Up 362 this week

U Turn (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 October 1997 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 40,920 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 212 user | 110 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A young punk drifter heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him, is forced to stop in a Arizona town where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong for him.



(screenplay), (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Talk Radio (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Eric Bogosian, Ellen Greene, Leslie Hope
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The final movie in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy follows the true story of a Vietnamese village girl who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam war. As a ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor
Nixon (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe
Salvador (1986)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at the life-and-death struggles of modern-day gladiators and those who lead them.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava
The Doors (1991)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore
Comandante (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Documentary on the director's meeting with Castro.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Fidel Castro, Oliver Stone, Juanita Vera
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry... See full summary »

Director: Phil Joanou
Stars: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman
W. I (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon


Cast overview, first billed only:
Biker #1
Richard Rutowski ...
Biker #2
Aida Linares ...
Boy in Grocery Store
Sergi (as Ilia Volokh)
Valeriy Nikolaev ...
Mr. Arkady (as Valery Nikolaev)
Flo (as Julie Haggerty)


When Bobby's car breaks down in the desert while on the run from some of the bookies who have already taken two of his fingers, he becomes trapped in the nearby small town where the people are stranger than anyone he's encountered. After becoming involved with a (unbeknownst to him) young married woman, her husband hires Bobby to kill her. Later, she hires Bobby to kill the husband. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sex. Murder. Betrayal. Everything that makes life worth living. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stray Dogs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,730,440 (USA) (3 October 1997)


£72,044 (UK) (24 April 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Liv Tyler, although she only has a brief cameo in the film, starred with Billy Bob Thornton in Armageddon the following year. See more »


Shadow of boom, platform and cameraman visible at lower left hand of aerial view of intersection at beginning of movie right after Cooper's radiator hose blows. See more »


Bobby: Darrell, 40,000 thousand people die every day. How come you're not one of 'em?
See more »


Referenced in Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) See more »


Written and Performed by Charles Mingus
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Probably not the best advertisement for Superior, AZ
5 February 2005 | by (Escondido, CA) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite Oliver Stone films. It has everything (cheating incestuous sex, chopping off digits, a dumb hick mechanic, a blind native American who wants Dr. Pepper all the time, etc etc etc) that a well-rounded movie needs, plus it was completely done in a comic fashion. It is closest to Stone's other film "Natural Born Killers" by way of stylish camera shots and the addition of comedy into a dramatic setting.

Sean Penn brilliantly plays the lead character, whose car blows a radiator hose out in the middle of the Arizona desert, and the closest town is that of Superior, AZ, a dirt-road town with barely 1,000 people living there, if that. Penn goes through hell from the beginning when random characters in the city want something from him and in return, it drives him to try his best to get the hell out of Superior. Everything during his days in Superior is centered around money and the fact that he has hardly any. So he gets schemed into murders, and he gets whatever little he has taken away from him (his train ticket gets ripped up by the local hoodlum, TNT, again brilliantly played by Joaquin Phoenix, and he has several full bottles of beverages broken for different reasons). Therefore, he's constantly running in circles to get out of this town.

There is an all-star cast (back then, and now) of actors: Jennifer Lopez (a better singer than actress), Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thornton (the best among the bunch as the hick mechanic), Sean Penn, Claire Danes, Liv Tyler (only for a second in the train station), and Jon Voight...all packed into a nice DVD. The music had that comic, light-hearted side to it (with the country sound of a jew's-harp played over violin or whatever, etc) which helped you to see the irony that is driving him to madness in this town. Again the camera shots were awesome, and they had that Oliver Stone quality of the 90's where he would switch frames with the villain of the movie with an animal skull and switch the point-of-view to see what the actors are seeing, and so on.

I didn't like the ending so much. I kind of wanted things to resolve themselves, but instead, things just keep on falling into the bad-luck-category of his life. I also hated Jennifer Lopez's delivery of lines (just like in any other movie with her...The Cell, etc) because they feel so fake and put on that you know the director was just looking for T&A for the film. Also she doesn't play a native American very well. She has a thick accent straying too much towards Latino that you don't pick up on any cultural change until you get the story.

Overall, though, (bad point aside) it is a brilliant movie that is easy to watch if you like the other Stone films. I had to give it a 9/10 for great performances, great music, awesome story, and everything in between. Go out and buy it if your a fan of any of the actors listed above, or if you are trying to find a great weekend film with friends.

64 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the greatist masterpiece ever parsapanda
Jennifer Lopez jamiemcgraw
you know youre watching an oliver stone film when.... sonikyouth
Why does Hollywood think all Arizonians have Texas accents? addisondewitt74
is this a cult movie? MrDalloway
pHoenix (TNT)came as if were Johnny Cash jerryv417-1
Discuss U Turn (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: