Formula 51 (2001)
"The 51st State" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  18 October 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 41,877 users   Metascore: 23/100
Reviews: 167 user | 94 critic | 29 from

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.



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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


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


In a world of shady characters and dirty deals, this is just business as usual. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Formula 51  »

Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (UK) (7 December 2001)


$57,988 (South Africa) (31 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Samuel L. Jackson became a Liverpool FC fan after starring in this film. See more »


When Dakota and Felix are fooling around in the bath-tub, they throw their underpants onto the floor. Yet Felix still is wearing white underpants, visible for some seconds when he's turning around in the tub. See more »


[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 »


References Snatch. (2000) See more »


How It Is
Written by Caspar Kedros (as Kedros) / Darius Kedros (as Kedros) / Jones / Francis / Sir Menelik (as Collington)
Published by Chrysalis Music Ltd./Alice Blue Gown Music (ASCAP)/
Joanna Francis (Publishing Designee)/Star Of The Empire Publishing (ASCAP)
Performed by Headrillaz feat. Ultra Naté (as Ultra Nate) & Sir Menelik
Licensed by kind permission of Meanwhile...
Ultra Nate appears Courtesy of Strictly Rhythm Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth a watch
19 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The 51st State is certainly no classic, but its funny and has a half-decent storyline. Being from the Liverpool area, I'm glad to see a film set there, even if it is about crime. Samuel L. Jackson is as cool as ever as kilt-wearin', drug-dealin' Elmo McElroy, and Robert Carlyle is in good form as Felix DeSouza, desperately trying to get himself a cut in the deal. The use of Ricky Tomlinson, a very funny actor pretty much unknown to American audiences, was also a nice touch. I'm very much a believer that British comedy is (almost) always better than American. I always enjoy the inclusion of English words and slang, and with Elmo not having a clue about English customs, such as the different language and the Mini Cooper, makes this film very funny. I'm not sure about Americans, but English people will appreciate the hilarity of the situation as Elmo and Felix run around Liverpool, with Elmo wanting his 20 million, and Felix just wanting to watch the Liverpool vs. Man Utd game! A clever twist at the end adds a bit of a philosophical side to the film, and shows The 51st State is more than just a few laughs.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is there a slight possibility that -Americans- didn't like this movie? Jerry1670
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