Red Rock West (1993)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

An offbeat mystery about an average guy who is mistaken for a professional hit-man. Dead tired and flat broke after driving 1,200 miles, Michael, an unemployed Texan, walks into a tavern in tiny Red Rock West, Wyoming, and is immediately offered a job. There's just one problem: the owner thinks Micheal is a hit-man, and the "job" is murdering the owner's wife. Just when Mike decides to take the money and run, the real hit-man arrives, ready to do the job right.

Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Dahl
On DVD: Aug 10, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Michael Williams

as Bowman

as Mr. Johnson

as Cashier

as Truck Driver

as Red Rock Bartender

as Truck Drivers Buddy

as Country Girl Bartend...

as Caretaker

as Caretaker's Wife

as Receptionist
Show More Cast

Related News & Features

Director Dahl Out of "Punisher 2"
– Rotten Tomatoes

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Critic Reviews for Red Rock West

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9)

It's well worth tracking down, wherever you can find it. For it has the kind of tension and energy -- maybe even a touch of delirium -- that is only a memory in most of today's big studio movies.

Full Review… | March 13, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A wry thriller with a keen edge.

Full Review… | September 16, 2008
Top Critic

A rather ho-hum if watchable neo-noir, though it's been treated in some quarters as something special.

Full Review… | September 16, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[A] well-played, highly entertaining and playfully ingenious thriller.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It should never have fallen through the cracks. This clever little film is a real find.

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

It is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

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

Audience Reviews for Red Rock West

Entertaining pastiche of noir and western. Notoriously flawed by lack of verisimilitude. The always menacing presence of Dennis Hopper is a plus. A clear inspiration for Oliver Stone's U-Turn.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


Lyle: Don't piss on the seat, even if they did. It's bad luck.

A neo-noir set in Wyoming that follows all the standards. Nic Cage is the unlucky hero, in over his head. Lara Flynn Boyle is the femme fatale. J.T. Walsh and Dennis Hopper are the ones up to no good. The film is made well enough and manages to be entertaining for the most part.

Cage stars as Michael, a man trying to find a job, but do to a dodgy knee that was injured during his time spent in the military, its quite hard for him. Michael stumbles into a bar only to be mistaken for a hitman by the bartender, played by J.T. Walsh, who hires him to kill his wife, played by Boyle. Michael accepts, only to plan on ditching with the half up front paid money. Things go awry as Michael can't seem to get out of town, only to have even more problems once the real hitman, played by Dennis Hopper, shows up.

This film is just fine. It plays with the genre by having it set in the midwest, but really doesn't offer much in the way of surprise. So that leaves the filmmaking and the actors involved. Cage does just fine, Hopper is always interesting to watch, and I do miss the standard type of character that Walsh used to play before he died.

Director John Dahl also manages to do a good enough job at throwing in some tension and action our way, which certainly keeps the film's pace moving.

A fine thriller.

Michael Williams: Adios, Red Rock.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

An interesting and entertaining alternative Modern day western. Good performances from Hopper and the late, great J.T. Walsh.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

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