Hill's eye for back alley scuzz is as strong as ever, but the story, adapted from a French graphic novel by Alexis Nolent, is so die-cut it gives neither him nor Stallone anything to work with.
J. R. Jones
On its own degenerate terms, the movie works.
It's a series of fight scenes that build to a climax that is surprisingly unsatisfying in the way it ultimately plays out.
Sylvester Stallone shoots people in the face. That's it for subtext in this formula action swill. Why do I sound like I should expect more. Because the credits list the director as Walter Hill.
Bullet to the Head doesn't try to adapt its star to 2013. It just pretends that we're still living in 1986. And for 91 minutes, it just about works.
Stallone can still be entertaining, but here he's got no character to play, nothing fun to say, and the craziest hair/hairpiece/scalp growth this side of John Travolta.
The Geritol action genre lumbers on in the lackluster "Bullet to the Head," starring Sylvester Stallone, or at least a beef jerky replica.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
In "Bullet to the Head" violence is abrupt, shattering and consequential. It's not for laughs. It's graphic and unsettling, and it makes us feel uneasy, as we should, about the world the characters inhabit.
San Francisco Chronicle
All sorts of blockheaded action thrillers rolled into one, with occasional mentions of "flash drives" so you know it's not actually a script from 1986.
Plays like such a floundering exercise in macho overcompensation that you almost feel sorry for it. Almost.
"Bullet to the Head" is an adrenaline shot to your movie memory if the blunt, gleefully dumb, no-nonsense ways of '80s-style action flicks are your nostalgia drug of choice.
Los Angeles Times
[Its] sole redeeming quality is that it ends. Eventually.
No one here seems to notice that there's not much going on, including Mr. Stallone, which somehow makes it easier to watch.
New York Times
The plot fails to deliver a single surprise ... and the characterizations are thin even by the standards of the tough-guy genre.
The magic is in the details, from the little surprises to the colorful casting.
Bullet to the Head indicates that we're rapidly approaching an era of big-bang movies with stars on mobility scooters.
It's just director Walter Hill tweaking his formula from the "48 Hrs." franchise.
Cut together like a beer commercial on poorly lit cheap video without much panache.