“Criminal” (2016): Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynold Deliver a Thrilling Performance


“Criminal” is a 2016 action thriller film directed by Ariel Vromen. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as CIA agent Bill Pope, who is on a mission in London to track down a mysterious hacker known as “The Dutchman,” played by Michael Pitt. The film also features Alice Eve and Gal Gadot in significant roles.

Plot Overview

The plot of “Criminal” centers around Bill Pope, a CIA agent who is killed while trying to track down “The Dutchman.” The hacker possesses critical information that could prevent a catastrophic event. To recover this information, the CIA transfers Pope’s memories into a death-row inmate named Jerico Stewart, played by Kevin Costner. Jerico, a dangerous and unpredictable criminal, must navigate his new reality while trying to complete Pope’s mission.

Characters and Performances

Ryan Reynolds as Bill Pope

Ryan Reynolds delivers a strong performance as Bill Pope. Although his screen time is limited, Reynolds effectively sets the stage for the film’s central conflict. His portrayal of Pope is intense and charismatic, making the audience invested in the mission from the start.

Kevin Costner as Jerico Stewart

Kevin Costner’s portrayal of Jerico Stewart is a standout. Costner embodies the character’s raw and brutal nature while gradually revealing a more complex and empathetic side. His transformation throughout the film is compelling and adds depth to the storyline.

Michael Pitt as The Dutchman

Michael Pitt plays the enigmatic hacker known as “The Dutchman.” Pitt brings a sense of mystery and urgency to his role, making The Dutchman a key figure in the film’s plot. His interactions with other characters drive much of the suspense and tension.

Alice Eve and Gal Gadot

Both actresses play important supporting roles. Alice Eve portrays a CIA operative who works closely with Pope, while Gal Gadot plays Pope’s wife, adding an emotional layer to the narrative. Both actresses deliver strong performances that enhance the film’s emotional and dramatic elements.

Direction and Cinematography

Ariel Vromen’s direction in “Criminal” is tight and focused. He maintains a brisk pace, keeping the audience engaged throughout the film. The action sequences are well-executed, providing a mix of intensity and excitement. The cinematography captures the gritty and tense atmosphere of the story, with London serving as a fitting backdrop for the unfolding drama.

Themes and Motifs

Memory and Identity

One of the central themes of “Criminal” is the exploration of memory and identity. The film delves into the idea of transferring memories from one person to another and the psychological implications of such a process. Jerico’s struggle to reconcile his own identity with Pope’s memories adds a layer of complexity to the narrative.

Redemption and Transformation

The theme of redemption is also prominent in “Criminal.” Jerico, a hardened criminal, undergoes a transformation as he navigates his new reality. His journey from a ruthless convict to someone capable of empathy and heroism is a key aspect of the film’s emotional arc.

Action and Suspense

Film excels in delivering high-stakes action and suspense. The film’s action sequences are thrilling and well-choreographed, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. The tension builds steadily as Jerico races against time to complete Pope’s mission and prevent disaster.

Critical Reception

The critical reception of “Criminal” was mixed. Some praised the film for its intriguing concept and strong performances, particularly by Kevin Costner. However, others felt that the execution fell short, citing issues with pacing and character development. Despite the mixed reviews, “Criminal” offers an entertaining and thought-provoking experience.


This movie is a gripping action thriller that explores themes of memory, identity, and redemption. With strong performances by Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Michael Pitt, Alice Eve, and Gal Gadot, the film delivers an engaging and intense viewing experience. Ariel Vromen’s direction and the film’s well-executed action sequences make it a worthwhile watch for fans of the genre.

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