Down 20,310 this week

Physical Evidence (1989)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Romance  |  27 January 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.0/10 from 1,082 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 20 critic

A police officer suspended and now accused of murder is forced to join forces with his court-appointed attorney to assemble the pieces of a deadly puzzle to find the missing link before time runs out.



(story), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

Related News

Mister Fincher and Monsieur Dreyer
The top 25 underappreciated films of 1989
| Den of Geek

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1826 titles
created 13 Oct 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 24 Nov 2011
a list of 2000 titles
created 24 Aug 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 22 Nov 2013
a list of 43 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Physical Evidence (1989)

Physical Evidence (1989) on IMDb 5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Physical Evidence.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Looker (1981)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey
Runaway (1984)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons
Malone (1987)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Ex-CIA hit-man running from his past (Malone) finds just how difficult it is to retire when he runs accross a small town controlled by mercenaries and a family that's resisting their ... See full summary »

Director: Harley Cokeliss
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, Kenneth McMillan
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tom Sharky is a narcotics cop in Atlanta who's demoted to vice after a botched bust. In the depths of this lowly division, while investigating a high-dollar prostitution ring, Sharky ... See full summary »

Director: Burt Reynolds
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Rachel Ward, Vittorio Gassman
Gator (1976)
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Agents force a former con man to help them nab a corrupt politician.

Director: Burt Reynolds
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Jack Weston, Lauren Hutton
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Richard and Priscilla Parker's lives take a turn for the better when Eddy and Kay move into the house next door. Eddy's a risk taker and shows his new neighbours how to enjoy life at the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Kevin Spacey
White Sands (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A small southwestern town sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and $500,000. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an FBI investigation.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Mickey Rourke
52 Pick-Up (1986)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A secret fling between a man and his mistress leads to blackmail and murder.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, Vanity
The End (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Slapstick black comedy about a man (Reynolds) who finds that he hasn't much longer to live and has bungled his attempts at suicide.

Director: Burt Reynolds
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Dom DeLuise
Pursuit (TV Movie 1972)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A political extremist plans to spread stolen nerve gas in a city where a political convention is being held. Government agents are sent to catch him.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Ben Gazzara, E.G. Marshall, William Windom
Breaking In (1989)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Professional thief Ernie takes Mike on as an apprentice, but while Mike clearly has "larceny in his heart", it will take him a long time to get as good as Ernie.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Casey Siemaszko, Sheila Kelley
Stroker Ace (1983)
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

The title character, a popular NASCAR driver, clashes with the fried-chicken mogul that sponsors his racing team.

Director: Hal Needham
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Jim Nabors


Cast overview, first billed only:
James Nicks
Deborah Quinn
Matt Farley
Harry Norton
Ken James ...
Hank Carruth
Michael P. Moran ...
Tony Reugger
Angelo Rizacos ...
Tony Sklar
Lamar Jackson ...
Delmar Fraser
Burt Knight
Larry Reynolds ...
Trial Judge


Extortionist Jake Farley is found strangled, and the clues lead directly to former detective Joe Paris, who insists on his innocence but can't provide an alibi. Public defendant Jenny Hudson gets the case, but has problems unravelling the case, complicated by the fact that virtually everyone hated Farley, and Paris has a few enemies as well. She rejects the prosecution's offers to plea bargain, but meanwhile the witnesses she finds are discredited or silenced, and an unidentified patrol car shadows Paris and Hudson wherever they go. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If he's innocent, the truth could save him. If he's guilty, the lies could kill her. See more »


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az igazság törvénye  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)


$3,560,932 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie's working title was 'Smoke'. See more »


(at around 1h 27 mins) It is night when the cop brings food to the cruiser. But, seconds later it is clearly daytime. See more »


Joe Paris: [to Nicks and his police escort about Kyle] I think his jock strap is moldy. You wanna look into that?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

" Burt Reynolds is a hard, violent and corrupt policeman in this thrilling, cruel and realist film..."
18 March 1999 | by (Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil) – See all my reviews

A lot before " Payback ", with Mel Gibson, the cinema already showed violent and shocking stories in which the " hero " was, without a doubt, more evil than the bad guys! in those films it was impossible that the people who were watching it become indifferent to the intrigue, and therefore, these films won in the originality inquiry , exactly for showing the " heroes " without artifices, closer to the reality. In 1989, Michael Crichton directed an explosive and tense thriller, and he chose the star Burt Reynolds to interpret the main character... Perhaps Crichton didn't know, but the heavy, powerful and lowering presence of Reynolds helped to transform " Physical Evidence " in one of the best (and more violent) films of the gender, better than " Payback " or any other...with a hate and frustration glance , a cynic and bitter smile and his black and big mustache, Reynolds built one of the most complex and lowering characters of Hollywood's history. Joe Paris (Reynolds) is a hard cop, alcoholic and violent. A man who hates the world and the people in it.He doesn't get to control his temper and he is a true clock-bomb, an unexpected man who is capable to kill somebody at any second. When the body of a well-known boss of the crime is found with his throat cut, Paris becomes, in the eyes of the police, the main suspect, after all the criminal was an old enemy of Joe. Jenny, a public defender, decides to help him, she trusts this mysterious man and she tries to, at every cost, prove his innocence, and she finishes falling in love for him. Managing Michael Crichton builds an excellent film, with a good rhythm, always maintaining the exact dose of suspense and tension.As he had already shown in his other films, Crichton demonstrates that he knows how to ally a good plot with a cast at the same height and value. The scene in which Paris literally destroys some men who insult him is really frightening. He even threads a man's head through the window of the car. Paris is not, without a doubt, the good and nice cop that Bruce Willis interpret, on the contrary, Paris is a killing machine, a man who finds himself strange and full of rage! unlike the characters that Bruce Willis interprets, Joe Paris is revengeful, unfriendly, explosive and intolerant, that is to say, he is not afraid of anything: the death, in the vision of Paris, is a marked encounter for which he waits a long time. Paris is not afraid of death, he knows he has no limits, and he'll kill anyone who trespasses it. " Physical Evidence " is a dark and dramatic thriller. It seems the crime-drama films of the seventies. The movie explores the corrupt policemen's cruel and degrading routine: the prostitutes, the homosexuals, the criminals. In this film, the cops smell cocaine and they kill without pity. The streets are filmed as stages of betrayal and tragedies. In the middle of this treacherous sets "Physical Evidence " intrigue is developed. This is not a film for sensitive people. Reynolds, after his fascinating return in the masterpiece " Boogie Nights ", signed a contract with the television net TNT, owner of the best and largest studio for films made for television, and he offered to his fans of the whole world the same character type again. In " Hard Time ", Reynolds interprets a violent, dangerous and explosive policeman, but perhaps Joe Paris has been his most frightening and mysterious character, a man consumed by the drugs and the hate... Fascinating and violent, this film is a true masterpiece of the gender! watch it! Burt Reynolds once again gives an interpretation show and he demonstrates the reason why he is one of the most consecrated actors of Hollywood! and in this film he has the chance of exploring all his charisma, all his charm and talent. Unlike similar films, like " Die Hard ", a shot in " Physical Evidence " is more violent and shocking than each one of those films together, exactly because Reynolds' film explores the reality! in the films, when a thief is wounded, he falls down on the ground and he dies at once. In " Physical Evidence ", you are wounded, you fall and you die well slowly as it is in fact! intrigue, romance and action, all this is shown in this sad and dark film!it is sad the fact that the Academy didn't recognize the effort and the beauty of this work, and it is also sadder for this film not to have been seen a lot. But you have to discover this work! rent " Physical Evidence " and get ready to root for the bad guy! (and this time the bad guy isn't Mel Gibson - He is Burt Reynolds, the man who makes all the difference!)...

8 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I wanted to like this... ConnerysToupee
Discuss Physical Evidence (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: