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Paycheck (2003)

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What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.



(short story), (screenplay)
4,017 ( 200)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Stars: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin


Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Dunne
Christopher Kennedy ...
Agent Fuman
Agent Mitchell
Jude - Guard


Michael Jennings is a reverse engineer and what he does is technical jobs for certain companies and as soon as he is done, his memory of the work he has done is wiped out. Now the longest he has been contracted is 2 months. But now billionaire, James Rethrick offers him a job that would last 2 years, maybe 3, and he promises that he will probably earn 8 figures. Michael agrees. Before beginning he turns in all of his personal effects. And when the job is done, his memory is erased and he learns he made over 90 million dollars over the three years. When he goes to claim it and his personal effects, he discovers that prior to the erasure of his memory he waived his rights to the money he earned and that the items that were given to him were not the ones he gave when he began. Later he is arrested by the FBI who say that he committed some act of treason and murder. It's while he is in custody that he escapes using some the items that he was given. He later meets with a friend who gives ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Remember the future. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pago  »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,462,374, 28 December 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,269,812, 18 April 2012
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?


In the original story ("Paycheck" by Philip K. Dick) Jennings sends to himself very different items, and there were only seven of them. They were: "A code key. A ticket stub. A parcel receipt. A length of fine wire. Half a poker chip, broken across. A green strip of cloth. A bus token." See more »


Jimmy's party invitation to Michael includes "P.S. THE RED SOX LOST" - clearly indicating his awareness of Michael's favorite team. Jimmy later directs his decoy Rachel, at times feeding her verbatim lines via hidden transmission, to deceive Michael. Yet when the ruse is almost complete, he lets it fall apart by neglecting to feed his decoy the answer to Michael's question, "What's my favorite baseball team?" See more »


[first lines]
Holographic Woman: It's time to wake up... and get a life. We live in a 3-dimensional world. Until now, the world of computing has been a flat world, consisting of 2-dimensional imagery. Now, through the use of exclusive breakthrough technology, ARC has made it possible for you to get a life. A-Life, where we can work and play in a lifelike world of 3-dimensional reality. A-Life, the living monitor.
See more »


Minute Waltz in D Flat Major Op. 64 No. 1
by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Lincoln Mayorga
Courtesy of Townhall Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sci-Fi Action That Is Intelligent
15 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

Don't let the naysayers keep you from giving Paycheck a look. I found it to be intelligent, inventive, action-packed fun. Ben Affleck does a very credible job playing a man that finds the secrets of new technology out for big paychecks and then has his memory erased. He is offered a huge amount to do just that but lose three years of his life in terms of what he remembers. Well, the film picks up quickly after the three years and Ben Affleck has been played foul by his employer or someone. The science fiction aspect is very involved but presented in a pretty comprehensible style. The film chronicles Affleck's collection of simple, every day items that have been sent to him by - himself - and each has a purpose he must soon discover. Director John Woo mixes lots of gritty, sometimes over-blown action sequences here and there(especially at the end), but they only enhanced the suspenseful nature of the film. The film works primarily because of its thoughtful, engaging script and the adequate acting of Affleck, Aaron Echhart, Colm Feore, sultry Uma Thurman, and always humorous Paul Giamatti. The profound(albeit somewhat lost in the action)lesson in the film's end resonated strongly for me and had me thinking about my future and OUR future here on planet Earth. If a film can do that, it can't be all that bad in my book. The film is based on the science fiction writing of Philip Dick, a great mind and perhaps a soothsayer to what lies ahead for all of us. A great theme for this film might be little things mean a lot OR thanks for the memories!

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