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In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same criminal impersonates the cop.

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

In order to trap him, he must become him. [DVD] See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face Off  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$112,225,777 (USA) (31 October 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally written in 1990, the script was first optioned by producer Joel Silver before falling into the lap of Michael Douglas who, the screenwriters fervently hoped, would star in it alongside Harrison Ford. Instead, Douglas took over as producer with the roles of cop, Sean Archer, and villain, Castor Troy, eventually going to John Travolta and Nicolas Cage respectively. See more »

Goofs

(at around 37 mins) After the face surgery, Archer (as Troy) says his voice still sounds the same. Dr. Walsh tells Archer that he's implanted a micro-chip on his larynx, so he'll have to be careful because pressure, a sharp blow, even a violent sneeze would dislodge it. If this was the case, the micro-chip would have easily been dislodged in first prison brawl between Dubov and him (at around 42 mins). See more »

Quotes

[looking at Jamie in her underwear]
[to himself]
Castor Troy: The plot thickens.
Jamie Archer: [on the phone] Carl, I'll have to call you back.
[hangs up]
Jamie Archer: You're not respecting my boundaries.
Castor Troy: I'm coming in, Janie.
Jamie Archer: Janie?
Castor Troy: [seeing a pillow that says Jamie on it, he realizes his mistake] I don't think you heard me, JAMIE. You got something I crave.
[closes in on Jamie, reaches back and grabs her pack of cigarettes]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Middle: Major Anxiety (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Stella By Starlight
By Ned Washington & Victor Young
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Corny. Crazy. Cool.
10 July 2003 | by (Shermer, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Face/Off is amazing because it mixes an outrageously cornball plot with some of the best acting in an action movie. How John Woo pulled it off is beyond me. His visual imagery is flamboyant and decorative, yet never fails to deliver the goods. There is always a flurry of images to grasp our attention. Granted, his typical trademarks are here, but never does the script suffer from the same problems as in his other works.

Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are phenomenal in their dual roles each. The rest of the cast isn't very deep and is more filler than anything else. The editing job feels underdone, particularly when the action sequences get to the "overcooked" staged. Still, how many speedboat chases or airplane crashes are you going to see in a slow-motion?

Overall, a summer action movie that delivers in acting, directing, and most other departments. 4 out of 5 stars.


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THEY SHOULD TOTALLY MAKE A SEQUEL TO THIS!!! lalPOOO
Too bad the facial reconstruction technology.... cathy-creswell
Most stupid film ever lamusicafue
So Sean Archer win Time Magazine's Man of the Year? Seagalogist
The thing(s) that bothered me most... IamBustakap
I got myself an idea naraku15200
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