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Flatliners (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Flatliners -- Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts lead a talented group of medical students on a dangerous journey to the other side of death... and back.
Flatliners -- Medical students bring themselves near death; their experiment begins to go awry.


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6.5/10   59,659 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Peter Filardi (written by)
View company contact information for Flatliners on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 August 1990 (USA) See more »
Some lines shouldn't be crossed.
Four Medical students experiment on "near death" experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Flatliners builds a Suspension Bridge between Life and Death, then starts walking on it See more (144 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kiefer Sutherland ... Nelson

Julia Roberts ... Dr. Rachel Mannus

Kevin Bacon ... David Labraccio

William Baldwin ... Dr. Joe Hurley

Oliver Platt ... Randy Steckle

Kimberly Scott ... Winnie Hicks
Joshua Rudoy ... Billy Mahoney

Benjamin Mouton ... Rachel's Father
Aeryk Egan ... Young Nelson
Kesha Reed ... Young Winnie

Hope Davis ... Anne Coldren

Jim Ortlieb ... Uncle Dave
John Duda ... Young David (as John Joseph Duda)
Megan Stewart ... Playground Kid

Tressa Thomas ... Playground Kid
Gonzo Gonzalez ... Playground Kid
Afram Bill Williams ... Ben Hicks
Deborah Thompson Duda ... Terry (as Deborah Thompson)

Elinore O'Connell ... Rachel's Mother
Marilyn Dodds Frank ... Bag Lady
Sanna Vraa ... Bridget
Nicole Niblack ... Joe's Woman
Cynthia Bassham ... Joe's Woman
Sarabeth Tucek ... Joe's Woman
Ilona Margolis ... Joe's Woman

Julie Warner ... Joe's Woman
Iilana B'tiste ... Joe's Woman
Deborah Torchio ... Joe's Woman
Deborah Goomas ... Joe's Woman
Michelle McKee ... Joe's Woman
Nancy Moran ... Joe's Woman
Dede Latinopoulos ... Joe's Woman

Patricia Belcher ... Edna

Susan French ... Terminal Woman

Beth Grant ... Housewife
Cage S. Johnson ... Near Death Patient
Jared Milmeister ... Young Nelson's Friend
Patrick Gleeson ... Young Nelson's Friend
John Benjamin Martin ... Man on Crack

Lyne Odums ... Nurse
John Fink ... Doctor

Angela Paton ... Doctor
Evelina Fernández ... Latin Woman (as Evelina Fernandez)
Miguel Delgado ... Latin Husband

Ingrid Oliu ... Latin Wife
Raymond Hanis ... Latin Orderly
Zoaunne LeRoy ... Waitress
Tom Kurlander ... Medical Student
Nili Levi ... Little Girl
Anne James ... Beth
K.K. Dodds ... Jill
Natsuko Ohama ... Professor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shauna O'Brien ... One of Joe's Women (uncredited)

Ted Otis ... Medical Student (uncredited)

Marie-Alise Recasner ... Girl at bottom of stairs (uncredited)
Amy Rochelle ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Joel Schumacher 
Writing credits
Peter Filardi (written by)

Produced by
Rick Bieber .... producer
Michael Douglas .... producer
Peter Filardi .... executive producer
Michael I. Rachmil .... executive producer (as Michael Rachmil)
Scott Rudin .... executive producer
Original Music by
James Newton Howard 
Cinematography by
Jan de Bont (director of photography) (as Jan De Bont)
Film Editing by
Robert Brown 
Casting by
Mali Finn 
Production Design by
Eugenio Zanetti 
Art Direction by
Jim Dultz 
Set Decoration by
Anne Kuljian  (as Anne L. Kuljian)
Costume Design by
Susan Becker 
Makeup Department
Ve Neill .... makeup artist
Yolanda Toussieng .... hair stylist
Michael Burnett .... special makeup effects artist: dissection cadaver (uncredited)
Greg Cannom .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Vance Hartwell .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Dominic Mango .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Larry Odien .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Colin Penman .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Stephen McEveety .... unit production manager (as Steve McEveety)
Chantal Feghali .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John T. Kretchmer .... first assistant director (as John Kretchmer)
Judith Moore .... dga trainee (as Judith A. Moore)
Jeff Rafner .... first assistant director
Gary Schilz .... second assistant director
Art Department
Greg John Callas .... construction coordinator (as Greg Callas)
Michael R. Gannon .... assistant property master
Richard Hoffenberg .... construction foreman
Stephen Homsy .... set designer
William A. Petrotta .... property master
Paul Sonski .... set designer
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Laurence Byrne .... art department assistant (uncredited)
Michael Denering .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Tom von Badinski .... welder (uncredited)
Sound Department
Petra Bach .... adr editor
Anna Behlmer .... sound recordist
Gary C. Bourgeois .... sound re-recording mixer (as Gary Bourgeois)
Charles L. Campbell .... supervising sound editor
Paul Timothy Carden .... sound editor
Chris Carpenter .... sound re-recording mixer
Louis L. Edemann .... sound editor
Richard C. Franklin .... supervising sound editor (as Richard Franklin)
Rick Hart .... sound re-recording mixer
Nils C. Jensen .... sound editor (as Nils Jensen)
Angie Luckey .... assistant sound editor
David MacMillan .... production sound mixer (as David Macmillan)
Gary Mundheim .... sound editor
Richard Oswald .... sound editor
Fred Stafford .... adr editor (as Frederick Stafford)
Derek Casari .... dubbing engineer (uncredited)
Ed Golya .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Greg Orloff .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Geoffrey Patterson .... boom operator (uncredited)
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
Carolyn Tapp .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Sam Barkin .... special effects: Chicago
Phil Cory .... special effects (as Philip Cory)
Hans Metz .... special effects
Richard L. Hill .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Jerry Lieberman .... special effects (uncredited)
Timothy W. Tiedje .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Peter Donen .... visual effects supervisor
Jim Danforth .... matte artist (uncredited)
Peter Juneau .... visual effects projection (uncredited)
Mike Leben .... motion control operator (uncredited)
Bill Erickson .... stunt coordinator
Rick Le Fevour .... stunt double (as Rick LeFevour)
Larry Nicholas .... stunt double
Bobby Porter .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Adcock .... second assistant camera
Ed Ayer .... chief lighting technician (as Edward A. Ayer)
Nathaniel James Dunn .... best boy grip (as Nathaniel 'Jim' Dunn)
Gene Kearney .... key grip
Ted J. Kredo .... best boy electric
Christine M. Loss .... still photographer (as Christine Loss)
Calmar Roberts .... first assistant camera (as Calmar K. Roberts Jr.)
Michael Scott .... camera operator
Thomas Enright .... electrician (uncredited)
Adam Glick .... set lighting technician (uncredited)
Gregory Lundsgaard .... camera operator (uncredited)
Stan McClain .... camera operator: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Michael Shanman .... lighting board operator (uncredited)
Lou Weinert .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Megan McConnell .... casting assistant
Catherine Jane Holzer .... extras casting (uncredited)
Mark A. Ridge .... extras casting (uncredited)
Franklyn Warren .... extras casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kirsten Everberg .... assistant to costume designer
Rosemarie Fall .... costume supervisor: women
Nick Scarano .... costume supervisor: men
Stephen P. Shubin .... costume supervisor: men (as Steve Shubin)
Barbara Marko Friedman .... costumer (uncredited)
Marlene Hajdu .... set costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Dean Beville .... apprentice editor
David E. Blewitt .... additional editor (as Dave Blewitt)
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Phil Hetos .... color timer
Jim Prior .... additional editor
Pattye Rogers .... assistant editor
James Seidelman .... assistant editor
Rick Sparr .... assistant editor
Fred C. Vitale .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Chris Boardman .... additional orchestrator
Brad Dechter .... additional orchestrator (as Brad Decter)
Shawn Murphy .... scoring mixer
Marty Paich .... conductor
Dick Rudolph .... music supervisor
Paul Salamunovich .... conductor: St. Charles Borromeo Choir
Jon Wattenbarger .... conductor: boys choir
Jim Weidman .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Martin T. Hill .... transportation captain
William F. Hogan .... transportation co-captain: Chicago (as Billy Hogan Jr.)
Armand Paoletti .... transportation coordinator: Chicago
James C. Taylor .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Pamela Alch .... script supervisor
Jacolyn Baker .... location manager: Chicago
Steph Benseman .... location manager (as Stephan Benseman)
Rocky Buzzini .... production assistant (as Rocky A. Buzzini)
Peter DePalma .... assistant: Mr. Douglas (as Peter De Palma)
Guy Ferland .... assistant: Mr. Schumacher
Lynette Graves .... production assistant
Erica Heider .... assistant: Mr. Rachmil
Patricia Jeffers .... production assistant
Tammy Karabas .... assistant production coordinator: Chicago
Shari Leibowitz .... production coordinator
Boone Narr .... animal trainer
Ramon Pahoyo .... craft service (as Ramon B. Pahoya)
Tim Pedegana .... assistant production coordinator
Barbara Shane .... assistant: Mr. Bieber
Susan Trembly .... publicist
Robin Vail .... assistant: Mr. Rachmil
Gaston Vidou .... production assistant
Julie Yarrish .... assistant: Mr. Schumacher
Ray Zimmerman .... production accountant (as Raymond G. Zimmerman)
Ursula Brauner .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Bob Corff .... voice teacher (uncredited)
Steve Kraus .... dailies projectionist (uncredited)
Heather Pollock .... production assistant (uncredited)
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Marsha Zvonkin .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
115 min | Finland:110 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | CDS (digital 35 mm prints) | Dolby (analog 35 mm prints)
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:14A (Manitoba) (TV rating) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Finland:K-15/13 (2001 reform re-rating) | Finland:K-16/13 (2012 reform re-rating) | France:-12 | Iceland:14 | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Netherlands:16 (original rating) | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) | New Zealand:M | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/18 (Qualidade) | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #30218) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Kevin Bacon's film debut, 12 years earlier, had been Animal House (1978), opposite Kiefer Sutherland's father, Donald Sutherland.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: Nelson prints a document on a laser printer which makes a sound like a dot-matrix printer.See more »
[first lines]
Nelson Wright:Today is a good day to die.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Don't Look Now (1973)See more »


What was the Indian word is for 'It's a good day to die'?
How does the movie end?
How were they going to do the experiment?
See more »
20 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Flatliners builds a Suspension Bridge between Life and Death, then starts walking on it, 12 October 2009
Author: Cihan Sean Victorydawn Vercan (CihanVercan) from Ottawa, Canada

Countless TV displays and the memorable appearances from 4 of today's mega-stars(plus Hope Davis's screen debut) keep Flatliners still in prudence. The plot is about a non-academic research of five medicine undergrads pursuing one's crazy idea on discovering the secret of death, and learn what's after death, then come back to life again. Yet the storyline hasn't been designed as fascinating as the idea of the plot.

There are popular stereotypes to develop a regular teen-slasher script in Flatliners. There is Nelson who creates the idea of decoding death, pretty but introverted Rachel, David who cuts the Gordian knot on luckily not to be dismissed from the school, ladies' man Joe and finally the smart guy Randy("I did not come to medical school to murder my class mates no matter how deranged they might be"). They join hands altogether in an experiment where Nelson's heart will be stopped and rerythmed. Then they decide to continue this experiment in strict confidence at night times in the campus. Not long after Nelson's experience everyone starts a race over having the wildest and the longest death experience, risking their lives one by one. Yet, soon they realize their daily life becomes affected from those experiences they had. The visits to the afterlife brings back their delinquent feelings from their childhood memories. Depolarizing their deep subconscious watchfulness, they begin having somatic delusions and visual hallucinations.

When the point comes where the explanation of subconscious, director Joel Schumacher skips that every humankind has a subconscious personality which they are not aware of. This inner personality keeps one from altering into identity loss. If you lose or if you depolarize this subconscious personality you certainly lose your identity instead of refreshing childhood memories. I wanted to add this as a movie mistake, which already has been mentioned via movie critics in the earlier 90s'. Obviously here in this movie Schumacher made the actors have it least affected. Then why do they hesitate continuing on the experiment after learning their lesson, as if death is designed indiscoverable by God? David had been introduced as an Atheist, now he turned out to believe in God when he recalled a flashback from his childhood. After witnessing this 180 degreed change in David, it's clear to see that Schumacher's film was so conservative and lily-livered; that's ultimately why it's never classified as a work of science fiction. Alas! It had a good potential. It even tried to tell the unconscious maturation from having a death experience, beginning to believe that death is so simply natural and it's only a part of a human's life.

More than what's in the movie, it was also memorable to recall what's with the movie. Jan de Bont as the cinematographer, who had worked almost every time with Schumacher, creates an dreamy atmosphere like it's being an Gothic horror movie. The blue color schemes all over the walls reflecting into the actors' faces deliver first class of lighting, that suits perfectly with the film. The close-up shots of the gargoyle statues in the campus buildings, Catholic frescoes in the walls, stop-motion cameras, and the dynamic camera speeds were all belong to Bont's skills.

Flatliners became a cult movie in time with its sociological pen-portrait of the X-generation juvenile especially via its futuristic editing style with storyboard connection sequences like being part of a video music clip so much aesthetically. Those were the times where fast-paced and multi-sequenced video music clips were on rise. This style was very rare to come across in those years after its pioneer Tony Scott's "The Hunger(1983)".

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