6.9/10
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132 user 67 critic

Return to Paradise (1998)

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Two friends must choose whether to help a third friend who was arrested in Malaysia for drug possession.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Pierre Jolivet (motion picture Force Majeure), Olivier Schatzky (motion picture Force Majeure) (as O. Schatzky) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vince Vaughn ... John 'Sheriff' Volgecherev
Anne Heche ... Beth Eastern
Joaquin Phoenix ... Lewis McBride
David Conrad ... Tony Croft
Vera Farmiga ... Kerrie
Nick Sandow ... Ravitch
Jada Pinkett Smith ... M.J. Major
Ming Lee Ming Lee ... Mr. Chandran
Joel de la Fuente ... Mr. Doramin
Richard Chang ... Prosecutor
James McCauley ... Famous Divorce Lawyer (as James Michael McCauley)
Brette Taylor ... Young Woman in Limo (as Brettanya Friese)
Deanna Yusoff Deanna Yusoff ... Woman in Bar
David Zayas ... Construction Foreman
Amy Wong Amy Wong ... Ticket Agent (as Amy Wong)
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Storyline

Three friends share an exciting vacation in Malaysia, full of fun, drinks, women and hash. When the vacation is over, each have dreams of continuing their lives, and they all go their separate ways. One of them (Phoenix) remains on the tropical paradise to fulfill a dream of working with apes for research. Two years later, a lawyer (Heche) comes to New York and hunts down the other two friends to give some sad news. A few days after they left the island, police raided their camp and found amazingly large quantities of hash left about. Phoenix was still residing there, so he had to take the blame. He is set to be put to death in 8 days, and the only way the charges can be decreased is if the two friends come back to paradise and take their share of the responsibilty. If they do, they both will spend three years in prison. If only one does, he will spend six years behind bars... Written by R.P. Falvey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Give up three years of their lives or give up the life of their friend. They have eight days to decide.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content, some sexuality and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Long Way to Paradise See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,465,129, 16 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,288,513, 27 September 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Vera Farmiga. See more »

Goofs

Sheriff's shirt shows no sign of having a mug of beer splashed on it as he watches the tape. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff: Should I beware of lawyers bearing gifts?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of DANNY ARNOLD See more »


Soundtracks

Beautiful Lady
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User Reviews

 
Why didn't this film get any Oscar nominations??
19 July 2002 | by spaceboy_aSee all my reviews

'Return to Paradise' is one of the most underrated films of the last few years. It deserved at least three Oscar nominations. Best actress: Anne Heche, Best supporting actor: Joaquin Phoenix and best original score: Mark Mancina. Was it because this wasn't a big studio film that it was robbed of these nominations? After reading other reviews, other people feel the same way. Even some Golden Globe nods would have been warrented.

This film wasn't released at the theaters here in Australia and went straight onto video and I understand it was a flop in the states cause most people were busy paying money to see the regular trash that comes out of Hollywood. This is a shame cause I would have made the effort to see it a couple of times at the cinema.

Anne Heche (Psycho) gave such an amazing performance in the film (maybe the performance of her career), my heart was aching at the end for her and the rest of the cast including Vince Vaughn (Psycho), David Conrad (Men of Honor), Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator) and Jada Pinket Smith (Scream 2) who you'll hate once the movie's over as she's pretty good as the bitchy/power hungry journalist are all so convincing in their roles.

Everyone should have a pretty good idea of what the plot involves but even if it isn't your cup of tea, the film is worth seeing for the performances which unfortunately have pretty much gone unrecognized. Check it out. Score: 9 out of 10


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