6.8/10
46,142
215 user 115 critic

U Turn (1997)

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A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

John Ridley (screenplay), John Ridley (book)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Bobby Cooper
Billy Bob Thornton ... Darrell
Abraham Benrubi ... Biker #1
Richard Rutowski ... Biker #2
Jon Voight ... Blind Man
Jennifer Lopez ... Grace McKenna
Powers Boothe ... Sheriff Potter
Nick Nolte ... Jake McKenna
Aida Linares Aida Linares ... Jamilla
Sean Stone ... Boy in Grocery Store
Ilia Volok ... Sergi (as Ilia Volokh)
Valeriy Nikolaev Valeriy Nikolaev ... Mr. Arkady (as Valery Nikolaev)
Brent Briscoe ... Boyd
Bo Hopkins ... Ed
Julie Hagerty ... Flo (as Julie Haggerty)
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Storyline

When Bobby's car breaks down in the desert while on the run from some of the bookies who have already taken two of his fingers, he becomes trapped in the nearby small town where the people are stranger than anyone he's encountered. After becoming involved with a (unbeknownst to him) young married woman, her husband hires Bobby to kill her. Later, she hires Bobby to kill the husband. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Expect the Unexpected. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stray Dogs See more »

Filming Locations:

Florence, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,730,440, 5 October 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,633,400, 2 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn and Nick Nolte also appeared in The Thin Red Line (1998) and Gangster Squad (2013). See more »

Goofs

Shadow of boom, platform and cameraman visible at lower left hand of aerial view of intersection at beginning of movie right after Cooper's radiator hose blows. See more »

Quotes

Jake McKenna: I got a mind to put you over my knee right now and paddle your ass raw!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Musafir (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

In The Upper Room With Jesus
Written by Lucie E. Campbell
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A grim but comic confection.
9 August 1999 | by planzingSee all my reviews

In "U-Turn," Oliver Stone narrows his focus from the broad-canvass projects he typically produces. Those seeking the knowing profundities of "JFK" or "Nixon" will be disappointed. This is a genre picture of the desert southwestern potboiler variety, a much-updated "Painted Desert" kind of film. Lots of bad luck, scorpions, whiskey, sexual perversity, bullying, greed, lots of sweat and very little shaving. The basic questions begged by a movie like this one are these: Who will have sex? Who will live? Who will die? And who will end up with the money? By the final reel, all these questions are very satisfactorily answered. For a picture of this type, "U-Turn" is very good indeed.

Sean Penn is smashing, Nolte has never been creepier, and Jennifer Lopez is, er, extremely effective in this film's only real female role. John Voight, buried in the role a mystic Indian, is most entertaining. And we get another patented oddball performance by Billy Bob Thornton that is absolutely worth the price of admission. For good measure, Juaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes deliver a too-brief but electrifying turn as a young couple adept at creating trouble. As if Sean Penn, in this picture, didn't have enough already.

Sure, the predictable desert atmospherics are a bit overdone. But the solid script by John Ridley, the letter-perfect performances, and Stone's sure directorial hand make this one of his better films.

This movie is out of the theatres, so one word to you parents about "U-Turn." This is not one to watch in the presence of the kiddies. It contains very graphic and violence and sexual material clearly unsuitable for young folk or the sensitive soul of any age.

But if you like your film noir with sand and scorpions thrown in for good measure, this is a sure-fire rental that will leave you fully satisfied.


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