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Pain & Gain

Comedy . Thriller . Crime . Action

Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Their kidnapping and extortion scheme goes terribly wrong since they have muscles for brains and they're left to haphazardly try to hold onto the elusive American dream.

Actors: Michael Rispoli , Ken Jeong , Rebel Wilson , Bar Paly , Rob Corddry , Ed Harris , Tony Shalhoub , Anthony Mackie , Dwayne Johnson , Mark Wahlberg
Directors: Michael Bay
Country: USA
Add a Review

Kyle Smith
New York Post

A dizzying lowlife saga that’s fast, smart, wicked, sort of ambitious and blazingly ironic. It’s as unpredictable as a Lindsay Lohan drive to the grocery store, as overstuffed as the pictures on Anthony Weiner’s Twitter feed and as hilarious as me on the bench press.

Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In telling a true story about hapless thugs who are the embodiment of Michael Bay fans, the director has made the most fiendishly enjoyable movie of his career.

James Berardinelli

It's funny as hell at times with a twisted sense of humor that one typically expects from the likes of the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino.

Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

This is easily Bay’s best movie, the work of a filmmaker with a cracked sense of humor that he is able to share with the audience.

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Even though Pain & Gain does indeed mine laughs from some very violent acts, there is nothing in this movie that glamorizes those three meatheads. Kudos to Bay and his screenwriters for making sure we’re laughing at them, not with them.

Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly

With Pain & Gain, his surprising true-crime comedy, Bay has finally decided to lighten up a bit.

David Edelstein
New York Magazine (Vulture)

Pain & Gain gives you a rush while at the same time making you queasy about how you’re getting off.

Andrew O'Hehir

Michael Bay sends a clear message to those of us who've been making fun of him: He's been in on the joke the whole time.

Richard Corliss

It's like a giant sculpture that is so strange and off-putting, it's instantly, intriguingly post-modern. Swept up in the film's pile-driving self-assurance, even Bay-haters may absorb the pain to enjoy the gain.

Simon Abrams

As ambitious and vibrant as it is ugly and scattershot, Pain & Gain is the most charming Michael Bay movie in a long while.

Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

An outrageous based-on-real-life tale that's perfectly suited to director Michael Bay's insanely overblown stylistic and thematic temperament.

Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

It’s just too much — too much graphic violence, too many plot wrinkles, too much stupidity, too many supporting players to track...For a movie as physically fit as this one wants to be, Pain & Gain is carrying way too much extra weight.

Peter Bradshaw
The Guardian

The movie needed some more detachment – and brevity – but Wahlberg shows once again he has the comedy chops.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out London

The ever-present air of madcap, goofball insanity carries it through. A seriously guilty pleasure.

Mark Dinning

Michael Bay goes back to a Bad Boys budget and a big boys’ rating, for a true-life crime story that’s inconsistent and frenetic, but also funny and wilfully outrageous.

James Mottram
Total Film

Like all of Bay’s work, it’s over-the-top, brash and exhausting to watch. But like the lifestyle its characters aspire to, there’s an allure too.

Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

Wahlberg and Johnson are the saving graces of an in-your-face movie.

A.O. Scott
The New York Times

It all leaves you pondering whether you have just seen a monumentally stupid movie or a brilliant movie about the nature and consequences of stupidity.

Dana Stevens

A day and half after walking out with a sensation, primarily, of physical relief—at two hours and nine minutes, Pain & Gain makes for a long, loud, relentlessly assaultive sit—I find that my thumb is wavering at half-mast. I’m still not sure whether to mildly like or mildly hate this movie.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Nobody in it seems to possess a nervous system.

Liam Lacey
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

The script’s occasional gestures toward making this an allegory of the failed American dream are extremely unconvincing in the context of a movie that revels in the excesses of macho culture while laughing at the hapless and stupid who can’t get it right.

Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times

That sense of extreme, excess, over-the-top everything is there from start to finish. And isn't that what Bay fans count on even at cut-rate prices?

Claudia Puig
USA Today

A badly constructed, blood-spattered caper that comes unglued early on.

David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer

Yep, it's all fun and games until someone gets brutalized repeatedly. Before you can avert your eyes, it's Katie, bar the door and break out the chain saws.

Scott Tobias

Bay blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.

Barbara VanDenburgh
Arizona Republic

There’s a certain kinetic charm to the first half of the movie, a freewheeling silliness to these outsized characters that makes you curious to see just how wrong things will go. But as the weightlifters’ plot spirals out of control, so does the movie’s.

Louis Black
Austin Chronicle

Yes, the canon invoked for this film is that of the Three Stooges, but it’s still not as magnificently berserk as they can be. Set your expectations carefully for this one.

Scott Foundas

Bay can be a master of exuberant chaos, but here the violence mostly lands with a sickening thud, which is fitting, one supposes, but also ultimately numbing.

Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times

The movie's best performance — and worst defamation — belongs to Tony Shalhoub, playing the first victim as a conniving, egotistical jerk who deserves to be kidnapped, maimed and ruined financially.

Mike Scott
New Orleans Times-Picayune

This is a tragedy, not a comedy.

Ciara LaVelle
Village Voice

When the story runs off the rails and crashes headfirst into a too-perfect ending, it's because Bay was led astray by the same things that got the Sun Gym Gang into this mess in the first place: superficiality, ambition, and the belief that reality just isn't good enough.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

It's Bay World. And after an hour of Pain & Gain, it felt more like "Pain & Pain."

Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist

Pain & Gain fails at being an entertaining and ridiculously fun Michael Bay movie and curdles into something much more tone deaf and obnoxious.

Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post

The whole thing is played for laughs that almost never come. To be sure, the film has its moments, but they’re few and far between.

Marc Mohan
Portland Oregonian

Bay seems to have been gunning for something along the lines of "Blood Simple" or "A Simple Plan," but Pain & Gain is just plain simple.

Ty Burr
Boston Globe

Pain & Gain, a jokey but fatally tone-deaf true-crime caper, plays like “Fargo” for idiots.

Nathan Rabin
The A.V. Club

Any pretensions of satire, moral ambiguity, or social commentary get lost in a hurricane of empty, mindless spectacle.

Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York

It would be kind to call this satire; what it comes off as is a pummeling, testosterone-fueled sensory assault that the film then makes minor variations on for two very long hours.

Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter

The story is told in a hammer-on-anvil manner that evinces no gift for social satire or sharp cultural insight.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

In between scenes of the muscleheads torturing their victim, Bay indulges his taste for treating women as sluts and grisly brutality as a nifty excuse for a cheap laugh. Pain and Gain is personal all right. You leave these characters with the distinct impression that they're Bay's kind of people.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

Michael Bay's absurdist comedy is all pain, no gain and an utter monstrosity. It may be the most unpleasant movie I've ever seen, and I'm not forgetting "Freaks," which Pain & Gain resembles, come to think of it.

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