6.8/10
9,623
51 user 22 critic

Shoot to Kill (1988)

An FBI agent teams up with a tracker to pursue a murderer after he vanishes into the mountains and infiltrates a hiking group.

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Norman
...
Harvey
Kevin Scannell ...
Ben
Frederick Coffin ...
Ralph
Michael MacRae ...
Fournier
Robert Lesser ...
Minelli
Milton Selzer ...
Mr. Berger
Les Lannom ...
Sheriff Arnett
...
Sam Baker
...
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:

A ruthless killer. A beautiful hostage. Two men follow them into the mountains. One for love. One for revenge. 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

There are two ferry terminals near Vancouver, but they are both a long drive from downtown where the chase begins. See more »

Quotes

Steve: [after Warren deliberately tosses the diamonds a few feet] JESUS CHRIST! Is that the best you can throw?
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Connections

Referenced in Six Degrees of Separation (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love A Parade
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Music by Harold Arlen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Music
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!


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