Box art for Bullet to the Head

Bullet to the Head

action & adventure, thrillers

Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) enters into an unlikely alliance with by-the-book detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) to bring down the ruthless killer of their respective partners.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 17
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Over-the-top violence, nudity, drugs in dark Stallone movie.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bullet to the Head is the first teaming of legendary action director Walter Hill and legendary action star Sylvester Stallone. The result is extremely violent in an over-the-top way, with wall-to-wall, extra-noisy, extra-bloody shooting, fighting, stabbing, and explosions. There's also nudity (mostly topless women) in a few scenes, and language is strong, with several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters drink in bars, and a minor character snorts cocaine in one scene. Though the movie isn't realistic, it's still very intense overall and isn't recommended for anyone but the most mature teens and up.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Bullet to the Head's violence. Does the fact that it's clearly over the top affect its impact? How would the movie have been different with less violence?
  • What's appealing about a hit man as a main character? How can we like or identify with someone who breaks the law and solves his problems with violence?
  • What stereotypes come up in the movie between the two main characters? How do the characters deal with them?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Bullet to the Head is a buddy cop action films that has been better done, tightly written, and more importantly of good quality. This film won't appeal outside of its target demographic, but for those who are the target demographic will see it as a serviceable fun ride. Bullet to the Head is about a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy. Now the main reason this won't appeal outside of it fan base is it unoriginality and overuse cliches. A fan of the action genre can look past these flaws, but it will still bug fans. Now since this a buddy cop action film there's some good laughs to be had here in the comedy aspect, but Stallone partner in the film almost entirely useless. He helps Stallone once or twice, but most of the time Sung Kang either needs be rescue, does nothing important, or is just their be made off. Plot has ever so rarely been a strong aspect in Stallone action films, but considering what's on his resume (Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot) you could do allot worse. Now time for the good aspects of the film which includes Sylvester Stallone in the leading role. He's basically here to act tough and kill people on screen which if you enjoy seeing this won't disappoint. It makes good use of its R rating by including a good amount of blood and brutal deaths. What also helps in the action section is Walter Hill direction. While his gun fights are nothing special where the film does shine are in the film fight scenes. Given that Walter Hill also directed "The Warriors" expect some good brutal fights and a terrific ax battle towards the end. The actors that play the heroes were good or at least serviceable at best. Though the actors that played the villains are awful. Not a single actor that played a villain was even close to being average. The worst offender being Jason Momoa who does looks menacing, but when he talks he loses all presence of being a villain. Bullet to the Head is not going to appeal outside of it fan base for it's unorginal, cliche, and might make some want to put an actual bullet to their head due to amount of stupidity in it. For those who do enjoy Stallone in a leading role killing baddies in a simple to follow plot with good amount of humor and action than this might do trick. Though you might prefer watching the star and director superior previous works instead for quality films.

- juliomendez19941, Friday, February 1, 2013

3 stars

When hitman Stallone and his partner carry out what they assume to be an everyday hit, unaware that the man they executed was a crooked cop, the victim's partner (Kang) arrives in town to track down his killers. With Stallone's partner murdered by a mercenary (Momoa) in a bar, Kang and Stallone reluctantly team up to find the men responsible for both deaths, employing wildly opposing methods of investigation. Based on a French comic book, it's fitting that 'Bullet to the Head' be directed by a true auteur like Hill. Directors of his nature sadly don't exist anymore; men whose movies could be enjoyed equally by the film scholar and the Saturday night six-pack guzzler. You can almost imagine Hill initially turning down the job, grunting something along the lines of "I'm too old for this shit", only for the producers to kill his dog and kidnap his daughter, forcing him to direct at gunpoint in chained ankles. Whatever his motivation, he's proved that when it comes to visceral action cinema, there are few better. In a Walter Hill movie, gunshots sound that extra few decibels louder, blood looks slightly more red, and anyone can die at anytime. It's a template he sticks to here, transporting us back to a time before post-modern cynicism and smart-ass genre deconstruction took the fun out of the action movie. Over the decades, Stallone has been honing his comedic chops but never quite found a fitting role. This is easily the funniest performance he's ever given, playing his character like a cross between John Wayne and a Jewish stand-up. Kang is no great actor but plays the straight man role well enough, basically just there to take insults from Stallone. It's similar to the dynamic of Nolte and Murphy in Hill's '48 Hours', another rare effective blend of comedy and action. There are several nods to 'The Searchers', one of Hill's favorite films, with Stallone even repeating "That'll be the day" at one point. The action icon's age is mocked nicely, the film's eye candy (Shahi) now his daughter rather than a love interest. Do you like your action movies to consist of two guys bickering in a car between ballistic, bone-crunching set-pieces, eventually climaxing with a girl tied to a chair in a disused power plant while two 'roided up men fight to the death with axes, all in a brisk ninety minutes? If so, this is the film for you.

- moviewaffle, Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2 stars

More of a kick to the head than a shot to the heart, Sylvester Stallone's standalone comeback ends up to be more of a number two with a Bullet. Oh, it starts out well enough, with the once and future Rambo Balboa kicking ass like a well-oiled dependable Expendable. Unfortunately, even under the capable direction of veteran action helmer Walter Hill (The Long Riders, Last Man Standing, 16 Blocks), this formulaic Head-case tends to drag in-between explosively exciting set pieces. Like the misbegotten remake Get Carter, moviegoers will hope for a decent Stallone vehicle out of nostalgia, but it just slowly gives credence to the argument that the Italian Stallion needs to be put out to stud. In this R-rated actioner based on a French comic book, a DC cop (Sung Kang) and a Crescent City hitman (Stallone) form an alliance after watching their respective partners die at the hands of a common mercenary (Momoa). It's a shame, really. Grizzled Italian oak-of-a-man Stallone looks amazing and shows better action chops than most younger shoot-'em-up wannabes (John Cena, Liam Hemsworth, etc.). Also, Momoa (Conan the Barbarian, HBO's Game of Thrones) proves to be a worthily villainous opponent as a seemingly modern Viking warrior. Unfortunately, in-between ridiculously quotable bon mots, the patently silly and disbelief-busting script slowly connects the dots toward Clich - not Crescent - City. Thanks to some fizzled chemistry, the flat buddy cop formlua invites less comparisons to Hill's 48 Hours and more to its anemic sequel, Another 48 Hours. Stallone deserves do action fans, however. Bottom line: Demolition pan.

- jeffboam, Tuesday, February 5, 2013