Skip to main content


Based on 34 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 50
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Imagine David Mamet rewriting his political satire "Wag the Dog" -- in which a president and his advisers declare war to distract the media from the prez's horn-dog activities -- as a joke-free kidnap drama. show more

  • 50
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    The film remains, clearly by design, a cold piece, mechanistic and only intermittently involving. show more

  • 63
    Mike Clark USA Today

    This is one of those movies in which a strong ending might have made all the difference...But the wrap-up is unsatisfying, with too many questions unanswered. show more

  • 40
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Feelings play second fiddle to stylized attitudes in Spartan, and fancy style can't conceal the film's clumsiness. show more

  • 75
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    An entertaining foray into a world of spy guys, stakeouts and secret government machinations, Spartan teems with the kind of terse crypto-speak that is the playwright and filmmaker's stock-in-trade. show more

  • 50
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    If I were in the sign business, I'd produce a bumper sticker that reads "Even smart people make dumb movies" -- and give the first one to David Mamet. show more

  • 50
    Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter

    Ultimately unsatisfying. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The patter is always fascinating, and at right angles to the action. [Mamet]'s like a magician who gets you all involved in his story about the King, the Queen and the Jack, while the whole point is that there's a rabbit in your pocket. show more

  • 100
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    When he's good, Mr. Mamet is very good indeed, and Spartan stands with the best work he's done. It's fast-moving, unpredictable, and as tautly, tightly wound as thrillers get. show more

  • 75
    Mark Caro Chicago Tribune

    Mamet being Mamet, the story has far greater repercussions than whether the kidnap victim will be returned to safety. This is a tale of grand conspiracies, formidable forces, shadow warfare; the more that is revealed, the higher the stakes become. show more

similar movies

  • Gone Baby Gone (2007)

  • Taken (2008)

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)

  • In the Line of Fire (1993)

Stay Connected with Moviefone

Download the Free App!

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts


You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.

    Update settings