While Snitch, starring Duane The Rock Johnson, is billed as an action thriller, several critics contend that the action is not as thrilling as the plot about a man trying to save his son from a mandatory prison sentence after he is framed for a drug crime. In its focus on an ordinary family facing a nightmarish scenario, Snitch is a terrifying but relatable story, writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. Snitch, says Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune, has a way of keeping you guessing about the next turn in its story, and a way of keeping Johnson's character compellingly at the mercy of others. And beyond presenting an effective family drama, Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times observes that the movie also executes two missions: A) to entertain us; and B) to put some big exclamation points on a couple of messages about certain drug laws in this country in need of a thorough reexamination. But other critics aren't buying it. Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News writes, Half crime thriller, half family drama, with a bit of legal and behind-prison-walls suspense thrown in, Snitch is like watching an elephant on ice: inelegant, but you admire the effort. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times argues that the film eventually loses dramatic balance and morphs into an uneasy hybrid of issue-oriented drama and action-adventure blowout. And Betsy Sharkey observes in the Los Angeles Times observes that all of the talk in the movie about unjust drug laws would be fine, but the dialogue is preachy, the drama too earnest and the action kind of sluggish.