Retribution (2023) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

“Retribution,” without question, is very on-brand for Liam Neeson, but with his character stuck in a car and not fighting anyone, he channels his trademark intensity in a different way.

Movie Poster - Retribution (2023)

General Information

Director(s) Nimród Antal
Screenplay By Christopher Salmanpour
Based On “El Desconocido” written by Alberto Marini
Date Released (In Theaters) August 24, 2023
Genre(s) Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Film Length 1 Hour 31 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Matt Liam Neeson
Heather Embeth Davidtz

What Is “Retribution” Rated And Why?

“Retribution” is Rated R and contains:

  • Dialog: The occasional curse word
  • Violence: A handful of exploding cars with people in them, which leads to cuts, what can be assumed to be minced body parts, and, of course, blood
  • Sexual Content: N/A
  • Miscellaneous: N/A

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Matt Turner works for Nanite Capital as one of the four partners, and just like any day, he was far more focused on being a provider for his family than a father or partner. But, after his wife, Heather, guilts him into taking the kids to school, he discovers there is a bomb underneath his seat, and he is forced into a series of situations to show that if he doesn’t transfer over 200 million Euros, he, and his two children, will die.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


Matt is a partner at Nanite Capital who has dedicated his last 18 years to his role. He has made a lot of money for the company and himself, but the good times are no longer rolling as they used to be, and he has to talk a few clients into reinvesting despite all the signs they should withdraw their money.


Heather is a woman in need of support. She has two teenagers in her household, including a son with a secret girlfriend he skips school to be with, and her husband? Their father? He uses work as an excuse to leave everything regarding their rearing to her, leaving her without the ability to do anything but be a mom and keep the house together.


Community Rating: 60% (1 votes)

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Notable Performances or Moments

Neeson Has The Same Intensity Expected, Without A Single Fight Scene Or Standing Up

Once Matt gets into the car, within the first 15 or so minutes of the film, Neeson doesn’t get out of it until the end, and you may think, with him being known as an action hero, this would lead to a diminished performance, but it does not.

Because of the boom of his voice, the desperation because Matt’s kids are in the back, subject to seeing horrible things and even getting injured, Neeson shows that the guns, him punching someone, any type of violence, that is a tool, not a means to compensate for his acting what so ever.


You Actually Care About Matt’s Personal Life

Another benefit of “Retribution” being different from Neeson’s usual showy action movies is that it makes you focus on the characters he is interacting with. He isn’t just a man hell-bent on revenge, and that is all the film can offer – seeing him act violently. Instead, you get a husband whose wife is unhappy, children who feel neglected and secondary to their father making money, and granted, we don’t get the exact details on why he works so hard and the only spoils he focuses on is a nice car and house, but you can make assumptions.

However, what you aren’t left to assume is how much Matt cares about his family despite often putting work first. I’d even say, as things get intense, you may get a little teary-eyed, for you experience a rare moment of seeing Neeson play a character who is vulnerable and has no means to retaliate.

On The Fence

The Villain Reveal And Motive

I’m not going to say who the villain is, but I will admit the twist isn’t terrible. However, the reveal that they did it all for the money, plain and simple, is a bit of a letdown. Especially when you consider how far they went to get the money, and this isn’t to say 200 million euros is anything to scoff at, but considering all the events of the movie lead to Europol getting involved?

Never mind when you consider the villain’s long-running threat is to kill Matt, yet they technically need him to do anything? It evolves, or rather devolves, into a situation where, for all the good “Retribution” does, it drops the ball when it comes to the villain.


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Widows
  2. The Commuter

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


Answers to some questions you may have regarding this movie:

The Reason The Movie Is Named “Retribution”

Because, ultimately, it is a revenge tale

Does “Retribution” Setup A Sequel or Prequel?


Does “Retribution” Have A Mid-Credit or End Credit Scene?

No, but the credits do feature a voice-only series of news reports letting you know what happened after the film’s final moments. It’s only for maybe a minute or so, and once it gets past the cast, there is nothing but credits.

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Community Rating: 55% (1 votes)

What Would Your Rating Be?

Negative Mixed Positive Recommended

Retribution (2023) – Overview


While “Retribution” has a blemish due to its villain being lackluster, there is no denying that this stripped-down version of a character made for Liam Neeson proves he is not only a formidable action star but he can also pull out an emotional performance when he needs to.

  • Neeson Has The Same Intensity Expected, Without A Single Fight Scene Or Standing Up - 86%
  • You Actually Care About Matt’s Personal Life - 83%
  • The Villain Reveal And Motive - 74%


  • You Actually Care About Matt’s Personal Life
  • Neeson Has The Same Intensity Expected, Without A Single Fight Scene Or Standing Up


  • The Villain Reveal And Motive

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