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Swordfish (2001)

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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.



2,499 ( 173)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
A.D. Joy
Torres (as Angelo Pagán)
SWAT Leader


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


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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 USA:

$18,145,632, 10 June 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Travolta believes that Gabriel is "A man who believes bad things have to be done for the greater good." See more »


The bank in "Monte Carlo" at the end of the movie displays the French and European Union flags outside and in the foyer. Monte Carlo is in the Principality of Monaco a separate nation to France with its own flag. Monaco is not part of the EU. The building is in Nice, France. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

The opening studio logos for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Productions flicker as if they were on a problematic computer screen. Other than those logos and the movie's title, there are no opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Robot Chicken: Password: Swordfish (2006) See more »


New Born (Paul Oakenfold Mix)
Written by Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme
Performed by Muse
Courtesy of Warner Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Godawful ridiculous no-brain movie
6 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

My head is still shaking in disbelief after knowing this movie has a rating higher than 4 here in IMDb. I'll take some time to get over that before I start writing my review.


Well, if you're into meaningless and completely made-up computer technical babble, this movie is a gem. With terms like "worm", "hydra", "512 bit encryption" and "DS3" used at random, you can't go wrong. If you take into account the countless times when hacking is portrayed as typing furiously in front of a flat screen filled with ad hoc graphics and perennial connection to any computer in the world, we're talking Oscar material here. From a wider point of view, this flick wallows in the vice of technology aesthetics. Well, I mean what some Hollywood mentally handicapped men understand as technology aesthetics.

If you don't enjoy technical crap, you can try it with lame characters and dialog ("I'm not here to suck your d**k", anyone?). John Travolta's character, aside from dressing like s***, is unbelievable, awfully portrayed and speaks an unintelligible ideology. Halle Berry is there to show us her breasts and nothing else. Hugh Jackman is a hacker (enough said) that seems to be made of wood, except for the "hack-it-right-now-or-someone-dies" sequences, in which he spills his guts out in embarrassing overacting. All in all, this is one of the most cringe-inducing movies I've seen in my life. Every cliché is there (why the f**k every loner/loser lives in a caravan?). Every script line is either wannabe-cool or plain stupid.

To add some aggravation, the movie opens with a John Travolta's monologue in which he digresses about the unrealistic nature of Hollywood films. Yes, some screenwriter lost a marvelous opportunity of shutting the f**k up.

I use to write longer reviews, but anybody with a brain will probably know what I'm talking about in the paragraphs above, and that there's not much left to say.

A future embarrassment for everyone involved. Granted.


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