Payback (1999)

Porter (Mel Gibson) is pulled into a heist by his old friend, Val (Brian De Palma regular, Gregg Henry). As they're stealing $130,000 in laundered drug money from Chinese Triads, no one is going to call the police. Everything goes… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 5, 1999
DVD Release Date: July 27, 1999
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Critic Score: 54% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Sadistic violence and rote humor saddle a predictable action premise.

Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Demonstrates why Mel Gibson is a movie star: He can take mediocre material and through sheer willpower -- not to mention oodles of charm -- make it work.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

In the popcorn sense, it certainly delivers on mindless escapism. In the artistic sense, let's just say that Payback is a long way from Point Blank.

Ryan Cracknell
Calgary Movies

A solid enough action comedy, albeit one that had a lot of potential to be wittier and darker.

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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

A higher class of thriller.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

It's undone not so much by the shadow of Lee Marvin falling heavily on it (which it does) as by the twin obstacles of big star image and, more to the point, excessive violence.

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Chuck O'Leary

A tough, entertaining homage to the kind of gritty '70s crime film that long ago gave way to a slicker yet tamer form of action movie ... Both the studio's cut and Helgeland's cut work about equally well.

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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

It quickly slides into a Lethal Weapon without Danny Glover, complete with blowups and wisecracks, gratuitous torture scenes and Gibson in familiar form as the twinkling rascal who makes a virtue out of viciousness.

Jay Carr
Boston Globe

Direction is choppy, the interplay between the characters is perfunctory, although not as perfunctory as the unearned ending.

Ain't It Cool Movie Reviews

This is the seediest studio picture I've seen since TO LIVE OR DIE IN LA. Even the theater floor feels stickier while watching this thing unfold.

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More reviews for Payback

Flixster Audience Score: 69% Flixster User Reviews
Clintus Maximus
Starring a pre-shunned Mel Gibson, Payback is an exciting neo-noir crime thriller brimming with black humor. Mel Gibson's character, Parker is a criminal… More
Alex roy
I've first seen Payback way back when kit was first released, and I thought it was a pretty decent film. Looking back at it over ten years on, I still feel… More
"Not the best thriller I have seen Mel in. But he always does a great job in any role he plays. Revenge flicks are a bit of a favorite of mine. But this… More
Conner Rainwater
This is in my opinion the only way to experience Payback. While there is a director's cut and it isn't all that bad, this is just a way better movie.… More
Phil Hubbs
OK can I just say firstly...Lucy Liu and her character, LOVE it! :D absolutely my kinda woman in every sense hehe Liu is soooo damn gorgeous. Right that's… More
Bethany Murphy
Loved this film! Scary yet at times quite funny. A must see!