150 user 39 critic

Swimming with Sharks (1994)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 21 April 1995 (USA)
2:10 | Trailer

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A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.



4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Matthew Flint ...


A young Hollywood executive becomes the assistant to a big time movie producer who is the worst boss imaginable: abusive, abrasive and cruel. But soon things turn around when the young executive kidnaps his boss and visits all the cruelties back on him. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Back Stabbing - Two Faced - Revenge See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of psychological/physical torture and pervasive strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boss  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)


$376,928 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Guy's three cronies, Manny, Moe and Jack, are named after the Pep Boys (national automotive supplies chain). See more »


When Guy and Dawn are in the launderette, Dawn's collar alternates between being up and down. See more »


Buddy: Life is not a movie. Good guys lose, everybody lies, and love... does not conquer all.
See more »


Referenced in Necessary Roughness: Swimming with Sharks (2013) See more »


Written by Richard Butler & Tim Butler
Performed by Love Spit Love
Published by Mother-Son, Inc. / Irving Music, Inc. (BMI) /
Fullsafe Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of the Imago Recording Co.
See more »

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User Reviews

Dark humour or nihilism?
27 November 2000 | by (Reykjavik, Iceland) – See all my reviews

Powerful movie that shows the nastier, more foul-mouthed side of Hollywood. Guy, played by Whaley, is a Hollywood rookie with no real experience but some lofty goals. The movie charts his learning of the ways of Hollywood through becoming an assistant for fastidious big-shot producer Buddy Ackerman (Spacey), and his subsequent unlearning of the 'normal' moral values that apply almost anywhere else. A remarkable performance from Spacey who is by turns searingly offensive, scathingly funny and (funnily enough) vividly human. Making an audience feel for such a revolting character is a feat not many could accomplish, but Spacey's up to the task. Frank Whaley (possibly known to you through a bit part in 'Pulp Fiction') also turns in a very strong performance as the disillusioned young assistant who falls in love (or rather, in bed) with a female producer played by the sultry Michelle Forbes. Spacey and Whaley's interplay in key scenes is riveting, and for the most part, the younger Whaley manages to stay out of Spacey's shadow.

The movie's ending is quite unforeseeable, and its message can be construed either as darkly humorous satire against Hollywood, or as a nihilistic comment on the ways of mankind. Judging by the not-so-humorous tone of the movie (though ludicrously enough it was marketed as a comedy), to me it feels like the latter applies. Definitely worth seeing, even if only for Spacey. 8/10

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