Silent Night Review

Reviews Films




Lionsgate is hoping to capture some thrilling holiday magic with its latest Christmas action flick – Silent Night. Directed by the iconic John Woo (Face/Off, Mission: Impossible 2) and starring Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad), will this be the best Christmas present ever? Or a lump of coal in our stockings?

Amidst a Christmas Eve gang shootout, Brian (Joel Kinnaman) witnesses his son’s tragic end from a stray bullet, tearing their small family apart. Nursing his own wounds to his throat that leads to him being mute, he silently pledges retribution, diving into a relentless quest for justice. Now fueled by a volatile blend of grief and rage, he becomes a solitary force in tracking down those accountable.

As a lover of lower budget high-octane action films like Nobody (2019) and John Wick (2014), I was pumped for Silent Night. Especially after watching 2022’s Violent Night with David Harbour (Stranger Things) which reinvigorated my love of festive action films. 

After watching Silent Night, I’m afraid to say it’s no Die Hard (1988). Silent Night is a very paint-by-numbers revenge film that does nothing exciting with the genre, and instead falls victim to all of its lacklustre tropes. To say the film was a disappointment would be an understatement. Though the film is competently made and everyone involved does a fine enough job, I just found it entirely unengaging. 

A large reason for my lack of enthusiasm is due to the fact the film has no dialogue – a very literal take on the title of the film; yet one that has zero pay-off. While an interesting concept, it just doesn’t work and instead comes off as a cheap trick that wears thin. The entire film is just made up of sound effects and the occasional piece of music. I do respect the artistic choice to not have any characters speak, as it is something I haven’t experienced before, but it didn’t allow me to engage with any of the film’s characters. There was something so jarring about no dialogue that made the film feel unfinished. This is also exacerbated by the fact that the characters themselves aren’t particularly unique or distinctive. Everyone on screen comes across as one dimensional. 

The story is nothing to write home about either unfortunately. Its fairly generic plot is something I’m sure we’ve all seen time and time again. The leading man loses a loved one and decides to take it into his own hands to punish the bad guys because the police won’t do anything about it. The classic revenge tale has been done before – and done a lot better. 

I wish I had a few more positive things to say about this film, but it just wasn’t for me (which pains me to say as I was quite looking forward to it). I’m a big John Woo fan and I’ve never been disappointed by a Joel Kinnaman performance. When all was said and done I felt that the whole movie fell flat. I found myself fidgeting in my seat towards the latter half as the film plodded along. 

If you felt like you’ve seen all the holiday action films on IMDB and you are chomping at the bit for something new, give Silent Night a go. Other than that, it’s a hard recommendation for me to make.

Rating 2/10