Box art for Alex Cross

Alex Cross


Homicide detective and psychologist Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is about to pursue a new job as an FBI profiler when an unhinged killer (Matthew Fox) derails those plans and starts making threats against Crosss partner and his family.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Perry underwhelms in formulaic, violent action thriller.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alex Cross is a quasi-prequel to the other James Patterson-based dramas featuring a much-older Cross (played by Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls). The younger version of Cross (played by Tyler Perry) is even more willing to chase criminals and do what's necessary to stop them -- and that doesn't necessarily mean getting them behind bars. The violence isn't as extreme as, say, a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it's probably equivalent to one of the newer Bond films. In other words, it's not just shootouts, but also scenes of torture, a decapitated head, and a pregnant woman killed for pleasure by a villain who takes joy in inflicting pain. Even iffier? In the end, the movie's message seems to be that even officers of the law sometimes need to take a morally questionable path toward justice. Also expect some language ("s--t," etc.), a scene with a lingerie-clad woman, and lots of GM vehicles.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the meanings of justice and vengeance -- are they the same? How does Alex Cross' approach to the hit man (and his boss) change throughout the movie? Why are movies about vengeance so popular?
  • How is the villain in Alex Cross portrayed? Does he seem to have an actual agenda? Was his story resolved in a satisfactory way?
  • When is it OK to break the rules (or go outside the law)? When isn't it?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Alex Cross reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: There's still a marketplace for a smart, well-crafted cat-and-mouse thriller. But "Alex Cross" isn't it.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, October 19, 2012

Rotten: Stripped down to his undershirt or brandishing an assault rifle, Perry looks both incongruous and ridiculous - an icon out of water.

- Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail, Friday, October 19, 2012

Rotten: Perry] has rarely been less convincing than when locking and loading from his home arsenal or dangling from a decaying Detroit edifice.

- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

It`s one hell of a taunt, tense and exciting edge of your seat psychological action-thriller. An excellent movie. A crisp, sharp, thrilling and riveting cat and mouse game that grabs you until the very finish. It packs a full-clip of sizzling suspense and explosive action around every corner and a healthy dose of character development on top of it. A hard-hitting and wild ride that will knock you out. A heart-pounding, emotionally gripping and adrenaline-pumping thrill-machine. Director, Rob Cohen`s best film in years. A trio of powerhouse performances from its three amazing leads. Tyler Perry is sensational. Matthew Fox is electrifying. Edward Burns is terrific. It forces Perry and Fox to be seen in a a all new light, Perry proves well that hes more than capable to take on the iconic character of Alex Cross and Fox is a tremendous surprise as its lead villain, he makes your blood run cold and your pulse quicken. Perry and Burns have a great chemistry on screen together added the right amount of humor and drama. I loved it. Just as good as Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Even tho there are a lot of differences to Author, James Patterson`s novel, I`m able to excerpt these changes and for the film that was brought forth and was pleased.

- allan913, Sunday, November 18, 2012

1 star

I've seen better straight-to-DVD and made-for-TV action movies than this.

- fb100001050230219, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1 star

Fox is one of those classic movie serial killers with a ridiculously toned physique, creepy tattoos and a fondness for quoting Confucius. He doesn't do things by halves either. When we first meet him he's taking part in a cage fight just to get the attention of the girlfriend of a rich businessman. She invites him home where they indulge in some hilarious flirting based around their mutual love of eastern philosophy. He dispatches her along with her bodyguards who seem to have arrived straight from central casting. Called to the scene is Perry, Detroit's top homicide detective, and his "Irish" partner Burns. Like a cross between John Shaft and Sherlock Holmes, Perry figures it all out somehow and thanks to a bowl of severed fingers, follows the trail to a shady corporation staffed by comical German stereotypes. From there the plot gets more and more ridiculous. We've seen the character of Alex Cross before. In 1997's 'Kiss the Girls' and it's 2001 sequel 'Along Came a Spider' the part was essayed by no less than Morgan Freeman. For this latest incarnation the producers have opted for a casting choice well out of left-field. Perry is practically unknown on this side of the Atlantic but Stateside he's a big deal. Best known for a series of low-budget films in which he plays an elderly black matriarch named 'Madea', Perry has cornered a niche market and experienced a mind-boggling level of box-office success. Made for a pittance, his films usually end up in the top five on their opening weekends. At a time when Hollywood aims for the broadest audience possible, Perry has made a fortune doing just the opposite. 'Big Momma's House' has shown us there's a market for black cross-dressing movies but Perry narrows his audience down further by filling his movies with preachy evangelical Protestant themes. Now Hollywood is after a cut of this action but this movie couldn't be further away from the sort of light quasi-religious fluff he's made a name on. 'Alex Cross' is hilariously bad but, despite the negative hype against him, Perry's not the main source of amusement here. He's not a bad actor but he certainly lacks the charisma to carry a lead role, especially one previously associated with Morgan Freeman. The problem rather lies with the abominably bad script. With each scene, the writers dig themselves deeper into a plot-hole so by the end nothing you've witnessed makes any sense. The dialogue is some of the worst I've heard this year, with gems like "You don't play the game, the game plays you" and "If you walk out that door, how you gonna walk back in?". Couple this with the ADD directing style of Rob Cohen and the whole affair feels like it was made by an Ed Wood disciple who won the state lottery. The attempts to please Perry's inbuilt audience amount to little more than racial stereotyping. Particularly dodgy is the character of Perry's mother (Tyson) who possesses so much sass you expect her to break out in an Aretha Franklin cover at any moment. She seems to live with her son and dispenses "soulful" wisdom and cooks chicken (what else?). It's easy to see why Freeman passed.

- moviewaffle, Monday, December 3, 2012