Tashan opened to mixed reviews from critics. Most Indian critics criticized the lackluster script penned by director Vijay Krishna Acharya. Critic Taran Adarsh from indiaFM gave the film a 1.5 out of 5 rating and concluded that it was "...one of the weakest films to come out of the Yash Raj banner." Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN described the film as "...a road movie...that is going in all the wrong directions." On the other hand, Sanjay Ram, who gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5, wrote, "The film, though with many slips, is thoroughly engaging and entertaining. The vibrancy and spunk keeps it alive and loaded."
US critics were favourable. Rachel Saltz of The New York Times wrote, "The giddy camera work and busy visual effects would be exhausting if their excess didn't fit so well with the movie's tongue-in-cheek tone". Frank Lovece of Film Journal International found it "crowded with dizzying visuals, dry humor, cartoonishly violent set-pieces that play like Indian Spaghetti Westerns, and gorgeously shot musical numbers. Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide described the film as "a delirious crime romp [that] borrows pop-savvy attitude from Quentin Tarantino, stylised gun-play from Sergio Leone and stylised hand-to-hand combat moves from Hong Kong action films. The result is a nutty, ridiculously entertaining neo-noir pastiche with lavish musical numbers."
The performances of the lead cast too received mixed reviews. Kumar and Kareena were praised for their performances, however Anil and Khan received mixed reviews for their performances. Taran Adarsh noted, "Tashan belongs to Akshay Kumar completely. No two opinions on that. Take Akshay out of this film and the movie is a big zero. He's the lifeline of this project...[whilst] Kareena Kapoor is fantastic. She looks gorgeous and acts very well." Sonia Chopra from Sify concluded, "It is Akshay and Kareena who sizzle in the film and have the best parts." Sonia Chopra explained "Anil plays the baddie to the hilt...[and] Saif...gives a strictly lukewarm performance." 2b1af7f3a8