13 hours movie poster image

New 13 Hours movie got mixed reviews from top critics. Paramount Pictures released their new action/drama flick, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” into theaters today, January 15th, 2016, and all the critics have submitted their reviews. It turns out that they were pretty mixed and scattered with this one, giving it an overall 49 score out of a possible 100 score across 29 reviews at Metacritic.com.

The movie stars: Alexia Barlier, David Costabile, David Denman, James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Pablo Schreiber and Toby Stephens. We’ve added comments from a couple of the critics, below.

Joe Dziemianowicz over at the New York Daily News, gave it a nice 80 score, saying: “Sure, Bay indulges some signature cinematic fetishes. But he shows restraint with the slowed-down, sexed-up shots. War is gritty here, not glamorous. Result: characters, stakes and emotions feel authentic — all the more so thanks to terrific actors including James Badge Dale and Pablo Schreiber as actual ex-military men and family men who battled terrorists.”

Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it a 75 grade. He said: “This is no “Zero Dark Thirty” or “The Hurt Locker.” Lacking in nuance and occasionally plagued by corny dialogue, “13 Hours” is nonetheless a well-photographed, visceral action film, and a sincere and fitting tribute to those secret soldiers.”

Kyle Smith from the New York Post, gave it a 75 score. He stated: “Still, if 13 Hours lacks the gravitas of “American Sniper,” it’s powerful stuff. Bay’s goal is to put you right in these men’s boots, to feel the heat, the fear, the fatigue, the weight of the weapons and the web of camaraderie.”

Ty Burr over at the Boston Globe, gave it a 63 score. He said: “A straight-up combat film. Not a very good combat film — it wallows in genre clichés and makes a hash of its action scenes — but one that does get you to empathize with its grunts, the “secret soldiers” of the title.”

Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune, gave it a 63 score. He said: “Some of this is slick and enjoyable in what I’d characterize as the wrong way, the painlessly bloody, box-office-friendly way.”

Michael O’Sullivan from the Washington Post, gave it a 63 score, saying: “As an action film, it is intense and gripping. As a drama, it is bombastic and unsubtle.”

Brian Truitt over at USA Today, gave it a 63 score. He said: “After a string of iffy Transformers movies, Bay reminds that he can do a much better action movie with humans than alien robots: 13 Hours is his best work in the genre since his 1990s hits Bad Boys and The Rock.”

Todd McCarthy over at The Hollywood Reporter, gave it a 60 score, saying: “To use what, under the circumstances, is a far too convenient metaphor, Bay is interested in accelerating from zero to 100 as quickly as possible and then maintaining speed, rather than skillfully shifting gears and adjusting speeds based on curves, hills and road conditions. In this case, he gets you there, but you know the ride could have been a lot more varied and nuanced.”

Kevin P. Sullivan at Entertainment Weekly, gave it a 58 score. He said: “There’s a real story of American heroism somewhere in here, but it’s diluted by Bay’s worst tendencies.”

Kenneth Turan from the Los Angeles Times, gave it a 50 grade, claiming: “This action facility, however, is not enough to make “13 Hours” more than sporadically successful, in part because, at 2 hours and 24 minutes, the film is too long for its own good and risks feelings of repetition and exhaustion.”

Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal, gave it a 50 grade, saying: “The movie is a relentlessly intense, grotesquely overblown and numbingly long account of extraordinary heroism on the part of six American security operators in the midst of horrific chaos.”

Mick LaSalle over at the San Francisco Chronicle, gave it a 50 score. He said: “It’s long, downright dispiriting, enjoyable only sometimes, and yet there’s a feeling of authenticity. It’s neither bad nor good, but interesting. It might improve with age.”

Justin Chang from Variety, gave it a 50 score. He said: “It’s a nail-biter and a head-scratcher rolled into one: The mind may initially race to keep up with logistics, but eventually one acknowledges the futility of trying to make sense of a situation that Bay himself hasn’t managed to clarify.”

Inkoo IKang from the TheWrap, gave it a 45 score, saying: “In terms of anything that has to do with characterization, Chuck Hogan‘s script is punishingly rote. But as bombastic, shoot-‘em-up spectacle, 13 Hours is a visceral, well-paced and often beautiful action-thriller.”

Manohla Dargis from the New York Times, gave it a 30 grade, saying: “The movie is a pummeling slog — 45 minutes of setup and an eternity of relentless combat.”

Peter Sobczynski over at RogerEbert.com, gave it a really bad 25 grade. He claims: “As an action movie and as a historical document, it is a bombastic and wholly inauthentic mess that displays precious little interest in the men whose actions and sacrifices it purports to honor.” Stay tuned.

Did You Enjoy this Post? Subscribe to Hollywood Hills on Facebook, Twitter, & Email