‘War on Everyone’ is Sleazy, Immoral, and an Absolute Blast

GameStop, Inc.

War on Everyone

The latest film from John Michael McDonagh opens with high speed pursuit through the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gas guzzling engine of an American muscle car rumbles, tires screeching along the pavement on each and every turn. Two men sit comfortably in the car as it barrels down on their target, a mime. “I always wondered if you hit a mime, does he make a sound?” one of them asks right before the car smashes into the fleeing mime. And just like that in the first few minutes of War on Everyone, John Michael McDonagh establishes the tone of darkly comic action that will run throughout his latest film. There are no heroes in War on Everyone, just varying degrees of villains including the cops that take center stage. However, the chaotic immorality that runs through every frame of War on Everyone is infectiously entertaining, a mixture of sleazy crime drama and action movie tropes that make one hell of a cinematic cocktail.

Albuquerque Police officers Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña) are entirely corrupt. Simply put, these are bad cops. Their bad behavior has their boss Lt. Gerry Stanton (Paul Reiser) warning them that any further allegations of corruption and bribery will result in their dismissal from the police force. The threat of termination from their jobs doesn’t dissuade their bad behavior a bit, as Terry and Bob have no problem indulging excessively in alcohol and drugs as they shake down the local criminals for their piece of illicit loot. With a notorious criminal in town, Terry and Bob start harassing Reggie (Malcolm Barrett) about the plans for an upcoming heist with the intention of taking a large cut off the top of the haul. Meanwhile, the British aristocrat Lord James Mangan (Theo James) is overseeing his criminal empire with the help of the extremely effeminate Birdwell (Caleb Landry Jones). It’s only a matter of time before the criminal cops are in a showdown with a criminal mastermind with a million dollars on the line.

Outside of their life of corrupt law enforcement, Terry and Bob are close friends with wildly divergent personal lives. Bob is happily married to Delores (Stephanie Sigman), and the couple care for their two children. Meanwhile, Terry soon finds himself entangled in a relationship with Jackie (Tessa Thompson), a former stripper that Terry met while shaking down a local criminal. The two enter into an unusual relationship, one that sees the two lost souls forming a close bond. McDonagh wisely prevents Terry from being a savior to Jackie or vice versa, though each character certainly benefits from their relationship. The relationship creates a soft touch to the ragged edges of the hopeless alcoholic and excessively violent Terry without letting the character lose that wild edge that makes him so tragically endearing.

If there’s anything that viewers will find off-putting about War on Everyone it’s the film’s rampant immorality. There are no heroes in this movie. There are no good guys. The film’s protagonists (you can’t call them heroes) are devious and wholly corrupt, scheming to rip off anyone and everyone in the most violent way possible. There aren’t even good cops in the film, as we’re informed that even if they’re not corrupt they’re definitely racist pigs. However, McDonagh doesn’t convey this unflattering view of police in a preachy manner. It all unfolds in a lively, comedic take that subverts every trope employed by the violent renegade cop movies dating all the way back to Dirty Harry. The way McDonagh revels in the immorality of his characters seems to border on nihilism at times, though the writer-director makes it all so devilishly fun that this celebration of bad behavior never crosses over into full-blown nihilism.

For his first feature set outside of Ireland, John Michael McDonagh has crafted a sleazy cop story that seems to take the work of Shane Black and twist it to his own delights with witty banter and philosophical musings weaving in and out of seedy criminality permeating through every scene. If you though, as I did, that The Nice Guys was the sleaziest story that Raymond Chandler never told, War on Everyone takes it a step further with violence and sleaziness that might make Black blush. While I’d certainly say that War on Everyone is the weakest of John Michael McDonagh’s filmography, it’s still a rollicking good time at the movies that feels much closer to action beats of The Guard than the moral and religious quandary of Calvary. McDonagh uses War on Everyone to push the limits of the genre and in turn pushes the limits of likability with a set of characters that never come close to finding redemption. The writer-director doesn’t dare use his story to try and punish his characters, which is something that I bet a lot of people will want done to these dirty cops. But what’s really the point of that? War on Everyone makes being bad so much damn fun.

War on Everyone is currently available to rent exclusively on DirecTV. It opens in select theaters and will be available on most VOD platforms starting on February 3rd. 

War on Everyone
  • Overall Score


Sleazy, brutal, immoral, and hilarious, War on Everyone is the latest cinematic bitter pill from John Michael McDonagh, featuring some of the most crooked cops ever committed to the screen in a movie that pushes the limits of the genre and the likability of its bad cops.

Anytime Costumes

No Responses

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Skywalkers’ Takes Love to New Heights on Netflix – Spoiler Free Review

‘Skywalkers: A Love Story‘ Takes Love to New Heights while Scaling...

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

‘Lumina’ is a Incredible First for Debuting Director, Gino McKoy – Review

‘Lumina‘ is an incredible concept and an exceptional first run for...

Event News Event Reviews
The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

‘An Inspector Calls’ Challenges the Morals of the Bourgeois – Review

‘An Inspector Calls‘ Challenges the Morals and Ethics of the Bourgeois...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, nearing the end of the 3rd act.

What IS that big dust cloud on the horizon?

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame


Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...