Max Payne (2001)

Video Game  -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  24 July 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 9.4/10 from 9,095 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 5 critic

A troubled NYPD cop is framed for murder and finds himself being hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.



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Title: Max Payne (Video Game 2001)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Payne (voice)
Michelle Payne (voice)
DEA Agent Alex Balder / Mercenary / Killer Suit (voice)
Jane Gennaro ...
Nicole Horne / Valhalla Project Computer (voice)
Adam Grupper ...
BB / Policeman / Mercenary (voice)
Joey Finito / Virgilio Finito / Mobster (voice) (as Tye Reign)
Vinnie Gognitti / Pilot / Chemist (voice) (as Joe Dallo)
Chelsea Altman ...
Kyra Silver (voice)
Angelo Punchinello / Mobster (voice) (as Joe Ragno)
Candy Dawn (voice)
Ricky Ashley ...
Captain Baseballbat-Boy (voice)
Victoria Pontecorvo ...
Bicycle Helmet-Girl (voice)
Rico Muerte / Transit / Joe Salem (voice)
Alfred Woden / Butler (voice)


Max Payne, a cop in the NYPD, returns home one day to find his wife and baby daughter murdered at the hands of drug addicts, high on a designer drug called Valkyr. After 3 years of working on the case, Max and his best friend Alex go undercover to bust a V-deal. However, things go wrong: Alex is suddenly killed, and Max is framed for his murder. Hunted by the cops and driven by determination to avenge his family, Max Payne sets out to uncover the truths behind his family's murder. Written by Kerwin Tsang

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | framed | nypd | death | new york | See All (58) »


Punchinello wanted Payne, he'll get the pain See more »


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 July 2001 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


In Part 1, Chapter 2 ("One Way Or The Other" Playstation 2 level): Right at the beginning, there is a hole in the bricks in the wall. Cheat yourself a grenade and throw it in. Your mission objectives now say "I had declared a war against rats" (the Playstation 2 version has no Mission Objectives screen, but if you chuck a few grenades in the hole the trick will still work). A bit later, after walking through some water and taking out a few enemies on a train platform, walk up the wide stairs. In the room at the top are a bunch of rats with Desert Eagles fused to their bodies! In the PC version, you can apparently do the following: Shoot one of the ceiling lamps, hit the base of the lamp and it will fall. The rats will now battle each other. If "your" side wins, the remaining rats will take up defensive positions around you. If your side loses, the remaining rats will come after you. See more »


A .50 AE caliber Desert Eagle holds 8 rounds (7 in the magazine 1 in the chamber), not 12. See more »


Frankie Niagara: Pleased to meet ya. I'm Frankie "the Bat" Niagara.
Max Payne: "Niagara," as in you cry a lot?
Max Payne: [narrating] He had a baseball bat and I was tied to a chair. Pissing him off was the smart thing to do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, when you complete the game, the following text appears on the screen: Max Payne has only started his journey through the night. The pain has only just begun. More will follow. See more »


References Jacob's Ladder (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Now here's what an action game should be. (* * * * out of * * * *)
14 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Now here's what an action game should be. Max Payne is like a tribute to such Hollywood action icons, such as The Matrix (1999) and director John Woo. This is one of the best video games I have played in a long time. Never in a video game have I seen such good graphics, great dialogue, and intense action.

At best, a game like Max Payne runs like a television marathon series. The game is separated into three chapters with at least seven parts each, including the amazing graphic novels.

The game has a promising premise: DEA agent Max Payne is framed for the murder of his partner, Alex Balder, during a robbery in a New York subway station. With his partner dead, Payne is framed for the crime and the robbery. The case takes a bigger turn with the flow of a new drug in the city, and the possibility of a corrupt organization's involvement in supporting the drug (known as Valkyr). For Payne, it's going to be a long night in New York, during the city's snowstorm blizzard of the century.

Max Payne is a dark video game, and the title hero is also the narrator of the story, and while Payne doesn't seem confident in his storytelling, at times, he provides humor during the narration. The game shifts us to the events leading up to Payne being set up.

There is a sad and somewhat unpleasant sequence where Payne's wife and baby daughter are murdered by Valkyr junkies. And there is the possibility that the corrupt Aesir Corp. may be responsible for his family's death.

Payne must also battle a trail of mobsters, security agents, and black ops operatives, who all want him dead.

What makes Max Payne a great video game is the graphics, which uses New York locations we've probably never seen before, such as a run-down night club called Ragna Rock, and an old seaport.

There is even a great chase sequence where Payne chases a mobster from buildings to a construction site, and to the rooftops of New York apartment buildings (Not in that order).

Payne is also given a cache of weapons, such as handguns, grenade launchers, and machine guns. All enough to start a war. There is even a feature known as bullet time (reminiscent of the action styles seen in the John Woo movies), in which Max is able to slow down time and get a better advantage over his enemies. And if you're a hardcore John Woo fan, you'll notice that Payne is also able to do that familiar double handgun leap in the air.

And while Max Payne is such a good game, it does have its minimal flaws, which is its lack of character variety; the mobsters (who resemble Joe Pesci wise-guys), and agents all look essentially the same. The body count, and the amount of bullets used are ridiculously too high. And sometimes shooting someone point blank in the head doesn't work all the time. I guess it's trying to follow that great tradition of the John Woo Hong Kong movies in which there is always a high body count and a person is hit more than once.

Not all levels rely on handguns and automatic weapons. There is a moment that I like where Payne is unarmed and he must fight through a hallway full of thugs with a baseball bat.

There has been rumors that Max Payne is being made into a motion picture by Twentieth Century Fox that will fill in the gaps missing in both games. The video games, alone, are perfect. Max Payne creates a hero, who, if not plausible (he does endure mega doses of violence, and manages to live through the cold, stormy night), is at least persuading as a man determined to find the truth and clear his name.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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