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Spartan Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    60

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The patter is always fascinating, and at right angles to the action. [Mamet]'s like a magician who gets you all involved in his story about the King, the Queen and the Jack, while the whole point is that there's a rabbit in your pocket.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Feelings play second fiddle to stylized attitudes in Spartan, and fancy style can't conceal the film's clumsiness.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Ultimately unsatisfying.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Just cryptic enough to keep you guessing, and for some viewers that may qualify as a night out. But Mamet's gamesmanship was more fun when it was less eager to look important.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    This is one of those movies in which a strong ending might have made all the difference...But the wrap-up is unsatisfying, with too many questions unanswered.

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  • See all Spartan reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Very violent movie ultimately just falls apart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has intense peril and a lot of graphic and explicit violence, including knives and guns, and many characters are killed. Characters smoke and drink and there are drug references. There are sexual references, including references to sexual slavery, and one mild and non-explicit sexual situation. A character commits suicide (though that is later called into question). As in almost all Mamet movies, characters use very strong language.

  • Families can talk about the compromises made by the characters in this movie, including the willingness to violate the rights of suspects in order to get information quickly and the willingness to compromise loyalties and risk lives in order to win an election. How do they decide what their priorities are? What is the difference between the way Scott regards his orders at the beginning of the movie and the way he does at the end? Why? What does it mean to say that "We're just two men in green?" What does it mean to say, "You're going to be taking that fight to bed with you for a long time. You don't gotta do it all now?"

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Anti-gay epithet.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Intense peril and violence, brutal beating, many characters killed. Peril.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual references and non-graphic situation.

  • language false3

    Language: Very strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, smoking, reference to drug use.

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