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An interesting plot idea...but also some really important plot holes.
MartinHafer27 October 2016
The idea behind "Criminal" is pretty exciting and in some ways reminiscent of a really great film, "Source Code". However, the film occasionally resorts to excessive violence and explosions and has many plot holes....things which keep the film from being as good as it should have been.

When the film begins, Billy Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is being chased through London but you aren't sure who is chasing him or why. Soon he's taken prisoner and tortured to death...which turns out to be just awful considering that he was a CIA agent and he was working hard to prevent the codes to the nation's nuclear bombs to be sold by 'the Dutchman'. With no other options, the government attempts something right out of science fiction--to implant the dead man's memories into a prisoner with the hopes that this prisoner, Jerico (Kevin Costner), will help them find the Dutchman. Unfortunately, the operation appears to be a failure and the agent in charge (Gary Oldman) orders the prisoner to be 'taken care of' (presumably this means killed). However, the CIA does a craptastic job and Jerico soon escapes. No he's only a manic serial killer who makes Hannibal Lecter seem like a pussycat! However, something odd happens...slowly, through the course of the film Billy's memories begin to haunt Jerico and he develops the beginnings of a conscience for the first time in his life. So what's next?

The story idea described above (apart from the ridiculously easy escape Jerico makes) is excellent. So why am I so ambivalent about the film? Well, too often the film just goes for gore and blood...and the intelligent plot seems, at times, secondary. Additionally, again and again, things work out too perfectly and Jerico escapes CIA custody TWICE!!! Because of this, it's a gory turn off your brain sort of film...when it should have been so much more.

By the way, at the end, the film makes it appear that a sequel will be in the works. Considering how badly it did at the box office, I am very, very doubtful if this will EVER happen.
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the growling Costner
SnoopyStyle11 February 2017
CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is captured and killed by a dangerous group in London leaving behind his wife Jill (Gal Gadot) and daughter. A hacker named The Dutchman (Michael Pitt) and a large amount of money goes missing. Nuclear codes have been compromised. CIA manager Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) seeks out Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) for help. Franks is experimenting with transferring memories. They find dangerous prisoner Jerico (Kevin Costner) uniquely qualified to be a subject for the highly questionable procedure to receive Bill's memories. After the procedure, Jerico violently escapes.

First, it's a mistake to have Ryan Reynolds as the early lead. When he's quickly killed, there is a star-size hole in the movie. It's fine to use an unknown actor in that role. Kevin Costner steps up to fill the hole but he's doing it against type. He's also growling rather than speaking his lines. His first appearance is a little laughable especially since he's in a prison in America. The story is somewhat messy. It's trying to be Bourne-like but Jerico is no where near as appealing. There are some functional action scenes but nothing extraordinary. This is a lesser B-movie that doesn't really make it.
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Criminally wasted
Prismark105 August 2017
Criminal is a convoluted and messy film that rips off Face/Off and The Bourne Identity type of movies.

Young CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is tortured and electrocuted to death in London by a Spanish anarchist who is after a Dutch hacker that Bill is protecting.

The CIA operative Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) keeps Bill from being brain dead and asks Dr Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) to do an experimental procedure to transfer Bill's memories to a dangerous and violent top security prisoner Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) qualified for this medical procedure as he has an underdeveloped frontal lobe.

Jerico seeks out Bill's widow Jillian (Gal Gadot) and his daughter and slowly he gains Bill's memories as well as skills.

There is an all star cast but they are manly wasted. Ryan Reynolds is killed off early into the film. Oldman shouts a lot, Lee Jones just makes a wasted cameo. Costner plays his gruff, unsympathetic character which he has been playing for the last quarter of a century.

The film is really a B film with some naff special effects, choppy editing and sloppy writing.
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You hurt me, I hurt you worse.
nogodnomasters2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Ryan Reynolds is an over billed CIA wuss who gets killed in the first scene. However his mind is the only one that can save the world from Michael Pitt, "The Dutchman" who has that proverbial Internet thing to launch missiles that has become far too cliché in films. Ryan worked for Zorg (Gary Oldman) who doesn't care if he is dead, he is still going to make him do his job. Bring in Dr. Tommy Lee Jones in not his most convincing role (Oldman and Lee seriously needed to swap roles as did Costner and anybody else). It seems our doctor has never heard of Frankenstein as he puts Reynolds memory into Costner sporting a new Mohawk, who is also the world's biggest sociopath. He is in a penitentiary, and not a CEO.

At this point we resort to the standard spy film formula and not so much the Frankenstein formula, although I would have really enjoyed just one "fire bad." In spite of my review, I did find the film mildly entertaining as I do when people get killed by a tough guy.

Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity.
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Not your Self, but not less either
kosmasp4 October 2016
If you are into Science Fiction and like it to be entertaining too, you could be choosing something far worse indeed. Generally speaking you have an amazing cast at hand assembled, though I guess some may focus on Deadpool and Wonder Woman (plus Supermans human dad and Batmans ally in the police). Add to that Tommy Lee Jones former Batman villain and it seems like everyone has been in one comic book adaptation or another.

Putting that aside though for a second, it's all about the story or basic idea of people being able to literally put ideas/thoughts into someone else head. It is predictable, which may not flow that well with some viewers. Still even as you can see where this is going (and may be screeching to some resolves), it still has the tension and especially the action to hold its own
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jboothmillard1 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
In The Ricky Gervais Show, Karl Pilkington described a movie pitch, with a character having another character's brain put into their head, so that they can have their memories and thoughts, this idea was hilariously ridiculous, but in fact, it came true(!), it is essentially exactly what happens in this movie, directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). Basically, Jan Strook (Michael Pitt), a hacker known as "the Dutchman", has discovered that industrialist-turned-anarchist Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi Mollà) has created a wormhole program to bypass and access computer codes protecting the world's nuclear defence codes. CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) gets him to a safe house and gives him the money for his services. But Pope is caught by Heimdahl's men and tortured to death before he can tell anyone where he hid the Dutchman. Desperate to find the Dutchman, Pope's supervisor Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman) contacts Dr. Micah Franks (Tommy Lee Jones), who has developed a treatment that could theoretically plant the memories of a dead person into a living one. They find convict Jerico Stewart, a remorseless killer with no emotional development that resulted in a childhood accident, and Franks requests that they "graft" Pope's knowledge into his. After the operation, Jerico escapes custody and fakes his death. He goes to Pope's house, where he holds Pope's widow Jillian "Jill" (Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot) hostage while he looks for the money. As time goes on, he experiences memory flashes of Pope's past, but all he can remember is the bag of money but cannot identify where it or the Dutchman are being kept. The Dutchman believes he has been betrayed by the CIA, they learn he is planning to sell the program to the Russians. Fortunately, they are able to find Jerico after he contacts Dr. Franks. Jerico is beginning to develop emotions and draw on Pope's experience. While Jerico tries to retrace Pope's steps to find the Dutchman, Heimdahl creates a distraction at the airport that draws Wells' attention, allowing Heimdahl's accomplice and lover Elsa Mueller (Antje Traue) to try and capture Jerico, killing his CIA guards before Jerico escapes by driving off a bridge. Jerico retreats to the Pope house, where he encounters Jill and explains the situation to her. She is fearful of him initially but comes to accept Jerico as she sees him bonding with her daughter, Emma (Lara Decaro), and allows him to stay the night. The next morning, after a conversation with Jill, Jerico realises that the bag is hidden at the University of London but is captured by Heimdahl and Elsa after finding it. Heimdahl threatens to kill Jill and Emma unless Jerico takes him to the Dutchman. Jerico recalls that Pope hid the Dutchman in Jillian's office at the university, but the CIA and a Russian strike team are seeking him. Jerico uses an improvised nitro-glycerine bomb to escape Elsa and returns to the Dutchman to explain the situation. Elsa finds them before they can escape, shooting Jerico in the shoulder and killing the Dutchman, but Jerico kills, bludgeoning her with a lamp. Jerico takes the flash drive containing the wormhole program to the airfield where Heimdahl is attempting an escape. Jerico is shot by Heimdahl but saves Jill and Emma. As Heimdahl's plane takes off, he programs the computer and fires a missile to strike. But Jerico reveals that the Dutchman reprogrammed it to target the next source of transmission, so Heimdahl unwittingly targets himself, and is killed in the explosion. A few months later, Jerico is shown on the beach Pope and Jillian spend their honeymoon. Wells and Franks take Jillian and Emma to see him, seeing them confirms that some part of Pope exists in Jerico, and Quaker watched and reflects that he will offer Jerico a job. Also starring Alice Eve as Marta Lynch, Scott Adkins as Pete Greensleeves, Colin Salmon as Warden and Steve Nicolson as SSBN Captain. Costner as the convicted sociopath turned anti-hero is suitably sweary and moody, Oldman overdoes his acting, Lee Jones talks science stuff, and Reynolds (who was also in Self/Less, another consciousness transplant movie) and Gadot do very little. To be completely honest, I fell asleep a few times throughout, it is both boring and bizarre, there is only a little part of you that forgets any logic and just goes with it, there are some amusing moments and explosive sequences, I can see why Mark Kermode says it is rubbish, or "criminal" as he put it, a disappointing action thriller. Adequate!
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Kevin Costner still interesting in his 60s.
TxMike30 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
We watched this at home on BluRay from our public library.

The biggest hook in this story is a new technology, so far only tried on rats, where the memories of a dead rat can be transferred to a live rat. In the case of the rat it allows it do know a maze it has never run. Something happens and they have to try it on humans, it is their only chance.

It is mostly in London, a CIA branch there is trying to apprehend a hacker that goes by "the Dutchman", he has developed a "wormhole" compatible with portable computers that would allow one to take over the launch controls of guided missiles. A Spanish terrorist is also trying to get it, and currently a satchel with $10 Million is at stake.

Ryan Reynolds is the agent, Bill Pope, he is being followed but manages to stash the money before he is captured by the bad guys. They torture him, they kill him, they need his memories to find the Dutchman and find the money.

For some reason that isn't explained well, the "match" that is needed for the transfer is in the person of Kevin Costner as Jerico Stewart, very dangerous and in prison. He is even worse than Snake Plisskin, he is a real badass and doesn't have the capacity to care for anyone or feel any empathy. But they try the transfer of memories from the deceased Bill Pope.

Tommy Lee Jones is Dr. Franks, the man who developed the memory transfer process. Jordi Mollà is the bad Spaniard terrorist, Xavier Heimdahl. Gal Gadot is the deceased agent's wife, Jill Pope. And Michael Pitt is Jan Strook, The Dutchman.

The movie works if Costner can pull off his role, and convince us that he can integrate Pope's feelings within himself, help find the bad guys and the money, and give some caring attention to Ms Pope and the young daughter. He does it well.

Overall entertaining.
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edwagreen15 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It's just a bit too much to fathom. After a CIA person is killed in trying to thwart a diabolical plot, a total misfit, devoid of any decent behavior, anti-societal to say the least is forced by the government to undergo a brain operation where the thoughts of the dead man are transplanted into his mind in the hopes that he can complete the mission.

Kevin Costner is that man who suffers more than headaches following the surgery. Besides the surgery, which leaves his head aching, throughout the course of the film Costner, who does a very good acting job here, survives a car in the river, 3 gun-shots, numerous altercations and whatever else is thrown at him.

He takes a liking to the dead agent's family, but it's just too incredible to believe all this.
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Not memorable
Gordon-1130 November 2016
This film tells the story of a secret agent who is tasked with closing a deal with a computer genius who can stop terrorists from controlling weapon networks. Unfortunately, he dies during the mission, and the CIA has to transfer his memory to another person, in order to find out what halted to the money and the computer genius.

The title "Criminal" doesn't really tell you what the film is about. The plot is a bit violent and disturbing, and I think it doesn't dwell on the psychological aspects enough. The stellar cast is worth seeing, especially the brief appearance of Ryan Reynolds. Overall, I think it is an action film that I'll forget about in a few weeks.
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bevo-136783 October 2020
I like the bit where he stole that blokes motorbike
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Entertaining, Highly Emotional and Violent Sci-Fi Thriller with Heart
LeonLouisRicci18 September 2016
Pulp Sci-Fi Thriller that Blows Over its High-Concepts, like Memory Transfer, with Penny-a-Word Hastiness. But this Underrated Entertainment is just that, Entertaining.

Forget the Egg-Head Cranks, Kick-Back and have Fun with this Star-Studded Romp that is Highly Emotional, Endearing, Violent, and an Anti-Hero worth Rooting for.

Kevin Costner is Involving, Gary Oldman almost Destroys any Balance of Good Sense and Cleverness in His First Scene confronting Costner's "Jericho", but manages to Recover for some Redemption by the Feel-Good Ending.

This is a Familiar Story but Twisty Enough to make it Fresh. Tommy Lee Jones Walks through His Minor Part, but the rest of the Cast comes through working with the "Comic-Book" Script. Lara Decaro is the Heart of the Movie as a Little Girl who Warms up the Films Cold Premise.

Overall, Criminally Underrated Mainstream Movie that makes up for its Shallowness and Clichés with a Rapid Pace, Good Thrill Kills, and Costner's Commitment to the Role. This is one of those Big-Name Attractions that Critics Love to Hate for not being Intelligent and Opting for a By-the-Numbers Scenario.

These Prudes have Forgotten that Movies at their Least can be Forgiven a lot of Things if it Simply Entertains. This Fun Film does just that and maybe a bit More.
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Mind Games
zardoz-1317 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Oscar winning film director Kevin Costner hasn't made a good action movie like "Criminal" since he co-starred with Kurt Russell in the eccentric Las Vegas-heist caper "3000 Miles to Graceland" where robbers were Elvis impersonators. "Criminal" washed the sour taste of dreadful epics like "Three Days to Kill" and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" out of my mouth. Aside from his supporting roles in good movies like "Man of Steel" and his cameo in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," most of Costner's actioneers have been forgettable. Basically, he hasn't made a good movie in 16 years, at least nothing that matches his better films, including "Message in a Bottle," "13 Days," "Waterworld," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "No Way Out," "The Untouchables," "Silverado," and "JFK." Yes, I enjoyed "Waterworld." In "Criminal," Costner gets a chance to shine with a performance that ranges back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other end. Mind you, "Criminal" isn't going to clinch Costner an Oscar. Nevertheless, this contrived but entertaining memory swap movie is provocative enough to watch more than once. The London settings add a touch of exoticism, and the cast boasts Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. Clearly, Ryan Reynolds must have made this movie before "Deadpool" smashed global box office records. If you're a Reynolds fan, you're going to be enormously disappointed with his peripheral role. Indeed, had "Deadpool" not become the sensational hit that it did, Reynolds might have been reduced to minimal roles like "Criminal." Interestingly enough, Reynolds starred in a movie about a year ago with Ben Kingsley where he played the guy who acquired the memories from another man. "Selfless" was a terrific movie. Ironically, the roles are reversed for Reynolds in "Criminal."

London-based CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds of "The Proposal") has stashed a cunning computer hacker, Jan Stroop, alias 'The Dutchman' (Michael Pitt of "Seven Psychopaths"), in a safe place until he can conduct the million dollar deal that the Agency has promised Stroop. 'The Dutchman,' it seems, has pulled a "War Games" and has hacked through the Pentagon's firewalls so he can launch weapons of mass destruction whenever and wherever he pleases. The Agency is not alone in their pursuit of Stroop. Insane anarchist Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi Mollà of "Colombiana") has been tracking Pope so he can find 'The Dutchman.' Heimdahl's right-hand man, actually an indestructible, trigger-happy dame, Else Mueller (Antje Traue of "Seventh Son"), has been maintaining surveillance on Pope. She nabs Pope with Xavier's henchmen, and Xavier personally tortures Pope in the worst way possible to learn the whereabouts of 'The Dutchman.' Although he shoves a taser into Pope's mouth and singes him to death, Xavier cannot get a useful word out of him. The CIA careens onto the scene at the last moment, but Pope is kaput. What began as an Edward Snowden type thriller takes a crazy swerve into science fiction as the CIA bring in a neurosurgeon, Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones), who has been tinkering with the concept of transferring the memories from one man to another person. All this reminded me of the recent predicament that FBI found themselves in with a terrorist's iPhone. Anyway, with clinical trials years away, Franks manages to appropriate Pope's memories and transfer them intact into another man's mind. "Criminal" shifts gears as swiftly and abruptly and goes from probable to improbable. The CIA hopes that this new guy will be able to lead them to whenever Pope has hidden Stroop before Stroop either gives himself up to the Russians or Xavier's henchman can find him. Meantime, Stroop aims to prove to the world that he can really hack U.S. military technology with an example of his derring do.

If the CIA and Western Civilization weren't in dire straits enough, the man selected by Dr. Franks for the memory transfer turns out to be a psycho afflicted with a condition known as "frontal lobe syndrome." Meaning, prison inmate Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner of "Wyatt Earp") has no feelings one way or another and does whatever he feels when the occasion arises. Basically, he is a loose cannon without a qualm. The experiment succeeds and Jerico suffers intervals when he speaks French that he has never spoken and has access to Pope's memories. He enters the correct security codes to Pope's London apartment and questions Pope's suspicious wife Jill (Gal Gadot of "Batman v Superman") about a case containing millions of dollars. Originally, Pope had planned to use this money to pay off The Dutchman, but everything fell through after he died. Initially, Jerico wants the loot for himself. As the plot of this 113-minute, R-rated epic thickens, he decides to do the right thing. Incredibly, he wants to pick up where Bill Pope left off, and Pope's adorable daughter Emma (newcomer Lara Decaro) takes a shine to Jerico.

The pair who penned the Sean Connery & Nicholas Cage thriller "The Rock" were the minds behind "Criminal." Scenarists Douglas Cook and David Weisberg also collaborated on the Tommy Lee Jones & Ashley Judd thriller "Double Jeopardy" as well as the Patricia Arquette crime comedy "Holy Matrimony." "Criminal" shares similarities with "The Rock." First, when we are introduced to Jerico, he is locked up in maximum security and sports shoulder-length hair, just as Connery did in "The Rock." Against everybody's objections, Jerico is recruited for this radical experiment. Like the Connery hero in "The Rock," Jerico is a Houdini of an escape artist, but he doesn't give a crap about anybody but himself. Second, the man-in-the-middle of "Criminal" is as amoral as Ed Harris was in "The Rock." The Harris character threatened to launch missiles, and 'The Dutchman' is prepared to wield the Pentagon's doomsday arsenal against it. Essentially, the similarities end here. Of course, "Criminal" is incredibly far-fetched, especially its happily ever after finale, but "Iceman" director Ariel Vromen never lets the pace slacken and stages several exciting action scenes.
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Just because Kevin Costner's "Jericho" was thrown . . .
oscaralbert20 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . out of a speeding car's window when he was a toddler, destroying the frontal lobes of his brain, is no reason NOT to keep him chained up 24/7, the makers of CRIMINAL illustrate here. Even with a partial brain transplant from Ryan Reynolds, the Canadian gray matter is not enough to prevent Jericho from wiping out half of America's CIA agents in London, as well as a large number of British Highway Patrol officers, not to mention a few random bystanders. Jericho also blows up the Chemistry Building at Oxford University, and trashes the George Orwell section of that school's Rare Books Collection. CRIMINAL makes the argument that the government must permanently lock up the kids of Flint, MI, immediately to protect Society from the violent behavior experts forecast is sure to result from their recent Lead Poisoning. You can shoot Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for High Treason because of this Intentional Poisoning of the Democratic Base if you want to, but ALL of these kids are now ticking time bombs just as much as Jericho is in CRIMINAL. Simply because these kids caught a bad break doesn't erase their future violent tendencies. The entire American population was kept safe from Jericho, and it must be safeguarded against the brain-damaged Flintstones, as well--no matter how evil their governor was for poisoning them.
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Wily and canny Costner has a field day in this hokey sci-fi actioner
george.schmidt26 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
CRIMINAL (2016) **1/2 Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Alice Eve, Lara Decaro. Over-the-top sci-fi auctioneer with Costner having a field day as a brutal death row-inmate fitted to task by having a killed CIA op's thoughts implanted in order to stop a worldwide cyber threat with the usual drawbacks. To wit: Costner's mind is beset with flashbacks of Reynolds' family life as well as the deal-gone-wrong with hacker Pitt and villain Molla. While the overcooked script by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg is all over the map, co-stars Oldman overacting and Jones underplaying-borderline-bored, director Vromen wisely allows his veteran lead to grouse and gruffly grunt his way thru the hokey plot with aplomb and some surprisingly canny motivations including Gadot as the shapely widow and adorable Decaro as the slain agent's daughter.
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Quite good, could have been better
neil-47622 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After CIA operative Bill Pope is killed while still in possession of essential information, he is subjected to an experimental procedure wherein his memories are copied across to the partially unused brain of amoral jailbird Jericho. This puts Jericho and Pope's wife and daughter in a great deal of danger.

Dressed up with a little bit of science fiction, this action thriller concentrates on Jericho's journey as Pope's personality and inherent morality begins to imprint itself over Jericho's nihilism. Kevin Costner, as Jericho, has more fun with this part than with any since Silverado, to start off with at any rate. By the end, Jericho's gleeful and unrestrained violence has been replaced with a rather more subdued persona, much closer to what we are used to seeing Costner playing. Ryan Reynolds as Pope is hardly in it, but Gal Gadot impresses as his widow: not only does she look good, she can act, and she makes sense of the odd relationship between the widow and the man on whom her late husband is partially imprinted. Gary Oldman as Pope's boss delivers an hysterical performance of a badly written character.

While I quite enjoyed this, I felt almost all the way through that it could have been quite a lot better, although I can't quite put my finger on why.
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An okay diversion despite some significant flaws
Wizard-829 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I feel that I should warn potential viewers of "Criminal" that while the ads and the critic quotes used on the Blu- ray box brand the movie as an action movie, it really isn't. Yes, there is action, but it's kind of sporadic. And when the action does come, it usually concludes very quickly. The movie is more of a thriller instead of an action-packed enterprise.

So now you know the actual path the movie takes, the question comes as to whether the path it takes is done well enough. Well, the results are kind of mixed. First, the negative stuff. There is some sloppy writing here and there that raises some glaring questions. (For example: How did the bad guys escape from the authorities during the bridge sequence? And how did the bad guys get Kevin Costner's character out of the library without anyone seeing them?)

Another problem is that I don't think the premise is exploited enough. The idea of the movie - a psychopath being injected with the memory and abilities of a secret agent - is indeed a great one. But the actual execution felt a little lacking. I'm not quite sure why, I admit, but I think the main problem is that we don't see Kevin Costner's character struggle enough between those two extremes. With more of a struggle, there might have been a lot more drama and tension.

The movie also moves a tad slow at times. But I have to admit that despite the somewhat leisurely pace at times - and those aforementioned problems - I wasn't really bored at any time. The movie always have something going on that kept me interested. So while I don't think the movie reached its full potential, there's enough here to make it acceptable rainy day viewing.
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Criminal in More Ways Than One.
anaconda-4065820 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Criminal (2016): Dir: Ariel Vromen / Cast: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds: Title seems to symbolize both the anti-hero Jericho Stewart, a convict chosen for a brain operation that fuses a living brain into his own to locate information from the mind of a deceased agent. The title can also reference the operation itself and the head trauma and agony that it leaves Stewart in. He is played by Kevin Costner who escapes custody but keeps seeing images of the agent's mind, which eventually leads him to his family. Tommy Lee Jones plays the surgeon who has second thoughts about the procedure and dislike for the whole treatment. He does give Stewart medicine to calm the pain. Gary Oldman is unfortunately flat as the agent heading this operation that killed one of his men in the film's opening. This is where the film presents an idea that director Alfred Hitchcock employed in Psycho as we have the high profile actor Ryan Reynolds as an agent whose presence is compromised and he is on the run. He sends one last call to his wife and daughter before fate closers in. Gal Gadot plays his wife whose first encounter with Stewart has her tied to a bed. Eventually she comes to realize what is happening. Her husband's brain is fighting through Stewart's. This is all very complex and sometimes complicated but director Ariel Vromen has fun with the action violence that often goes over the top and pointless. The ending is questionable at best but it draws focus on legalities and liberties as well as the good of one's mind influencing the human frame of a villain. Score: 7 ½ / 10
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It's the official J.F.K 25 year reunion......
FlashCallahan24 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's really refreshing to see an actor play against type for a role. To see one of the biggest stars of the nineties play an abhorrent piece of work for the most part of the film certainly brings something refreshing to a hackneyed old terrorist wants a computer hard drive for world domination trope that has been around longer than the star himself...

Sociopathic death-row inmate Jerico Stewart is implanted with the memories of a deceased CIA agent, in a desperate attempt to thwart a deadly plot involving a Dutch hacker, known as......wait for it......The Dutchman.

At the same time, Jerico reconnects with his own humanity as he bonds with the late agent's family......

The film, in my opinion, has been unfairly dismissed by critics and thus has been avoided by audiences, because when you think about it, if the film had been made 22 years ago, and starred the majority of the same cast, it would have been one of the biggest films of the year, and I believe it would have been well received.

Costner here is wonderfully over the top, sneering and causing havoc with whatever he does, he goes to get a coffee and breaks someones nose, and in the funniest scene of the film, where he goes to get a kebab, and somebody literally says to him 'that's bang out of order' (the makers are as subtle as a sledgehammer the way they portray the locals).

Costner may have portrayed a bad guy in 3000 Miles To Graceland, but here, he's pretty much channelling his character from A Perfect World, except to craziness is turned up to 11.

Oldman is in it just to shout and swear a lot, and although he's a great screen presence, he's wasted in this. As is Jones, Eve, Adkins, and Gadot.

Reynolds has a wonderful cameo at the beginning of the film, and to be fair, it's the best mind swap film he's ever been in (two and counting).

Add some much needed humour, to sweeten the clichés and the predictable narrative, Criminal is a fun film, with decent action, disregard for the British emergency services, and if you look at it another way, one of the strangest DC/Marvel universe mash ups you could ever wish for.

Two Face puts Deadpools mind into Jonathan Kent, Kent gets told off by commissioner Gordon a lot, and proceeds to stalk Wonder Woman.

Now thats a fun film, much like this one
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The Expendables thing doesn't work here
phd_travel10 December 2017
What a bore! This expendables thing with past middle aged actors trying to do action is okay in a comedy but when it is the main focus of a serious action movie it just doesn't hold up. Kevin Costner's grunting and the rest of the gang Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman just can't carry an action movie. Maybe a switch the other way would have been better from old to young.

Because of the icky age difference factor there is no chemistry or emotional connection with the daughter or his wife Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot.

Terrible waste, don't bother.
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'You hurt me... I hurt you worse'
gradyharp29 July 2016
Mixing medical technology with espionage may not be a novel idea but in the hands of writers Douglas Cook and David Weisberg and director Ariel Vromen the marriage produces a nonstop action film that ranks up there with the best of them to appeal to the audience need for grit. The very solid cast makes it happen and keeps our attention from square one.

Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent on a mission in London tracking down a shadowy hacker nicknamed "The Dutchman" (Michael Pitt). When he gets mysteriously ambushed and killed, an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) is used to transfer his memories into dangerous ex-convict Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner). When he wakes up with the CIA agent's memories, Jericho's mission is to find The Dutchman and eliminate him before the hacker launches ICBM's and starts World War III. But complications soon arise and the mission turns personal. Gary Oldman plays Quaker Wells, the man obsessed by his own manipulations to save the world from the enemy – including a mastermind Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi Mollà) – with the help of Jill Pope (Bill's widow) played by newcomer Gal Gadot, and Marta Lynch (Alice Eve) et al.

This is a noisy but very fast paced action film with a brain – the script makes sense (memory transplantation as a means of saving the experience of a deceased CIA operative). One of the aspects of the memory transplantation is the fact that it gives the 'man without feeling' Jericho the ability to feel and love – and that saves the film.
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Interesting plot, good cast, entertaining movie.
deloudelouvain25 January 2021
In this genre Criminal is an entertaining movie with a very good cast. Ryan Reynolds doesn't have a big part but for his limited screen time he did a good job. The movie mostly has to have it from Kevin Costner, that did what we are used of him by now, a good performance. I don't think I ever saw him acting badly. The rest of the cast all contributed to make Criminal an easy to follow action thriller with a touch of sci-fi. There are a couple cheesy moments, but not that important to ruin the movie. It's easy entertainment and sometimes that's just what we need.
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Cosner is Excellent in Convoluted Thriller
lavatch26 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In a film filled with unsavory characters, it turns out that the most likable is the hardened criminal without a heart or a brain, as played by Kevin Costner.

"Criminal" weaves together multiple plot strands in a race against time to stop a potentially mad industrialist named Xavier Heimdahl, who may potentially destroy the world with stolen software. An intelligence agent played by Ryan Reynolds dies in the attempt to thwart the villain. In the meantime, the protegé of Heimdahl, a young man called The Dutchman, has intercepted the secret computer program, and he becomes a threat to national security when he threatens to indiscriminately launch missiles.

To stop the villains, the research scientist played by Tommy Lee Jones implants stem cells of the deceased Ryan Reynolds character into the brain of the criminal played by Costner. The criminal has no function of his front lobe area, so he is the perfect recipient of the "mind" of the Reynolds CIA agent. Costner's character, named Jerico, then becomes the bait to get back that precious software. The head of intelligence, who should one of the heroes, is actually one of the most nefarious creatures in the film, and is played with great gusto by Gary Oldman.

But the strength of the film is the softening of Costner's character Jerico, especially in his budding relationship with the widow and daughter of the deceased intelligence agent. In a film that includes nonstop action, the best scene was a quiet moment at the piano where the young daughter teaches Jerico how to play a duet. There was also a thoughtful closing scene in which Oldman's character finally loosened up and we saw a spark of emotion. Most of the characters in the film were truly brain dead. But the character with the biggest heart, if not the best brain, was Costner's Jerico.
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Good Fun, Despite A Silly Premise!
namashi_112 May 2016
'Criminal' is actually Good Fun, Despite A Silly Premise! The idea is a bit too hard to believe, but luckily, the narrative doesn't lose steam & remains engaging for the most part. And the Ensemble Cast Delivers!

'Criminal' Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative's memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative's mission.

'Criminal' is racy, violent & ridiculous. I mean, planting a person's memories into another person is a silly thought. But, this is Escapist Cinema & hence what matters here, is how engaged you are amidst the madness. Jericho, the protagonist (played by Kevin Costner in a comeback performance), is an unlikely guy, but its interesting to watch him fight between memories as well as fight the villains behind him. I liked the protagonist & hence the goings-on were thoroughly watchable.

Douglas Cook & David Weisberg's Screenplay is entirely escapist, but its arresting, at most parts. Ariel Vromen's Direction is good. Cinematography is passable. Editing is mostly crisp, although the film overstays its welcome by, at least, 15-minutes. A shorter running time would've worked more. Action-Sequences are raw & brutal. Background Score merits a special mention.

Performance-Wise: Kevin Costner is in form after a long time. As Jericho, Costner is at his deadliest & also his toughest, enacting the unlikely hero with command. Gal Gadot is wonderful. Gary Oldman is loud, but delivers. Tommy Lee Jones is effective, as always. Jordi Mollà is excellent as the antagonist. Ryan Reynolds adds star-value in a tiny cameo.

On the whole, 'Criminal' works for the most part.
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Costner delivers!
jdesando5 May 2016
"You hurt me…I hurt you worse." Jericho (Kevin Costner)

Costner is the titular bad guy, who is implanted with the memory of deceased CIA operative, Bill Pope (Ryan Gosling—don't expect to see much of him as he dies early), and spends the better part of Criminal dealing with emotions new to him. It's a film rife with clichés but engaging largely because Costner is believable as a monster turned humanist. And the supporting cast is first-rate.

While this thriller is rife with electronics ( the bad guy has hacked into the USA's military computer system), the humanism is what strikes me as satisfying: not just Jericho's assuming Pope's affections but also Gary Oldman's CIA officer, Quaker Wells, sliding into a rage and Jordi Malla's head terrorist, Xavier, just being cool. I also must acknowledge that the growing affection between Jericho and Pope's widow, Jill (Gal Gadot), is believable if not just as improbable as their planting her deceased husband's thoughts and memories in Jericho.

In thrillers like Criminal, we've seen before the action sequences with vulnerable helicopters, racing cop cars, and ominous computer screens. What we haven't seen much of is a bad-boy hero who captures our sympathy immediately so that we care what happens to him regardless of the mayhem he causes in his journey. Costner has the stature and mien to carry this ambiguous hero right into our hearts.

"You don't remember me but I remember you," says young daughter, Emma Pope (Lara Decaro). Out of the mouths of babes come wisdom and the hope of love for a soulless murderer whose life is transformed by modern technology. Who would have thought technology could grant humanity? Besides, it's fun.
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star studded. good drama.
ksf-218 December 2020
That's a pretty star-packed cast.. the top four guys in the cast list. Costner, Oldham, Jones, Reynolds. can't get more testosterone than that in one film. so they take the memories from CIA agent Pope (Reynolds) and implant them into agent Stewart (Costner) so he can carry on the mission. they need to find the dutchman (Michael Pitt) before he can activate missiles against the U.S. although now that people know he has the security codes to the US systems, even more people are after him. just europe and russia. the usual spy chase. and someone is shooting off missiles from a sub out at sea. the strange part is that he also feels the emotions that Pope felt for Pope's own wife. but she's not Stewart's wife. it's pretty good. some twists and turns. directed by ariel vromen. has directed seven films.
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