A helluva lot happens in 16 Blocks - an outrageous amount, really, along with a coda that deposits the audience squarely at a movieland finale. Who knew that looking both ways before crossing is where the real action is?
Scott FoundasL.A. Weekly
This is some of the best filmmaking ever done by director Richard Donner, a longtime Hollywood journeyman known more for his proficient deployment of three long-running movie franchises (The Omen, Superman and Lethal Weapon) than for his lyricism.
Not that it ever rises to the level of Sidney Lumet's Gotham police pics ("Serpico," "Prince of the City"), but 16 Blocks does raise the banner for the tradition of the textured urban cop drama, spurred by action but made substantial by characters at crossroads.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
A happier surprise is the smart work of director Richard Donner: 16 Blocks is all jumble and jangle--crowds, snarled traffic, and discordant car horns. The scariest moments have no music.
It's a cobbled together mess of clichés that fails to surprise at any of its turns.
Michael AtkinsonVillage Voice
It's a small movie trying to seem epic, or a bloated monster trying to seem lean (real B movies don't have 14 producers), but it's clear that at 99 minutes, 16 Blocks should've been at least 20 minutes shorter still.
Nathan RabinThe A.V. Club
Richard Wenk's familiar screenplay laboriously establishes Willis as an exhausted, limping shell of a man rotting internally from decades of alcoholism and self-hatred. Yet whenever the film requires it, Willis magically morphs into a super-cop with the lightning-fast reflexes of an 18-year-old Navy SEAL.