6.9/10
13,280
133 user 69 critic

Return to Paradise (1998)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
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 »
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Popularity
4,656 ( 321)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vince Vaughn ... Sheriff
Anne Heche ... Beth
Joaquin Phoenix ... Lewis
David Conrad ... Tony
Vera Farmiga ... Kerrie
Nick Sandow ... Ravitch
Jada Pinkett Smith ... M.J.
Ming Lee Ming Lee ... Mr. Chandran
Joel de la Fuente ... Mr. Doramin
Richard Chang ... Prosecutor
James McCauley 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

Gross USA:

$8,341,087

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,341,087
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

The first of two back to back films that Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche starred in together. After this, they recreated iconic roles in the remake of Psycho. Coincidentally, Vera Farmiga who made her film debut in this, also appeared in a retelling of Psycho with the TV series Bates Motel as Norman Bates' mother. 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

Beth: I'm not the best, but I am the most persistent.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of DANNY ARNOLD See more »


Soundtracks

Jing Jing (Firefly)
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic film, a classic
4 March 2001 | by richdvkSee all my reviews

If you're into teenage jock movies or action-packed explosion movies then look away. This is an intelligent drama that will have your mind working without time for a break. Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Lewis goes from superb to breathtaking as the movie progresses. A number of twists and turns along the span of the movie makes it hard if not impossible to predict who will decide to do what next. Without wanting to give too much away, the tragic ending is directed without fault, leaving this a gut-wrenching masterpiece which will probably never get the credit it truly deserves.


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