6.2/10
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144 user 84 critic

Mercury Rising (1998)

Shadowy elements in the NSA target a nine-year old autistic savant for death when he is able to decipher a top secret code.

Director:

Harold Becker

Writers:

Ryne Douglas Pearson (novel), Lawrence Konner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
349 ( 1,467)
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Art Jeffries
Alec Baldwin ... Nick Kudrow
Miko Hughes ... Simon Lynch
Chi McBride ... Tommy B. Jordan
Kim Dickens ... Stacey
Robert Stanton ... Dean Crandell
Bodhi Elfman ... Leo Pedranski (as Bodhi Pine Elfman)
Carrie Preston ... Emily Lang
Lindsey Ginter ... Peter Burrell (as L.L. Ginter)
Peter Stormare ... Shayes
Kevin Conway ... Lomax
John Carroll Lynch ... Martin Lynch
Kelley Hazen ... Jenny Lynch
John Doman ... Supervisor Hartley
Richard Riehle ... Edgar Halstrom
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Storyline

Bruce Willis is an outcast FBI agent who protects a 9 year old autistic boy who is the target for assassins after cracking a top secret government code. Written by ShowBob <showbob@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The boy no one could reach. The code no one could crack. The agent no one could stop. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Miko Hughes spent time with many autistic children at a special school to understand how to portray an autistic child. Bennett Leventhal, head of the child psychiatry department at the University of Chicago, spent six weeks before the shoot tutoring Hughes at a school for autistic children. Leventhal, a big doctor on autism, complimented Hughes at the film's premiere and said "Even I believed you.". See more »

Goofs

When Art breaks the door to Simon's house, he closes it and the door clicks even though Art broke it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
FBI Supervisor Hartley: Let's go down.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The german TV-Channel RTL cut all of the violence out of the movie, to send it on an earlier timespot (8.15pm). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Evil (Is Going On)
Written by Willie Dixon
Performed by KoKo Taylor
Courtesy of Alligator Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Flawed, but it definitely surpassed my expectations
29 June 2008 | by Electrified_VoltageSee all my reviews

Nearly six years ago, in the summer, I was camping and visiting some relatives at their vacation trailer, and happened to walk in one day while "Mercury Rising" was being watched. By that time, they were well into the film, perhaps more than half way through, but I watched the rest. I'm not exactly sure how much I liked it at the time, but didn't see anything severely wrong with it. Last night, I watched the whole movie for the first time. Knowing it wasn't the most widely praised film, and that I have higher standards than I did six years ago, I had fairly low expectations, but after that, I can't say I dislike it.

A very complex code called "Mercury" has been created by the NSA, one which is believed to be impossible to break. However, the code has been put in a puzzle magazine as a test to see if this is true, and a nine year old autistic boy in Chicago named Simon Lynch, who likes to solve puzzles, manages to break it. The NSA receives a call from this boy, and the two agents who have received the call inform their boss, Nicholas Kudrow. Kudrow is afraid of the code being spread around, so he sends an assassin to kill the boy! The assassin comes to Simon's house and kills his parents, but cannot find the boy himself, and flees when he hears the police coming! An FBI agent named Art Jeffries is sent to investigate, and he finds Simon hiding in a closet. After taking the boy away, Art must protect him and try to keep him from the assassins, which will be difficult, as he doesn't have too many people on his side, and keeping Simon in one place in sometimes a challenge!

I'm not sure exactly how to explain my feelings about this movie. Around the beginning, it seemed pretty much average, but it gradually got better. I was pretty shocked at the scene where Simon's parents are killed, and not in a good way. Some (probably many) people have criticised "Mercury Rising" for being so unrealistic and clichéd, and I'm not going to argue with that, but I can't say I think it's a bad movie. As usual, Bruce Willis puts on a memorable performance, this time as FBI agent Art Jeffries, a likable character, and then-child actor Miko Hughes is also impressive as Simon. Playing the role of an autistic character probably wasn't easy, but it seems Hughes managed to pull it off. For me, it was reasonably suspenseful seeing the two characters on the run together. The film has very memorable and touching ending as well, one which I remembered from the first time.

No, this certainly isn't the most popular action thriller ever made, nor does it deserve to be, but worse has been done. I honestly thought I would have more critical things to say about "Mercury Rising", but I don't, and it seems many of those who don't like it have given good reasons why they don't, probably better reasons than I can give for praising it. Since this 1998 action thriller is so polarizing, I guess there's no guarantee whether you'll like it or not, unless you don't like action thrillers in general, then you obviously wouldn't like it. However, if you're a fan of this genre, (you like good, though maybe mindless action), there's a chance "Mercury Rising" will do, as long as you're not expecting a masterpiece.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mercury Falling See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,104,715, 5 April 1998

Gross USA:

$32,935,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,107,289
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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