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Shoot to Kill (1988)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,427 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 15 critic

Sidney Poitier returned to the big screen in this action-thriller, after a decade-long absence. When a cunning murderer vanishes into the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, pursuing... See full summary »

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Title: Shoot to Kill (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Warren Stantin
...
...
Sarah Rennell
...
...
Norman
...
Harvey
Kevin Scannell ...
Ben
Frederick Coffin ...
Ralph
Michael MacRae ...
Fournier
Robert Lesser ...
Minelli
Milton Selzer ...
Mr. Berger
Les Lannom ...
Sheriff Arnett
Walter Marsh ...
Sam Baker
Frank C. Turner ...
Crilly
Sam Hiona ...
Inspector Hsu (as Samuel Hiona)
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Storyline

Sidney Poitier returned to the big screen in this action-thriller, after a decade-long absence. When a cunning murderer vanishes into the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, pursuing FBI agent Warren Stantin (Poitier) must exchange familiar city streets for unknown wilderness trails. Completely out of his element, Stantin is forced to enlist the aid of expert tracker Jonathan Knox (PLATOON'S Tom Berenger). The killer has infiltrated a guided hiking trip led by Knox's girlfriend Sarah (Kirstie Alley, at the height of her Cheers fame). Viewers don't know which of the hikers is the killer, and the tension lasts well into the movie. Written by Donny Dollar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Into a place no one has ever been, two men will track a killer no one has ever seen. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mountain Man  »

Box Office

Gross:

$29,300,090 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a fight with Tom Berenger, Sidney Poitier says he has been up against the Mafia, the Ku Klux Klan and the KGB. He has: in Let's Do It Again (1975), In the Heat of the Night (1967) and Little Nikita (1988). See more »

Goofs

When Stanton has been rescued after the ferry incident he is on a boat being taken to shore. The boat has a registration number identifying it as not only registered in California, the XC suffix identifies it as belonging to a law enforcement agency in California. See more »

Quotes

[Stantin has just scared a grizzly bear away]
Jonathan Knox: I've never seen a grizzly just turn and run like that.
Warren Stantin: Everybody else up here acts like they've never seen a black man before. Why should the bear be different?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conflict (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better than you might think
27 June 2000 | by (Minnesooooooooota) – See all my reviews

A rare action movie that manages to rise above its formula, Shoot to Kill delivers mystery, exciting action, and beautiful cinematography.

Tom Berenger has done many action/thriller movies, but Sidney Poitier steps out for a change of pace in this movie. Its formula is "double-fish-out-of-water buddy picture", and it stays pretty close to the formula throughout the movie. Poitier plays an FBI agent who blew an arrest and wound up with a dead civilian, and has tracked the (unseen) thief/killer into the Pacific Northwest. Berenger plays a tracker, whose girlfriend runs a trail guide business. The girlfriend (Kirstie Alley in an outdoor role!) has taken her latest group of travelers out into the woods, and Poitier believes that the killer is among them. If that's not bad enough, a deadly storm looks like it's coming on.

The real fun in this movie is in the first half, where you see all of the men in Kirstie Alley's group. All of them are recognizable character actors, and most of them have played villains in other movies before. So which one of them is the killer? I guessed wrong the first time.

Unfortunately, this gets revealed about halfway through, and the movie returns to the formula. However, the excellent performances and lush cinematography elevate it beyond the norm. I thought Poitier did a great job as the city-based FBI agent, and Alley was surprisingly good as the trail guide.

It's too bad this movie is so hard to find. It's definitely worth a watch -- or two!


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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