229 user 110 critic

Escape from L.A. (1996)

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.



(characters), (characters) | 3 more credits »
4,330 ( 942)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police sergeant and an unlikely band of criminals defend a closing LA precinct office on New Years Eve against an army of gang members.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. On the eve of the town's centennial, many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Pam Grier
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker


Cast overview, first billed only:
Cuervo Jones (as George Corraface)
Woman on Freeway


The year is 2013 and Snake Plissken is back but this time it's L.A., which through the agency of earthquakes has become an island of the damned. But something has gone wrong in this new moral order, because the President's daughter has absconded to L.A. with a detonation device, and Snake is commandeered to retrieve it. But just below the surface there is a coiled Snake ready to strike. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Plan Your Escape.['LA' from 'Plan' and 'Escape' are highlighted] See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Escape from L.A.  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,912,557 (USA) (11 August 1996)


$25,477,365 (USA) (17 November 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The building Plissken crashes into is the "black tower" at Universal. It's where movie executives work. John Carpenter recalled, "I've had my own fights over there, and have always wanted to take something through it." See more »


When the "contestant" before Plissken fails to score and is shot, the locations of the shooters and the direction of their shots guarantee that several of the shooters would end up shooting each other, and they didn't. See more »


[first lines]
Female Narrator: In the late 20th century, hostile forces inside the United States grow strong. The city of Los Angeles is ravaged by crime and immorality. To protect and defend its citizens, the United States Police Force is formed. A presidential candidate predicts a millennium earthquake will destroy L.A. in divine retribution.
President: Like the mighty fist of God, Armageddon will descend upon the city of Los Angeles - the city of sin, the city of Gomorrah, the city of Sodom - and waters will rise and ...
See more »


Featured in 20 to 1: Blockbuster Heroes (2010) See more »


The One
By Rob Zombie, Jay Yuenger, Sean Yseult, John Tempesta & Charlie Clouser
Performed by White Zombie
Courtesy of Geffen Recording Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Underrated Action-Packed Sequel! Snake is Back! One Of Carpenter's Best!
31 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Escape From L.A is great action sequel to Escape From New york and in my opinion one of John Carpenter's best films and is a film that deserves a second chance.

Set in a futuristic Los Angeles in 2013 L.A has been turned into a prison for the entire country where you go in and don't come out. When a black box containing a doomsday device is stolen, antihero Snake Plissken(Kurt Russell)has been hired to bring back the device in 10 hours once again putting Plissken in another hellish adventure.

I've always loved Escape From L.A since I first saw it and I don't understand the hatred this film has gotten over the years. Is Escape From L.A similar to the original? Yes. But L.A works so well if you don't take it seriously. Where as Escape From New York was a dark and grim vision of the future,Escape From L.A has a light,campy,satirical feel to it and Carpenter just rolls with it. One of the things I love about EFLA is how Carpenter takes the story and concept of the first film pushes takes it to new heights. Given a much bigger budget of 50 million dollars Carpenter is given much more to do with this film and you see a lot of locations in L.A that you'll see that have been destroyed or kept around like Beverly Hills or the iconic Los Angeles coliseum. Another thing I love about EFLA is the campy satire Carpenter injects in the film and the bizarre situations Snake gets into and the crazy characters Snake meets. Carpenter obviously loves L.A and takes time to make a satire of the city and flipping L.A on it's head whether it was earthquakes,agents,gangs or sports and it's wild and funny. Snake's situations and the characters he meets are just weird and crazy like the original. Snake has to deal with crooked agents,surfers,nutty plastic surgeons while getting into gunfights and trying to survive the mission at hand. Its seems like Carpenter and most viewers are in on the joke and Snake at times does not get the joke. Carpenter is pretty much making fun of the Action film genre and movie sequels,mocking the clichés with the shootouts and explosions and over the top villains that became associated with the Action genre during the 80s and 90s. But the Action scenes in the film are great and have a manic energy to it. One of the best Action scenes in the film is the Basketball scene where instead of winning a Basketball game,you have to win to save your life or you die. Carpenter loves NBA Basketball and takes the sport of Basketball and turns it upside down and makes Basketball a dark and funny game of death. As a NBA fan myself I wonder how would NBA legends like Michael Jordan,Magic Johnson or Larry Bird do in a Basketball game of death. A great scene. Carpenter also mocks Hollywood for coming out with a countless number of sequels in the 80s and 90s and it's so true even now how movie franchise sequels repeating the same thing over and over again. Carpenter always wanted to make a Western and you can see a lot of the influence of the Western genre in this film,with Snake being a futuristic of the Clint Eastwood Western movie gunslinger,the villains wearing black and brown dusters like the great Sergio Leone Westerns and the photography with a brown,dirty look of Sam Peckinpah's style came into the future. If you thought EFNY's ending was wild and bold,EFLA's ending is even bolder and one of the best endings in movie history and one of the reasons for Escape From L.A's brilliance and excellence.

Kurt Russell does a great job again as Snake,almost like Russell took the weekend off on Escape From New York and came into Escape From L.A on Monday. Russell plays Snake with the same toughness and grit like in the original and is brilliant and unforgettable. Stacy Keach is fun as Malloy,the warden of the prison. Steve Buscemi is great and funny as a Hollywood agent Map To The Stars Eddie a weasel who will represent anyone. Cliff Robertson does a fine job as The President who's evil and a coward. Bruce Campbell is excellent and unrecognizable as the surgeon general of Beverly Hills who puts Snake in a dangerous position. George Corraface is great as villain Cuervo Jones. Pam Grier is wonderful as Hershe a former associate of Plisskin's who helps him out. Peter Fonda is memorable in his short role as surfer Pipeline who helps Snake out in a funny and bizarre scene. Valerina Golino is good as Taslima who helps Snake out for a short time. A.J Langer is good as Utopia,the President's daughter who rebels against him. Michelle Forbes gives a fine performance as Brazen,Malloy's right hand help and assistant. This is a B-movie lovers dream cast.

John Carpenter's direction is wonderful,moving the camera at all costs bringing a crazy energy to the film with the pace never slowing down. The action sequences in the film are well done with enough gunfights to satisfy any action viewer,it's some of the best action scenes Carpenter's ever done. Great direction by Carpenter.

The score by John Carpenter and Shirley Walker is great and well done mixing Carpenter's Western and Blues and Walker's big action score. I also loved the new version of the Escape From New York theme for this film. Great version. Also great songs on the soundtrack from White Zombie(The One),Tool(Sweat)and Sugar Ray(Ten Seconds Down).

In final word Escape From L.A is an underrated classic that gets better with repeating viewings and is a film that deserves more respect and is one of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell's best films. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

12 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: