Shivraj Kumar's bilingual movie "Killing Veerappan", which hit the screens on 7 Janaury, has garnered rave reviews and rich ratings from film critics, who say Ram Gopal Varma is back on track.

Varma is one of the maverick filmmakers of Indian cinema. Besides churning out some box office hits, the director has created a niche for himself with the kind of controversial films he makes. But he had failed to recreate the charm and magic spell in recent years. However, he is back with a great script, cast and crew for "Killing Veerappan".

The story is about a sincere police officer (Shivraj Kumar) brought on board to capture forest brigand Veerappan (Sandeep Bhardwaj) after cops from three states fail in their attempts over 10 years. How this police office makes one final plan and kills the most wanted smuggler is what the film is all about.

Critics say Ram Gopal Varma has made sure he has the perfect story and an amazing cast and crew for "Killing Veerappan". All of them have put in brilliant efforts to make the film an edge-of-the-seat docudrama thriller. Shivaraj Kumar and Sandeep Bhardwaj's performances, Ravi Shankar's background score and Rammy's amazing picturisation stand out.

The movie has been rated 2.62 out of 5 stars on an average. Here is what some critics have said about the film: 

The Hindu Ratings: 3.5

The entire cast — Shiva Rajkumar, Parul Yadav, Sandeep Bharadwaj — stand out. The big plus to this film is the casting of Sandeep Bharadwaj as Veerappan; that is half the job done. Now that Varma has delivered a tight and a sensible thriller the real nightmare is his next volley of films.

123 Telugu Ratings: 3

Killing Veerappan is surely RGV's most decent films in the recent past. It is a realistic tale of how India's most wanted criminal was gunned down with some superb visuals, interesting narration and top notch performances. On the flip side, non detailing on Veerappan and his less screen time may not go well with certain audience. All said and done, this film is a decent watch for its realistic nature and some gripping assassination episodes.

Chitramala Ratings: 3

Movie started with police planning to nab Veerappan with the help of Veerappan's village people and a 2-3 minute long reverse plan by Veerappan. First half of the movie is engaging with the plans of police and reverse plans of Veerappan and his marriage story. It ends on a interesting note with a failure plan of police. Theatre roars with the entry of Sandeep Bharadwaj as Veerappan. Scenes where Shivraj Kumar talking with Muslim Don and where Shreya (Parul Yadav) sees Veerappan escaping gets thumping response from the audience. Second half is as interesting as a late night tweet from Ram Gopal Varma. Seeing from camera angles to dialogues of the movie anyone can simply say RGV is back to form with Killing Veerappan. Finally movie is as interesting as a late night RGV tweet.

AP Herald Ratings: 1

A film like Killing Veerappan was bound to go one of the two ways – It either would have been a highly original and edge of a seat docudrama that paddled in both drama and action, or it would have been a hunky-dory, but fails to tell a great story. Sadly this film falls into the latter category. STE's "Operation Cocoon" is obviously a chilling op that should and could have portrayed a hundred times better than this. All in all, this "Killing Veerapan" doesn't fit that bill.