Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's new movie Gamer is a "top of the line" sci-fi–action-thriller, said DreadCentral.com. Gerard Butler stars as a man wrongly accused who, along with other death row inmates, is forced to participate in a wildly popular game that is piloted by players at home. "Gamer grabs you by the back of the head and runs you through a minefield"—it's "fast, mean and dirty as all hell."
When Gamer is "demented, over-the-top," and not taking itself too seriously, said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel, the movie works well. But more often, Gamer feels like a B-movie, and relies heavily on "video-game clichés, conventions and stereotypes." This film "was never going to be much, but it could have been more than this."
Gamer is "a complete disappointment," said HitFix.com. It should have been "ridiculously easy to have fun with a concept like this," but directors Neveldine and Taylor don't care about storytelling and seem preoccupied with jumping from one explosion to the next. Gamer is nothing but an exercise in "empty provocation," and "smacks of contempt" for the audience.