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Face/Off (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  27 June 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 265,970 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 529 user | 156 critic | 25 from

To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity of a ruthless terrorist. But the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Lazarro
Prison Guard Walton
Hollis Miller
Buzz (as Jamie Denton)


Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent. Who is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son's killer is his sworn enemy, a very powerful criminal, Castor Troy. One day, Archer has finally cornered Castor, however, their fight has knocked out Troy cold. As Archer finally breathes easy over the capture of his enemy, he finds out that Troy has planted a bomb that will destroy the entire city of Los Angeles and all of its inhabitants. Unfortunately the only other person who knows its location is Castor's brother Pollux, and he refuses to talk. The solution, a special operation doctor that can cut off people's faces, and can place a person's face onto another person. Archer undergoes one of those surgeries to talk to Pollux. However, Castor Troy somehow regains consciousness and now wants revenge on Archer for taking his face. Not only is Troy ruining Archer's mission, but his personal life as well. Archer must stop Troy again. This time, it's personal. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


To destroy your enemy, you must find him, face him, and then... become him. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense sequences of strong violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face Off  »

Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,387,530 (USA) (27 June 1997)


£6,163,073 (UK) (2 January 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(at around 7 mins) The ornate box that is opened for Castor Troy on the tarmac contains the following: a bag of blue pills, sunglasses, 3 rolled cigarettes (or joints), a pack of Chiclets, 4 pieces of Bazooka Joe bubble gum, a switchblade, and what appears to be a blue glass vial. See more »


(at around 1h 11 mins) When Dubov falls over the hand rail after getting shot, he initially falls backwards. Then when the scene cuts, before he is caught by Archer (as Castor), he's falling over the hand rail forwards. See more »


Castor Troy: Interception! Now our side's got the ball. Sorry!
See more »


Referenced in Max Payne (2001) See more »


Ach, ich fühl's
From 2nd act of the opera Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Hungarian Festival Chorus and Failoni Orchestra, Budapest
Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, soprano
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

John and Nicholas make quite a pair in Face/Off
28 November 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

"Face/Off" is an excellent movie that will never get out of your head, it's that memorable. I saw this movie probably 6 or 7 years ago and I still think about it and finally bought it the other day.

The performances, this is it, folks. We have two of the finest and very popular actors: John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. These two are amazing, to transfer back and forth. John had to go from this kind, loving, and very sensitive man to a looney, cold-blooded, heartless maniac. Nicholas went from being the scary and perverted psycho to a helpless and struggling man trapped in this killer's body. My kudos to Nicholas, that was a tough performance to capture. I felt his pain, no one would believe that he was Sean Archer, who would after all? His body has been kidnapped from Castor Troy who is now playing around with his job, his daughter, and his wife. I felt so scarred for him, because I cannot imagine in a million years what that must feel like, the isolation, the abuse, and the feeling of utter helplessness. In my opinion, these are one of the best performances in 1997. The supporting cast of: Joan Allen, Gina Gershon, and Alessandro Nivola add so much, you get into the film entirely.

This is a very scary movie. This is identity theft gone terribly wrong and beyond any borders. I loved this movie and any other film fanatic will definitely enjoy it as well. It has great action, drama, romance, and dark comedy that bring together a terrific film.


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