The Way of the Gun


The Way of the Gun

Critics Consensus

Christopher McQuarrie may exhibit a way behind the camera in the stylish The Way of the Gun, but his script falters with dull characterization and a plot so needlessly twisty that most viewers will be ready to tune out before the final reveal.



Total Count: 132


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,354
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Movie Info

In this suspense thriller, two small-time crooks make a bid for the big time with disastrous results. Robin (Juliette Lewis) is carrying a child as a surrogate mother for a wealthy couple, Hale and Francesca Chidduck (Scott Wilson and Kristin Lehman) when she's kidnapped by Parker (Ryan Phillippe) and Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro), who believe that the adoptive parents will pay a large ransom to ensure the safety of both mother and baby. The kidnappers soon discover that they're out of their league when they're confronted by Mafia-connected lawyer Joe Sarno (James Caan) and a pair of hired killers, Jeffers (Taye Diggs) and Obecks (Nicky Katt); at the same time, Parker finds himself increasingly attached to Robin. The Way of the Gun marked the directorial debut of screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, whose script credits include The Usual Suspects and Public Access. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


James Caan
as Joe Sarno
Taye Diggs
as Jeffers
Nicky Katt
as Obecks
Scott Wilson
as Hale Chidduck
Dylan Kussman
as Dr. Allen Painter
Kristin Lehman
as Francesca Chidduck
Mando Guerrero
as Federale No. 1
Andres Orozco
as Federale No. 2
Henry Griffin
as P Whipped
Irene Santiago
as Sloppy Prostitute
Jan Jensen
as Recpetionist
Neil Pollock
as Interviewer
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Critic Reviews for The Way of the Gun

All Critics (132) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (72)

  • It's good fun for bad boys.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, has made a film that I admire more than I love, whose ending makes me recoil emotionally, even as I recommend the thing.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The Way of the Gun is doomy trash, a blood-soaked saga of remorseless killers and natural-born blatherers. I'm sure I've seen worse movies, but nothing so steadfastly unpleasant comes to mind.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • McQuarrie's script has some wonderfully ripe gangster dialogue, and as you'd expect, the characters and situations are never quite who and what they seem. But the payoff is blunted by the preposterous -- and unnecessarily gory -- shootouts.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Like a director who's budgeted a helicopter and can't bear not to use it, McQuarrie can't help larding his directorial debut with trimmings from far superior crime dramas, old and new.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • What aims at being terrifying is just loud and goofy.

    Jun 17, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Way of the Gun

  • Nov 29, 2011
    Christopher McQuarrie's directorial debut "The Way of the Gun" is an off-beat reimagining of the classic Western that starts and ends with a loud bang. It gets far-fetched and outlandish from time to time, but never so much that we become uninterested. It is a handsomely directed film, featuring a fine array of well-choreographed shootouts and impressive performances. At times it can be a tad bit pretentious, but McQuarrie quickly gets back on our level and distracts us with firefights and questions about paternity. His writing is definitely one of the stronger elements here. I enjoyed this film very much.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2011
    It was good, but not much more than that. It kept me interested throughout and some parts were really enjoyable, mainly the crazy gun fight at the end. The story is a bit weak, but it sufficed. Ryan Phillippe was funny and Benicio Del Toro was really quiet for some reason. James Caan's performance was quite different than any other movie he's been in. In movies like Misery and Elf, he was quiet and was soft-spoken, but here he plays sort of a messenger who knows how to handle a gun. The actors were generally well-cast. I can't say The Way of the Gun is memorable, but it's a good movie to watch when there's nothing else to do.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2011
    "The Way of the Gun" is an uneven and unbalanced film that has it's moments but ultimately comes off as contrived and pointless. First let me say that the performances, especially those by Phillippe, Del Toro and Caan, are all solid but in the end it takes a decent script to make the film. There is so much going on and it's presented in a very jumbled and confusing manner that it all comes off very sloppy in the end. The gunfights, while entertaining enough, are in excess in terms of sheer madness (When a guy goes behind a concrete wall shooting countless clips and shotgun rounds into said wall, doesn't really do anything) and seems stupid on the part of the characters. All in all this is a film that comes off as confusing and muddled but the countless gun fights, as overkill as they are, should leave those that can stomach the violence entertained enough.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2011
    Strange but entertaining. Might have been more realistic with a few fewer coincidences.
    Ed K Super Reviewer

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