Tom and Karen are unhappy, planning to divorce after they sell their house. At work, a ruthless colleague is pushing Tom aside. At a bar, Jackie enchants him, and they begin an affair. She ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jackie Daniels
Thomas Hughes
Detective Gold
Karen Hughes
Kirk Daniels
Will Hoffman
Tom Celli ...
Angry Drunk
Workshop Leader
Fredrica Duke ...
Grieving Woman
Jack Swanson ...
Workshop Attendee
Ann Kraft ...
Workshop Attendee


Tom and Karen are unhappy, planning to divorce after they sell their house. At work, a ruthless colleague is pushing Tom aside. At a bar, Jackie enchants him, and they begin an affair. She complains of an abusive husband, he complains of unfulfilled dreams. She suggests that each murder the other's spouse. When Karen drives her car off a bridge and no body is found, Jackie claims credit for murder and pushes Tom to do his share. He's appalled, but after her husband beats her again, Tom's resolve stiffens and he heads to her place; her husband's identity surprises him. Meanwhile, in the background, are a dutiful cop, a dogged insurance agent, and a neighbor in trouble. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, and for language and some violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aljas indokból  »

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User Reviews

Theresa Trades Down
19 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You'll realize "Trade-Off" is bad within the opening five minutes: the flat cinematography, the uninspired dialog with even less inspired acting, and an oppressive soft porn jazz score. But then Theresa Russell appears, and from her first line of dialog you know things are going to get much worse.

I like Theresa Russell. She was the reason I even bothered with this movie. I'll be the first to admit, however, that her screen presence far exceeds her acting abilities. She can turn in a passable performance ("Black Widow," "Impulse," "Thicker Than Water," "Cold Heaven") provided she doesn't try too hard. Unfortunately, she pulls out the stops for her role in "Trade-Off," choosing to adopt a Southern accent. Southern accents are pretty easy to do; they're even easier to overdo, and Russell waaaaay overdoes it here. One would've thought she learned her lesson after "Track 29," though at least in that weird little indie her god-awful accent could be explained away as parody. Not so in this "Strangers on a Train" re-hash. Every time Russell is on screen it's like sitting through a high school production of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Of course, one wonders why Russell went to the extra trouble to adopt an accent at all. Even direct-to-video erotic thriller queen Shannon Tweed would find "Trade-Off"'s script laughable. The audience has figured out the big twists well ahead of the characters, including a mealy-mouthed investigator (Barry Primus), taking the wind out of the movie's sagging sails. There are some character details (magic tricks learned from an elderly neighbor; religious guilt) shoe-horned in to give Adam Baldwin's character "depth," but they're ultimately superfluous. The movie does feature some spirited sex scenes between Russell and Baldwin, though these scenes are not terribly explicit, the camera darting away from each exposed body part as if embarrassed to have caught it on film. Too bad because, as Shannon Tweed could tell you, showing some skin can deflect attention from a movie's other shortcomings. In the case of "Trade-Off," the leads should have done full-frontal.

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