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Watchmen (2009)

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In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pat Buchanan (as James Micheal Connor)
Mary Ann Burger ...
John Shaw ...
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Storyline

In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated. The reunited heroes set out to prevent their own destruction, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot. Written by evan murphy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Justice is coming to all of us. No matter what we do. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watchmen: The IMAX Experience  »

Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£3,243,001 (UK) (6 March 2009)

Gross:

$107,503,316 (USA) (22 May 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's Cut) | (Ultimate Cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie rights to the Alan Moore graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta (2005) were acquired together in the late 1980s. Moore was asked to write a script, but declined. The studio then had Sam Hamm write a script. Terry Gilliam considered directing this film as early as 1989, but after several rewrites assisted by Charles McKeown, decided the material unfilmable except as a 5-hour miniseries at a cost of $1,000,000 per page (with CGI not in use yet). Michael Bay was considered as director in 2003. In 2004 the rights had been sold to Paramount, where Paul Greengrass planned a loose adaptation set in the present day. Warner Brothers soon reacquired the rights for Darren Aronofsky, who also wanted a present-day setting, replacing Vietnam with Iraq and terrorism. Uncomfortable with that, Warner hired Zack Snyder, of 300 (2006) fame. Casting rumours over the years included Sigourney Weaver (Sally Jupiter); John Hurt, Robin Williams, Doug Hutchison, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Glen Hansard, Sean Penn (Rorschach); Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Keanu Reeves (Dr. Manhattan); Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, Ron Perlman, Thomas Jane (Comedian); Richard Gere, Kevin Costner, John Cusack, Joaquin Phoenix (Nite Owl); Nathan Fillion (either Comedian or Nite Owl); Jamie Lee Curtis, Hilary Swank, Jessica Biel, Hilary Duff (Silk Spectre); Tom Cruise, Jude Law (Ozymandias). In the finished film, Jackie Earle Haley is the only one of the seven primary cast members who was even in the film industry when the movie was first attempted. See more »

Goofs

The third and final inkblot shown to Rorschach by the psychiatrist is not the same after his flashback. See more »

Quotes

Rorschach: The engines!
Dan Dreiberg: They're icing up. Hold on to something!
Rorschach: Daniel, you're coming in too low. Don't wish to interfere with running of ship, but perhaps should pull up sharply before...
Dan Dreiberg: Yeah, I know, I'm trying! I'm trying to pull him up, goddamnit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The company logos are black-on-yellow, with text set in Futura Condensed, the font used for titles throughout the graphic novel and film. See more »


Soundtracks

Unforgettable
Written by Irving Gordon
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole (as Nat King Cole)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Compelling, exciting and original
27 February 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It is 1985, Richard Nixon is serving his fifth term as US president and the world stands on the brink of destruction as the world's two superpowers vie for nuclear supremacy. The only thing stopping the USSR from launching a doomsday attack is America's Dr Manhattan – a being with enough power to destroy planets and much else besides.

Wow! I was lucky enough to watch this at a preview screening in London last night and came to the film with little knowledge about what to expect. Having seen the posters around the place and perhaps catching one or two of the trailers I was expecting something akin to another "X-Men" movie (which frankly I've never found particularly interesting). However, it was a very pleasant surprise to find that Zack Snyder has served up something entirely fresh and quite dazzling. Watchmen takes the well-worn superhero format and turns it on its head. As you would expect from a movie of this genre you get a tale of attempted world domination by evil baddies, good guys wearing latex costumes, fistfuls of action and spectacular special effects. What you would not expect is to have this interwoven with eye-watering violence (a scene where one particularly nasty bad guy gets a meat cleaver brought down on his forehead being one example), full frontal male nudity (albeit computer generated) and rampant satire. The US political system, military posturing and blind patriotism are all given a bit of a roasting by David Hayter and Alex Tse's script. Add to this a host of compelling performances, notably Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl, and you have an exceptional cinematic experience.

Watchmen is no ordinary superhero movie and likely to manage the difficult feat of satisfying both the fan-boys and the uninitiated punters (like myself). Its success means it must be highly likely that there will be a sequel – if not several. Catch this early if you can and be one of the first to witness that rarefied thing in cinema – something beautiful, exciting and original.


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