542 user 156 critic

Swordfish (2001)

0:33 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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.


Dominic Sena


Skip Woods
2,194 ( 270)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Broken Arrow (1996)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the daughter of a well-known and well-respected base commander is murdered, an undercover detective is summoned to look into the matter and finds a slew of cover-ups at West Point.

Director: Simon West
Stars: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell
Phenomenon (1996)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak
Michael (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two tabloid reporters checking out a report of the Archangel Michael living with an old woman find that it's true. But that's not the only surprise.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt
Ladder 49 (2004)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A firefighter, injured and trapped in a burning building, has flashbacks of his life as he drifts in and out of consciousness. Meanwhile, fellow firefighters led by the Chief attempt to rescue him.

Director: Jay Russell
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett
Basic (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A D.E.A. Agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army Ranger Drill Sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen
Face/Off (1997)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A retired master car thief must come back to the industry and steal fifty cars with his crew in one night to save his brother's life.

Director: Dominic Sena
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi
Con Air (1997)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After a single, career-minded woman is left on her own to give birth to the child of a married man, she finds a new romantic chance in a cab driver. Meanwhile, the point-of-view of the newborn boy is narrated through voice-over.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis


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 Pagan ... Torres (as Angelo Pagán)
Chic Daniel ... SWAT Leader
Kirk B.R. Woller ... Lawyer
Carmen Argenziano ... Agent
Tim DeKay ... Agent


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


Log In. Log Out. Leg It! See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | German

Release Date:

8 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swordfish_ See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$102,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


John Travolta described his character as "less black and white, more grey." See more »


When Stanley first goes to Gabriel's house and is standing by the pool, there is a clear shot of many skyscrapers in what appears to be downtown Los Angeles. However, when the FBI is doing surveillance on the house during the day, it is suddenly on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with no skyscrapers in sight. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World (2002) See more »


Written by Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray
Performed by Paul Oakenfold
Courtesy of London-Sire Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Is good story telling not important anymore?
22 June 2001 | by jdhvnsSee all my reviews

I've read several of the reviews listed in here and I am amazed at how many people are receptive to this movie. Is good storytelling not important anymore? When should an audience have to fill in all of the holes by conjecture, based on their own opinions, not what the film showed them? The filmmakers claim to have created complicated characters...who is good and who is bad...but the film was so poorly written that I doubt that the actors even knew what their character's motivations were. That is except for the Hugh Jackson character, whose motives were so blatantly obvious (getting his daughter back). If the screenwriter had written one more dialogue scene stating that fact, I would have screamed!! We know, we know! He loves her, he loves her! He wants her back!! Just don't say it again, please!!!

How do movies like this get made? Did Joel Silver really read the script and say, "Wow, what a great piece of writing...we've got to make this!" And I'm certain that Domenic Sena doesn't have a clue how to tell a good story, or how to recognize good material, or how to make bad material somewhat good. If he did then he would have seen all of the holes in the script. My goodness Domenic! Don't you think it would have been interesting to see how the cops got to be seated with the Travolta character before the explosion? That's called T-E-N-S-I-O-N. Look it up in the dictionary, it might be useful. And, not to mention, you put the best thing in the entire movie in the first five minutes (the explosion), thus leaving the transition to the third act weak. ALL OF THE TENSION WAS GONE FROM THE ROBBERY!! Couldn't you recognize that? But then again, you're the type of filmmaker that would turn down a beautiful script like "All About Eve" to make "Gone in Sixty Seconds Part II"..."because there was just so much left out of the first one." If I could I would give you my address to send me my $7.50 back.

People will decide for themselves if they like it or not. And everyone has different tastes. But, I KNOW for certain that this is bad storytelling. There are so many holes in the plot and characters that they should have called this movie "Swisscheese". Even the thing everyone heard about, Halle Berry displaying her breasts, was unmotivated. You'd think that the filmmakers would have made it intregal to the story (like her using them to seduce someone or something), but no, she just happens to like reading books topless, that's all. She definitely couldn't have been sunbathing because the entire world of the film existed only at the "magic hour". Why Halle Berry? Is it worth it to show your breasts for extra money? If it had a point to the story, sure, but come on!! I find it amusing to imagine Halle Berry on the set before filming that scene asking, "Let's see, what's my motivation?".

That had to be the question on most of actors minds because it couldn't have been written in the script. And if it was then Dominic Sena is more horrible than I thought for taking it out! And if the actors knew who their characters were and their motivation, then they had to do what everyone in the audience will have to do--fill in all the holes as wide as the Grand Canyon. For brilliant movies like "Memento" it works. But I believe there's enough information in that film to draw logical conclusions from. "Swordfish" doesn't have that. It leaves you filling in holes you shouldn't have to, something filmmakers who know how to tell good stories would recognize.

My suggestion if you're going to see this movie--sit down, relax, clear your mind, and when the movie starts, pull out some swiss cheese to snack on, and PONDER...

21 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 542 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed