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Ex-military investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) leaps off the pages of Lee Child’s bestselling novel and onto the big screen in the explosive thriller the critics are calling “taut, muscular, gruff and cool”*. When an unspeakable crime is committed, all evidence points to the suspect in custody who offers up a single note in defense: “Get Jack Reacher!” The law has its limits, but Reacher does not when his fight for the truth pits him against an unexpected enemy with a skill for violence and a secret to keep. * Peter Suderman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 169
- Fresh: 104
- Rotten: 65
- Average Rating: 6.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Reacher is limited by a lack of originality and hampered by thematic cliches and generic action sequences.
Fresh: There is a dogged leanness to Reacher's pursuit that lifts his adventures from the generic rut ...
Fresh: It's touching beyond measure to see an ex-jarhead and a former soldier putting aside their differences in a display of mutual respect, understanding and shooting bad guys in the face.
Fresh: This is brisk, attention-grabbing, and generally unpretentious -- basically an old noir programmer inflated to blockbuster proportions.
A SOLIDLY ENJOYABLE CRIME THRILLER
At this point in his career, Tom Cruise has starred in so many shoot-'em-up action films that it's nearly impossible to tell them all apart. And with that said, I was a bit hesitant about seeing "Jack Reacher," since none of the trailers really specified what kind of movie it was trying to brand itself as or what the story was even about. But due to my curiosity, I decided to give the film a chance, hoping that it'd at least keep me consistently entertained for a couple of hours. Not only did it end up doing just that, but it actually turned out to be a lot smarter and much more engaging than your average Hollywood-produced action-thriller. Although that's definitely not to say it didn't suffer from its share of problems as well. Based on Lee Child's best-selling "Jack Reacher" series, the film follows the title character (Tom Cruise), a mysterious military investigator, as he hesitantly agrees to look into the senseless murder of several civilians by a skilled sharpshooter. There's little doubt that filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie, working from his own screenplay, does an amazing job of immediately drawing the viewer into the proceedings, as the movie kicks off with a spellbinding (and dialogue-free) sequence revolving around the aforementioned sharpshooter's attack and the subsequent initial investigation by the authorities. It's a riveting, utterly suspenseful opening that paves the way for the deliberately paced yet persistently watchable adventure that ensues. Of course, what makes this movie so engaging to begin with is Cruise's magnetic lead performance. He effortlessly steps into the shoes of a physically hardened, mentally unstable figure with a propensity for random acts of violence, tough-guy posturing, and snappy one-liners. Yes, more often than not, he does easily come across as an overly cartoonish anti-hero who can't be taken seriously in the slightest (this is an action pic, after all), but his captivating screen presence is simply undeniable. Cruise is backed up by an equally impressive supporting cast, which includes Rosamund Pike as a young defense lawyer who teams up with Reacher to solve the mysterious attacks and Werner Herzog as the ruthless evil mastermind who's pulling all the strings. Herzog, in particular, makes for a hauntingly menacing villain throughout, which makes me wonder why he doesn't take up starring in movies more often. Acting aside, this film is packed to the brim with fast-paced car chases and intense hand-to-hand combat scenes, but the majority of them are spaced out in a midsection that feels aggressively padded-out with a procedural-like narrative that, at times, resembles the pilot episode of a brand new cop show on TNT. In other words, the pacing is slower than a whole gallon of molasses, but it does pick up whenever an exciting action scene usually appears. And even though the drawn-out climax wasn't quite as satisfying a payoff as I might've hoped, "Jack Reacher" is still a better-than-average modern-day thriller that works off of the strengths of its talented cast, solidly-written screenplay, engaging action sequences, and intensely gripping score. Is it a must-see movie? I wouldn't quite go so far as saying that, but it's a great pick if you're looking for a fun, self-serious action flick with elements of mystery and suspense blended in. Sure, some of the film's acting and dialogue can be unintentionally funny at times and the story does tend to feel a bit too formulaic, but as long as you're willing to go along for the ride, this engrossing crime thriller is well worth a solid rent.
Cruise is no Reacher
If you've read any of the Jack Reacher novels, you already know Cruise is all kinds of wrong for this role. It's comparable as casting him to play Thor in the Avengers. If you can get past that fact, then you'll probably enjoy the action and the more than very predictable storyline of the movie. I didn't "dislike" it, but it's not worthy of more than 2 stars.
A High-Octane, Masterful Thriller
I must say, when I saw the previews for this, all I thought was "generic action movie". But I digress, I was very pleasantly surprised. While "Jack Reacher" may not necessarily break new ground, it's still one of the slickest and intense action/thrillers in recent memory.
When five citizens are shot and killed, all evidence points to former U.S. Army Sniper James Barr. While in custody, he asks for the help of Jack Reacher, a former Military Police Officer who has a mysterious connection to his past. Reacher suspects foul play, and dispences his own brand of "no-limits" justice to hunt down the truth behind the murders.
Tom Cruise gives one of his greatest performances as Jack Reacher, who's wit and skills form one of the toughest yet likable action heroes since Dirty Harry. Another one of the film's strengths is Christopher McQuarrie's script, which is filled with great dialogue that has some surprisingly good humor. McQuarrie also shows how great of a director he is, with scenes that build up massive tension and contain edge-of- your-seat action. If I had anything negative to say, it would be that Werner Herzog's performance as the villian Zec, while not bad, was a little over the top; almost to the point that he seemed like a James Bond villian.
All in all, I found "Jack Reacher" to be a near-perfect film that doesn't sacrifice brains for brawn. When it focuses on story, it makes you care for the characters so that the action has meaning. When the action hits, it hits REALLY hard! Props to McQuarrie and Cruise for hitting it home on this one! Very high Full Price!
"You think I'm a hero? I'm not a hero. And if you're smart, that scares you. Because I have nothing to lose." - Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2012
- © 2012 By Paramount Pictures Corp. All Rights Reserved.