Speed 1994

Critics score:
93 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: The story is a starting gun, a reason to roll out the high-tech action movie chase and demolition experts. It's gaudy action shtick, and it's fitting that the last stop is at Hollywood Boulevard. Read more

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: Just when you think Speed is over, it takes you on a new high. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Action directing is a put-up-or-shut-up game, a skill that can't be faked or finessed; even a 10-year-old can tell if you've got it or not. And on the evidence of the invigorating Speed, Jan De Bont has definitely got it. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Believe it or not, the most exciting movie of the year takes place mainly in an elevator, on a city bus and on a train car. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: De Bont has assembled it with masterly precision. And Speed looks terrific. There are breathtaking aerial shots, mind-boggling stunts, and camera positioning that you just don't expect. It's a rocketing eyeful. Read more

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times: A riotously enjoyable locomotive of action, Speed is driven by a premise of such crystalline purity that its ridiculousness becomes part of the fun. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Cleverer action films (Die Hard II and The Fugitive, for instance) deliver more sardonic intelligence, but this one still gets the job done. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: The deft arabesques of cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak juice up the suspense, and if you're not too put off by the sheer ridiculousness of the story you won't be bored. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The smart and sassy Bullock is a knockout. She makes us believe the impossible things Annie is doing and, better, makes us care. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The film takes off from formula elements, but it manipulates those elements so skillfully, with such a canny mixture of delirium and restraint, that I walked out of the picture with the rare sensation that every gaudy thrill had been earned. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Relentless without being overbearing, this is one likely blockbuster that doesn't feel too big for its britches. It's a friendly juggernaut. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: The result is clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy -- the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot's The Wages of Fear. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The most breath-stoppingly thrilling motion picture to open since the original Die Hard. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: We've seen this done before, but seldom so well, or at such a high pitch of energy. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: Talk about simple. But the film's sheer cut-to-the-chase straightfowardness is part of its appeal. Read more

Tom Charity, Time Out: Eventually, inevitably, [it] goes too far, too fast, and ends up off the rails. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Athough it hits any number of gaping credibility potholes on its careening journey around Los Angeles, Speed delivers the goods as a non-stop actioner that scarcely pauses to take a breath. Read more

Hal Hinson, Washington Post: Undeniably, the picture now and again supplies that edge-of-the-seat sensation; yet, by action-adventure standards, Speed is leaden and strangely poky. It never seems to shift into overdrive and let fly. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: The plot becomes so overextended, as Reeves and Hopper wage their endless public transportation battle, even the hardest Die-Harders will consider leaping off way before the final stop. Read more