MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 711 this week

The Punisher (1989)

5.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 12,203 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 65 critic

When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 26 Jan 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 14 Oct 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Punisher (1989)

The Punisher (1989) on IMDb 5.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Punisher.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw.

Director: Lexi Alexander
Stars: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz
Double Impact (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Jean Claude Van Damme plays a dual role as Alex and Chad, twins separated at the death of their parents. Chad is raised by a family retainer in Paris, Alex becomes a petty crook in Hong ... See full summary »

Director: Sheldon Lettich
Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw
Action | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Brooklyn cop Gino Felino is about to go outside and play catch with his son Tony when he receives a phone call alerting him that his best friend Bobby Lupo has been shot dead in broad ... See full summary »

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, Jerry Orbach
Hard to Kill (1990)
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mason Storm, a 'go it alone' cop, is gunned down at home. The intruders kill his wife, and think they've killed both Mason and his son too. Mason is secretly taken to a hospital where he ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Malmuth
Stars: Steven Seagal, Kelly LeBrock, William Sadler
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan. In Japan, ... See full summary »

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly
Street Kings (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An undercover cop, disillusioned by the recent murder of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie
16 Blocks (2006)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An aging cop is assigned the ordinary task of escorting a fast-talking witness from police custody to a courthouse. There are however forces at work trying to stop prevent them from making it.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson
Taken I (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Speed (1994)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young cop must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

Director: Jan de Bont
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Chicago DEA agent John Hatcher has just returned from Colombia, where his partner was killed in the line of duty by a drug dealer who has since been taken down. As a result of his partner's... See full summary »

Director: Dwight H. Little
Stars: Steven Seagal, Joanna Pacula, Basil Wallace
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gianni Franco (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Kim Miyori ...
Bryan Marshall ...
...
...
Brian Rooney ...
Zoshka Mizak ...
Kenji Yamaki ...
Hirofumi Kanayama ...
Larry McCormick ...
...
...
Laccone (as Larney Tupu)
Gianfranco Negroponte ...
Musso (as John Negroponte)
Edit

Storyline

Based on the Marvel Comic, Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle an ex-cop who lives in the sewers and acts as judge, jury, and executioner to the city's criminals in retaliation for the unpunished murders of his wife and kids. Frank's ex-partner Jake (Louis Gossett Jr.) finally catches up with the vigilante as he tries to stop the Japanese mob, which is trying to take over the city's mafia operation. Written by Matt Carlin <ghola@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Punisher will be coming for you, if you break the law! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Punisher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) (1990) (1995)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

TV Guide's movie guide gave the film three out of four stars, praising Lundgren's portrayal of the character and compared the characterization of the Punisher to that of Frank Miller's re-imagining of Batman in "The Dark Knight Returns". They further praised the film's atmosphere, calling it "genuinely comic book-like, rather than cartoonish." See more »

Goofs

After the lights go off, some goons shoot at where two characters are standing, only to find them gone when the emergency lights come on. Not a single bullet hole is visible in the Japanese paper screen they were standing before, however. See more »

Quotes

Jake: What the fuck do you call 125 murders in 5 years?
The Punisher: Work in progress.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in LittleBigPlanet (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicious Minds
Written by Harry Garfield
Performed by Hobo & Habby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better Than People Give Credit For
26 May 2003 | by (Sylvester, Georgia) – See all my reviews

No, this is not CITIZEN KANE. But it is an entertaining film that did make a somewhat unbelievable Marvel "hero" to celluloid.

Lundgren plays Frank Castle, a former NYPD detective (originally a military special ops expert in the comic) who loses his family to a mob hit. This pushes his already unstable personality over the edge, and he becomes a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. The VERY underrated Louis Gossett Jr. plays his former partner, determined to find him and keep him out of the gas chamber.

This movie is quite a decent action film. It actually delves quite deeply into the characters' motivations, their histories, their personalities. I agree with earlier comments that, out of the lot of action stars, Lundgren does bring at least some dramatic chops to the role. I really couldn't imagine Schwarzenegger playing this part, though Stallone or Willis might have been better choices.

The action sequences are done quite well for a low-budget film. The director, Mark Goldblatt, served as editor on films such as TERMINATOR 1 & 2, the underrated PREDATOR 2, TRUE LIES, STARSHIP TROOPERS, ARMAGEDDON, and PEARL HARBOR, so he definitely has knowledge of how to properly compose an action sequence. He also served as Paul Verhoeven's 2nd Unit Director on the original ROBOCOP.

The movie is rather tough to find, and though it strays away a bit from the source material, it does manage to flesh out a rather one-dimensional character.

A new version of THE PUNISHER is now being prepped, starring DREAMCATCHER's Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Americans Aiding the Japanese Mafia???? doomsday_freak
ok,who ACTUALLY likes this movie? The_Punisher4eva
Dolph vs Jane vs Stevenson obin_gam
10x better than the 2004 version christothefrantz
What's so bad about this film? paladin-64
The difference between this Punisher and the awful remake is... Sirus_51
Discuss The Punisher (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page