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Pain & Gain

7/10
Comedy . Action . Crime . Thriller
 

Danny Lupo, manager of the Sun Gym in 1990s Miami, decides that there is only one way to achieve his version of the American dream: extortion. To achieve his goal, he recruits musclemen Paul and Adrian as accomplices. After several failed attempts, they abduct rich businessman Victor Kershaw and convince him to sign over all his assets to them. But when Kershaw makes it out alive, authorities are reluctant to believe his story.

 
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

    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.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    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.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • 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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    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.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    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.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

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

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • David Edelstein

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

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • 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.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Full Review
  • 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.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Nick Schager

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

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    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.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

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

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

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

    Time Out London Full Review
  • 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.

    Empire Full Review
  • James Mottram

    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.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

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

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • 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.

    Slate Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Nobody in it seems to possess a nervous system.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    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.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    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?

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

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

    USA Today Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    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.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

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

    NPR Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    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.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Louis Black

    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.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • 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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    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.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    This is a tragedy, not a comedy.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Ciara LaVelle

    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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

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

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

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

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    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.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    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.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Ty Burr

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

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

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

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    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.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

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

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    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.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    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.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    It's a homemade protein-and-steroids smoothie of a plot, combining elements of gore, self-parody, 1990s nostalgia overload and an attempt to say something -- while actually saying absolutely nothing -- about the American dream.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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