Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
One of the most complex and visually interesting science fiction movies in a long time.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Starts out as mind-bending futuristic satire and then turns relentless -- it becomes a violent, postpunk version of an Indiana Jones cliff-hanger.
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By Kim Newman
Top-flight muscleman entertainment that is not afraid to have a brain or two in its head.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
A first-rate action movie, slickly done and with so many imaginative bonuses that, for a time, it feels like a classic in the making. It's not, but it's still solid and entertaining [1 June 1990]
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USA Today

By Mike Clark
Both female roles are unexpectedly meaty, so much so that the film loses something once the far more lively Stone is dispatched. Hour one (more satirical) is better all around, though the falloff isn't fatal. [1 June 1990, Life, p.2D]
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Chicago Tribune

From first to last frame, Total Recall is in your face. Its rather elegant little science-fiction story is as suffocated as the Martians are. The director has violated his own movie, going so far over the top he's still out there-weightless. [1 June 1990, Friday, p.C]
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By James Berardinelli
An "intelligent" action film, because it presents the viewer with an opportunity to puzzle things out rather than sit mindlessly and watch people get blown to pieces.
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Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
The plot, based on a Phillip K. Dick story, is ingenious; and Arnold Schwarzenegger brings an effective blend of machismo and innocence to his role. Too bad director Paul Verhoeven lets brainless violence and tricky special effects swamp the cleverness of the tale itself. [22 June 1990, Arts, p.10]
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TV Guide

Ugly, stupid, loud, offensive, and pointlessly violent--let's not mince words--this film should be called "Total Reject."
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
Guilty of gross mellerdrammer & innocent of sophistication... Guilty of being dumber than WWF wrestling & innocent of hypocrisy about its cartoon violence.
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57 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.