The vigilante thriller Death Sentence, starring Kevin Bacon, appears to have something for everybody, Roger Ebert, who gives the film three and a half stars, observes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "There is a courtroom scene of true surprise and suspense, and some other effective moments," he writes, "but basically this is a movie about a lot of people shooting at each other, and during the parts I liked, the action audience will probably go out to get popcorn, or a tattoo or something." Meredith Goldstein in the Boston Globe reacts similarly, writing, "The cynics will slap their foreheads, the squeamish will cover their eyes, but the revenge movie fanatics should be nice and satisfied after the whole ordeal." Most other critics, however, are not so generous. Claudia Puig in USA Today calls it "despicably hypocritical." To Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun, it's "grandiose, grimly silly." Similarly, Tom Maurstad in the Dallas Morning News calls it, "shallow, clumsy and just plain dumb." Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer describes it as "this cheesy exploitation drama." Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News comments, "Throughout his prolific career, actor Kevin Bacon has never been acknowledged with a major award. But if there is any justice, he'll soon have a Golden Raspberry on his mantel."