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Reviews & Ratings for
Man on Fire More at IMDbPro »

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364 out of 440 people found the following review useful:

Riveting viewing!

Author: (sblenkharn) from United Kingdom
4 January 2005

Certainly one of the finest movies I have seen for quite some time. Exquisite direction and flawless acting make this a very entertaining and often moving film. Denzel Washington plays one of his most engaging and emotional roles to date, and the rest of the cast perform beautifully. Christopher Walken is of course superb in his part although he did not appear as often as I would have liked. A story of ultimate greed that backfires is offset against a childs innocence and love. This is also a film for action movie lovers as it has its fair share of bullets, rockets and revenge. The location of Mexico City adds a feel of seediness and corruption which in itself is an eye opener. All in all, a truly gripping film from beginning to end. Highly recommended!

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357 out of 464 people found the following review useful:

Perfect...Just Perfect. Do yourselves a favor and watch it but...

Author: kourgon from Greece
16 March 2005

...dont read any plot summaries because in words the plot might seem trivial, brain-dead and pointless. The film is excellent, the acting by both Denzel and Dakota (she will go sky high, trust me on that)are just fabulous, and the plot is mind blowing. Actually "fabulous" is a small word to use for such talented actors. The film is just based on actual facts and some characters are not fictional, a fact that adds up to the shock that i was having during and after the film. If you are fond of both actors and of somewhat deranged films, you still haven't watched your favorite one yet...Trust me, in the end you will have a weird and inexplicable feeling. The film is awesome, see it, rent it, buy it or whatever...just don't miss it

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328 out of 451 people found the following review useful:

Best film of the year

Author: Sam Deakin from England
12 February 2005

This has to be one of the best, if not the best film i have seen for a very, very long time. Had enough action to satisfy an fan, and yet the plot was very good. I really enjoyed the film,and had me hooked from start to finish.

Added blood and gore in there, but brought the realistic nature of what happens to the front of the film, and even had a tear jerker ending for many people i should think.

It is a must watch for anyone. Seen many reviews, slating the film, but to be fair, most the films that get bad reviews, turn out to be some of the best. this proves it once again.

Rent this film, buy this film, just go out and watch this film. You will not be disappointed.

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212 out of 291 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Movie

Author: skiprodgers from United States
1 February 2005

This is by far one of the better made movies and didn't leave me disappointed at all. The sound track along with finely shot hand-held camera work was exquisite . The are always chances a movie won't hold ones beliefs as well as another, but I felt that rhythm of this picture and the timing was excellent. Dakota Fanning is rapidly becoming a staple in movie that require a child with an old soul personality and she has never disappointed me with her talent. As for Mr. Washington and of course Christopher Walken they both exceed the challenge of showing the darkest sides of humanity trying to move to the light.

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181 out of 231 people found the following review useful:

Mexican Officials Should Be Killed

Author: E. Catalan ( from Mexico
25 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved this movie. I'm a Mexican and was in the least offended by it. In fact, I think this movie should be shown at police headquarters all over Mexico. It's a sad truth that our police system is as rotten as a 3 month old corpse. It angers me to read in the news how killers, kidnappers and other slime go free by paying a laughable fine or live like kings inside prison cells. We should have someone like Creasy, Denzel Washington's character. A bodyguard turned vengeful vigilante. Kidnapping is flourishing industry down here (at least in the big cities). I actually wish real life kidnappers could suffer the same fate as the one's Creasy did his fine job upon. That would be so marvelous (Sorry, I am THAT resentful!). MAN ON FIRE is a gripping film that you can't miss. It might be hard on some of you, if you aren't used to reading subtitles (Mexicans do that ALL the time while watching American movies) but the effort will be well worth it. Some of the editing is a bit fuzzy...kind of like TRAFFIC, remember? (another brilliant take on how corrupt Mexico is). The movie starts out a bit slow but the pace picks up frantically by the second half. I swear you'll be cheering as you watch Denzel Washington dispatch the wrong doers. His performance is nothing short of Excellent. The ending (no spoilers, OK!!!) is a bit sad, but I'm sure you'll like it anyway. MAN ON FIRE is one of the year's best movies. A "must own" for a DVD collection! 9* out of 10

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93 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

a genuinely good movie

Author: MrFunktastic from United Kingdom
23 November 2005

i liked this film a lot. it's dark, it's not a bullet-dodging, car-chasing numb your brain action movie. a lot of the characters backgrounds and motivations are kinda vague, leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusions. it's nice to see a movie where the director allows the viewer to make up their own minds.

in the end, motivated by love or vengeance, or a desire to repent - he does what he feels is "right". 'will god ever forgive us for what we've done?' - it's not a question mortal men can answer - so he does what he feels he has to do, what he's good at, what he's been trained to do.

denzel washington is a great actor - i honestly can't think of one bad movie he's done - and he's got a great supporting cast. i would thoroughly recommend this movie to anyone.

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100 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

3 Denzels and 1 Dakota For Your Money

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
4 November 2005

Here's a gritty, get-the-bad guys revenge story starring a relentless and rough Denzel Washington. He's three personalities here: a down-and-out-low-key-now drunk- former mercenary, then a loving father-type person to a little girl and then a brutal maniac on the loose seeking answers and revenge.

The story is about Washington hired to be a bodyguard for a little American girl living in Mexico, where kidnappings of children occur regularly (at least according to the movie.) He becomes attached to the kid, played winningly by THE child actress of our day, Dakota Fanning. When Fanning is kidnapped in front of him, Washington goes after the men responsible and spares no one. Beware: this film is not for the squeamish.

This is stylish film-making, which is good and bad. I liked it, but a number of people found it too frenetic for their tastes as the camera-work is one that could give you a headache. I thought it fit the tense storyline and was fascinating to view, but it's (the shaky camera) not for all tastes.

Besides the two stars, there is the always-interesting Christopher Walken, in an uncharacteristically low-key role, and a number of other fine actors.

The film panders to the base emotions in all of us, but it works.

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95 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

One of the best thrillers in years; a hard-as-nails revenge flick with Washington in top form.

Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
20 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hate preachy revenge flicks. I pay money to go see a revenge movie, I want revenge -- not some tough guy learning that killing is bad, etc. Seriously, if I wanted a sermon on the importance of turning the other cheek, I'd either go to church or rent an eco-friendly Steven Seagal movie.

I'm a big fan of the revenge genre, there's something about the build-up that gets my blood boiling. I love getting attached to characters and feeling their vengeance, which is why I love revenge movies that go all-out and feature TRUE revenge.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a good example of a movie that just backed itself into a wall. It starts as a revenge movie and ends as a message against terrorism, war, and violence. In an Arnold Schwarzenegger film? Give me a break.

So I had never expected to see such hardcore material in MAN ON FIRE -- it's an all-out action thriller that takes no prisoners. When Denzel stuck a stick of dynamite up a man's anus, then blew him up, I thought, "Wow, this movie really isn't afraid of offending people."

Washington's character isn't likable which is part of the reason this succeeds. Most revenge movies feature heroes who, magically, don't seem to want to kill anybody. However in this, Creasy (Washington) is a bodyguard who avenges the death of a little girl (Dakota Fanning) and he does so with more than mere vengeance. "I'm going to kill everyone," he says, and then does, with no pity and no remorse.

In fact this actually reminded me of the Tom Clancy novel "Without Remorse," only it's even better. Scott is at the top of his game here, revolutionizing subtitles along the way and adding an unmistakable grain to his movie that only helps it become more memorable as a gritty revenge flick.

It also features both Christopher Walken and Mickey Rourke -- the Kings of Cool -- in the same film together. That right there makes the film worth seeing.

I agree with Quentin Tarantino. This is one of Tony Scott's best films and a great, hard-as-nails revenge movie -- I had expected little and got back a lot. A definite must-see, and an Oscar-worthy performance by Washington.

One of 2004's most underrated films. How did this get 30% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes?!


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111 out of 179 people found the following review useful:

The Best Film of 2004!!!

Author: El Charro from Caracas, Venezuela
5 June 2005

There are many reasons to watch this movie: to see the reality that whips Latin America with regard to the kidnappings thing, the police corruption at continental level, among so many realities that we live the Latins.

The performance of Denzel Wahington was brilliant, this guy continues being an excellent actor and that it continues this way. Dakota Fanning just by 10 years, an excellent actress has become and I congratulate her. The rest of the movie was of marvel, I have it in my collection.

I hope that they are happened to those producing of Hollywood to make a movie completely in Venezuela, where they show our reality better with regard to the delinquency, the traffic of drugs or the political problems. They have been few the movies that they play Venezuelan land (for example: Aracnophobia, Jungle 2 Jungle, Dragonfly) they should make more, as well as they make in Mexico.

The song "Una Mirada" I hope that it leaves in the soundtrack, it is excellent. My vote is 10/10

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73 out of 114 people found the following review useful:

Vengeance In Mexico City

Author: virek213 from San Gabriel, Ca., USA
10 May 2004

Although released among a flock of revenge-minded action flicks (KILL BILL VOL. 2; THE PUNISHER; WALKING TALL), MAN ON FIRE works as well as it does thanks in large part to the always-watchable Denzel Washington, one of the best actors around today.

In MAN ON FIRE, based on A.J. Quinnell's 1980 novel (first filmed in 1987, with Scott Glenn), Washington plays a down-on-his-luck ex-mercenary who has now stooped to drinking from a flash of Jack Daniels, until his old partner (Christopher Walken) offers him a chance at redemption. He is hired on as a bodyguard to the 10 year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) of a Mexican businessman (Marc Antony) and his American-born wife (Radha Mitchell). While he and Fanning work like oil and water first (not mixing very well), he really gets to form a bond with her, encouraging her to do better at swimming, while he at the same time attempts to deal with the demons of the past. It is that very bond that will force Washington back into his old line of work when Fanning is kidnapped and held for a $10 million ransom, and he is nearly killed. With almost any other stock action hero (Schwarzenneger; Segal, etc.), the subsequent bloodbath would be the same repetitive schlock we've seen a million times before. But Washington's character, though he's killing for a reason, does not particularly enjoy doing what he does. Still, he gets help from a very intrepid Mexican newspaper reporter (Rachel Ticotin) out to expose "La Hermanidad" (The Brotherhood), the kidnap gang responsible for Fanning's abduction.

MAN ON FIRE is flawed to some extent because of the hyper camera work, nearly headache-inducing montage editing, and various film stocks that are par for the course of its director Tony Scott (TOP GUN; CRIMSON TIDE), but which are not necessarily unique to him (witness Oliver Stone's use of montage in JFK or Sam Peckinpah's in his classic 60s and 70s films). Still, Scott gets a very good performance from Washington, as well as Fanning, who comes across as far more than a typical movie-brat kid. Harry Gregson-Williams' south-of-the-border Spanish guitar score is enhanced by soundtrack splashes of Chopin, Debussy, and even Linda Ronstadt's classic 1977 country-rock version of "Blue Bayou." Although the film overall is quite violent, it is no worse than most action films of the last ten years, and overall it is much better than most.

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