Masterminds (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Thriller, Comedy  |  22 August 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 2,919 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 23 critic

Trapped in a school which a gang of criminals has siezed control, a young troublemaker fights a cat and mouse battle from inside.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles (as Brad Whitford)
Michael MacRae ...
Earl Pastko ...
Michael David Simms ...
Ferret (as David Paul Grove)
Akiko Morison ...


Oz, a rebellious teenager who just got expelled from his preppy school returns for one final prank. But as he goes to the basement to set things up, he stumbles upon a security consultant, former school employee, that just took the entire school hostage for millions in ransom. Oz must rely on his youth and love for pranks to outwit the devious criminal mastermind. Written by Steve Richer <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The criminal mastermind of the century just met his match...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence included in a children hostage situation, and for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smart Alec  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,014,606 (USA) (22 August 1997)


$1,890,472 (USA) (5 September 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kelsey Grammer was the original choice for the villain. See more »


One of the yellow vans used by Rafe's men to gain access to the school is seen parked by the front of the school when Ozzie drops off her sister. A couple scenes later this same van makes its entrance to the school when the security guard gets shot with a tranquilizer dart. See more »


Maloney: I've got the rear.
Ozzie: Truer words were never spoken
See more »


References Die Hard (1988) See more »


What About Sky
Performed by Luce Drayton
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User Reviews

Why isn't this on DVD?
11 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

I was one of the few who saw this movie in the theater back in '97. It really made me a fan of Vincent Kartheiser.

This movie is largely recommended for fans of either Kartheiser or Patrick Stewart, and it's surprising that there hasn't been a DVD release (that I've found). Both actors have a huge amount of screen time, and the movie itself looks great visually.

Stewart really camps it up, and appears to have had fun playing "Rafe" as an over-the-top villain. Sometimes the performance goes a little too over, though. Kartheiser did the best he could with the stereotyped "bad boy" image. I thought at first he seemed a little old for the role, but as the movie progressed I couldn't see anyone else in the part.

The movie has been compared to "Toy Soldiers", and also dubbed "Die Hard, Jr." While these elements do seem strong in the movie (plus the need for things to go KABOOM!), it doesn't seem to ruin the fun. Just check reality at the door and not worry about the details.

Could it have been better? Yes. Is it unwatchable? No. Will the adults like it? Maybe (fans of anyone in it especially).

Did I mention I really want this on DVD? Please!

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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