(2001)

Critic Reviews

69

Metascore

Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
The New Yorker
Trashy and opportunistic as some of it is, Training Day is the most vital police drama since "The French Connection" or "Serpico."
88
New York Post
Be warned: Though it's entirely justified by the story, there's a level of violence and brutality in Training Day -- that some terror-weary audience members may not care to cope with these days.
80
Wall Street Journal
Training Day can be simplistic, formulaic and absurdly melodramatic -- but Mr. Washington is flat-out great.
80
New Times (L.A.)
Washington creates an indelibly charming and terrifying character whose volatile blend of dedication and horrible expediency keeps us off balance.
80
Village Voice
Antoine Fuqua's propulsive, elegantly written police thriller, offers the unsettling spectacle of Denzel Washington.
78
Austin Chronicle
A razor-wire-taut (and extremely violent) exploration of what happens when good guys go bad, badder, baddest.
75
Chicago Sun-Times
So extreme is his mad dog behavior, indeed, that it shades over into humor: Washington seems to enjoy a performance that's over the top and down the other side.
75
It is so propulsive so much of the time, it almost looks as if it's going to go the distance. If Washington & Co. don't quite manage to bring it home, the getting there sure is something.
75
With its unflinching style, Training Day can be hard to sit through at times. But it's worth the discomfort for the adrenaline rush of the plot and Washington's compelling performance.
75
New York Daily News
The movie raises questions that are on plenty of minds right now, including whether and how much the rules should be bent to wage a war (in this case, on drugs) that cannot be won conventionally.
75
This is a movie that rocks and socks you, and has a performance by Washington that's ruthless and scary. But in the end, it leaves you unmarked.
75
Miami Herald
Even if the movie loses its nerve at the end, that doesn't take anything away from Washington's performance.
70
Though Training Day doesn't resolve itself as well as it deserves and ends strictly cops-and-robbers style, it's given us some great acting and something to ponder. Not every cop show can lay claim to that.
70
The New York Times
Mr. Washington's dry-ice grandeur -- the predator's reflexes contrasting with a pensive mouth -- deserves regard, and his powerhouse virtuosity will almost guarantee him an Oscar nomination.
63
Philadelphia Inquirer
Training Day has the best performances and worst third act of any movie you're likely to see this year.
60
Rolling Stone
But this is Washington's show, his Scarface, if you will, and his smiling, seductive monster is a thrilling creation that gives Training Day all the bite it needs.
50
Portland Oregonian
It's a little depressing to see such a thrilling talent deployed in such an ordinary and sordid movie. Training Day isn't awful, but it's absolutely nothing special.
50
Baltimore Sun
Denzel Washington does a cocksure turn in Training Day -- That may be enough to transform a shallow picture with delusions of grandeur into a crowd-pleasing hit.
50
Washington Post
As exhausting as it is exhilarating to watch, the film in the end is less than fully satisfying.
42
Entertainment Weekly
There's no denying that Washington can play a rococo villain with flip ebullience, but I fervently wish he were doing it in a movie that paid more than lip service to the real world.

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