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The Salton Sea (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  17 May 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 25,784 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 177 user | 78 critic | 30 from

After his wife is murdered, a man drifts into a world populated by thugs and speed junkies.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy Plummer


After the murder of his beloved wife, Danny Parker is set adrift in a world where nothing is as it seems. On his journey he befriends slacker Jimmy the Finn and becomes involved in rescuing his neighbor Colette from her own demons. Danny is antagonized by undercover narcotics agents and sadistic dealer Pooh-Bear. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If You're Looking For The Truth, You've Come To The Wrong Place.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salton Sea  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$166,309 (USA) (26 April 2002)


$334,276 (Europe) (11 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer Tony Gayton said that the script to this movie was not written to be produced but to be a writing sample, something wild and experimental he could show producers to get work. He was very surprised when Castle Rock wanted to produce it. See more »


When listing the ingredients needed to manufacture methamphetamine, Tom/Danny states that match heads are needed for the red phosphorus - in fact, the phosphorus is located in the striking surface of the matchbooks. See more »


Danny: So that's where I found myself. No, I should choose my words more wisely. This is the world I sought out. The land of the perpetual night party. Day swallowing night and night swallowing day. The crank compressing time like some divine piston on its awesome downstroke. We've been at this for three days... or is it four? Tweakers, lokers, slammers, coming and going, swearing eternal allegiance and undying love for one another, only to wake up after the binge and realize you wouldn't walk across ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits end with this statement: If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, or to find out about treatment programs near you, call the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or to find out more about methamphetamine visit SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information's web site at See more »


Spoofs Dirty Harry (1971) See more »


Let Forever Be
Written by Noel Gallagher, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons
Performed by The Chemical Brothers featuring Noel Gallagher
Courtesy of Astralwerks Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Underrated, Dark Sea Of Mystery!
5 November 2009 | by (your daughters bedroom) – See all my reviews

*Very Minor, Undetailed Plot Spoiler Warning*

Director D.J. Caruso has run into decent fame as of late after directing Eagle Eye, (Which I thought was pretty terrible by the way.), and the very popular Disturbia, (Which is basically a reversion of Hitchcock's classic thriller Rear Window.). However, I believe that he should be most recognized for this little gem of a film from his more distant past, 2002's The Salton Sea.

One of the greatest things about The Salton Sea is that it unravels in very unexpected ways. Wrapping up the viewer in some dark unknown mystery, that piece by piece becomes clearer and clearer as the intriguingly masked plot unfolds into a tale of drugs, dirty law enforcement, love and revenge. From the visuals, to the dialogue, from the acting, to the delivery, The Salton Sea really is a gritty, enjoyable, and somewhat unique piece of work.

Don't even bother with the plot hole scenarios that some people are conjuring up out of the thin air resting between their ears. The truth is that they just didn't pay enough attention to the details while watching this underrated little diamond in the rough. If you like dark, gritty mysteries, take your mind for a dive into The Salton Sea.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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