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When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his sons.



(screenplay), (book) (as Sir Ranulph Fiennes)
3,207 ( 1,755)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
MI6 Man
Pennock (as Matthew Nable)
Commander B
Bille Brown ...


Loosely based on a true story, Killer Elite pits two of the worlds' most elite operatives - Danny, a ruthless killer-for-hire (Jason Statham) and Hunter, his longtime mentor (Robert De Niro) - against the cunning leader of a secret society of former Special Air Service operatives('Clive Owen'). Covering the globe from Australia to Paris, London and the Middle East, Danny and Hunter are plunged into a highly dangerous game of revenge and deception - where things are not always what they appear to be. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


May the Best Man Live


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

23 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinos de elite  »

Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,300,000 (USA) (23 September 2011)


$25,093,607 (USA) (11 November 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert De Niro is the only American born actor in this film. See more »


After Hunter opens the briefcase full of money the position of the paper bands around the bundles of dollar bills and the position of the bundles in his hands change repeatedly between shots during the "hookers and blow" speech. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: The world is in chaos. The economic crisis continues as an oil crises looms. War rages everywhere. It is a time of revolution, assassination and covert operations.
Title Card: It is 1980.
See more »


Featured in The Mask You Live In (2015) See more »


Out of the Shadow
Written by Nicolas Neidhardt
Performed by Nicolas Neidhardt and Cyril Tarquini
Produced by Nicolas Neidhardt for Aktion Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Decent enough spy/espionage action thriller
22 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Set in 1980, Killer Elite is based on a true story, revolving around SAS agent Danny (Jason Statham) who owes everything to his friend and mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro.) So when he is taken hostage in Oman, Danny is forced to co-operate with the kidnappers demands: that the three soldiers responsible for the death of his son are hunted down around the globe and killed. But even when he goes through with the mission, he finds, as well as having to contend with the relentless Agent Spike (Clive Owen) that not everything is as it seems.

Holding true to it's claim of being a story spinning all round the globe, Killer Elite literally dashes with hyperactive energy from the deserts of the Middle East to the Australian outback, to European cities like Paris and London, all the while holding it's accolade of being a true story. But then fact is often stranger than fiction, and the exploits of Britain's elite special forces could no doubt throw up even stranger tales.

This is a slick, stylish enough film, that carries off it's various action sequences and tense moments with the requisite style and aplomb, even if it doesn't generate the amount of suspense it could have and the whole thing does feel a tad disjointed and sporadic.

Performances wise, Statham is simply the reliable sturdy action hero, while De Niro in support commandeers another generic performance and Owen as the adversary can resort back to his old wooden ways. Not a lot to write home about on that front, then, but thankfully it's not a film driven by this aspect and so the more superficial stuff that carries it through.

It's a messy, chaotic, sketchy and unbelievable (even for something based on a true story) film, but entertaining and enthralling enough to be well worth a watch. ***

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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