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Snake Eyes (1998)

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A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Brian De Palma (story), David Koepp (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Rick Santoro
Gary Sinise ... Commander Kevin Dunne
John Heard ... Gilbert Powell
Carla Gugino ... Julia Costello
Stan Shaw ... Lincoln Tyler
Kevin Dunn ... Lou Logan
Michael Rispoli ... Jimmy George
Joel Fabiani ... Charles Kirkland
Luis Guzmán ... Cyrus (as Luis Guzman)
David Anthony Higgins ... Ned Campbell
Mike Starr ... Walt McGahn
Tamara Tunie ... Anthea
Chip Zien ... Mickey Alter
Michaella Bassey Michaella Bassey ... Tyler's Party Girl #2
Paul Joseph Bernardo Paul Joseph Bernardo ... Casino Security #1
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Storyline

Ricky Santoro is a flamboyant and corrupt Atlantic City cop with a dream: become so well connected that he can become mayor. In lieu of that, he'll settle for keeping his comfortable lifestyle. On the night of the heavyweight boxing championship, Rick becomes mixed up in the assassination of the Secretary of Defense, an assassination involving his best friend. Becoming the investigating officer in the case, Rick soon uncovers a conspiracy to kill the Secretary and a mysterious woman in white. The conspiracy was shocking, but not half as shocking as the identity of its mastermind. Written by The Mystery Guest

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Watch Closely See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ojos de serpiente See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$73,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,310,373, 9 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,585,389, 20 December 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,891,409
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film could had ended with Julia Costello visiting Rick Santoro in prison. See more »

Goofs

After receiving the bloodstained $100 bill, Rick puts it in his inner pocket. When he takes it out again, he gets it from the left hip pocket of his jacket See more »

Quotes

Julia: Look, I'm sorry.
Rick Santoro: Who gives a shit if you're sorry?
Julia: What are you mad at me for?
Rick Santoro: Because I didn't have to know! You decided to have this problem, not me! My world would've gone on turning just fine, but now, either way I look, I have to do something that I don't wanna do. Do you I understand, I do not wanna do this!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits scroll over a construction site scene (presumably the new casino), closing in tighter and tighter until the final shot is of a bright red jewel embedded in a concrete pillar that the workmen are installing. Most of the time the jewel is hidden under the hand of one of the workers. The ring was worn by the red-haired woman/Navy agent who was part of Commander Kevin Dunn's scheme. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Requiem for a Dream (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Sin City
Written and Performed by Meredith Brooks
Produced by Paul Fox
Meredith Brooks performs courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Three Ring Circus of a Movie- I Loved It!
20 August 1998 | by bababearSee all my reviews

Overblown, overdirected, overacted: that's why I always enjoy DePalma's movies. He made the statement that the camera lies 24 times a second, and SNAKE EYES plays on that theme.

De Palma's camera is constantly in motion, roaming through the arena, casino , and hotel as if it had a life of its own. At the beginning of the film we watch Nick Santoro (Nicolas Cage) as he swims through the sewer (his words) that is the Atlantic City casino world. He tells us, "This isn't a beach town. It's a sewer. It's my sewer, I am the king."

It's literally a dark and stormy night. A hurricane (a tv reporter is pressured to refer to it as a 'tropical depression' on the air) is coming ashore, and 14,000 people are gathered at a casino complex to watch a prizefight.

There's a shooting during the fight, and Cage orders the exits sealed; who would go outside into a hurricane remains a mystery, but anyhow. There are two mysterious women involved in the incident, and as time passes he realizes that there were lots of people involved, possibly even his longtime friend Navy Commander Dunne (Gary Sinese) who is as straight-arrow as Cage's character is sleazy.

By the end of the story Cage is working toward redemption- even though during the early part of the film it's made clear that he sees everything as having a price.

There's one point where he is offered a million dollars to reveal where one of the women (she knows a lot- too much- about a defense contract, and was talking to the Secretary of Defense when he was shot) is hiding. And there 's a very real chance that he might give in, or be unable to protect her when the danger gets intense.

Men in De Palma's films have a way of failing to come through for women in critical situations. An executive couldn't save his wife in OBSESSION. A young actor couldn't protect a mysterious, beautiful woman in BODY DOUBLE. The nicest guy in school couldn't keep the outcast/prom queen CARRIE from humiliation and its awful consequences. In the superb BLOW OUT a movie soundman rescues a young woman from a sinking car early in the story, but is too late to save her from a madman at the film's conclusion.

So there is no guarantee of a happy ending. Self doubt weighs heavily in De Palma's films, and often people's best efforts are to no avail.

Admittedly David Koepp and De Palma's script is something of a problem. There's a complex conspiracy underfoot, and conspiracies are low on my list of compelling things- I got burned out on them in the seventies.

Far more compelling is the great fun that Cage has with his character. Boy, does he get to chew scenery here. Constantly in motion, talking on his cell phone (even during a hurricane; some of my friends can't use theirs when a cloud passes over the sun), interacting with the low life characters around the casino.

And, oh, does DePalma have fun with the whole thing. Of course, nothing is what it seems to be. He retells the action from the viewpoint of this or that character: we sometimes literally see what happened through that character's eyes. An important setpiece in which we finally see what really happened in clear perspective uses split screen imagery- and in the theatre where we saw SNAKE EYES the use of stereo sound was an integral part of the seperation of images.

For all the bravado of his performance, I was impressed with Cage's ability and willingness to share the screen with other actors. In some of the retellings he is a supporting character or featured extra, and as an actor he's more than willing to let our attention shift to someone else. A lesser actor might have been afraid of that shift of focus. Way to go, Nicolas. That's a real sign of maturity as an actor.

So did I buy into De Palma's bag of tricks? Yup, 100%. It's nice to see a movie that isn't afraid of the old razzle-dazzle. I do appreciate subtlety and complex ideas- that's why I'm a voracious reader. I really don't think I'd enjoy De Palma directing an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel or REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST. The Merchant- Ivory people do that sort of thing so nicely. But it was nice to sit back for an hour and a half and let a master showman use illusion to fool us and let our eyes fool our brains.

On a five scale, Pops gives it four slot machines.


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