Box art for Jack Reacher

  Jack Reacher

drama


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".

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    61%
  • Audience Score
    67%

common sense

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

Serviceable but forgettable Cruise thriller is very violent.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tom Cruise stars as the title character in Jack Reacher, an adaptation of Lee Child's novel One Shot. Reacher is a former military police offer who's enlisted to find a sniper who fired six shots into a crowd, killing five people. This thriller is violent, and vigilante Reacher shows no qualms breaking the law to make sure justice is done -- at least his version of justice. There's some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t") and a bit of sexual tension between Reacher and co-star Rosamund Pike, but no actual sex and very little drinking. Still, there are allusions to torture, and the fight scenes are sometimes brutal; a few are very tough to stomach. Even though there's little blood or gore on screen, the film is more appropriate for older teens and up.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what makes this PG-13-rated movie different from R-rated films. Is the violence less graphic or upsetting? Why or why not? What impact does seeing this kind of violence have on teens?
  • What do you think about Jack Reacher's vigilante actions? Is it right for one man to dispense justice to people who are clearly villains?
  • Why does Jack Reacher live the way he does? How do his actions in this film show what he wants out of life?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    61%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all Jack Reacher reviews
  • Audience

    67%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: My enjoyment of Jack Reacher winds up outweighing my dislike, but it was a bumpy road to get there.

- Alonso Duralde, The Wrap, Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rotten: A wildly ill-advised miscalculation, with Cruise's virtually unstoppable appeal butting uncomfortably against Reacher's alternately cocky and downright crude cynicism.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, December 21, 2012

Fresh: There is a dogged leanness to Reacher's pursuit that lifts his adventures from the generic rut ...

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Monday, January 21, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I was surprised -- I didn't expect it to be so much of a mystery movie instead of a balls-to-the-wall action flick like the trailers made it out to be. Sadly, that's where all the surprises comes to a screeching halt. "Jack Reacher"'s a film that -- yes, is very formulaic -- does everything without delivering the goods of a formulaic flick. It's entertaining, I'll give it that, but it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, nor does it try to add flavor to the cards it's dealt with (except for one scene). I don't know too much about the details of its production, but all I know is that it's based off a series of books on a character named Jack Reacher. I don't mind that Tom Cruise doesn't fit the physical build of what Reacher was described to be, or if it follows the book to the T -- I just mind if this is a good movie or not, and for the most part, it failed to deliver a narrative worthy enough to be written (based off of the movie of course). It goes somewhere along the lines of Reacher, a badass who takes the law-by-the-balls with no sensitivity for upholders, finding the hardline truths behind a homicide scene. From here, the film takes the linear route of point A to B, which I don't mind at all. It's not a character-study; it's not a compelling art-house flick with idiosyncratic shots; this is a mystery-thriller. Hey, as long as this journey to point B is a palpable journey for the audience members, I'm all ears. Unfortunately, "Jack Reacher" -- though entertaining for its action sequences -- is a generic mystery movie with flatline characters at best -- so flat in fact, that it makes me wonder why Jack Reacher is such a compelling character worthy enough to have a book series lined up for him. I understand that these are merely problems from this movie itself and not the books. I get it: Jack Reacher is a bad ass. Omg, Tom Cruise is such a bad ass. Why's he so baaad? He makes me tremble in fear before him... NOT. "Jack Reacher" falls under the same problem "John Q" had: the characters on-screen talk too much about how Reacher is a force to be reckoned with. How 'bout show the audience how he's such a "ghost" that stays off the grid? How 'bout show the audience his unique skill to take anybody out and how he is a reckless outlaw fixated on doing his own thing? Unfortunately, the problem is because the script is mediocre and Tom Cruise doesn't bring enough to make the character, Jack Reacher, the interesting character he's made out to be. Cruise does a fine enough performance, but he's merely playing himself. What I'm trying to say is that I watched Tom Cruise kick ass -- not Jack Reacher. But hey, I'm not making Tom Cruise the punching bag here -- the rest of the cast fails to bring flair to their characters, especially David Oyelowo who played as the detective named Emerson. As for the technical aspects, it does the bare minimum. Camerawork shows what's going on and the editing is fine. What's not fine is the dialogue. Wow, some jokes fall way flat with some of the worst one-liners from recent memory. It's not that the delivery was bad, but it's just that the humor is way too silly for its cause. I'm tearing "Jack Reacher" a new butthole, but I've gotta hand it something: The car chase scene and the shooting sequences are done superbly with incredible crane shots. There's no fast editing to hide the blemishes and in fact, it was breathtaking to see all the stunts were not done by a stunt-double look-alike for Tom Cruise -- it was literally Tom Cruise behind the wheel. These sequences aren't afraid to slow down and take a breath nor is it trying to shove down explosions in your throat -- it just manages to carry a good amount of tension to make it an entertaining set-piece to help "Jack Reacher" stand out just a bit from the rest of the generic action flicks. No matter how great the action set-pieces are, it isn't enough to call "Jack Reacher" an above-average thriller. There's just too many problems to claim and though it seemed like I tore this film apart, it's merely an average movie and an average movie gets a 2 1/2 stars out of 5. For the average Joe, the average movie will do enough to entertain, and that's what it did for me -- it entertains, nothing more, nothing less.

- fb1463751009, Saturday, May 18, 2013

3 stars

I was surprised -- I didn't expect it to be so much of a mystery movie instead of a balls-to-the-wall action flick like the trailers made it out to be. Sadly, that's where all the surprises comes to a screeching halt. "Jack Reacher"'s a film that -- yes, is very formulaic -- does everything without delivering the goods of a formulaic flick. It's entertaining, I'll give it that, but it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, nor does it try to add flavor to the cards it's dealt with (except for one scene). I don't know too much about the details of its production, but all I know is that it's based off a series of books on a character named Jack Reacher. I don't mind that Tom Cruise doesn't fit the physical build of what Reacher was described to be, or if it follows the book to the T -- I just mind if this is a good movie or not, and for the most part, it failed to deliver a narrative worthy enough to be written (based off of the movie of course). It goes somewhere along the lines of Reacher, a badass who takes the law-by-the-balls with no sensitivity for upholders, finding the hardline truths behind a homicide scene. From here, the film takes the linear route of point A to B, which I don't mind at all. It's not a character-study; it's not a compelling art-house flick with idiosyncratic shots; this is a mystery-thriller. Hey, as long as this journey to point B is a palpable journey for the audience members, I'm all ears. Unfortunately, "Jack Reacher" -- though entertaining for its action sequences -- is a generic mystery movie with flatline characters at best -- so flat in fact, that it makes me wonder why Jack Reacher is such a compelling character worthy enough to have a book series lined up for him. I understand that these are merely problems from this movie itself and not the books. I get it: Jack Reacher is a bad ass. Omg, Tom Cruise is such a bad ass. Why's he so baaad? He makes me tremble in fear before him... NOT. "Jack Reacher" falls under the same problem "John Q" had: the characters on-screen talk too much about how Reacher is a force to be reckoned with. How 'bout show the audience how he's such a "ghost" that stays off the grid? How 'bout show the audience his unique skill to take anybody out and how he is a reckless outlaw fixated on doing his own thing? Unfortunately, the problem is because the script is mediocre and Tom Cruise doesn't bring enough to make the character, Jack Reacher, the interesting character he's made out to be. Cruise does a fine enough performance, but he's merely playing himself. What I'm trying to say is that I watched Tom Cruise kick ass -- not Jack Reacher. But hey, I'm not making Tom Cruise the punching bag here -- the rest of the cast fails to bring flair to their characters, especially David Oyelowo who played as the detective named Emerson. As for the technical aspects, it does the bare minimum. Camerawork shows what's going on and the editing is fine. What's not fine is the dialogue. Wow, some jokes fall way flat with some of the worst one-liners from recent memory. It's not that the delivery was bad, but it's just that the humor is way too silly for its cause. I'm tearing "Jack Reacher" a new butthole, but I've gotta hand it something: The car chase scene and the shooting sequences are done superbly with incredible crane shots. There's no fast editing to hide the blemishes and in fact, it was breathtaking to see all the stunts were not done by a stunt-double look-alike for Tom Cruise -- it was literally Tom Cruise behind the wheel. These sequences aren't afraid to slow down and take a breath nor is it trying to shove down explosions in your throat -- it just manages to carry a good amount of tension to make it an entertaining set-piece to help "Jack Reacher" stand out just a bit from the rest of the generic action flicks. No matter how great the action set-pieces are, it isn't enough to call "Jack Reacher" an above-average thriller. There's just too many problems to claim and though it seemed like I tore this film apart, it's merely an average movie and an average movie gets a 2 1/2 stars out of 5. For the average Joe, the average movie will do enough to entertain, and that's what it did for me -- it entertains, nothing more, nothing less.

- fb1463751009, Saturday, May 18, 2013

2 stars

More than often comes off as a vanity project for Cruise but I digress, as a standalone mystery thriller or franchise starter it's not bad at all. It's almost like a modern take on Noir storytelling. The problem really lies in the fact that it's not inherently good either. There isn't anything about the premise, characters or execution that sticks out from the norm. Sure the plot itself is intricate enough to keep the viewer guessing but the delivery of it all... More than often I wanted to reach out and inject some more charisma or "edge" into the film, without a defining style it will ultimately be forgotten in a sea of crime thrillers.

- fb535316333, Wednesday, April 3, 2013