Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997) Poster

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Seen it all before - but it's still entertaining
bob the moo26 July 2001
Another heist-gone-wrong movie. It's been done before - criminals are cool etc. However this is still pretty good and thrilling all the way through. It is rarely slow or dull. All the actors are good with Gallo really bringing his character to life and making you feel for him. Sutherland does a good job of directing and even plays the crazy killer well.

The film evens tackles the issue of us viewing these people as cool - not something many do - and challenges us on our admiration of them (even if it is on a basic level).

Yes, you seen it before - but that doesn't mean it's totally unoriginal or not entertaining to watch.
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7/10
Harshly Criticized But Entertaining Enough
LeonLouisRicci16 July 2013
Somewhat underrated, if derivative, this first time Directorial effort from the slightly off-center Actor, who will, for at least the foreseeable future be associated with the extremely popular TV Series 24, is a not that bad Crime/Road Movie.

There are some glaring ineffectiveness here and there, mostly coming from the badly written Pulpy Dialog. Some of the Pop Culture references and the extended talky Scenes come off as embarrassing rather than insightful. The "Stockholm Syndrome" element is also played out with some unbelievable and forced developments.

But there are some interesting Characters, the least of which is the DEA infiltrator overacted and annoying, that are engaging enough. The Violence is gritty if over stylized, and is attractive Action Movie stuff with guns blazing and squibs squibbing.

Another weakness is the God-Awful Music, from the sappy slow Ballads to the Road Music, it is badly selected and intrusive. Overall though, this delivers enough Gangster stuff to be Entertaining and should have a more accepting approval than it does from Critics and intolerable nit-pickers.
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5/10
Entertaining crime thriller
Robert Clarke19 May 1999
Neat little thriller about a group of ex cons who while ripping off a drug dealer accidentally kill an undercover cop, forcing them to take to the road. They head for Las Vegas to sell the stolen drugs taking along with them a couple as hostages as they are pursued by both the cops, and the drug dealers associates, who are not best pleased with what they have done. The film moves at a reasonable pace and the acting is good, especially from leads, Gallo, Williamson and an evil Kiefer Sutherland, who clearly enjoys his role as the psychotic Curtis. It's just a shame that the plot seems to run out of steam for the last 20 or so minutes but it does come together again for an exciting finale. Well worth checking out. Sutherland also directed.
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9/10
Bonnie & Clyde of the 1990's
Chuck-14919 July 2000
Bonnie and Clyde. Now there was a classic. That movie was as much a classic as a cult movie as a ground-breaker. Over the years, we have seen many different "versions" of this movie, the best one probably being Thelma & Louise (1991). But after seeing Truth Or Consequences, N.M., I'd say this is the movie that resembles the most this masterpiece.

Donald Sutherland. Now there is a great actor. Probably one of the best living actors in today's movie industry. His small roles in A Time To Kill (1996) and JFK (1991) are just as mesmerising as his big roles like in The Assignment (1997). If you were to ask me "Who do you think will be the next Donald Sutherland?", I would have to say "No one". But after seeing Truth Or Consequences, N.M., I'd say Kiefer Sutherland could become as great an actor as his father is.

As for a great director, well, that doesn't seem to be a problem in Hollywood right for many young directors are developing themselves into great ones and many of the older great directors are still around and while not necessarily becoming one of the greatest directors in the industry, Kiefer Sutherland seems to have as much of an acting talent as of a directing talent.

The movie's story seems very simple and in a way it is. A drug deal gone awry leaves about six dead people including five cops and four young people on the run from the law. But as the movie develops, so does the story. Hostages, undercover cop, drug lords, pregnancy, the Mob, and life on the road all mix together into this delightful mixture of love and guns.

In 1967's Bonnie & Clyde, Warren Beatty was a criminal at the beginning of the movie and always wanted to rob and unfortunately killed people. In 1991's Thelma & Louise, the two women had gone on a vacation with no intention to become criminals but unfortunately were dragged into that world by a murder involving a would-be rapist. In Truth Or Consequences, N.M., only Kiefer Sutherland's character starts off as a crazy maniac with the intention of killing people and this is why this movie differs from the two others. What lead these people to be criminals is an internal action, an action caused by Kiefer Sutehrland's character, an action that could have been avoided contrarily to those of Bonnie & Clyde and Thelma & Louise.

Equally good in the movie are Vincent Gallo and Mykelti Williamson. Gallo plays the head of the gang, a man with a conscience who has no desire in killing people and whose only goal is to go down to Mexico with his girlfriend (Kim Dickens)and get married. Williamson has the hardest role of the movie as an undercover drug enforcement agent and must change the way he acts and talks in presence of Vincent Gallo, Kiefer Sutherland, and Kim Dickens. The cast also includes two very small roles, one for Rod Steiger and the other for Martin Sheen who are both in top shape. But the movie belongs to the four young people on the run who act out the movie to perfection.
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Keifer proves a surprise hit on the other side of the camera.
North-1018 April 1999
Much-maligned Keifer Sutherland's career has taken a relative nose-dive since the heady days of his Brat-pack success in Lost Boys and Young Guns. But, here he proves to be a surprise hit behind the camera, co-starring in and directing this well paced and exciting outlaw drama. Brad Mirman's plot keeps the action moving, presents twists at every corner and establishes engaging characters. The real key is both Sutherland's own frenetic performance, his directing style and the chemistry between Kim Dickens and the superb Vincent Gallo. A rare treat, with characters you can root for from the very start. Has a great little soundtrack too!
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Worth renting
swill-27 January 1999
Although derivitative of Tarantino and especially of Carl Franklin's "One False Move," Kiefer Sutherland's directorial debut is quite self-assured. Kevin Pollak's character as a hostage who is strangely drawn to the lifestyle of his captors is terrific despite his formulaic "coming-around" at the end. Mykelti Williamson and Grace Phillips as Pollak's girlfriend are both revelations. Vincent Gallo is an unusual actor and definitely an acquired taste, but he works well here with Kim Dickens as his Bonnie. In all, a film you'll be pleasantly surprised with as a bargain rental.
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8/10
Decent crime caper
gmoney-43 November 2000
Not a bad effort from Kiefer Sutherland on his directorial debut. This little crime caper is fairly derivative of recent Tarantino films, with the discussion of the quarter looking somewhat out of place, Tarantino could have pulled something like that off with snappier dialogue but it just didn't work. Overall though it's a nice little film with some decent action and some cool lines and a nice black convertible car though as is often the case with these little crime capers the ending is pretty weak and predictable. Vincent Gallo put in another decent performance as did Kim Dickens, who you can see more of in a better film that this, The Zero Effect. Also of note was the incredibly pretty Grace Phillips as Donna, she puts in a good performance as the shocked wife of Raymond. The idea of Raymond sympathising/envying the criminals was an interesting one, though I found the transformation to be less than credible. Overall this was a nice action film and you can do a lot worse.
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10/10
Great Movie!
dem0nic27 April 2004
Decided to gamble on this unknown movie after it was recieving so much praise from my Video Shop members, and its great. I'm quite suprised it didn't get a cinema release..

Hopefully after the success of Kiefer Sutherlands "24" it might gain some more recognition from fans of the series. I doubt they will be dissapointed as this is a classy action/thriller with first class acting and a perfect soundtrack..

Highly recommended
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5/10
Road Movies
Warning: Spoilers
I love American road movies. such cool. I enjoyed the scenes of the coin and what they said about the coin granting all knowing. And at end before he die he gets it and only sees his own death. wonderful done!

I have come to see a lot of movies from new Mexico, united states. many i enjoy that are like this. the crime, the drama, the violence is like a beautiful death for all the characters.

I was not sad from the death of all the characters. The writing is good and you root for the "villians" not the police. though it is tragic, the film was shot very beautifully.

I think anyone who likes violent movies would enjoy this movie. Sutherlund is very scary as a villain character.
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8/10
Great Entertaining Film
whpratt111 January 2006
As the film starts out, you see a prison and its horrible conditions and you wonder why anyone decides this is a good place to serve time in for 20 or 50 long years and more! A convict is being released and you can see he is very happy to have served his time and a nice sexy girlfriend is waiting outside the prison walls in a nice car to pick him up and hopefully start a new and better way of life. This convict no sooner gets out jail and he meets up with Kiefer Sutherland, (Curtis Freley), who is a very wild and Soul lacking human being who will stop at nothing to put your Lights Out for GOOD ! The entire picture takes you from one car to another car and they also hold a guy and his girl hostage and take them all over the country and of course, they are heading for New Mexico. Great film, with good acting and entertaining from beginning to end.
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As senseless as its title
David17 July 2000
Of course everybody talks about how much Tarantino influenced modern filmmakers and maybe most of them are right. But only in films like 'Truth or Consequences, N.M.' it becomes clear how much better Tarantino is. 'T o C, NM' has some dialogue scenes that seem to be directly stolen from a Tarantino movie, with just some words changed, so nobody would recognize. Sadly, this doesn't only sound stupid, it does so less fit in this film, it's a disgrace.

Consider one of the first scenes where they talk the first time about a quarter. They talk about it for at least five minutes. But nobody seems motivated to talk about it. They look as if they just have to stop there to get this quarter-thing over. The actors seem to be annoyed and impatient, not only because the guy they have to convince his quarter isn't magical is a sinewy guy, but also because they don't seem to say their dialogue from the heart, but from the screenplay. The guy himself is the only one who doesn't seem to be like that. He looks convinced and, well, is annoying. The fact that it's Kiefer Sutherland, who is also the director of the film makes it somehow understandable. But only so far, as we don't understand why he didn't just delete this dialogue.

As he should have deleted a lot of other dialogue, of course all of the other stuff about the quarter, and most of the monologues Mykelti Williamson has to stand through. He suddenly starts to say something like 'I once knew somebody who...' and goes on and on for some minutes. This really works when everybody talks like that or when at least he seems to be convinced he wants to say that. But here everyone looks at him interested and we just don't know why. Nobody else talks like that in the movie.

It's a quite bizarre movie with quite bizarre characters. Mykelti Williamson for example moves and talks so exaggerated as if it's a comedy. Kevin Pollak has a character development which can be only watched with disbelief. Rod Steiger hops on the screen, screams a bit and is dead. Martin Sheen plays one of his worst and ridiculous roles. And Kiefer Sutherland is the worst of all. He goes so much on the nerves of the audience you want to kill him. It's really quite a relief when he's finally dead. I can't like a movie where I'm glad somebody is dead after I had to watch him for an hour and a half. Not if he's the director.

At least we have Vincent Gallo and Kim Dickens here. Gallo isn't only one of the best actors of our time. He really can give a role life. Even in such a bad movie like this, we care for him. And Kim Dickens as his girlfriend is also likable. We care for both of them and the way the movie ends, makes it even more unsatisfying.

The plot is just stupid, with story lines that can't be believed. The gangsters take hostages and take them with them for such a long time that you never know why. There's a fault in Gallo's plan to make a lot of money, which never is explained. There is one character development which is surprising but in the end it didn't make any difference if it wasn't.

The film wouldn't really be that bad, but Sutherland and Sheen are so bad and annoying, that you just want the movie to end. And Sutherland as a director celebrates violence so much, it's clear that it isn't his effort we care about Gallo and Dickens. Sometimes it seems as if Sutherland took his role behind the camera, shouting: 'Yeah, let's kill him and this one and with a lot of blood there and there. Cool!'

We don't need movies like that. A movie about nothing, with no message, no more than two interesting characters and a lot of unnecessary violence. That's really the last we need.
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Kick ass gangster movie!
boom-slang1 May 2004
If you don't want to ***spoil*** your dinner, don't eat desert first...

It's really hard to describe the general plot of this great movie in a few words; a pure love story, an exciting police thriller, a lesson in life, a cruel mob-story or a totally screwed up road movie would all do fine, but in any case it's a real nice piece of acting with a blazing all-american sounding soundtrack. Kiefer really showed the world that he's not only a convincing bad guy on the screen, but also a mean movie maker.

The movie builds up towards a long lasting thrilling ending, which will really nail you to your seat. The love story ends painstakingly tragically, while in the old-school gangster movie justice prevails, in true Tarantino style. As a viewer you are drawn to sympathize with the sensitive and intelligent - yet not very bright in planning a robbery - gangster Raymond and his pregnant girlfriend Addy, but as a good citizen you feel relieved that the undercover agent Marcus survives the fire fight. A real must see if you can stand some gangster style shooting and killing here and there.
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7/10
Another quality rip-off from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez
ZipLock19 August 1999
Very good movie, with the exception of being a little slow in a couple places. Good acting, good dialogue, good action.

Only problem is the storyline is a combination of Reservoir Dogs, Natural Born Killers, and the characters are from Resevoir Dogs and From Dusk till Dawn. I kept looking for Tim Roth everywhere. Sutherland tried to do everything himself and that's never a good idea, I think he stretched himself too thin.

The one thing missing in the movie was the soundtrack. But I can deal with that.

The movie should have gotten a lot more play than it did.
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8/10
Terrific movie
vincecklorthowe12 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
***May Contain Spoilers*** I always enjoy Keifer and Gallo's performances in most, if not all, of both of their films...and I must admit that this film introduced to me the true acting performance of Gallo alone and also reinforced the genuine acting capability of Kiefer Sutherland.

The scene where they are trying to sell the suitcase full of cocaine back to the mob boss is brilliant...and both Sutherland and Gallo give both a fine and unexpected twist of theatrics in this part of the movie.

Overall...if you want gun-toting action and non-scareshow thrillers then this is a movie that I highly recommend!!!
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Cinema on the fritz, plagurism and really bad writing
Benzo8 June 1999
Some films are built on pretense after pretense after pretense. At least these films are standing on their own two legs. Usually salvageable from petty films like these are characters, or at least a plot point that made you smile.

However.....

This film is the ultimate in counterproductive cinema. The film, badly directed by Keifer Sutherland, stars Vincent Gallo and KS himself as thugs, fresh from the big house, attempting a robbery and botching it. Not only is that unoriginal idea in 1997, it's a boring and tiresome gimmick. You may ask yourself, "Why did Ben, the almighty movie buff bother watching the film at all?". I am the guilty Vincent Gallo fan. Watching him in "T or C, NM" was as painful as watching the great Gary Oldman in "Leon". This film is so badly written, even the actors are struggling to cope - desperatley holding onto the idea that a paycheck is not far out of reach. (Unfortunately, they must live with the legacy that they've created a film this poor).

Here's the other gripe :

Some films pretend to be Tarantino ripoffs - this film is the real thing - the coup de gras of cinematic theivery. From the off-the-wall comedic psycho mentality that Kiefer Sutherland displays killing every man in sight (Michael Madsen in "Reservoir Dogs", a shot-for-shot steal from Ringo Lam's "City on Fire") to the "lovers on the lam" with a suitcase of cocaine building to a mob/police battle in the finale (directly cased from "True Romance", itself a ripoff of "Badlands") to the attempt at snappy dialogue / pop refererences with the "Twilight Zone" edge-standing quarter speech (stolen from any of QT's films - we'll say "Pulp Fiction" being that it's not yet represented in my gripe) to, finally, the hostage-taking amidst tons of talk of "fate" / "marriage" / excessive PDA that made "Natural Born Killers" nonchalant killing all the more disturbing and excessive (of course, it does nothing here but feel forced and unattractive).

Finally, the most shameless of all - a washed up Martin Sheen doing his best Christopher Walken impression while trying to extract information from Max Perlich. Are these filmmaker's kidding me?

When a film displays this much disaster in it's script and it's stealing - and still finds time for jump cuts, bad lighting and truly flat characterization, character development and casting - where do I stand as a young filmmaker/ writer who can't get anything made. At least, at the very least - my amateurish nature could give way to something original that someone else will steal and fly with.

Hollywood has become a stalking ground of copycats and pseudo-artists with no real talent except for their looks. When films like this erupt, how long do we have before Celluloid is dead forever?

Am I overreacting? I don't think so.
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5/10
same old stuff
Mickey Knox2 July 2002
This movie doesn't bring anything new. The same get-away after a failed robbery, the same police-and-mafia-follow-guys, the same undercover cop, the same ending scene with everyone shooting everyone. The good thing about it is that it has its moments. The dialogue is not bad at all, and the actors, especially Sutherland and Gallo, are very good. But add that to a strange deja-vu feeling you get throughout the whole movie and you got the picture. Doesn't deserve more than 5 out of 10.
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This movie was kick ass(***spoilers***)
nightowl_20043 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I was pleasantly surprised at this film,which I just saw for the first time today, and actually I thought this was better than both "Way of the Gun" and "Usual Suspects", because, in my view, TOC,NM didn't try to be too deep with alot of unnecessary twists and turns, and "ooh ya need yer thinkin' caps on fer this one" type of writing/directing style. It was just a fun violent movie. My only disappointment was the inherently predictable "everyone dies Mexican standoff" ending. I am becoming increasingly impressed with Kiefer Sutherland, and when I saw that he directed this too, I was sold. Everyone is always talking about 24, so I need to finally check it out. Phone Booth, Freeway, et al. He is on the path to legendary status ala his dad. Anyway, watch this one if you are into violence and hilarious vulgar arguments amongst the group.
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Déjà Vù
DJ Inferno5 February 2001
This movie is just a big déjà vù of Tarantino-movies: there is the failed robbery and the undercover police agent from "Reservoir Dogs", the kidnapping in the mobile home as we have seen it in "From Dusk Till Dawn" and finally, the showdown is taken out of "True Romance". Nevertheless, this movie is fast, violent, thrilling and entertaining. The cast is excellent, Kiefer Sutherland did a good job as director, too. If you´re looking for a film which is in fact not very demanding and original, but not a second boring and you´re a fan of the gangster movies of the 90s, you´ll surely like this one...
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10/10
A very cool crime flick
cinebuffet1 August 1998
I didn't see Truth or Consequences at the movies, but I saw it the other night on cable. Kiefer Sutherland does a first rate job directing a very good cast. At times the violence seems a little over the top, but I guess you need that in this type of movie. I especially liked Kevin Pollak as the hostage, and Mykelti Williamson as the gang member with a secret. The cameo's by Rod Steiger and Martin Sheen were also very good.
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8/10
Truth or Consequences, N.M.
Derek Stephen McPhail3 September 2013
David from Germany certainly doesn't do this film justice.

For the record, the coin standing on its edge anecdote does have a payback later in the movie, to justify itself.

There is a great cast who develop believable characters, as far as I'm concerned.

I think Kiefer did an excellent job acting, as well as, directing; and, I'm sorry the movie wasn't given a bigger promotional budget and a broader distribution.

The story of a drug deal gone bad may seem hackneyed; but, the love relationship between the criminal couple makes it all work.
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4/10
Lukewarm Drug Sting
Kendra_Powers2 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is the kind of movie that you stumble upon, on basic cable, at 3am, when nothing but infomercials are on: entertaining enough to keep watching, though very predictable, clichés up the wazoo, the plot has been done to death, in better movies, and the acting is mostly flat (save for Keifer Sutherland). The excessive violence and gore were a nice touch (I'm a big Tarantino fan, so that explains that), but ultimately, nothing can earn this movie even 5 stars out of 10, because its just written badly and poorly executed, so I'm going with 4 stars, because I didn't absolutely hate it and Vincent Gallo was hot and in his prime, in this movie. A MUCH better drug movie is Drugstore Cowboy (1989).
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5/10
See it all many times before
George Parker12 July 2003
"Truth or Consequences N.M." is a sloppy drama about a petty crook and his girl, a half-psycho killer, an undercover DEA agent, and an abducted ordinary couple traveling together with a bunch of drugs and cops and the mob on their tail. In spite of a good cast, this B-movie is just more of the same old stuff we've all seen many times before with nothing to distinguish itself. Full of plot holes, continuity goofs, abjectly ordinary action, etc. this is one for the late night couch potato only. (C)
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7/10
Really great movie stars the great actor Kiefer Sutherland
monkey-man27 August 2005
I am having a Kiefer Sutherland movie marathon spread over 2 days and i am going to watch 10 or more of his movies.And this movie is one of Kiefers best movies that he has done and this movie is worth buying or renting.I am a really big fan of Kiefer and he did a really great job at acting in this movie and he is a good Director.And there are heaps of good actors and actress in this movie like Kevin Pollak from the good movie house arrest,Vincent Gallo,Kim Dickens,Mykelti Williamson and one of the best actors of all time Martin Sheen from the really great movie Apocalypse Now.

Over all this movie is really great and my rating is 7 out of 10.
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