Review: Jack Reacher


Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay), Lee Child (book)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, and Richard Jenkins
Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller

Synopsis: A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.

‘Jack Reacher’ has a unique combination of elements. The main character is that familiar James Bond type hero that seems to be invincible but in between the action there are also elements of mystery and suspense. While the film tends to not focus on one particular genre, there is just enough focus on each element to hold the audience’s interest and produce an enjoyable film.


When a film carries the main character’s name in its title, you can expect the focus to be on one character while the other roles could just be considered supporting roles. He is a character that we’ve seen Tom Cruise play before and he tends to play these types of characters well. Reacher is a quiet, fearless individual with a subtle sense of humor that is shown through a variety of action hero type quips. His character is meant to be mysterious, which is fitting of the role, but still left me wanting to know more about who ‘Jack Reacher’ really was. The supporting roles of Helen (Pike) and her father (Rodin) are more elements of the story than characters themselves. They act as catalysts that move the investigation along as the mystery slowly unravels. The combination of these generic supporting characters and the purposefully mysterious origin of Reacher provide very little character development even if it may be intended. But what the film lacks in character development it makes up for in action and suspense.


When the action occurred, it was well executed and exciting which made me want more during the downtime. I wanted to see more of Reacher’s abilities as a fighter and since they made him out to be a sort of one man army, I wanted him to be pushed to his limits. A particular action scene that I liked was the car chase. The chase was real, as well as the driver’s abilities. There were no unbelievable stunts, Reacher would hit walls, make wrong turns, and make mistakes like any experienced driver. The crime mystery was a bit predictable and at times had me bored when Reacher was going through the motions of unraveling the case. The case isn’t completely cut and dry but don’t expect for some elaborate scheme to unfold at the end.


The car chase scene is intense


Overall I would say that I enjoyed the film despite the predictable plot. Tom Cruise plays a character that he has proven to play well and ‘Jack Reacher’ has the potential to be a franchise character in film. Many will enjoy this film as it gives a proper dose of action and suspense that holds the audience’s interest for the most part. If they do continue to make ‘Jack Reacher’ films, I would hope that they make the plot a little more complex, provide a bit more detail about his origin, and add a bit more action with more formidable opponents.

Jack Reacher – 7.0 out of 10.

A nice combination of action and suspense…

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About Ryan

First and foremost, Ryan Brown is a fan. He has been an avid fan of both the theater and cinema since an early age and his passion for both has been continually growing ever since. When dissecting a film, he focuses on all elements of film-making including some fan/cult factors. He believes that character development is the foundation of a good film and usually starts his analysis of a film from there moving forward. His writing style may be influenced by his background of narrative and argumentative studies in the subject, but he tends to enjoy a more conversational style to better interact with the readers, unlike some other pretentious and pompous writers.

6 thoughts on “Review: Jack Reacher

  1. I thought Tom Cruise did great in this movie.  I also thought the plot was not as predictable as Ryan mentioned above.  I won’t spoil it for people but I thought it was good overall.  Cruise played it so well, it could be a franchise.  I’d give it an 8/10.  Worth the trip to the cinema.

  2. Hey Ryan, good review, though it sounds like it was a fairly average action flick?
    I’m interested to know whether you (or any other readers out there) are fans of the Jack Reacher novels?  I’ve read most of the books, and as anyone who’s been on the internet for more than 2 mins might have noticed, there’s been something of a backlash against Cruise being cast in the role of a character who is repeatedly emphasized in *every* chapter of *every* book as being a mammoth, hulking, 6’5 250 lb monster.
    I’ve avoided the film so far, as I can’t help but feel that this was so intrinsic to his character that it would detract from my enjoyment of the film.  So my question then is not whether its a good film in it’s own right, but whether it’s possible for a fan of the books to actually enjoy this film, knowing what they do?
    Thoughts, anyone?

  3. I was extremely disappointed when I heard Tom Cruise was cast as Jack Reacher given all the descriptions of the physical power house Raecher is described as in all Lee Child’s books (which I have read all of!). Despite this I went to view the movie last night and was glad I did!
    What Cruise did was portray the character and all Jack Reacher’s mannerism’s to the “Nth degree” !! I stopped focusing on the physical attributes he did not have but how well he portrayed Reacher with his subtle humor and all.
    Great movie and advise all Lee Child / Jack Reacher fans to attend!!
    Really hope this turns into a series of movies!

  4. From what I have read here and on other sites, it seems like Cruise is able to overcome the physical disparity between himself and the character as written.  Im not the biggest Cruise fan, but he is a good actor and I haven’t heard anything bad about him in this, quite the opposite actually.  Still don’t think Ill be taking a trip to the theater for this one, but I will definitely look for it on dvd…

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