2 Days in the Valley (1996) Poster

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One of the best movies that nobody's seen!
mattymatt4ever19 September 2001
Unfortunately, "2 Days in the Valley" didn't get a big audience. I saw it in theaters and enjoyed it very much, and now that I bought the DVD I still enjoy it very much! This is really a unique, original piece of work with echoes of Tarantino. Just like any Tarantino film, the characterizations are very well-developed and the dialogue is sharp, witty and full of observation.

The film is an ensemble piece that works on the same level as many others in the genre: We're approached with a series of characters and as the story develops, we watch how the situations all interweave. The result is a hilarious, drop-dead funny dark comedy that's entertaining from start to finish! The music by Anthony Marinelli perfectly accentuates the ironic, darkly comic setting.

One of the crucial elements to make a film like this work is, of course, the characters. Each character is quirky in their own respect, yet they're not caricatures. This is not a farce; this is a real comedy about real people who are really screwed up. We probably know some of these people in our personal lives. And the wonderful cast of multi-talented performers shine in each of their respective roles. Danny Aiello is definitely one of our best actors, with an intense screen presence. He blesses us with another memorable performance as a hitman-turned-pizzeria-owner, who takes a yuppie couple (Glenne Headley, Greg Crutwell) hostage. Headley is a mousey, ultimately naive woman who does everything for, yet ceases to please, her mate--Crutwell as an annoyingly snooty Englishman with kidney problems. You want to cheer in every scene Aiello yells in his face or punches him out. Former teen star Eric Stoltz is good in a quiet role as a rookie detective, who's a little held-back but knows what's right. Jeff Daniels is beautifully cast and outstanding as his partner, who's been in the business for a lot longer, but is a loose cannon and will do absolutely anything--including exposing the masseuses of a Japanese parlor for alleged prostitution--to protect the dear "Valley." James Spader has mastered the role of the yuppie serial killer, and reprises the role he was born to play. He's smooth as ever and sadistic as ever. That's the Spader we know! Charlize Theron is the sexiest in her debut role as Spader's seductive partner. If you want to see the beautiful Charlize at her absolute hottest--look no further! Paul Mazursky--who I've seen in other movies, but doesn't quite stick in my mind--has a nice little supporting role as a washed-up screenwriter. I'll probably have him better stored in my memory after seeing him in this movie, he really is terrific. Finally, we have veteran actress Marsha Mason as a nurse, whose half brother is Crutwell. And there we go--the characters interweave. Each character has an odd sense of irony, which is what's wonderful about this movie.

The only minor flaws are the sometimes-contrived ways of merging the characters into different situations and the excess of characters. There are tons of characters, and though they are all greatly developed in their own particular scenes, the running time prohibits us from getting to know the whole story on some of them--and that's a little bit of crutch, since we grow to love (or love to hate) all these characters. For example, I wanted to see more of Daniels' character and his story comes to a halt midway.

Nevertheless, I was laughing all the way through and never once felt that the film lagged. I was surprised to look at John Herzfeld's (the writer/director) filmography and see a group of TV movies, after-school specials and a few flops, including "Two of a Kind" with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Herzfeld really has an ear for dialogue, and he can be the next Tarantino! I'm not kidding! And I love the way he captures the sunny California setting. So beautiful and picturesque. I know I'm using a lot of superlatives to describe this movie, but it's so darn good and so few people went to see it and I hope more people do. So I urge anyone who hasn't to check out this underrated gem! You won't be disappointed!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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Too much fun to miss
ToddTee8 October 2005
In addition to the clever plot and delicious acting you get to see very early work by Charlize Theron and James Spader, either of which is worth your time. All of the characters are full-fledged characters, with not a weak link in the chain; and those playing those characters all make the best of it. It's a true ensemble cast, with no one -- with the possible exception of Spader, having a lead role. The story is full of twists, surprises and turnabouts enough to flesh out two or three movies. You can tell that all of these fine actors are enjoying playing the quirky characters we are presented with to make this a true fun romp.
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Deserved more moviegoer attention.
steve49er29 May 2004
Yes, this can be compared to "Pulp Fiction". It has a slew of twists and veers from one set of characters to another at the drop of a hat. Unlike "Pulp", however, there are many sympathetic characters mixed into the cast. The film has humor (a hired gunman that spends much of the movie looking for Italian seasonings while cooking for his captives), some sadness (a once successful director down on his luck, ready for suicide, being ridiculed by a bit part actor), a very lush Charlize Theron, a movie mogul with "kidney stones", and an extremely competent killer that has a thing with his stop watch. Let's not forget the two police officers, one a compassionate young man looking to advance to criminal investigation, the other a red neck failure that decides its time to shoot a foursome at the golf course next to his home. How these characters are brought together through the planning of an Olympic star (well, almost a star)who is ready to have her ex knocked off for the will is amusing, well acted, and one of the best films I've seen in some time.
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Worth watching....for its entertainment value.
Comberman1 April 2004
Trying to compare Two Days in the Valley with Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is pointless. There is very little originality in the vast majority of modern movies; by and large within their particular genre most movies are variations on a theme. I've watched Pulp Fiction several times and enjoyed it every time and I'll probably watch it many times more. I watched Two Days in the Valley and never once thought about PF, because I enjoyed it and accepted it as just another variation on a theme that was worth watching....and I'll more than likely watch it again....for its entertainment value. The characters were believable in a many-threaded plot that finally knitted together in a way that did not seem contrived.
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THIS is a romantic comedy?
DeeNine-220 August 2004
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

Yes. You've seen "grunge on the run" romantic comedies--Wild at Heart (1990), Natural Born Killers (1994) come to mind, and poor waitress/crazy old man romantic comedies, e.g., As Good As It Gets (1997)--well, this is a mousy secretary/aging hit man romantic comedy.

Somewhat. It's also a tongue-in-the cheek satire on all things that Hollywood thinks movie-goers crave: cute dogs, sexy women, good-hearted underdogs winning out, dumb cops, the ugly rich (Greg Cruttwell's wormy Allan Hopper fits the bill), shoot-outs, blood, dead bodies (enough to grace a Shakespearean stage) and that favorite of testosterone males everywhere: a good old-fashioned cat fight.

Charlize Theron and Teri Hatcher provide the eye appeal as they slap and toss each other around; and to be honest I have to say they are definitely worth watching. Excellent support comes from James Spader, as an amazingly clean-shaven (what does he use--Nair?) psycho-sickie with a stopwatch.

But Danny Aiello is the real star. He plays Dosmo Pizzo, the over-the-hill hit man (currently moonlighting in embarrassment at the local pizzeria). He loses his hairpiece, finds redemption, true love, thirty thousand Big Ones, and presumably lives happily ever after on the lam with his unlikely moll (Glenne Headly) in this clever plot by coincidence from director and scriptwriter John Herzfeld.

(By the way, what's with Hollywood and its perverse love affair with sympathetic hit men? A new genre? The hit man as the underclass hero? I just saw Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) which stars John Cusack as a "cute" amoral murder artist. What next? The lovable terrorist? Knowing Hollywood, I think we can count on it.)

Anyway, Spader's character is not so lovable. He kills without the slightest qualm and takes a great delight in blowing people away. Charlize is his girl friend and they have lots of you-know-what together. Teri Hatcher is an Olympic class skier with a loser boyfriend. And the Valley of course is the San Fernando Valley just north of L.A., onetime home of the Valley girls, now best known as the porn capital of America.

Jeff Daniels and Eric Stoltz play Valley cops (who are not as smart as L.A. cops--one of the jokes in the movie, ha, ha, ha). Both do a great job. Daniels is street wise and quick on the trigger and a bit of a prude while Stoltz is naive and a wanna-be homicide inspector. There are half a dozen cameos by not so well-known but talented people like veteran Austin Pendleton who does a killer sarcastic monologue on the directorial failures of suicidal Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky). One-time "Goodbye Girl" Marsha Mason has a modest part as a sweet and realistic nurse, and she is excellent. And there are dogs. You gotta have dogs.

However what makes this work is some clever dialogue and some satirical plot ideas, but mainly it is a tour de force of acting by a talented and highly professional cast. This is one of those movies in which every actor is a threat to steal the show at any time one way or the other. In a way it's a parade of cameos cleverly stitched together and then nicely edited.

But see this for James Spader whose skill playing nerdish weirdos is on fine display.
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Weird and very watchable dark comedy/drama.
michaelRokeefe8 July 2000
John Herzfeld writes and directs a tangled story that unravels and rewinds itself. The plot seems to involve a murder by hire that goes awry. A dozen or so Californians have their lives intersect with each going different directions. Violence, sex and dark humor are the adhesive for this scattered, but interesting movie. An ensemble cast keeps your attention.

James Spader is a very effectual and ruthless assassin. The drop dead gorgeous Charlize Theron accomplishes raising blood pressures. Her fight with Teri Hatcher is one you will remember. Danny Aiello is an aging hit man and provider of comic relief. Jeff Daniels is a burnt out detective and Eric Stoltz is a detective wannabe.

Rounding out the cast is Paul Mazursky, Peter Horton, Marsha Mason, and small parts for Keith Carradine and Louise Fletcher.

You will probably want to invite friends over and watch this thing again. It is worth it.
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Interesting mish-mash of characters who all eventually fit together...
dwpollar10 March 2001
1st watched 2/5/2000 - (Dir-John Herzfeld): Interesting mish-mash of characters who all eventually fit together amidst violent crimes started by a man who seems to be used to this line of work. Despite the obvious muddle-filled lives we are able to pick out those that we route for and they seemed to win out in the end. Interesting small film with many big names.
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An Unusual Blend Of Violence, Romance & Comedy
seymourblack-124 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Within the space of a couple of days, the lives of a disparate bunch of characters collide in circumstances that are so bizarre and unpredictable that it's impossible not to be drawn into the rather convoluted plot of "2 Days In The Valley". This is a crime movie which features an unusual mixture of violence, romance and comedy as well as a large number of characters who are all eccentric, dangerous or troubled in various ways and it's these characters that make this film so compelling and entertaining to watch.

Lee Woods (James Spader) and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello) are the professional hit men who break into the home of sleeping Olympic skier, Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher) and after giving her an injection that knocks her out, kill her unfaithful husband Roy (Peter Horton) who was lying in bed next to her. After making their escape, Lee shoots Dosmo and leaves him in a burning car so that the money they're due to be paid won't have to be split two ways.

Unknown to Lee, Dosmo (who was wearing a bulletproof vest) survives and takes shelter at the nearby home of wealthy art dealer Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell) whose Kidney stones are causing him great pain. Initially, Dosmo holds Hopper and his assistant Susan Parish (Glenne Headly) at gunpoint and later, when Hopper's sister Audrey (Marsha Mason) arrives with a guy called Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky), they're also taken hostage.

When Becky regains consciousness, she's covered in blood and horrified to find her estranged husband's dead body. In sheer panic she runs out into the road and asks the occupants of a nearby car for help. The two men in the car turn out to be vice cops who get drawn into the subsequent murder investigation, as well as two other homicide detectives who are officially assigned to the case. Lee returns to the scene of the crime to collect his money and this puts the lives of all the police officers in extreme danger. Not too surprisingly, the movie comes to its very violent conclusion when most of the surviving characters eventually meet up.

The circumstances that Dosmo and Teddy found themselves in were similar as they were both older men who were seriously down-on-their-luck. Dosmo was a washed-up hit man who was only hired by Lee because he wanted to set him up as a fall-guy and Teddy, after many years as a TV director had seen his career degenerate to such a low point that he'd become suicidal. Against all the odds, in this story, both men found the promise of something better for their futures when they met Susan and Audrey. Aiello and Mazursky both do a great job in conveying their characters' humanity and despair.

James Spader provides the movie's standout performance as the sadistic Lee who even uses a stopwatch as an instrument to inflict further pain and anguish on his helpless victims and Charlize Theron makes a strong impression as his equally evil girlfriend, Helga. Eric Stolz and Jeff Daniels add considerable colour to the proceedings as the two vice cops with very different attitudes to their jobs and Teri Hatcher is convincing as the treacherous Becky.

"2 Days In The Valley" was given mixed reviews when it was first released as many reviewers understandably compared it unfavourably with "Pulp Fiction" which had been released just two years earlier. However, in view of the number of years that have elapsed since the release of Tarantino's masterpiece, maybe it's now more pertinent to judge this movie on its own merits and recognise its positive values a bit more clearly.
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some decent performances in routine thriller
rdoyle2911 September 2003
A variety of crooks, losers, and working stiffs living in the shadow of Hollywood find their various personal crises overlapping in this intricately woven melodrama. Lee Woods (James Spader) is a cold-blooded hit man and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello) a soft-at-heart gangster; they've been sent to murder Roy Foxx (Peter Horton), the former husband of also-ran Olympic skier Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher). Alvin (Jeff Daniels) and Wes (Eric Stoltz) are two cops on vice detail. Alvin dreams of becoming a homicide detective, so when he discovers that he might be on the trail of a murder, it's like Santa Claus showed up in mid-July to hand him a present. In an attempt to try and pin Foxx's murder on Dosmo, Lee tries to do away with him. Dosmo manages to escape, forcing him to hide out in the home of Hopper, a pretentious English art dealer (Greg Cruttwell), whom Dosmo holds hostage along with Hopper's long-suffering assistant, Susan (Glenne Headly). In the midst of all this, a down-on-his-luck television director (Paul Mazursky) contemplates suicide (the main stumbling block is finding someone to take care of his dog), and meets a compassionate nurse (Marsha Mason) on a visit to a cemetery, whom he convinces to take the dog. The feature film directorial debut of long-time TV movie creator Herzfeld, this crime thriller interweaves several related plot lines into one tongue-in-cheek noir tapestry. The film is occasionally fun, and genre fans will appreciate its hip, self-mocking energy. There are some good performances too, notably from James Spader, returning to his roots as a slick, ice-cold heavy, newcomer Charlize Theron in a hilarious over-the-top sexpot role, and Paul Mazursky, who usually comes off as too precious, in the nicely modulated part of a suicidal pet lover.
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One of the Best Unknown and Underrated Films in the Style of Pulp Fiction
claudio_carvalho30 July 2016
In Los Angeles, the professional cold blood killer Lee Woods (James Spader), and his loser partner, the hit-man Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello), are monitoring the house the aspiring Olympic skier Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher) that is sleeping with her ex-husband Roy (Peter Horton). During the night, the killers break in the house and Lee dopes Becky with an injection and kills Roy. They flee and Lee shots Dosmo and blow up their car with Dosmo inside. Then he escapes from the crime scene with his Norwegian girlfriend Helga Svelgen (Charlize Theron). Meanwhile the bigoted veteran vice detective Alvin Strayer (Jeff Daniels) wants to bust an Asian massage parlor to deport the women, but his partner, the rookie and ambitious Wes Taylor (Eric Stoltz), does not agree with his attitude. When Becky awakes covered in blood, she runs to the street and stumbles upon Alvin and Wes that drive to her home to investigate the crime. Dosmos is wearing a bulletproof vest and survives; then he seeks shelter at the mansion of the wealthy and snobbish art dealer Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell). Allan has kidney stones and his assistant Susan Parish (Glenne Headly), who is permanently humiliated, is taking care of him. Meanwhile the washed-up and suicidal director Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky) is at the cemetery with his beloved dog Bogey visiting his mother's tomb with the intention of committing suicide. He sees the nurse Audrey Hopper (Marsha Mason) and offers Bogey to her. She invites him to visit her half-brother Allan that might be interested in the dog. Throughout two days, the lives of these characters are entwined and truth is disclosed.

"2 Days in the Valley" is one of the best unknown and underrated films that uses a sophisticated screenplay and many well-developed characters in the style of "Pulp Fiction". The combination of crime, thriller, action and comedy is perfect. "2 Days in the Valley" is also the debut of the hot Charlize Theron, in the role of a Norwegian woman. The direction is tight and the performances of the stellar cast are top- notch. What is more incredible is the lack of interest of distributors that have neglected this vintage film that was not released on Blu-Ray; in Brazil, "2 Days in the Valley" was only released on VHS and the imported DVD is very rare. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Contrato de Risco" ("Risk Contract")
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A pretty screwed-up story about pretty screwed-up people.
madguy7 August 1998
Wow! Fantastic. A very dark humorous movie, one of the best of its kind that I know of. Like any good dark story, every character is presented very shortly and separately, in a way that you can already pinpoint every of his traits in a split-second. Also, like any good dark story, they all get involved with each other one way or another, would that be by being allies that we didn't know of, or simply people that cross the street at the same time and will just look at each other and go on with their lives. A must-see.
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Dark, Deadly and Delicious
crius-314 April 2001
This is great ! For all those people who like their tales dark and told well...oh dash it ! For all those who like their tales told well, dark or not..this is your dish. With a tight script and credible characters this one takes you on a dizzy dark trip. The director achieves this trick by picking a multitude of characters and, wonder of wonders, doing justice to each character great or small. The viewer achieves instant familiarity with all the cast that flit in and out of this set, be it the hard-luck hit man, the mousy secretary, a has-been film director or the females in a dangerous game. With splendid economy the director blends careless, throw away humour and dangerous games to bring off a stunning conclusion. The script is well structured and has a definite place to go unlike the crime movies that seem to falter at the end. The cast is superb, great to witness James Spader do the ice cool one and Danny Aiello is superb as the unwitting player in a sinister game. Do Not Miss !
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"You have one minute to decide the rest of your life..."
pzivojinovic29 September 2016
"2 Days in the Valley" is a great movie for anyone. If you like interesting story lines accompanied by amazing performances by very talented actors/actresses then you should watch 2 Days in the Valley. This movie packs a lot of star power with names such as Charlize Theron, Teri Hatcher, Eric Stoltz, Danny Aiello, Jeff Bridges and James Spader. The story revolves around the events surrounding different characters, all unrelated. The movie has many sub-plots and develops them all independently until they all merge together and we get the big picture. Throughout the movie, we learn important details that are all leading up to a great finale. The director threw in a lot of little interesting quirks, such as the murderous assassin smirking as he watches a cop sight down the barrel of a watergun, or a spiteful old man who we came to hate earlier slinking out of a Japanese pleasure house in the dead of night. The movie is very well written and very interesting, and if there is any problem whatsoever, it would have to be that at times the dialogue becomes a bit laborous and unrealistic. (Sometimes, it appears that the characters are explaining what's going on to the audience, rather than conversing with the other characters.) Nevertheless, this is a trite point, and distracts none at all from the movie's enjoyment.

The cast, especially James Spader and Charlize Theron are top notch, but a crucial change made to "lighten" the movie tosses much of the plot out the window, robs one central character of his key motivation, and greatly hinders the film. Stoltz and Spader give the Best performances, both funny and real. Especially Spader, he virtually Carries the film. Charlize Theron, in one of her first films, is very, very attention-grabbing, through her looks and her abilities. Daniels and Hatcher appear too infrequently to be memorable. Aiello and Headly give equally likable performances that become the moral centre of the film. However, what makes this work is some clever dialogue and some satirical plot ideas, but mainly it is a tour de force of acting by a talented and highly professional cast. This is one of those movies in which every actor is a threat to steal the show at any time one way or the other. In a way it's a parade of cameos cleverly stitched together and then nicely edited.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.
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Amazing cast
smatysia26 December 2014
Since this film came out only two years later, it is hard to imagine that the phrase "pulp fiction" did not come up at the pitch meeting. But I thought that this movie was pretty good and can stand on its own despite the similarities, mainly the weaving together of disparate characters by events. It does run chronologically, unlike PF. It has an amazing cast, with two Oscars, and another five nominations among them. (Although some of these did come afterwards) Kudos for great performances by Danny Aiello, Eric Stoltz, Glenne Headly, Marsha Mason, Terry Hatcher, Charlize Theron, and in a smaller role, Ada Maris. Nice unobtrusive direction by John Herzfeld, who also has a writing credit. Worth checking out.
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Jellyneckr may be wrong about this film
Tescoman4 October 2004
Saw this on video over the weekend and it is not half bad at all. A sub-Tarantino comedy thriller, with a series of linked plots where characters become unwittingly involved with each other. Wife arranges for baddies to top ex-husband (somewhat to her discomfort the hit-man and his sidekick shoot said ex in the hirer's bed - while she is still in it); sidekick gets set up to take the rap, encounters raving misogynist with kidney stones, falls in love with much derided secretary; failed film director contemplates suicide but is saved by a good woman; vice cop yearns to move to homicide and gets embroiled by accident in murder (see above); final denouement when all main characters arrive by chance in the same neighbourhood........ I am sure you get the picture. Neat enough set of stories, and some clever dialogue (sometimes lost in the murk of a badly recorded soundtrack), but the best thing is that this is a really good portmanteau film. You get Danny Aiello as the framed sidekick to James Spader's truly odious murderer (he nearly shoots his badly wounded femme fatal girlfriend 'for your own good': more than a hint of Reservoir Dogs methinks), Teri Hatcher as the sport obsessed wife hiring the killers, Eric Stoltz as the wistful vice cop, Jeff Daniels as his partner, Louise Fletcher, Keith Carradine….and a whole slew of other faces you can recognise but not quite place. Great fun to watch because it looks as if it was great fun to make, and some cracking music to boot. However someone should shoot the dialogue recordists - on this showing, James Spader would appear to be the right man for the job.
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Not a crime drama but a black comedy.
maeander19 May 2002
With more murders than your average 'Dirty Harry' movie, you would think this film was a crime drama. It is not! It's a dark satire...a black comedy in the true sense of the word. Some of the good people aren't that good (some are) and some of the bad people aren't that bad (some are). But the really dense detective stays that dense for the entire film. From the bald bad guy (Danny Aiello with his head shaved) to the suicidal writer/director who becomes a hero to the cat-fight of the two delicate leading ladies that makes the Ali-Foreman heavyweight battle look like a walk in the park; you know your not in Kansas anymore. If you're looking for something where most of the normal film rules are thrown out the window, you can't do better than '2 days in the valley'.
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Totally Out of Control
Jedi Jr.14 June 1999
Two Days In The valley really nailed me to my seat,at first I only rented it to see my favorite new actress Charlize Theron(Helga). Then as the movie started and I saw Danny Aiello(Desmo)and James Spader (Lee) staking out a house I thought it had to be cops checking out drug dealers or something along that line and I was wrong. Then as the other characters appeared in the movie and the story started going in a different direction then I figured it would I was shocked by the way things came out and knew this was one of the best Dramas I've seen in years. It's a must see kinda movie and must have do to all the great and weird acting in it. out of three stars I give it ****.
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Solid crime thriller with talented ensemble acting
pooch-816 January 1999
Writer-director John Herzfeld's mining of the multi-layered, heavily populated neo-crime genre sparked by the popularity of Pulp Fiction is an above average, if workmanlike, movie that should satisfy most aficionados of the style. Weaving together the stories of more than half a dozen interesting denizens of the San Fernando Valley, Herzfeld makes the most of his situations, allowing talented performers like Danny Aiello, Eric Stoltz and Jeff Daniels to show-off their chops. Additionally, Paul Mazursky shines as the depressed, suicidal director Teddy Peppers and Charlize Theron delivers an electrifying turn that should have made her a big star.
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"Short Cuts" meets "Pulp Fiction"
george.schmidt23 April 2003
2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY (1996) *** James Spader, Danny Aiello, Eric Stoltz, Jeff Daniels, Paul Mazursky, Teri Hatcher, Charlize Theron, Marsha Mason, Glenne Headly, Greg Cruttwell, David Carradine, Peter Horton, Louise Fletcher, Austin Pendleton. "Pulp Fiction" meets "Short Cuts" best describes this fun, exciting and leisurely paced comedy/crime thriller with a dozen characters crossing over into each others' paths during 48 hours of murder, suicidal tendencies and the usual California angst of the San Fernado Valley. Great ensemble cast all obviously having fun and one helluva cat fight between Amazonian Theron and buxom Hatcher! Oh mama!
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*** out of ****; Grade: B
J-Crew13 January 2000
A clever mix of a dozen or so Californians over the course of 48 hours. Violent, erotic, and funny, with a very unusual but capable cast. Nice dialogue and interesting characters cover up the central gimmick in the title, and the film features an ass-kicking debut from the lovely Theron.
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Watch It! Only some of the characters have to worry about having just 60 seconds....
larry.launders5 March 2015
It takes a little bit, but all the characters manage to encounter each other/cross paths at some point. Be patient, this is an enjoyable movie to watch!

The characters are very well done, enough depth to explain their actions, but again, patience is needed. Let it tell its story.

The story is tight and smart. It unveils more and more as it goes, hence the needed patience. I don't mean to make it sound like you have to wait until the end for things to make sense, they will as things go along. In other words, questions will get answered throughout the movie, and does a good job of keeping you both guessing, and at the same time satisfied that earlier questions have resolved.

I also found the soundtrack to be very well done. Although apparently there was a previous soundtrack that wasn't used, and has since been released on CD. The Anthony Marinelli pieces are highly effective.

Wonderful cast, soundtrack, and story.
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A solid drama with good acting and good direction
PersianPlaya4084 September 2005
Herzfelds 2 days in the valley is a different film. Borrowing styles of films such as Pulp Fiction and the more recent Crash (intertwining stories meeting each other), its an effective portrayal of what the title states. The performances are good for the most part, although Glenne Headly and Jeff Daniels were not good in this flick. Aiello, Stoltz and Theron were great. My favorite performance of the film came from Paul Mazursky who was great as a washed up TV film director/writer. James Spader and Teri Hatcher were both also good in their roles and Austin Pendletons cameo was one of the highlights of this film. The film is not great, it has some flaws in acting and a few scenes which just don't belong and are very cliché, however as a whole, i liked it, good cinematography and score as well as good performances for the most part, Herzfelds direction and writing was also good, a good debut for him. 8/10 #197 on my list of all time favorite films
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plstrouse3 January 2013
O.K. movie. I gave it a 5.If available, I probably would have given it a 5.5. Mildly entertaining. It was good to see Marcia Mason. I think if she lost weight she would still be very attractive. Glen Headly is an outstanding actress and is the only performer in the entire film bringing something new to the screen, as she always does. Loved the fight scene between Terri Hatcher and Charlize Theron. Charlize looks great in the tight jump-suit. It must have been cold on the stage the day they shot the fight scene because she was looking a little "nippley." Best phrase: As Terry Hatcher is rubbing her face into the wall she says,"Like that wall."
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Derivative in style and content, but an OK curiosity item...
moonspinner5510 June 2008
Writer-director John Herzfeld has assembled a first-rate cast for his tangled tale involving thieves, killers, and their victims in modern-day Los Angeles. Aping both Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and Bryan Singer's "The Usual Suspects", Herzfeld gets in some good, quick lines that raise a laugh or two, but the overall feel of the film seems like cinematic backtracking (it is knowingly recycled). Stand-out performances come from Danny Aiello as a contract killer, Charlize Theron as a femme fatale, and filmmaker Paul Mazursky in a rare acting turn playing a suicidal movie director. Herzfeld's screenplay is florid and sordid, and it's all rather fun on a minor, non-think level, yet his direction is far superior in its smaller moments than in the grand flourishes. Any time there are more than two people on the screen, question marks tend to visibly arise--and then it's every actor for himself. ** from ****
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