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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 269,658 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 532 user | 157 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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


In order to trap him, he must become him. [DVD] 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 1h 45 mins) The blood types for the two main characters (i.e. Sean Archer and Castor Troy) are mentioned in the movie, and at a subtle level they reflect their antagonistic nature. Archer's Blood type is O negative, while Troy's is AB positive, these two blood types are as different as you can get. O negative- the universal donor reflects Archer's role as a policeman dedicated to serving the community, while Troy's AB positive - the universal recipient suggests someone who takes from society without giving anything back. See more »


(at around 1h 35 mins) Near the end of the raid on Dietrich's place, Loomis busts in armed with a , with an underslung M203 Grenade Launcher. He fires the launcher twice in rapid succession. The M203 is a one-shot launcher and requires reloading between shots. There is no indication that Loomis bothered to reload at all. See more »


Sean Archer: [holding onto Troy's neck, having him bent over] Die! Please God die!
See more »


Referenced in Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani (2002) See more »


Stella By Starlight
By Ned Washington & Victor Young
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nicolas Cage and John Travolta Make the Film Succeed
27 July 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Face/Off" is a somewhat complicated action thriller which involves an obsessed FBI agent (John Travolta) who decides to become a comatose criminal (Nicolas Cage) by literally trading faces with him. The purpose in doing this is to learn where a bomb is by going undercover in a maximum-security prison and getting the information from Cage's brother. When Cage's character comes out of his coma, he decides to take Travolta's face. Still with me? In short Travolta's FBI agent is now Cage's crazed criminal and vise versa. What follows is a wild and crazy thrill ride that is a bit hard to keep straight, but ultimately fun to watch and quite satisfying. Overall a really good film. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

72 of 120 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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