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The Jackal (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  14 November 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 84,481 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 223 user | 81 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

An imprisoned IRA sniper is freed to help stop a brutal, seemingly "faceless" assassin from completing his next job.


(earlier screenplay Day of the Jackal), (screen story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
FBI Agent McMurphy
FBI Director Donald Brown
The First Lady
Jamaican Girl
Terek Murad
Steve Bassett ...
George Decker


Russian mobster Terek Murad has declared open season on the Russian militia and the United States FBI over the shooting of his brother in a Moscow nightclub. He hires "The Jackal" -- an elusive, nasty assassin -- to kill FBI Director Donald Brown. Present at the shooting of Murad's brother were FBI Deputy Director Carter Preston and Major Valentina Koslova of the Russian militia. Nearly no one has ever seen The Jackal, save for Declan Mulqueen, an imprisoned IRA sniper. Upon learning that the Director Brown is a target, Preston and Koslova enlist the services of the reluctant Mulqueen to track down the Jackal before he can assassinate Brown. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jackal | russian | fbi | assassin | ira | See All (174) »


How do you stop an assassin who has no identity?

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| | | |



Release Date:

14 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Jackal  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,164,595 (USA) (14 November 1997)


DEM 15,218,058 (Germany) (3 April 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.39: 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The large, remote-controlled machine gun is a mock-up of the Soviet-designed KPV (Krupnokaliberniy Pulemyot Vladimirova) Heavy Machine Gun. The weapon used for the mock-up is actually an American M2HB .50BMG Heavy Machine Gun with a lot of parts added to it to make it look like a KPV. The name "Polish ZSU-33" is fictional. See more »


Lighting conditions when Declan and the Jackal see each other at the marina. See more »


Valentina Koslova: She's Basque, isn't she?
Declan Mulqueen: Aye.
Valentina Koslova: They say Basques live by the vendetta. If they hate someone it's to the death. It's the same when they love.
See more »


Referenced in The Nostalgia Chick: You've Got Mail (2011) See more »


Written by Grant Marshall (as Marshall), Robert del Naja (as Del Haja), Mushroom Vowles (as Vowles),
Sara Jay, Schwartz
Performed by Massive Attack
Courtesy of Circa Records Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Tense, fast-paced, but sort of ordinary suspense thriller
27 March 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

You can't really approach this as a remake of the classic 'The Day of The Jackal.' Though broadly similar, the entire feel of the two films is incomparable. And suspense thrillers are all about "the feel" aren't they?

The story is pretty standard fair - a super villain assassin (Willis) is going to make a big kill using a huge weapon and leaving a trail of bodies along the way. Gere, an IRA soldier (jailed for "terrorism") is brought on as consultant because he is one of the few people who has seen 'the Jackal", and given a few vague promises in exchange for his help. As it turns out, Gere has more than just knowledge - he has a vendetta. Poitier oversees Gere and the investigation of Willis, and comes to realize that Gere is the only hope of stopping him.

I like Sidney Poitier, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, so I was predisposed to like this film. I was neither very surprised nor disappointed. The Jackal is entertaining and the performances are strong. Poitier is always a class act, and Willis and Gere have terrific anti-chemistry. There's nothing wrong with the cinematography or directing, and the pace of the film, though a little breathless, is fine. Regardless, the story-line never reached much beyond the ordinary thriller fare. Making a truly great thriller requires either doing something really original (very hard to do) or using a truly inspired script. This film's script is decent, but the story line could have used a little more careful thought and a bit more complexity.

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