Off Limits (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Off Limits Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Buck McGriff (Willem Dafoe) and Albaby Perkins (Gregory Hines) are military police from the army's Criminal Investigation Department assigned to find a serial killer in 1968 war-torn Saigon. Hookers have been ritualistically murdered, and the two cops spend their final days of active duty in the sleazy back alleys of Saigon tracking down the killer in this military mystery. One by one, possible witnesses who can shed light on the case are systematically murdered.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Ron Shelton, Jack Thibeau, Alison Cross, Christopher Crowe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2005
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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as Buck McGriff

as Albaby Perkins

as Lime Green

as Col. Dexter Armstron...

as Maurice

as Staff Sgt. Flowers

as Bishop

as Vietnamese Interpret...

as Col. Sparks

as Copilot

as Ploughboy

as Sapper's Mother

as Mother Superior

as ARVN Interpreter

as Dragonlady

as Dragonlady

as Captain

as Nguyen Tri Quan

as Ploughboy

as V.C. Taxi Driver

as Dead Whore's Baby

as Whore #1

as VC Prisoner

as VC Prisoner

as Vietnamese Interpret...

as Vietnamese Interpret...

as Vietnamese Interpret...
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Critic Reviews for Off Limits

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

An explosive picture! Dafoe is typically great

October 26, 2008

Audience Reviews for Off Limits


Even though its set during the Vietnam war Off Limits is first and foremost a genuine cop thriller, set in a hellish environment torn apart through warfare, and an effectively disturbing portrait of the horrible issues caused by American soldiers outside of the battlefields. McGriff and Perkins have the worst jobs in the world, since they're employed as army police officers in Saigon and responsible to investigate the crimes committed by American soldiers. One day they're assigned to investigate the murder of a Vietnamese prostitute who had a child with an American soldier. They quickly discover this isn't the first gruesome crime of its kind, as no less than seven similar cases were reported during the past year and they're clearly the work of a serial killer with a strict modus operandi. The devoted and headstrong duo also discovers that the previous officer prematurely quit his investigation even though he came fairly close to capturing the killer, undoubtedly because several high ranked officers got involved and his own life became endangered. McGriff and Perkins, however, are determined to stop to sadist killer, especially when they receive help from a beautiful and street-wise young novice. "Off Limits" is a fast-paced, suspense and frequently very violent thriller with a screenplay that is full of misleading twists, false leads and red herrings, like a legitimate and compelling whodunit thriller ought to be. Some sequences are even downright fantastic, for instance the helicopter-interrogation (Scott Glenn is sublime) or the nail-biting scene where the copper duo is surrounded by a mob of furious and vengeful Vietnamese people. Christopher Crowe's direction is tight and consequently surefooted ? which is quite remarkable for a debut feature ? and his own script is *almost* completely devoid of dreadful clichés and irritating stereotypes. I do emphasize the word 'almost' because a Vietnam movie without mad-raving American officers and/or foul-mouthed Vietnamese prostitutes is practically unthinkable. Dafoe and Hines provide some terrific on screen chemistry, but they certainly aren't your typical witty interracial buddies like Eddie Murphy & Nick Nolte in "48 Hours" or Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon". They tease and provoke each other all the time, but the atmosphere of the film and the nature of the events are simply to austere to mix with comedy. The film is beautifully shot and has a marvelous soundtrack filled with timeless contemporary songs from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Arthur Resnick. "Off Limits" is a terrific and incomprehensibly overlooked film. If you have the opportunity to watch it, please do so without hesitation.

David Ladd

Super Reviewer

The only good thing I can say about this movie is its a cop movie set in Vietnam but other then that, Thats it.Within the 1st 10 minutes of the movie I figured out who the killer was.Yay for me

Brody Manson

Super Reviewer

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