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If what you’re looking for this holiday season is a sweet romance full of magic and cheer, there are plenty of upcoming Christmas movies to choose from. However, if you need something a little stronger in your eggnog to get you through December, John Woo’s Christmas action thriller Silent Night might be more your style. Critics were able to screen the film ahead of its December 1 theatrical release, and their opinions range from artful and fun to boring and basic.
Given what we know about Silent Night, this looks suited to anyone who thinks Die Hard is a Christmas movie (and the trailer definitely seems John McClane-approved). Directed by John Woo, the upcoming action flick stars Joel Kinnaman as Brian Godluck, a father looking to avenge his son’s death on Christmas Eve. Let’s see what the critics have to say.
Paul Attard of Slant rates the movie 3 out of 4 stars, noting that the lack of dialogue in Silent Night furthers the statement John Woo (who’s made his first US film in years) is trying to make on grief in this thorny revenge-thriller. The critic writes:
Peter Debruge of Variety says John Woo lets the guns do the talking in this movie, a high-concept comeback for the director who still has no intention of letting logic get in the way of the story. Debruge continues:
However, not all of the critics are so forgiving of the director’s effort. IGN’s Siddhant Adlakha gives Silent Night a “Bad” 4 out of 10, saying it plays at best like a Punisher fan film, and at worst like a failed film school assignment. The dialogue-free experiment becomes an unsustainable gimmick, the critic says, writing:
Kristy Puchko of Mashable calls the production a “major misfire,” agreeing with the critic above in saying it feels like “a bad student film project.” John Woo brings none of the delicious fun of his best projects and has nothing new to contribute to the revenge movie genre. Puchko continues:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire grades the movie a D, saying it feels like John Woo lost all interest in this story before he got around to filming its “basic” grand finale, thereby rewarding audiences’ patience with a massive lump of coal. Ehrlich says:
The critics definitely seem to have some differing opinions on John Woo’s movie and his choice to go dialogue-free in this tale of holiday vengeance. If you’d like to check it out to draw your own conclusions, Silent Night is hitting the big screen on Friday, December 1. There are still plenty of good options headed our way on the 2023 movie calendar, but you can also get a jump on planning next year’s theatrical outings by taking a peek at our 2024 movie calendar.