John Wick 4 reviews call the movie "bigger, badder, bolder, longer" with "spectacularly staged" action

Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

With the John Wick 4 release date set for March 24, reviews of Chapter 4 are now starting to come online across the industry – and critics say it's packed with spectacular action, but is maybe a little on the long side. In our own John Wick 4 review, we noted that this "full-on fourquel whose attempts to up the action ante yield frequently blistering results." 

The new film sees Keanu Reeves' titular hitman go up against the High Table – be sure to read our John Wick 3 review if you need to get caught up on what Wick is facing in this new installment. Bill Skarsgård joins the franchise as the villainous Marquis, while Rina Sawayama, Donnie Yen, and Hiroyuki Sanada are also new additions to the line-up. Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Lance Reddick all reprise their roles.

Below you'll find a John Wick 4 review roundup to help you get a better idea of how one of the most anticipated upcoming movies of 2023 is being received. Oh, and don't worry – this roundup of John Wick 4 reviews is totally spoiler free!

Total Film – 4/5 – Kim Taylor-Foster

"If you were agog at what Wick can do with a pencil (JW2), and a book (JW3), wait until you see what he can do with a playing card, never mind a set of nunchucks. Fight sequences, action set pieces, neon: every aspect for Chapter 4 is dialed up to 11111 (deep-cut reference alert!). And if there's one area in which returning director Chad Stahelski's film actually over-delivers, it's the characters. The bad guys of previous installments pale in comparison to Donnie Yen's sharp-suited blind assassin Caine – a fun, charming, super-cool badass we root for almost as much as Wick." 

The Hollywood Reporter – Frank Scheck  

"Bigger, badder, bolder, longer, and featuring nearly more spectacular set pieces than one movie can comfortably handle, this epic action film practically redefines the stakes. If at times it’s hard to avoid the feeling that the excessive mayhem is coming dangerously close to overkill, that seems suitable for a film series featuring body counts higher than some wars." 

IGN – 10/10 – Tom Jorgensen

"In Chapter 4 of this story, John Wick's vendetta has forced the Table into open warfare, and it thrives on John's acceptance of the fact that even he can't win that war on his own. The rules and consequences the John Wick universe has taken such care to establish provide its fourth chapter a rock-solid structure that allows for director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves to stage a symphony of onscreen action, with every component driving to elevate the others. It is the longest John Wick movie. It is the most John Wick movie. And it is the best John Wick movie." 

The Guardian – 2/5 – Charles Bramesco

"To crib a phrase, everything happens so much to our killing-machine hero as he blazes a bloody trail from New York to Osaka to Berlin to Paris. Scene after scene drags on far past the point of redundancy, the zillion solemn ceremonies and over-the-shoulder flips landing in monotony without the saving grace of a winking laugh. An entirely earnest and altogether fatal fondness for itself has drawn out a franchise once prized for its lean-and-mean ferocity into a logy death march set at a dirge's pace. Roger Ebert memorably declared that no good movie is too long, his point not that fun can go on forever, but that a well-told story takes as long as it takes. Wick's latest outing indulges in muchness for its own sake, and where unrestrained excess has blown open the gate for mad inspiration in so many others, the director, Chad Stahelski, lacks the showman's instinct for building and payoff." 

Variety – Owen Gleiberman

"John Wick: Chapter 4 is 2 hours and 49 minutes long, but it has a story that, if it were told more briskly, could fit into an 83-minute potboiler that you might have seen in a grindhouse in 1977. Yet the way that Chad Stahelski, the series' stuntman-turned-director, has staged it, full of hushed, portentous, ritualistic verbal showdowns that are meant to be hypnotic as they build up to each new action scene, Chapter 4 feels like the first John Wick movie that wants to be a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western. It's like Sergio Leone crossed with John Woo as seen in Times Square."

BBC – Caryn James

"The twist in Chapter 4 is that John Wick goes full James Bond, globe-trotting and shooting his way through glamorous cities, with action that is even more spectacularly staged. Running at 2 hours and 49 minutes, it is bigger than the previous films in every way ­– not better or worse, just more." 

Deadline – Pete Hammond

"This new film opens with the assumption of the High Table, that unseen cabal of Crime Lords out to make a deal for John's head, that Wick is dead. He's not, and instead in a sequence that might be described as John Wick meets Lawrence of Arabia, we get reintroduced to him in the Jordanian desert as he takes to horseback in the first of those many, many action sequences which are the signature attraction here, obviously. Director Chad Stahelski, a former martial arts expert and stunt man for Reeves in the Matrix pictures, clearly knows what the audience wants and expects, and seems determined to ratchet it all up a few notches. Fortunately, even if it seems just too much of a good thing at times, John Wick: Chapter 4 delivers." 

John Wick 4 hits theaters this March 24. In the meantime, check out our guide to all the upcoming major movie release dates for everything else the year has in store.  

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.