2 Days in the Valley (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  27 September 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 15,161 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 51 critic

48 hours of intersecting lives and crimes in Los Angeles.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An actor poses as a lawyer to help his sick friend, and problems develop.

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Charlize Theron
Keys to Tulsa (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Richter Boudreau, the son of local celebrity Cynthia, is not very successful and works as a film critic for a local newspaper. In a short time he loses his job and his heritage, and one of ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Greif
Stars: Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with his girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself the reluctant participant in a casino heist.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, Charlize Theron
Dream Lover (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A successful businessman tries to uncover what is wrong with his wife.

Director: Nicholas Kazan
Stars: James Spader, Mädchen Amick, Fredric Lehne
15 Minutes (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A romantic comedy about two trashy couples traveling to Reno to see a monster truck show.

Director: Jordan Brady
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze
White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) a... See full summary »

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
True Colors (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Best friends from law school to election night, their friendship is sorely tested when one learns of another's betrayal.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: John Cusack, James Spader, Imogen Stubbs
Fantasy | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A bachelor afraid of marriage angers his long-time girlfriend by buying a splendid townhouse just for himself, only to find it haunted by the ghosts of a famous theatrical couple, who teach... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: James Spader, Polly Walker, Michael Caine
The Stickup (2002)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It's a quiet little town where nothing happens - until the day the bank is hit for half a million dollars by a thief wearing a clowns mask.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Leslie Stefanson, David Keith
Bad Influence (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane
Driftwood (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Sarah walks alone along the desolate beach one day she find an unconscious man, who has been brought to land by the waves. When he awakens he doesn't remember anything. He has no name ... See full summary »

Director: Ronan O'Leary
Stars: James Spader, Anne Brochet, Barry McGovern


Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Cruttwell ...
Becky Foxx
Susan Parish
Roy Foxx
Audrey Hopper
Teddy Peppers
Detective Creighton
Ralph Crupi
Kathleen Luong ...


John Herzfeld deftly welds together a multitude of subplots-- a loser hitman and a cool assassin involved in an insurance scam; a washed-up director, turned suicidal, if only he had someone to care for his beloved dog; a snooty art dealer, wracked by kidney stones, cared for by his devoted assistant; a grungy deranged vice cop, now partnered with a fresh-faced rookie; and two beautiful and jealous women entangled in their deadly scheme--into a spoof of the crime thriller genre. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The nights are cool. But the days are murder! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1 lepto prothesmia  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,352,440 (USA) (27 September 1996)


$11,114,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Composer Jerry Goldsmith wrote a score for this film that wasn't used. In June, 2012, Intrada Records release Goldsmith's score on a limited edition run on CD (the replacement score was not included). See more »


At the pool, Dosmo's grip on his gun repeatedly changes from one to two handed between cuts. See more »


Wes Taylor: Alvin, can I ask you a question?
Alvin Strayer: I hate it when people ask if they can ask a question. Just ask it!
See more »


Features Hard Copy (1989) See more »


Written by Anthony Marinelli, Scott Reeder and John Herzfeld
Performed by Scott Reeder
Produced by Anthony Marinelli
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the best movies that nobody's seen!
19 September 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately, "2 Days in the Valley" didn't get a big audience. I saw it in theaters and enjoyed it very much, and now that I bought the DVD I still enjoy it very much! This is really a unique, original piece of work with echoes of Tarantino. Just like any Tarantino film, the characterizations are very well-developed and the dialogue is sharp, witty and full of observation.

The film is an ensemble piece that works on the same level as many others in the genre: We're approached with a series of characters and as the story develops, we watch how the situations all interweave. The result is a hilarious, drop-dead funny dark comedy that's entertaining from start to finish! The music by Anthony Marinelli perfectly accentuates the ironic, darkly comic setting.

One of the crucial elements to make a film like this work is, of course, the characters. Each character is quirky in their own respect, yet they're not caricatures. This is not a farce; this is a real comedy about real people who are really screwed up. We probably know some of these people in our personal lives. And the wonderful cast of multi-talented performers shine in each of their respective roles. Danny Aiello is definitely one of our best actors, with an intense screen presence. He blesses us with another memorable performance as a hitman-turned-pizzeria-owner, who takes a yuppie couple (Glenne Headley, Greg Crutwell) hostage. Headley is a mousey, ultimately naive woman who does everything for, yet ceases to please, her mate--Crutwell as an annoyingly snooty Englishman with kidney problems. You want to cheer in every scene Aiello yells in his face or punches him out. Former teen star Eric Stoltz is good in a quiet role as a rookie detective, who's a little held-back but knows what's right. Jeff Daniels is beautifully cast and outstanding as his partner, who's been in the business for a lot longer, but is a loose cannon and will do absolutely anything--including exposing the masseuses of a Japanese parlor for alleged prostitution--to protect the dear "Valley." James Spader has mastered the role of the yuppie serial killer, and reprises the role he was born to play. He's smooth as ever and sadistic as ever. That's the Spader we know! Charlize Theron is the sexiest in her debut role as Spader's seductive partner. If you want to see the beautiful Charlize at her absolute hottest--look no further! Paul Mazursky--who I've seen in other movies, but doesn't quite stick in my mind--has a nice little supporting role as a washed-up screenwriter. I'll probably have him better stored in my memory after seeing him in this movie, he really is terrific. Finally, we have veteran actress Marsha Mason as a nurse, whose half brother is Crutwell. And there we go--the characters interweave. Each character has an odd sense of irony, which is what's wonderful about this movie.

The only minor flaws are the sometimes-contrived ways of merging the characters into different situations and the excess of characters. There are tons of characters, and though they are all greatly developed in their own particular scenes, the running time prohibits us from getting to know the whole story on some of them--and that's a little bit of crutch, since we grow to love (or love to hate) all these characters. For example, I wanted to see more of Daniels' character and his story comes to a halt midway.

Nevertheless, I was laughing all the way through and never once felt that the film lagged. I was surprised to look at John Herzfeld's (the writer/director) filmography and see a group of TV movies, after-school specials and a few flops, including "Two of a Kind" with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Herzfeld really has an ear for dialogue, and he can be the next Tarantino! I'm not kidding! And I love the way he captures the sunny California setting. So beautiful and picturesque. I know I'm using a lot of superlatives to describe this movie, but it's so darn good and so few people went to see it and I hope more people do. So I urge anyone who hasn't to check out this underrated gem! You won't be disappointed!

My score: 8 (out of 10)

30 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what´s your best catfight scene ever? fbossert
does anyone else think Teri Hatcher's character gets caught, after all? Ruffian88
Favorite Charlize Scene In 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY abrooks-4
Biased low ratings ssuujjuu-1
Haven't seen it yet; so why is it the best Catfight ? MRDOOWOP3
About Charlize fingering herself version lukejbarnett
Discuss 2 Days in the Valley (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: