Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The evident smallness of the production belies its power to disturb. It's like one of those knives that are small enough to be hidden in a coat sleeve or the lip of a boot but that can still cut a man's throat.
A Vigilante succeeds not by exploiting torture, but instead shifting focus to Olivia Wilde's painful, so very real performance.
As an actress, Olivia Wilde has been something of a shape-shifter, but in this movie she seems to be burning through all her previous roles to find something essential. She grabs hold of the spectacle of agonized female anger, and does it with a grace and power that easily matches that of Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Sober, unflinching and fits perfectly with the current political movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp.
After "Enough" and five "Death Wish" movies, the revenge genre is not without its recurring clichés, many of which get defrosted and microwaved again in A Vigilante. The point, if there is one, is that “heinous criminal felonies are acceptable if they are justified by a woman driven beyond the limits of reason.” As one battered wife says, “Every graveyard is full of people who didn’t make it.” The same is true of old movies gathering dust in Hollywood film vaults.
A Vigilante offers some grim, imaginary satisfactions in support of real survivors who need whatever help we can give.
The two sides of A Vigilante are ultimately held together by Wilde’s ferocious performance — which swings between steely control and eruptive emotion — and by the way Dagger-Nickson frames nearly every moment from Sadie’s perspective.
Daggar-Nickson gestures in certain directions, but for the most part she avoids deeper, troubling questions about retribution and violence. Instead, she concentrates on the genre basics, as in the movie’s admirably hard-core final face-off.
But Wilde gives this woman her all. We see her with every freckles and imperfection showing on her cover girl face. And in the couple of scenes that require fight choreography, she handles herself well enough to be convincing.
Slant Magazine
It conspicuously tries to distance itself from the revenge film’s propensity toward florid excess.

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