6.3/10
43,642
167 user 94 critic

Formula 51 (2001)

The 51st State (original title)
An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

Director:

Writer:

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shaft (2000)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale
Drama

Plot is being kept under wraps.

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

High school teacher Trevor Garfield is stabbed by bad-boy student. Fifteen months later, he moves to Los-Angeles to the unruly, predominantly Latino school. He has to tame wolf-like ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, John Heard, Kelly Rowan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney defends an officer on trial for ordering his troops to fire on civilians after they stormed a U.S. embassy in a third world country.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce
Sci-Fi

In the future, Greenland is a US-owned prison colony.

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Robert Jezek ...
...
...
Jake Abraham ...
Mac McDonald ...
Aaron Swartz ...
David Webber ...
...
Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim ...
Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes ...
Boy's Mother
...
Mr. Ho-Fat
...
...
Frederick
Edit

Storyline

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula - a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to 'the 51st state.' McElroy's new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Have a good trip. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Formula 51  »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (UK) (7 December 2001)

Gross:

$5,204,007 (USA) (8 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The tartan that Samuel L. Jackson wears is the MacGillivray Clan Hunting Tartan. See more »

Goofs

When Felix and Dakota are starting to fool around in the bathroom, he pulls up her shirt to show her wearing white panties with coloured spots. When they're in the tub, her panties are white lace. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elmo: I mean, rules are like, arbitrary, you know. Made up for people who believe in fairy tales like, you know, like Santa Claus. Hey, but not us, right? I mean, we know what's important. There's a war going on, man. A war. Ain't that a bitch?
[cop sucks his teeth]
Elmo: I just graduated today, man. With honors. Got my degree in pharmacology. I'm licensed. Look, if you write me up on this drug charge, I won't be able to practice. So what we're talking about here is, is my life. The rest of it.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Shortly after the credits start there is a short segment with Elmo on the Golf Course outside the castle on the post card See more »

Connections

References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Shamrocks and Shenanigans
(Butch Vig Mix)
Written by Leor Dimant (as Dismant) / Erik Schrody (as Schrody) / Danny Boy O'Connor (as O'Connor)
Published by BMG Songs, Inc./Immortal Music/Lethal Dose Music
© 1992 T-Boy Music LLC/Irish Intellect Music
Performed by House of Pain
Licensed Courtesy of Tommy Boy Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
State of surprise at sleeper hit - 75%
19 April 2004 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

I remember this being a film I wanted to watch when it was released in the cinemas but I never got a chance to see it. It didn't help when Mum raved about it after watching it on Sky. So last night, Channel 4 gave me the perfect excuse for being late for work today - by showing this film and "Hard Boiled", I'll be a few minutes late after writing the reviews. Yay!

Back to "The 51st State" which revolves around Samuel L Jackson, a master chemist and drug producer who flies to Liverpool to secure the final "big deal" before his imminent retirement. The always fantastic Robert Carlyle is Felix, his contact and unwitting accomplice when things go wrong - as they always do in these sort of circumstances. Haven't they played GTA: Vice City? Anyway, the film is a stylish and comical action thriller with it's unusual setting, eccentric characters and unexpected comic twists. Jackson is, without a doubt, the coolest actor in moviedom at the moment. Only he could pull off wearing a kilt in a movie without looking a moron. Carlyle is perhaps a little excessive on the language (both in volume and content) but plays the Scouse stereotype perfectly. One thing this film does very well: almost every Scouse stereotype you can think of is there - car thief, misguided support for Liverpool, skin heads, every third word an expletive. The only unbelievable segment was the car chase which would never have reached the speeds it did in an actual Liverpool street.

Despite this, "The 51st State" is a fast-paced and well-made film which deserves more credit than it currently gets. I approached this film thinking that its gimmick was its setting - Liverpool is a million miles from downtown LA or New York, let's face it. But not so - there are so many oddball characters to make the film interesting that Sean Pertwee's straight-faced turn as a dirty cop seems out of place. Everyone else has their tongue firmly in their cheek. The sight of Jackson in a mammoth Seventies afro haircut signals this movie's intentions right from the start (and finish).

I have no hesitation in recommending this film. It will undoubtedly appeal to British viewers more than Americans but who cares - it's so refreshing to see that we can make movies like this with a largely British cast at such a standard. Jackson is so cool, it's like he's walking on dry ice and steals every scene he is in. "The 51st State" really does have something for everyone and I'm finding it very hard to find something not to like about this film. It's no "Face/Off" but it's still an enjoyable and exciting film, one which you really should see. Shame you missed it at the cinema, though.


48 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?