Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Even the Schwarzenegger version had a crackpot long-range vision. This Conan is just a barbarian for hire.
New York Times:
Mr. Momoa has some awfully big biceps to fill. He rises to that task with a pumped physique made for ogling.
This Conan barely qualifies as a character, smirking and hacking his way through life, never evolving into someone who can change or whom you want to follow.
[Momoa] barks and growls his dialogue with the unpracticed enthusiasm of a first-time Ren Fair performer.
There's just not a lot to like here, with the exception of what may be one of the all-time best bad movie lines, one Conan utters to Tamara as a kind of personal credo: "I live. I love. I slay. I am content." That makes one of us.
It didn't seem possible for there to be even less characterization than there was in the original "Conan," but voila.
At its best the movie suggests a funhouse at a state-of-the-art county fair; at its worst it's a fairly dumb celebration of brute violence.
I've certainly seen worse movies this summer, though I hope that if director Nispel returns to the land of Hyboria he'll learn that sword fights don't respond well to his chaotic brand of staging, made worse by the editing.
Dallas Morning News:
Dull and uninvolving, Conan the Barbarian occasionally verges on escaping its rut, but never makes good on the promise. It's busy without having energy, a loud, lackluster mess.
Here's a movie that's simultaneously lavishly violent and numbing, visually ornate and undistinguished, epic and shallow, relentlessly noisy and tone-deaf, workmanlike and unfilling.
Shoddy acting, no real plot, and silly dialogue? You betcha!
Non-stop blood-and-guts action aimed at game boys and emotionally stunted lovers of adolescent fantasy.
Los Angeles Times:
It's kind of a wicked blast to watch, especially if you're in the mood for some righteous revenge.
Pity the fool who tries to reprise the role that made Arnold Schwarzegger an icon.
There are swords and sorcery, pirates and monsters, taxed bodices and taxing mythology. In other words, there's the bare minimum necessary to summon this dismal movie into existence.
New York Post:
You can't underestimate the vitality of a movie where manly men give orders such as, "We will cast our rivals into oceans of blood."
The 2011 version of Conan the Barbarian looks cheap and feels rushed. The few good elements are dwarfed by a generic, nonsensical plot and shoddy storytelling.
A brutal, crude, witless high-tech CGI contrivance, in which no artificial technique has been overlooked, including 3-D.
A gaudily ornamented medieval banquet table groaning with junk food and open entrails.
The very definition of the dumb summer flick, designed to squeeze a few last bucks out of the kids before school starts up again.
Conan the Barbarian lives by a pretty simple ethos: He lives, he loves, he slays. What he doesn't do, alas, is act.
With all earnestness, Nispel embraces the property's classic roots, placing this new Conan squarely within the tradition of sword-and-sorcery pics.
Both truer to the vision of its character's creator, Robert E. Howard, and more satisfyingly pulpy than the 1982 movie incarnation.
Momoa ... speaks in one of those trying-too-hard baritones heard in young jocks whose greatest fear is being called gay.