12 Rounds (film)

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12 Rounds
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRenny Harlin
Written byDaniel Kunka
Produced by
CinematographyDavid Boyd
Edited byBrian Berdan
Music byTrevor Rabin
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 19, 2009 (2009-03-19) (Australia)
  • March 27, 2009 (2009-03-27) (United States)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6.7 million[2]
Box office$17.3 million[3]

12 Rounds is a 2009 American action film directed by Renny Harlin and produced by WWE Studios.[4] The cast is led by John Cena,[5] alongside Aidan Gillen, Steve Harris, Gonzalo Menendez, Brian J. White, Ashley Scott, and Taylor Cole.[6] The film was released to theaters in the United States on March 27, 2009.[4] The film received generally negative reviews.[7][8][9][10][11][12]


A sting operation to capture arms dealer Miles Jackson goes awry when the FBI's inside man double crosses them. Miles escapes with his girlfriend Erica Kessen in a getaway car. Officers Danny Fisher and Hank Carver help the FBI. They find a surveillance video of Miles dancing with Kessen. A subsequent encounter at a traffic light leads to her death and Miles being taken away. Miles swears vengeance on Fisher.

One year later, Miles escapes from prison and calls Fisher, who is now a Detective. Fisher is injured when his car and house explode. After recovery, Jackson challenges Fisher to participate in a game of revenge called "12 Rounds". The explosions were "Round 1". Fisher's girlfriend Molly is kidnapped in "Round 2". For "Round 3", Fisher follows clues to locate the cell phone. The next round requires Fisher to go to New Orleans Savings and Loans where he extracts two security deposit boxes within 20 minutes amidst an active fire.

While Fisher continues with the game, his friend Carver looks into Molly's kidnapping. FBI Agents work with them as well.

Round after round, Fisher keeps progressing and barely making it ahead.

Fisher ultimately understands that the rounds were rigged from the start. The inevitable death in an elevator was also orchestrated by Jackson. All events turn out to be connected. They figure out that Jackson was leading them to take out the power because Homewood Security comes in to move the federally unprotected cash from the United States Mint in New Orleans. Jackson's grudge against Fisher was only a cover for his scheme to steal this money.

Fisher realizes that "Round 12" is a wild-goose chase. Jackson, dressed as a security guard, steals the cash. He uses Porter's ID card to get to a Medevac chopper on a hospital roof, transporting the money inside a body bag. Fisher and Aiken race to the hospital roof, where Aiken is wounded. Jackson activates the touch phone-bomb and throws the switch away. Porter and Fisher jump into a pool, while Jackson is left in the exploding helicopter. The movie ends with Danny and Molly leaving, with Molly wanting to go home, but Danny tells her about what happened to it.


John Cena filming on the set of 12 Rounds.


The score of 12 Rounds was composed by Trevor Rabin, who had previously worked with director Renny Harlin on Deep Blue Sea and Exorcist: The Beginning. He recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios.[13]


  1. "Feel You" – Crumbland
  2. "Ready to Fall" – Rise Against
  3. "12 Rounds Suite" – Trevor Rabin


Box office[edit]

The filmed opened at number seven at the box office, gaining an estimate of $1.75 million in its opening day and $5.3 million in its opening weekend. The film grossed $12,234,694 in the United States and Canada, and $5,045,632 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $17,280,326.[3]

Critical response[edit]

12 Rounds has received mostly negative reviews from critics. Some critics have noted the film's similarities to the 1995 film Die Hard with a Vengeance.[7] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 30% based on reviews from 71 critics. The site's consensus reads: "Energetic but empty, 12 Rounds' preposterous plot hurtles along at a rapid pace, but can't disguise the derivative script".[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 38%, based on 13 reviews.[9] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of B−.[10]

Rob Nelson of Variety wrote that the film is heavy on stunts but light on plausibility, humor, surprise, visual ingenuity or psychological depth.[11] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club called the film "honest trash: it never pretends to be anything other than manic schlock" and gave it a grade C+.[12]

Home media[edit]

12 Rounds was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and UMD with an unrated "Extreme Cut" of the film on June 30, 2009.[14] In the first week, 12 Rounds opened at #1 at the DVD sales chart, selling 208,936 DVD units translating to revenue of $3.1m.[15] As of July 2011, 581,834 DVD units have been sold, bringing in $8,884,292 in revenue. This does not include Blu-ray Disc sales/DVD rentals.


Randy Orton stars in a stand-alone sequel titled 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded.[16] The sequel was released in 2013. 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown starring Dean Ambrose was released in 2015.[17]


  1. ^ "12 Rounds (2009)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  2. ^ "12 Rounds (2009) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ a b "12 Rounds (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Carrow-Jackson, Roberta (2007-12-07). "State Film Office announces 2007 statistics". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  5. ^ "Current Projects". Coulon Casting. December 24, 2007. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-11.
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; Marc Graser (2008-02-14). "WWE, Fox Atomic go for '12 Rounds'". Variety. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  7. ^ a b Jim Vejvoda (26 Mar 2009). "12 Rounds Review". IGN. Take one part Blown Away, one part Speed, a whole lot of Die Hard with a Vengeance and – presto! – you have a patchwork of every '90s action movie formulaic plot element in one film.
  8. ^ a b "12 Rounds". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  9. ^ a b "12 Rounds (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  10. ^ a b "12 ROUNDS (2009) B-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  11. ^ a b Nelson, Rob (March 27, 2009). "12 Rounds".
  12. ^ a b "12 Rounds". The A.V. Club.
  13. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (2008-12-01). "Trevor Rabin scores 12 Rounds". ScoringSessions.com. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  14. ^ "Blu-ray.com – 12 Rounds Blu-ray: Extreme Cut". blu-ray.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  15. ^ "Movie 12 Rounds - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  16. ^ "WWE Studios and Fox go "12 Rounds" with Randy Orton and Roel Reiné". WWE.com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  17. ^ "WWE Movie News: Dean Ambrose In "12 Rounds 3" On Sept. 11". WhatCulture.com. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2017-12-28.

External links[edit]