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Swordfish (2001)

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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
2,194 ( 270)
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 Pagan ... Torres (as Angelo Pagán)
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 In. Log Out. Leg It! 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

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

Goofs

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 »

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Password
Written by Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray
Performed by Paul Oakenfold
Courtesy of London-Sire Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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...


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