(2004)

Critic Reviews

47

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Man on Fire, with a best-ever Denzel Washington, is the first (nonreligious) sure thing to hit the multiplex this year.
63
Chicago Tribune
Man on Fire, which starts off as a good example of super-glitz moviemaking, gradually turns into a movie on fire -- another helter-skelter, big-studio spending spree. Too bad. It could use a lot more of Walken, Fanning and some more honest drama.
60
The film is always watchable, and the confrontations contain undeniable edgy excitement. But even if this weren't a remake, it would be a remake. Hollywood filmmakers have fished these waters so thoroughly that it's virtually impossible to land a big catch.
60
Variety
One of the more absorbing and palatable entries in the rather disreputable "Death Wish"-style self-appointed vigilante sub-genre.
50
New York Post
Where Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" radiates freshness and vigor, Man on Fire feels vaguely like something left over from the 1980s, when action heroes were one-note tough guys methodically picking off baddies.
50
TV Guide Magazine
Scott swaddles this fundamentally straightforward revenge story in a jumble of bleary freeze frames, random changes of color saturation and film stock, jump cuts and stuttering montages, splashing text from some menacing word soup onto the resulting collage of chicly disturbing images.
50
Despite its high craft level and Washington's participation in it, this movie's showy violence is finally as deadening as the over-emphatic violence in these kinds of films generally is.
50
L.A. Weekly
A schizophrenic outing from habitually hysterical director Tony Scott (True Romance, The Fan), Man on Fire is a movie of two unreconcilable halves.
30
This is a time-tested movie con, but rarely has it been deployed so contemptibly.
25
Entertainment Weekly
The movie's mortal failing is echoed in the religious medal Pita gives Creasy in a gift of innocent, uplifting love: Finding heft or coherence within all the lugubrious agitation is a lost cause worthy of St. Jude.

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