Box art for The Expendables

The Expendables

action & adventure


The Expendables, a tight-knit team of skilled combat vets turned mercenaries, set out to save the innocent and punish the guilty in this blistering action-packed thriller.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    41%
  • Audience Score
    65%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5

Legendary action cast teams up for a violent, messy muddle.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Expendables will definitely appeal to teens (and, frankly, boys of all ages) thanks to a cast filled with living action legends like Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. But since it's filled with over-the-top action violence -- including shootings, stabbings, severed limbs, spurting blood, explosions, and burning bodies -- it's not age-appropriate for younger viewers. There's also some violence against women, and language is strong (including both "f--k" and "s--t"), though not constant. Drugs are a key part of a subplot, and one character has a drug problem, even though viewers never see any drugs consumed. Other characters smoke cigars, pipes, and cigarettes. It has perhaps the most impressive action cast ever assembled for a movie, including some living legends, and so it will be irresistible to boys of all ages.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. How did it affect you? What impact did it have?
  • What did Barney learn over the course of the movie? Did any of the other Expendables share his journey? Are they heroes? Why or why not?
  • Many of the characters in the film smoke. How does this make them look? Do they seem cool? Do you think that was the intent?
  • The movie features some violence against women. What is the movie's attitude toward this kind of violence?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    41%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Expendables reviews
  • Audience

    65%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: As a whole, the movie, whose title dimly evokes "They Were Expendable," a 1945 John Ford combat picture starring John Wayne and Robert Montgomery, might more aptly be described as Bad Kurosawa, Bad Peckinpah or Bad Leone.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, August 13, 2010

Rotten: I's a bit like a trip to the gym on a flat tire.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, August 13, 2010

Fresh: Bullets, knives and bare hands fly in an incomprehensible vortex as arms and heads and body parts get thrown into the melee.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, August 13, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I wanted to really like this movie, and I wanted it to be awesome. Unfortunately, it comes up short. Perhaps my expectations were just too high. How could they not be though? Just loook at the cast! This is a macho testosteronefest throwback to the glory days of 80s and 90s action films. This film, like Unforgiven, had the potential to be the be-all end-all of its respective genre; unfortunately it comes off more like nostalgia instead. That's not a total bad thing, though. It's cool seeing Sly and Dolph share the screen again, and of course, there's the much talked about church scene with Sly, Bruce, and Arnie. A cool scene, but it feels really rushed. The story is very simple and predictable, but that's part of the charm. The script however, is an all over the place mess. I'm okay with the silly one liners that mostly fall flat. What I don't like is the uneven character development. Lots of focus is placed on Statham, and his relations with Sly, as well as the Sly and Rourke stuff, but everything else is just left hanging. They should have made a longer film along the lines of The Dirty Dozen or something, and shaped it like that. In fact, I was reminded more of stuff like that instead of the 80s/90s films. This works well as a "men on a mission" picture, even if it leaves something to be desired. I was close to giving this an extra half star, but the aforementioned issues are what keep me from doing it. There are some things that are done well, though. Stallone definitely knows how to do action scenes, and those are awesome. Some of the camera work and editing were a bit too shaky for me, but at least not all of the gore was cg. I also really liked Rourke dramatic monologue. It was well done and gave the film a sense of purpose. The cast is pretty good. They seem to have decent chemistry, and I liked how it was a mixture of veterans of the genre and newcomers like Couture and Crews. Also, having bonafide actors like Rourke and Roberts added some nice weight and gravitas. This could have been the best damn action film ever. Instead it becomes merely a fun and entertaining yet flawed tribute. It has some merits, but is unfortunately too flawed to really recommend. C+

- cosmo313, Friday, January 11, 2013

4 stars

The Expendables is a movie directed by Sylvester Stallone that tells the story of a group of renegades that make the job out of the eyes of the law. Their latest job is to overthrow an South American dictator but without knowing that there's more behind all this. This film full of action and adventure is like a tribute to all those 80's and 90's action movies, first because all the representatives of those movies appear here (Bruce Willis, Sylsvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger). The story is predictable and the plot is a little weak. The cast is interesting, formed by actors (Stallone, Li, Statham, Lundgren, Rourke) and wrestlers (Austin and Couture) everyone doing the best they can and with the special appearances of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger parodying themselves the movie is quite enjoyable. In conclusion, you most take The Expewndables for what it is, a movie which only purpose is to entertain the viewer and I think it achieve it pretty well.

- barrys, Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2 stars

It was like seeing a stunt show at an amusement park. Pure action with a thin story. Stallone's face also has some problems in looking real.

- Godless, Thursday, December 9, 2010