6.3/10
44,927
165 user 91 critic

Formula 51 (2001)

The 51st State (original title)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

Director:

Writer:

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nigel Whitmey ...
Robert Jezek ...
Priest
...
...
Jake Abraham ...
Konokko
...
Mr. Davidson
Aaron Swartz ...
Mr. Yuri
...
Mr. Jones
...
Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim ...
Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes ...
Boy's Mother
...
Mr. Ho-Fat
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula - a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to 'the 51st state.' McElroy's new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Have a good trip. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Formula 51  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (United Kingdom), 9 December 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,817,719, 20 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,204,007, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel L. Jackson became a Liverpool FC fan after starring in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Iky presents the weapons to Dakota in the hangar, a shadow is visible on the right-hand side of the bench on which the weapons are placed. As the camera moves backwards, so does the shadow, indicating it belongs to either team or equipment. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elmo: I mean, rules are like, arbitrary, you know. Made up for people who believe in fairy tales like, you know, like Santa Claus. Hey, but not us, right? I mean, we know what's important. There's a war going on, man. A war. Ain't that a bitch?
[cop sucks his teeth]
Elmo: I just graduated today, man. With honors. Got my degree in pharmacology. I'm licensed. Look, if you write me up on this drug charge, I won't be able to practice. So what we're talking about here is, is my life. The rest of it.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Shortly after the credits start there is a short segment with Elmo on the Golf Course outside the castle on the post card See more »

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Synaesthesia (Fly Away)
Written by Helstrip / Sherman / Newton
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by The Thrillseekers feat. Sheryl Deane
Courtesy of Neo Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pulp fiction meets Brookside! Joy!
10 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

OK, so the `what' British film industry needs another gangster-flick about as much as Zsa-Zsa Gabor needs another facelift, but this film is worth a look just for the fact that it's not set in London (hurrah!), it's very funny and it features Samuel L. Jackson in a kilt. Coming from Liverpool myself, I loved the fact that someone has taken the effort to make a decent film about my city (the last film set in Liverpool was ‘Beneath the Skin' – shoe-gazing rubbish with Samantha Morton, who couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag).

Energetically directed by Yu, with flamboyant performances by Carlyle, Ifans et al. 51st State is difficult not to enjoy. Okay, so it's not very deep and meaningful, and the plot may have been done a thousand times before, but that could just about describe almost every film that Hollywood has churned out this year. With film, as with any other entertainment medium, it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Moaning about the ‘dodgy' accents or the depiction of Liverpool as a haven for drug dealers and corrupt policemen is pointless nit-picking and should not detract from the fact that 51st State is a lively, refreshing and ultimately entertaining two hours worth of celluloid. It is also a damn sight better than all the British-films-not-made-by-Working-Title that have been released this year.


49 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 165 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Movies Do You Want to See This Summer?

Buzzing comedies such as Sorry to Bother You and The Spy Who Dumped Me await you in our Summer Movie Guide. Check in for the latest release dates and all the info you need.

See our Summer Movie Guide