544 user 164 critic

Swordfish (2001)

0:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him.



2,963 ( 55)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Broken Arrow (1996)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the daughter of a well-known and well-respected base commander is murdered, an undercover detective is summoned to look into the matter and finds a slew of cover-ups at West Point.

Director: Simon West
Stars: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell
Face/Off (1997)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same criminal impersonates the cop.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen
Basic (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A DEA agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A retired master car thief must come back to the industry and steal 50 cars with his crew in one night to save his brother's life.

Director: Dominic Sena
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi
Phenomenon (1996)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his NSA goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight
Con Air (1997)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich
Ladder 49 (2004)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads,... See full summary »

Director: Jay Russell
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán
U.S. Marshals (1998)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones) and his team of Marshals are assigned to track down Sheridan (Snipes), who has been accused of a double-murder.

Director: Stuart Baird
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr.


Cast overview, first billed only:
Torres (as Angelo Pagán)


When the DEA shut down its dummy corporation operation codenamed SWORDFISH in 1986, they had generated $400 million which they let sit around; fifteen years of compound interest has swelled it to $9.5 billion. A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell, headed by the duplicitious and suave Gabriel Shear, wants the money to help finance their raise-the-stakes vengeance war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away behind super-encryption. He brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson, who only wants to see his daughter Holly again but can't afford the legal fees, to slice into the government mainframes and get the money. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Once you know the password you can go anywhere. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 June 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swordfish_  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$102,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,145,632 (USA) (8 June 2001)


$69,772,969 (USA) (14 September 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Travolta described his character as "less black and white, more grey." See more »


During the surveillance of Gabriel's house, when the pictures later sent to the senator are taken, we see three freezes of the image, ostensibly the pictures being taken - between each freeze frame, the W-T indicator in the bottom left corner of the image moves. That indicator shows the state of zoom of the camera (Wide-Tele), so since the indicator moves towards the W, the picture should zoom out, which it doesn't. See more »


[first lines]
Gabriel: You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I'm not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that's searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something. No, it's easy to pick apart bad acting, short-sighted directing, and a purely moronic stringing together of words that many of the studios term as "prose". No, I'm talking about the lack of realism. Realism; not a pervasive element in today's modern American cinematic ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last credit reads "Final Password: Vernam", which is part of the website game. (See Trivia). A Vernam cypher is a method of encrypting a message. See more »


Referenced in Portlandia: Farm (2011) See more »


High Voltage
Written by Frank Popp
Performed by The Frank Popp Ensemble
Courtesy of Unique Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

First Viewing Was A 'Blast'
20 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here's a film I really liked the first time, and was totally turned off on the second viewing as the Hollywood bias machine was in high gear again, and you can guess in what director (left or right). Anyway, two things remained the same: John Travolta as "Gabriel Shear" was riveting as an anti-terrorist terrorist. The explosion scene where people are flying sideways is awesome, particularly in the sound department if you have surround system. Oh, and yes, Halle Berry and her figure was on display in this film and quite a sight. Wowzer!

Some of this script is a takeoff on Dog Day Afternoon, which Travolta's character re-enacts a role from that famous '70s film. "Shear" talks about that movie during the film.

I almost got discouraged watching this in the first half hour because there is so much computer terminology that I was lost. However, if you find yourself in a similar spot, take heart because that that ends after that first 30 minutes and is no longer a problem.

Credibility and bias aside, it's still a fun movie for at least one viewing, with that early bomb scene most memorable.

42 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I have a love/hate relationship with this movie... eyeonyouproductions
Why The Wire? sirinathm
I shut off my brain and tried to like this, but.... Turophile
Thomas Jefferson never shot a man jpgwriter
Hacking Without Hacker's Tools? theunknowable
Gabriel a Hacker whatisthematrix01
Discuss Swordfish (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: