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The Gunman

Crime . Drama . Action

Eight years after fleeing the Congo following his assassination of that country's minister of mining, former assassin Jim Terrier is back, suffering from PTSD and digging wells to atone for his violent past. After an attempt is made on his life, Terrier flies to London to find out who wants him dead -- and why. Terrier's search leads him to a reunion with Annie, a woman he once loved, who is now married to an oily businessman with dealings in Africa.

Actors: Billy Billingham , Ade Oyefeso , Daniel Adegboyega , Peter Franzén , Idris Elba , Mark Rylance , Ray Winstone , Javier Bardem , Jasmine Trinca , Sean Penn
Directors: Pierre Morel
Country: USA , SPAIN , UK , FRANCE
Release: 2015-03-20
More Info:
  • Mick LaSalle

    Basically, The Gunman is a movie that asks audiences to sympathize with the equivalent of Lee Harvey Oswald — that is, an Oswald who definitely did it. Oddly enough, it succeeds, partly because the moral climate it presents seems so confused, but mainly because of Penn’s particular aura of irascible integrity. He’s the most irritated action hero since Harrison Ford.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    It’s clearly a directorial accomplishment to assemble this level of acting talent in one movie and come away with something so – well, “bad” is not sufficient to capture the idiot glory of this motion picture. Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    The Gunman becomes a highly capable shoot-em-up but not much else.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The best excuse for watching The Gunman is Penn. His first mainstream leading role in a decade is worthy of comparisons to Matt Damon in the “Bourne” movies; yet it’s also disappointingly shorn of the humor and humanity of which this great actor is capable.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Sean Penn’s bad side makes for good action-drama in The Gunman. There’s a grubby, redemptive quality that makes this tough-minded flick feel like the son of “Serpico” and “Salvador.”

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • James Dyer

    Sub-Ludlum plotting but stylishly executed, this offers a fun night out but is far from a nailed-on franchise-starter.

    Empire Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Sean Penn doesn’t make movies very often these days. So when he does, you go in with certain expectations. Sadly, it’s best to leave them at the concession stand if you’re planning on enjoying The Gunman.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    The Gunman passes the time, but it never quite reconciles its conflicted nature. It’s not smart enough to be a paranoid thriller, nor fun enough to be a blood-soaked action flick.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The movie wallows in remorse. Not only is the main character paralyzed by it but the filmmakers seem to believe that every Caucasian member of the audience should face up to White Guilt for the way in which the Industrial World has encouraged unrest in Africa so resources could be strip-mined. How's that for an uplifting action movie premise?

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    I doubt The Gunman will do much to advance Penn’s foray into action-hero bankability, and that’s probably a good thing. He’s too fine an actor to be mired in nonstop shootouts while flashing his pecs and looking scowly.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    In fact, no one in The Gunman looks happy. And what happened to chivalry? If a fierce squad of goons is coming after you and your ex, whom you still love, and there's only one Kevlar vest to throw on, don't you offer it to her? Apparently not.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Peter Sobczynski

    The Gunman isn't the worst action film that you will see this year — you will be lucky if you even remember anything about it a couple of weeks after seeing it — it will probably go down as one of the more dispiriting ones. Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    Has there been a more tormented or intense study of the ambivalence of revenge than Penn’s performance in Eastwood’s “Mystic River” (2003)? Penn might not agree with Eastwood’s politics, but when it comes to probing a killer’s soul he couldn’t find a better model.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Director Morel brings some style and speed to the proceedings, though I found The Gunman increasingly numbing in the carnage department. Compared with someone like Neeson, Penn's avenging angel is a less relatable fellow.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    With a script co-written by Penn himself and based on a well-regarded novel by the late French crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette, this one has to have some meat to go along with the gunplay, right? Sadly, no.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    The Gunman is too disorganized and sloppy to make sense as political commentary or to work on the most basic level as a globe-trotting chase thriller.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Penn doesn’t work much, and this idea of combining his two careers — as actor, producer and co-writer, and as humanitarian — may have its heart in the right place. But take away the preaching, and this is just Penn’s version of a late-career Mel Gibson movie. He should be better than this.

    Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Penn’s vanity — both in the way he shows off his bod and in the way he drives home the nobility of the once-wayward Terrier — is either the most deeply annoying thing about The Gunman, or the one thing in it that actually works. I’m leaning toward the latter.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Ben Nicholson

    With no fun to be had, The Gunman also lacks essential thrills. If Sean Penn is winging for an action-hero renaissance like Neeson's, he'll be in need of material a lot more compelling than this.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Instead of a pot-boiling crime noir like the one that exists in the pages of the late French novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette's "The Prone Gunman" (which sounds better in French), the adaptation is a frustrating fiasco that kills the material and squanders its exceedingly fine cast.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    It’s not a hard and fast rule, but in general when the main character, sometime in the third act, says, “I did some bad things ... ” and stares off into the middle distance, the implied end of the sentence is “including this movie.”

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    A garbled mélange of arbitrary, unsatisfying action and token remorse.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    The Gunman is a predictable slog through action-movie tropes, and Penn's intensity isn't a good fit.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Steve Davis

    When Bardem is onscreen, the emotional stakes are high, engaging you in a way the principal storyline fails to do. It’s a masterful turn by a masterful actor, one that’s blissfully on-target in The Gunman.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    Thanks to ‘Taken’ director Pierre Morel, this too often feels like just another slice of brainless Eurotrash, packed with saw-it-coming plot twists, half-hearted car chases and an angsty hero with mega muscles and zero charisma.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • James Mottram

    A genuine disappointment, given the talent involved, and a rare misstep for Penn, who can’t save this moribund vanity project from flatlining.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Fionnuala Halligan

    A muddled bid for political relevance has led the film-makers to drag on The Gunman’s primary mission: to entertain.

    Screen International Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Ripe, borderline hammy turns from Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Idris Elba and Mark Rylance add some spice.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    The only redeeming feature about The Gunman is its exotic locations.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Watching Penn pump iron and denounce capitalism for two hours would be roughly as illuminating as this monotonous Euro-thriller.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    The lack of any visual ingenuity, reflexivity, or awareness of genre tropes diminishes the intermittent pleasures of the action's slightly involving kineticism.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    It’s one thing to bring a gravelly gravitas to characters like this, but Penn suffers and glowers so much that it weighs down the material. If he plans to strap on the Kevlar in future, he might consider lightening up a little and saving the intensity for more serious movies.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    There's also something tired and way too familiar to the story of a white guy who acts as the savior of Africa while the only major black character in the movie stands ineptly on the sidelines.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    The result is a relentlessly dour film livened up only by Bardem’s shameless scenery-chewing and the occasional jolt of action. Otherwise, it’s an endless frown of a movie that does little but confirm that Penn’s talents, while impressive, aren’t limitless.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Guy Lodge

    Penn’s veiny, sweat-glazed biceps are the most objectively impressive feature of this rote, humorless thriller, a distinctly unconvincing attempt to refashion the star — who also co-wrote and produced — as a middle-aged action hero in the Liam Neeson mold.

    Variety Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    A dumb, loud action movie that aspires to forcibly entertain and provoke thought but fails miserably.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    The Gunman degenerates into dreary setups for guns and gore. Penn merits more. So do we.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Sean Penn smokes, glowers and shows off his knotty naked torso in this vain, risible misfire of a thriller about a reformed killer, from "Taken" director Pierre Morel.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    The Gunman veers dangerously close to camp in the final scenes. If you make it that far without walking out.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    The Gunman may start as a genre exercise of promising purpose, but it winds up being just a lot of bull.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    For meat-headed incoherence, a badly written, poorly directed and confusingly acted muddle of global nonsense, The Gunman is another ill-conceived entry in the latest dopey trend of middle-aged men blowing up stuff.

    New York Observer Full Review
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