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Sudden Death (1995)

tomatometer

55

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

38

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 33,966

My Rating

Movie Info

Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin was the producer of Sudden Death, and the action is set in his hockey arena, in which the Penguins are playing the Chicago Blackhawks. Pittsburgh fire inspector Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is attending the game with his two children. He's quit fighting fires because of a tragedy a few years earlier involving a child he couldn't save. Also at the game is the vice-president of the United States (Raymond Barry), who is the target of a terrorist

R,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Nov 1, 1998

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (16) | DVD (3)

Reuniting Hyams and Van Damme, director and star of Timecop, this spectacular nail-biter exploits their combined, if limited, abilities to the full.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Offers above-average pyrotechnics, a body count that steadily mounts, and plenty of hand-to-hand combat.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sudden Death is one of the best action thrillers of 1995. It's also the film Jean-Claude Van Damme has been building up to for 10 years.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the elaborate stunts, go-go-go direction from Peter Hyams, plus butt-kicking and surprise goalie action from Van Damme, Death deserves the hockey-puck booby prize for...getting its jollies by putting kids in jeopardy.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A treat for Jean-Claude Van Damme fans, a superior action thriller loaded with jaw-dropping stunts and special effects, and strong in production values.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sudden Death isn't about common sense. It's about the manipulation of action and special-effects sequences to create a thriller effect, and at that it's pretty good.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good clean fun, with just the right ratio of explosions to dialogue.

November 2, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Van Damme is at his butt-kicking best, with Sudden Death offering all the thrills, spills and stuff blowing up that action fans relish.

November 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The best of the many Die Hard rip-offs made during the 1990s. Sudden Death is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of hard-edged action.

November 12, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Wooden-as-ever Van Damme is no Bruce Willis, unfunny main bad guy Powers Boothe is no Alan Rickman, and uninspired director Peter Hyams is no John McTiernan.

December 5, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Gets a lot of mileage out of the well-worn trapped-in-a-blank-full-of-hostages action genre.

July 31, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Fun Die Hard knockoff that uses the stadium for all its worth. The mascot fight is a highlight.

July 14, 2003
About.com

A mildly satisfying high-energy romp complete with outstanding professional hockey footage and intense physical confrontations.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

I'm surprised not only that there wasn't a lawsuit over the film, but also by how watchable the film is (though it truly is bad, it's fun at least).

April 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Works as entertaining mix of good action and unintended comedy, but the viewers won't enjoy it today as much as they did in 1995.

April 3, 2003 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Although this is an uninspired re-working of the Die Hard formula, it is probably O.K. as mindless holiday entertainment.

March 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

An exciting if often predictable reteaming of Timecop star Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Peter Hyams.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The movie is state-of-the-art, over-the-top, non-stop Hollywood hokum. And that's meant as a compliment, too.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts

Patched together from such familiar stuff that even ardent fans of the genre will find it hard to stay interested.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Hyams, who also teamed with Van Damme for Timecop, knows how to keep the action popping and there are some dramatically intense scenes. But it's far too sadistic.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

I never realized how many ways there are to kill people in a kitchen.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for Sudden Death

This is a pretty good 'Die Hard' style flick, 'Die Hard' in a ice hockey stadium haha the villian, Boothe is pretty nasty and the action is good and strong. The final scene is abit over the top but this is a good action effort.
August 1, 2010
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Really really typical 90's action flick...with on exception...
Jean Claude Van Damme fights a penguin.
May 17, 2010
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Die Hard on ice.
February 14, 2010
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

I've seen just about all of Van Damme's movies and I have to say that I think "Sudden Death" is the best one so far. It's not your typical Van Damme movie when you compare it to most of his others. Most of his movies are mainly just fights throughout most of the film, which is always awesome. But I think it's even better when a fighting movie such as "Sudden Death" has more of a plot to it.
Someone kidnaps his daughter and is holding her and the Vice President captive. The man holding them hostage wants a lot of money or he will blow up the whole hockey arena. Van Damme must find a way to get his daughter back while saving everybody else in the arena.

"Sudden Death" is what all the other Van Damme movies isn't. It has a major storyline to it, great special effects, and even a few funny parts such as when Van Damme has to be a real goalie in the game to keep the badmen from finding him. If you're a Van Damme fan or if you like great action movies, "Sudden Death" is definitely for you. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. I've always loved Van Damme movies and have seen nearly all of his, and this is definitely one of my absolute favorites from his library.
August 15, 2009
stormyweather980

Super Reviewer

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