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Dead Man Down

  R HD Closed Captioning

Niels Arden Oplev

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Plot Summary

Victor (Farrell), a professional killer and the right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York City (Howard), is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Rapace), a crime victim seeking retribution. Their chemistry and intense relationship leads them to execute a violent and cathartic plan for revenge.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 96
  • Fresh: 36
  • Rotten: 60
  • Average Rating: 5.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: This blend of Scandinavian gloom and Hollywood hokum never jells. – Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Mar 8, 2013

Rotten: While a mob thriller can be as nasty as it likes, what it can't be is silly. – Kyle Smith, New York Post, Mar 8, 2013

Rotten: Explores a common ground for noir thrillers before stumbling and imploding in a climax that feels like it might have been hijacked from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Mar 10, 2013

Fresh: Yep, there's a whole lot going on here, but this is one of those plot-heavy scripts that carries its weight with confidence - the intricate twists don't cheat. – Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, Mar 8, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


"Dead Man Down" is a preposterous action film that's made watchable by a skillful director and an engaging cast. While there are some intriguingly dark themes in this spiraling odyssey of revenge, the script never makes any sense out of the plot, constantly twisting and turning as it whizzes past a drawn-out series of glaring improbabilities. Even so, Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace put their charismatic screen presences to work, holding our sympathies as things rapidly get messier by the moment (and believe me, they do). Farrell plays Victor, a professional killer working for the ruthless mobster Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who is being threatened by a complex plot to bring him down. But Victor is soon sidetracked when he meets his apartment neighbor Beatrice (Rapace), who comes on strong before revealing that she has seen his handiwork and will report him to the police if he doesn't help her get revenge against the man who scarred her face in a drunk-driving accident. This puts Victor in a very difficult position since he's already engaged in his own plan to avenge the brutal deaths of his wife and daughter. And the story actually gets even more complicated from there, as Victor and Beatrice eventually start to wonder if perhaps falling in love with each other might be a better way to get over their anger issues (if that already wasn't so apparent from the beginning). So yeah, this whole film is essentially just preaching love and redemption, even as the body count nears triple digits. Luckily, director Niels Arden Oplev manages to bring the same bold, sleek style to this film as the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which was his previous directorial feature. And the always-watchable Farrell and Rapace, who both give nicely-committed-but-not-exactly-memorable performances, get solid support from Terrence Howard as Alphonse, along with Dominic Cooper as Victor's "brother in arms" in the mob, Isabelle Huppert as Beatrice's overbearing mother, and Armand Assante as the big boss. When it comes to the action, Oplev really makes sure that every scene is vicious and intense enough to unnerve us, while the emotional undercurrents rarely ever let up. It all leads to one massive, out-of-control climax that isn't remotely what we've been led to expect. So it's a shame that the screenplay leaves such a glaring trail of problematic, oversized plot holes along the way, which badly simplifies the character arcs. If the story had been just a bit more polished and the characters were better developed, "Dead Man Down" could've easily been a fantastic action-thriller. But as it stands, it's a mostly mediocre suspense flick with some over-the-top but solidly enjoyable twists thrown into the mix. The actors all do a nice job with their roles, plus the sleek cinematography and intense action sequences are simply incredible to watch, but everything else in this movie never seems to be able to rise to the same standards. Overall, I'd say it's worth a solid, one-time rent if you're a fan of moderately thrilling crime dramas. If you can get over the frequently slack pacing, tired narrative clichés, and ridiculously absurd plot twists, you should probably enjoy it.

Immensely Satisfying Action/Romance!

"Dead man Down" is going down as one of my new favorite movies.

The acting is a spot on. The story is dense, but not muddled. There is emotional depth to this movie and you can actually feel it. The action is great, stylistic and smart. I also enjoyed the romantic story because it wasn't typical and it was emotionally mature.

Don't take anyone's word for this movie. It may be better than you expect, but then it may not be what you expect (for good or bad).

I will be buying this movie PERIOD.

It's not an action film, or even a thriller

This is a noir drama. It has thrills. It has action. It's a well acted, well written story for grown ups who don't need non-stop action for a film to be good. It's not a perfect movie, but it's better than 90% of the films studios crank out. It's a slow burn of a story packed with atmosphere and quiet moments of character. This film is shot well. It has great, gritty visuals, with lots of shallow focus camera work that showcases deadly characters pondering life and death and love. I loved it.

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