The camera's vision is a fresh one, and though the wolf's eye view sequences threaten at first to become a nuisance, they are soon justified as a dramatic device, and ultimately as essential to the plot.
You cannot accuse Wolfen of dullness. Though he hasn't the least interest in developing his characters, Wadleigh keeps you on your toes with a steady diet of dismembered bodies, red herrings (make that Red for the terrorists and Indians) and the sheer lunacy of the concept, which must be seen to be disbelieved. [03 Aug 1981, p.51]
Albert Finney and a fine supporting cast try very hard, but they are frustrated at every turn by directionless direction and special effects that for the most part diminish the shocks and totally gut the climax. [24 July 1981, p.21]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
This denouement, even without its obviously reprehensible politics, is weak; it's also extremely confusing and confused. It does, however, manage to catch that nebulous ideological zone where white man's guilt, which decries the technological greed of our dog-eat-dog world, can go overboard in justifying the natural appetite of dog-eat-man. [27 July 1981]