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Paycheck (2003)

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What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.


John Woo


Philip K. Dick (short story), Dean Georgaris (screenplay)
4,147 ( 610)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Jennings
Aaron Eckhart ... Rethrick
Uma Thurman ... Rachel
Paul Giamatti ... Shorty
Colm Feore ... Wolfe
Joe Morton ... Agent Dodge
Michael C. Hall ... Agent Klein
Peter Friedman ... Attorney General Brown
Kathryn Morris ... Rita Dunne
Ivana Milicevic ... Maya-Rachel
Christopher Kennedy Christopher Kennedy ... Stevens
Fulvio Cecere ... Agent Fuman
John Cassini ... Agent Mitchell
Callum Keith Rennie ... Jude - Guard
Michelle Harrison ... Jane


Michael Jennings is a reverse engineer and what he does is technical jobs for certain companies and as soon as he is done, his memory of the work he has done is wiped out. Now the longest he has been contracted is 2 months. But now billionaire, James Rethrick offers him a job that would last 2 years, maybe 3, and he promises that he will probably earn 8 figures. Michael agrees. Before beginning he turns in all of his personal effects. And when the job is done, his memory is erased and he learns he made over 90 million dollars over the three years. When he goes to claim it and his personal effects, he discovers that prior to the erasure of his memory he waived his rights to the money he earned and that the items that were given to him were not the ones he gave when he began. Later he is arrested by the FBI who say that he committed some act of treason and murder. It's while he is in custody that he escapes using some the items that he was given. He later meets with a friend who gives ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The future depends on a past he was paid to forget. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Canada



Release Date:

25 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pago See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,462,374, 28 December 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,269,812, 18 April 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michael Jennings' monitor project was October 19, 2004 to December 22, 2004 (date of his check). His paycheck project finishes June 2007 (date of his signed paper). See more »


When Michael saves Rachel from falling (both were hanging on plastic curtains) they are actually centimeters above the ground as seen in the next shot. See more »


[first lines]
Holographic Woman: It's time to wake up... and get a life. We live in a 3-dimensional world. Until now, the world of computing has been a flat world, consisting of 2-dimensional imagery. Now, through the use of exclusive breakthrough technology, ARC has made it possible for you to get a life. A-Life, where we can work and play in a lifelike world of 3-dimensional reality. A-Life, the living monitor.
See more »


I Remember You
by Johnny Mercer & Victor Schertzinger
Performed by The Steve Venz Quartet
Courtesy of Daaljazz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Underrated John Woo's decent Sci-Fi action futuristic favorite flick of mine!
5 March 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Paycheck (2003) is very underrated John Woo's solid action futuristic thriller, that combines spectacular action sequences with a spellbinding mystery that keeps you guessing from beginning to breathtaking end. It is my John Woo's fourth personal favorite action film of his, that I absolutely love to death.

I know a lot of people don't like this movie because it is John Woo's movie and it is rated PG-13, I love it. I love Ben Affleck his made some of his movies that are favorite mine like are: Reindeer Games, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil and of course this one Paycheck. Watching this movie I must say Ben Affleck can act and he gave one of his convincing acting performances I have seen. I have been from the beginning against his role Bruce Wayne / Batman which I thought they should have left Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy alone, but now after I have seen him in this movie I must say, if you gave Ben Affleck a good script, he will acted terrifically.

This flick is outstanding and Ben Affleck's character is well written and decent. Paycheck is a film that I feel is underrated (I enjoyed the story/ideas, the 'writing your own future, and then living the future you wrote after your memory has been wiped' aspect, the cast (I am a fan of Ben Affleck), the 'Sci-Fi' MacGyver aspect, the action bits which were there. I love the story I love Ben Affleck's character that he is a computer engineer who is working for company's and after he is done, they erasing his memories, he later accepts the job by friends company signs a three year contract and starts working on something big. Three years later, he thinks he won $92.000.000, but he is later double-crossed and chased by FBI and ruthless mercenaries. He finds an envelope with 20 subjects who helps him out of the trouble. The film is filled with mystery around, with what is all about. On the end of the film we found out, it is about a time machine, who can write a future and tells what will happened in your own future, which Michael Jennings build. Now Michael has to race against time, to go back where he started working on machine and destroy it, before Jimmy Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart) re writes his future by destroying the world.

About the cast a lot of actors in this film practically everyone in the main cast is connected to Batman in some weird way. Ben Affleck is the star of this movie and will be the next actor to portray The Dark Knight himself in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice this month. Aaron Eckhart plays the villainous Rethrick but in The Dark Knight he played Harvey Dent s Two-Face and if I may say he was incredibly underrated. Aaron played outstanding villain in this flick. Uma Thurman plays Rachel in Paycheck but we all of course remember her as Poison Ivy in the 1997 clunker Batman & Robin. Also Batman's love interest in The TDK trilogy is called Rachel. Uma Thurman was very likely in here and I liked her very much. I more remember her as the Bride in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2, Mad Dog and Glory and of course I mentioned a failure Batman & Robin. Colm Feore played my favorite character Henry Taylor in 24 Season 7, he was outstanding as Rethrick's henchman Wolfe. I had no clue Michael C Hall - Dexter Morgan him self was in here as an FBI agent, he was just awesome. The last one is Paul Giamatti who was Jennings friend he wasn't also annoying I love him! He only had three scenes and he acted perfectly. Honestly I dare to say Paul Giamatti is far way better actor than Rob Schneider is.

Paycheck is written by short story of the same name by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick., I have enjoyed the action scenes, the acting performances, the chase on motorcycle was my favorite scene in the film. I love this movie and it is John Woo's fifth favorite action film of mine. This movie get's a solid perfect 10 score by me.

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