MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,375 this week

Return to Paradise (1998)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 10,656 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 126 user | 64 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Two friends must choose whether to help a third friend who was arrested in Malaysia for drug possession.

Director:

Writers:

(motion picture Force Majeure), (motion picture Force Majeure), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 30 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 18 Oct 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 24 Aug 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Return to Paradise (1998)

Return to Paradise (1998) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Return to Paradise.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Clay Pigeons (1998)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Clay (as in the title) is a young man in a small town who witnesses his friend kill himself because of the ongoing affair that Clay was having with the man's wife. Feeling guilty, Clay now ... See full summary »

Director: David Dobkin
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Janeane Garofalo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A single father balances his work as an attorney with the care of his five year old son and his work as a high school basketball coach in rural Kansas, where he moved after his wife ... See full summary »

Director: John N. Smith
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Monica Potter, Joey Lauren Adams
The Locusts (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A drifter enters a small town looking for employment. While working at the local cattle ranch, he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Kitty and becomes involved in a deadly yet erotic love triangle.

Director: John Patrick Kelley
Stars: Kate Capshaw, Jeremy Davies, Vince Vaughn
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A struggling auto mechanic with a criminal past agrees to one last heist to pay off his debts.

Director: Myles Connell
Stars: Christopher Walken, Peter McDonald, Anne Pitoniak
The Prime Gig (2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A telesales con man finds the ultimate racket - but starting an affair with the girlfriend of his guru-like boss might be the wrong call...

Director: Gregory Mosher
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Julia Ormond, Ed Harris
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

Valentine Casey is a Marshal in the desolate Tucson territory of the early 1900s. On Christmas Eve, his outlaw family pays him a disturbing visit. He must confront the sins of his past. He ... See full summary »

Director: Dwight Yoakam
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Luke Askew, Dwight Yoakam
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A light-hearted story of two working-class brothers courting three wealthy and beautiful sisters in a small Illinois town.

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A criminal subculture operates among U.S. soldiers stationed in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin wall.

Director: Gregor Jordan
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Anna Paquin, Ed Harris
Drama | Thriller | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

It's All About Love is the story of two lovers and their attempts to save their relationship in a near-future world on the brink of cosmic collapse. John, and world-famous ice skating star,... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, Sean Penn
U Turn (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello - beautifully, as ... See full summary »

Director: Terry George
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly
At Risk (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Elana Krausz
Stars: Shirley Anne Field, Matthew Flint, Elana Krausz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Kerrie
...
Ravitch
...
Ming Lee ...
Mr. Chandran
...
Mr. Doramin
...
Prosecutor
...
Famous Divorce Lawyer (as James Michael McCauley)
...
Young Woman in Limo (as Brettanya Friese)
...
Woman in Bar
...
Construction Foreman
Amy Wong ...
Ticket Agent (as Amy Wong)
Edit

Storyline

Three friends share an exciting vacation in Malaysia, full of fun, drinks, women and hash. When the vacation is over, each have dreams of continuing their lives, and they all go their separate ways. One of them (Phoenix) remains on the tropical paradise to fulfill a dream of working with apes for research. Two years later, a lawyer (Heche) comes to New York and hunts down the other two friends to give some sad news. A few days after they left the island, police raided their camp and found amazingly large quantities of hash left about. Phoenix was still residing there, so he had to take the blame. He is set to be put to death in 8 days, and the only way the charges can be decreased is if the two friends come back to paradise and take their share of the responsibilty. If they do, they both will spend three years in prison. If only one does, he will spend six years behind bars... Written by R.P. Falvey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Give up three years of their lives or give up the life of their friend. They have eight days to decide.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content, some sexuality and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Long Way to Paradise  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£126,537 (UK) (16 April 1999)

Gross:

£126,537 (UK) (16 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cuba Gooding Jr. turned down the role of Tony the architect. See more »

Goofs

Long opening series of street scenes, local "color", was obviously filmed in Buddhist Thailand, complete with saffron-robed monks and red-green-gold Thai temples - Malaysia (population has 30 % non-Muslim minorities) doesn't have go-go bars or obvious brothels unlike Thailand). See more »

Quotes

Sheriff: You'd take 3 years from me but you wouldn't take my word?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of DANNY ARNOLD See more »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Jing Jing (Firefly)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good, but not great
25 February 2002 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This film is about moral dilemma – whether or not to give up three, or maybe six, years of life by accepting imprisonment in a Malaysian jail, or continue living in freedom knowing that a friend has died as a result. This point needs to be made up front – it is not a film about the rights or wrongs of Asian judicial or penal systems, nor is it a film about the morality of drug taking.

So we follow the two characters, Sheriff (Vaughn) and Tony (Conrad) who have to make this decision as they go through the decision-making process, prodded in no uncertain manner by their friend's attorney Beth (Heche). This tortuous process is played out against the comparatively comfortable background of their home city, New York. And not only the comforts of home, but also of employment and marriage prospects.

The process is played out a little unevenly although given the nature of the decision perhaps this is not surprising. But where it is flawed is the sudden blossoming of romance between Sheriff and Beth. Prior to this there had been no indication of this turn of events, indeed, quite the opposite as the two had regularly fallen out and appeared to have a mutual dislike for each other. Thus there is a feeling of a contrived piece of plotting which, to make matters worse, goes on to form the basis of the end of the movie.

Whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of the Malaysian judicial and penal systems seems an irrelevance. On a rather pedantic point where was the US embassy (and State Department) to provide support? It simply is not the case that in circumstances such as these that the lead characters would have been left on their own. That's not to say that the outcome would have been any different but it may well have affected some of the decisions individuals took towards the end. It might also have been an opportunity to add a little more reality and edge to the story, especially if the officials took an approach that put US foreign relations above the interests of its own citizens!

This is a movie that makes us think – and no movie that does that can be written off. And the acting, especially from Heche and Phoenix, is fine. But the plot flaws mean it's a good, rather than a great, film.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Vince can clearly act very well, so why does he make so many crap movies benettfreeman
I'm a Malaysian and this is so funny... nalan_dewa19
What if it was you? film_connoisseur84
best performance? AmericanHistoryEX
Cry your eyes out? FoolOntheHill42
Is this a remake/similar to another movie plot pamelajoon
Discuss Return to Paradise (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?