6.5/10
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547 user 159 critic

Swordfish (2001)

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0:33 | Trailer

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A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him.

Director:

Dominic Sena

Writer:

Skip Woods
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Popularity
3,686 ( 717)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Gabriel
Hugh Jackman ... Stanley
Halle Berry ... Ginger
Don Cheadle ... Roberts
Sam Shepard ... Senator Reisman
Vinnie Jones ... Marco
Drea de Matteo ... Melissa
Rudolf Martin ... Axl Torvalds
Zach Grenier ... A.D. Joy
Camryn Grimes ... Holly
Angelo Pagán ... Torres
Chic Daniel ... SWAT Leader
Kirk B.R. Woller ... Lawyer
Carmen Argenziano ... Agent
Tim DeKay ... Agent
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Storyline

When the DEA shut down its dummy corporation operation codenamed SWORDFISH in 1986, they had generated $400 million which they let sit around; fifteen years of compound interest has swelled it to $9.5 billion. A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell, headed by the duplicitious and suave Gabriel Shear, wants the money to help finance their raise-the-stakes vengeance war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away behind super-encryption. He brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson, who only wants to see his daughter Holly again but can't afford the legal fees, to slice into the government mainframes and get the money. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Log on. Hack in. Go anywhere. Steal everything. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

8 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swordfish_ See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$102,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,145,632, 10 June 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$69,772,969

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$147,080,413
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The opening scene of Swordfish is the most complicated visual effect in Warner Brothers history. It was shot using Matrix-like effects (The Matrix (1999)) by Frantic Films of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The effect has so many composites in it, that the producers and director of the film, could not determine what was real, and what was created by computer. See more »

Goofs

Most references to cryptography and computer security, and the ease with which they can be defeated, are fantasy. The filmmakers did this so as not to enable criminals. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gabriel: You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I'm not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that's searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something. No, it's easy to pick apart bad acting, short-sighted directing, and a purely moronic stringing together of words that many of the studios term as "prose". No, I'm talking about the lack of realism. Realism; not a pervasive element in today's modern American cinematic ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening studio logos for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Productions flicker as if they were on a problematic computer screen. Other than those logos and the movie's title, there are no opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Alternate television takes were shot for the scene with Ginger at the pool (she wears a bikini) and where Stanley hacks into the main frame of the Departement of Defense (Helga is not there). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Portlandia: Farm (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Unafraid (Paul Oakenfold Mix)
Written by Jan Johnston and Jamie Myerson
Performed by Jan Johnston
Courtesy of Perfecto Records/Mushroom Records (UK) Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A lot of style and action, little substance
26 February 2007 | by DrLexSee all my reviews

This movie can be summed up as: lots of very cool action scenes (fans of both bullet time and explosions will really enjoy this), a lot of style, and a standard implausible plot. This movie is very entertaining if you like non-stop action in a cool high-tech environment.

The ingredients are pretty standard. There's a stylish kick-ass villain (Travolta) with a plan, being a high-tech bank robbery. This is all garnished with lots of weapons, technology, car chases and beautiful women. This movie really delivers on the action front, I don't think there's any 'quiet' scene that lasts more than 2 minutes. It also contains the now standard implausible hacking scenes, where getting into the computer system of a bank involves solving a kind of Rubik's cube on your computer screen. I hope you're not offended by product placement because a certain computer brand is quite prominent when IT hardware is involved in this movie. But it's by far not as obnoxious as in "I, Robot".

The filming is top-notch, unlike some other movies you can actually see what's happening in the action scenes (which is sometimes due to the amazing slow-down effects in some scenes). Unfortunately the entire plot becomes quite thin when the movie is stripped of all this action and style. However, it works. The ending is rather vague, as if room was left for a sequel without making it too painful if there wouldn't be one after all.

Overall I would say this is a pretty OK movie, but don't expect the best cinema ever.


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