primarily variations on "f--k") but probably not as plentiful as you'd expect -- mostly because so much of the screen time is spent shooting instead of talking.

  • Families can talk about the movie's cartoonish approach to violence. How does seeing the kind of extreme violence typical of Looney Toons shorts translated to live-action affect your opinion of both approaches? Is animated violence easier to stomach than its real-life counterpart? Why or why not? Why do we as filmgoers like to see things go bang and blow up? What are the consequences of violence in real life? What messages is the movie sending about guns and "gun control"?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The hero is stoic and virtuous -- and a killing machine; the villain is snarly and underhanded; a politician is hypocritical.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Many, many guns. They're shot, thrown, exploded, bought, brandished, compared, cleaned, heated to burn someone, and arranged into grand traps. Lots of loud gunfire, shooting in motion (sliding, falling, leaping, flipping), car crashes, bloody bodies dropping, blood spurting and oozing, and lasting wounds, scars, and bruises with bloody bandages. At one point, carrots are used as weapons (jammed into eye sockets/through skulls). A man is tortured by having his fingers broken (very visibly) and threatened with a scalpel to the eye. Fights include kicks, hits, punches, falls, head-butts. First scene shows a mother giving bloody birth, after which she's shot dead. The baby is frequently in danger (thrown, shot at, hidden, used as jokey prop, left in traffic); at other times, Smith teaches him the parts and uses of a handgun.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Repeated female nakedness, particularly breasts (on both live women and dead ones). Frequent references to and images of prostitutes (brothel doorways show various sexual acts, including a woman's naked bottom, a "school girl" performance, and a dominatrix whipping her client). A woman performs oral sex on a client in an alley (viewers see where her head is positioned). An elaborate, comic sex scene has the woman moaning ecstatically as she and partner are shot at and assaulted (no explicit body parts are seen, but nudity is clear, as is the activity). Various colorful phrases (e.g., "nothing like a good hand job," "phallic mumbo jumbo," "you should see me spell my name in the snow").

  • language false5

    Language: Some clever use of language ("F-U-K-U" in spelled out in shot-out neon signage), plus a range of spoken/yelled vulgarity, including "f--k," "s--t," ""ass" (also with "hole"), "damn," "hell," "bitch," "p---y," and "rat bastard."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Cars (BMW), mentions of NBC and the Discovery Channel.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Hertz takes a combination of vodka and Tylenol; reference to morphine.