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
1,585 ( 6)
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:

In order to catch him, he must become him. 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

A lot of people caught the flu while filming the prison scenes because of the dirty conditions there. See more »

Goofs

(at around 2h 10 mins) When Castor is being loaded onto the after being harpooned, his hand drops to his side and then moves back up even though he is supposed to be dead. See more »

Quotes

Castor Troy: [Both have each other at gun point after a shoot out in an airplane hanger] Wow. We have something in common. We both know our guns.
Sean Archer: What we don't have in common, is that I don't care if I live, and you do.
Castor Troy: Sean, that hurts. You're not having any fun, are you, Sean? Why don't you join us? Try Terrorism-for-hire, we can blow shit up, it's more FUN!
Sean Archer: Shut the fuck up!
Castor Troy: You watch your FUCKIN' MOUTH! I'm about to unleash the biblical plague "Hell-A" deserves. But I'll give this SHITHOLE a break if my ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The German Video-Trailer shows a scene not included in the released versions. It shows another FBI-Agent shot-gunned during the shoot-out in Dietrich's Loft. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Superstore: Black Friday (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Miserere
By Gregorio Allegri
Performed by Westminster Abbey Choir (as Choir of Westminster Abbey) under the direction of Simon Preston
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH, Hamburg
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

Wow....this one is good
27 August 2000 | by gazzo-2See all my reviews

This one has a tough job of convincing the audience that the main characters, Travolta and Cage, could swap faces via plastic surgery and still be convincing as one another. It works! Woo has a certain style down-the long flowing robes, slow mo shootouts, orchestral hype in the background, furious shoot outs, explosions, etc. Essentially a more stylish Bruckheimer movie if ya think about it.

I have always liked the Bald guy and Gina Gershon here the most from the supporting cast, and enjoyed the way both the leads got to 'understand' the others' family, way of life, friends, etc. You have to like how Castor gets Travolta's girl to learn knife fighting, for example, or seeing the camaraderie of Cage's group.

Good shootouts and action, sometimes the conceits here are quite far flung, but you can live with that as an audience. I sure did, and so give this...

*** outta ****, it's quite good


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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