Not even the combined star power of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro can save the “tricked-up and often turgid” cop thriller Righteous Kill, critics conclude. The iconic duo finally share some serious screen time as a pair of veteran NYPD detectives tracking a vigilante killer in their midst, but the “groaningly predictable and needlessly convoluted” script doesn’t give them much to work with, writes Justin Chang in Variety.
“As early as the 20-minute mark, it’s clear enough where all this is headed,” he adds. Failing to build the necessary momentum, director Jon Avnet instead tries to “goose up the wearisome tale by dropping in another killing every few minutes,” notes Colin Covert in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Ultimately, writes Gene Seymour in the Los Angeles Times, the flick is a "Law & Order episode bent and stretched beyond all hope or reason.”