90

Newsweek

By Jack Kroll
Junky, freaky, sadistic, masochistic, Mad Max has a perverse intelligence revving inside its pop exterior. It's a crazy collide-o-scope, a gear-stripping vision of human destiny careening toward a cosmic junkyard. [21 July 1980, p.71]
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75

TV Guide

Though the plot is that of a simple revenge western, director George Miller infuses the film with a kinetic combination of visual style, amazing stunt work, creative costume design, and eccentric, detailed characterizations that practically jump out of the screen and grab the viewer by the throat.
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75

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
One does not expect to find references to Bertolucci in a action movie distributed by American International, but Mad Max is no ordinary action movie: it's a B-movie classic on the order of Truck Stop Women, and when its director, George Miller, steals from established filmmakers, he steals from the best. [15 April 1980]
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75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
It's pretty much assumed throughout art and literature that the collapse of civilization will result in the rise of barbarism. That assumption underlies Mad Max, where the strong prey on the weak, and Max steps in to be the equalizer.
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70

Variety

The film belongs to the director, cameraman and stunt artists: it’s not an actor’s piece, though the leads are all effective.
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63

Washington Post

Hackneyed at exposition, Miller demonstrates breakneck prowess at chase sequences and terrifying shock effects. [29 April 1980, p. B1]
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40

The New York Times

Mad Max is ugly and incoherent, and aimed, probably accurately, at the most uncritical of moviegoers. [14 June 1980, p.13]
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67 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.