To foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent undergoes facial transplant surgery to assume the identity of the criminal mastermind who murdered his only son, but the criminal wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge.

Director:

John Woo
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Popularity
2,085 ( 156)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Sean Archer
Nicolas Cage ... Castor Troy
Joan Allen ... Eve Archer
Alessandro Nivola ... Pollux Troy
Gina Gershon ... Sasha Hassler
Dominique Swain ... Jamie Archer
Nick Cassavetes ... Dietrich Hassler
Harve Presnell ... Victor Lazarro
Colm Feore ... Dr. Malcolm Walsh
John Carroll Lynch ... Prison Guard Walton
CCH Pounder ... Hollis Miller
Robert Wisdom ... Tito Biondi
Margaret Cho ... Wanda
James Denton ... Buzz (as Jamie Denton)
Matt Ross ... Loomis
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Storyline

Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent, is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son's killer is his sworn enemy and a very powerful criminal, Castor Troy. One day, Archer has finally cornered Castor, however, their fight has knocked out Troy cold. As Archer finally breathes easy over the capture of his enemy, he finds out that Troy has planted a bomb that will destroy the entire city of Los Angeles and all of its inhabitants. Unfortunately the only other person who knows its location is Castor's brother Pollux, and he refuses to talk. The solution, a special operation doctor that can cut off people's faces, and can place a person's face onto another person. Archer undergoes one of those surgeries to talk to Pollux. However, Castor Troy somehow regains consciousness and now wants revenge on Archer for taking his face. Not only is Troy ruining Archer's mission, but his personal life as well. Archer must stop Troy again. This time, it's personal. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only one will survive See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense sequences of strong violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In February this year it's been confirmed that Paramount will be doing a sequel to the original with both John Travolta and Nicolas Cage interested in returning . See more »

Goofs

John Travolta and a woman walk through a grave yard there's no leaves on the ground until they stop at a grave and there are leaves around. See more »

Quotes

[Tito, Sean Archer's best friend was killed by Castor Troy]
Buzz: Listen, sir... we just want you to know...
Wanda: We're all really sorry about Tito.
Castor Troy: [as Sean Archer] Yeah, well, shit happens.
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Alternate Versions

7 seconds in which a butterfly knife is shown were cut out of the UK version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.159 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ach, ich fühl's
From 2nd act of opera "Die Zauberflöte"
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Hungarian Festival Chorus and Failoni Kamerazenekar (as Failoni Orchestra, Budapest)
Conducted by Michael Halász (uncredited)
Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, soprano
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By Arrangement with Source/Q
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User Reviews

a great action experience
14 February 2002 | by Special-K88See all my reviews

From director John Woo comes this exhilarating action movie that takes a deadly cat-and-mouse game to the next level! A tortured federal agent, haunted by a painful tragedy and obsessed with catching the slick sociopathic terrorist who's eluded him for years and years, is forced to take the face of his mortal enemy in order to acquire vital information. The daring plan quickly goes awry when he loses his own identity in the process, and discovers his arch-enemy is cohabiting with his family. Film's enjoyment depends on the viewer: you'll either condemn the story as absurd and far-fetched, or you'll buy into it and go along for this supercharged, over-the-top action extravaganza. Travolta and Cage are both extraordinarily good, and with Woo at the helm you know that you'd better hang on for dear life! Occasionally silly, with a plot that tosses credibility out the window, but still a helluva lot of fun. ***


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face Off See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,387,530, 29 June 1997

Gross USA:

$112,276,146

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$245,676,146
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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