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Shoot to Kill (1988)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,334 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 14 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:

It's about staying alive. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The killer's identity is not revealed until midway through the film. He attempts to evade detection by killing a member of a hiking expedition and taking his place. To keep the audience guessing as to the true identity of the villain, some of the hikers were played by actors known for playing bad guys: notably Clancy Brown, Frederick Coffin, and Andrew Robinson. See more »

Goofs

When Stantin crashes through the boxes in the alley in pursuit of Steve, one shot from inside the Caprice shows some sort of mechanical device on the roof of the Jeep. See more »

Quotes

[after spending a night in a cabin, Warren Stantin opens the cabin door to find a moose standing in the doorway, looking at him. Stantin closes the door, thinks about this a moment. He smiles, shakes his head, mouths "Naah! Couldn't be!" He opens the door, and the moose is gone. Then Jonathan Knox walks into the cabin]
Jonathan Knox: [casually, as if nothing's wrong] Did you see the moose?
See more »

Connections

Featured in It All Started with a Mouse: The Disney Story (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler
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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 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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