In terms of pure pop entertainment value, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more smartly constructed, beautifully shot, pulse-pounding movie this holiday season.
—Drew Taylor The Playlist
That Cruise fails to make a case for Reacher's allure, though, has less to do with physical dissonance than it does with the film's inability - stupefying inability, really - to otherwise make a case for the character's originality in a movie so choked with visual clichés and dreadfully moldy dialogue.
—Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly
Even when the film is cool, it manages to be wrong.
—Richard Corliss Time
Reacher is a brawny action figure whose exploits would have been a good fit for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone back in the day, but feel less fun when delegated to a leading man like Tom Cruise. The star is too charismatic to play someone so cold-blooded, and his fans likely won't appreciate the stretch.
—Peter Debruge Variety
Jack Reacher is mostly grim, violent and stupid.
—Rex Reed New York Observer