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Silent Night review roundup: what critics are saying about the John Woo Christmas movie

 Joel Kinnaman and Catalina Sandino in Silent Night.
Joel Kinnaman and Catalina Sandino in Silent Night.

One of the few actually Christmas-themed movies heading to movie theaters in the 2023 holiday season is John Woo's action movie Silent Night. Officially releasing in the US on Friday, December 1, critics have been making their opinions known with their Silent Night reviews.

John Woo is best known for his action movies that he made in Hong Kong like Hard Boiled, The Killer and more before he made the leap to Hollywood and tackled both major franchises in Mission: Impossible 2 and what would become fan-favorite movies like Face/Off. His first movie in six years, Silent Night stars Joel Kinnaman as a father whose son is killed in a drive-by gang shooting on Christmas Eve while he suffers a wound that costs him his voice. Next Christmas, he is out for revenge.

So is the movie a hit with critics? Are they panning it? Or is it somewhere in between? Read on to get a full picture of how critics are responding to Silent Night.

Silent Night reviews by the numbers

Numbers as of November 28

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Metacritic: 53

Silent Night is a "Fresh" rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, with 75% of critics viewing the movie positively. Considering that a movie has to score a 60% or better from critics to be considered "Fresh" that is a solid start for the movie as more reviews are expected to trickle in over the next few days.

The other major review aggregator site, Metacritic, scores things differently, having varying tiers for movies to be classified under depending on the scores they're given from 0-100. For Silent Night, it has a Metacritic score of 53, which is classified "as mixed or average." The highest rated review on Metacritic was a score of 80 from The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck, while the lowest was a score of 25 from IndieWire's David Ehrlich.

How does Silent Night compare to other new movies coming out on December 1? The Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway psychological thriller Eileen, which has been "Certified Fresh" by Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 90% and a 74 "generally favorable" on Metacritic.

Also releasing in movie theaters on December 1 is the Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce concert movie, but that has no reviews at this time.

On the streaming side, a more traditional Christmas fare arriving December 1 in Prime Video's Candy Cane Lane starring Eddie Murphy, however as of publication no reviews are available for Candy Cane Lane.

One other fun comparison available is Silent Night against 2022's own action Christmas movie, Violent Night. The latter ended up with a 74% "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and a 55 "mixed or average" Metacritic rating.

Silent Night releases exclusively in movie theaters in the US on December 1. The movie premieres on Sky Cinema in the UK on December 23.