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Red Rock West (1993)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 7,882

My Rating

Movie Info

John Dahl directed and co-wrote (along with his brother Rick Dahl) this quirky and energetic film noir that, after a well-received screening at the Toronto Film Festival, was consigned to oblivion before resurfacing on cable television. When the owner of a San Francisco movie theater, who was a big fan of the film, arranged for a theatrical release, the film clicked and toured the country as an art house hit. The film concerns eternal loser Michael (Nicolas Cage), down to his last five dollars

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Aug 10, 1999

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Red Rock West

June 13, 2007:
Director Dahl Out of "Punisher 2"
Looks like "Punisher 2" is in even more turmoil after losing Thomas Jane. Now rumored...
May 18, 2007:
Jane Out, Dahl In on "Punisher 2"?
We're already well aware that actor Thomas Jane has walked away from the "Punisher"...

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (2) | DVD (8)

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.

March 13, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wry thriller with a keen edge.

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

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

It is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The cast is terrific, with Walsh at his most deliciously amoral.

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

One of the most successful entries in the crowded ranks of early '90s neo-noir thrillers.

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Great fun.

November 30, 2007
ColeSmithey.com

It's a brilliant noir movie that seems to understand the inner workings of film noir, rather than just paying tribute to it.

June 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A forceful, witty film noir played almost straight.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

John Dahl's second feature is a quirky, low-budget "Western noir," baosting a fresh narrative angle and a quintessentially indie cast, including Nicolas Cage (before he became a star), J.T. Walsh, and the ubiquitous enfant terrible Dennis Hopper

December 14, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

With J.T. Walsh, Dennis Hopper, and Lara Flynn Boyle in your desert thriller, it's hard to go wrong, and in his riveting sophomore feature, John Dahl rarely gets tripped up.

January 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A great, twisty noir that plants a Jim Thompson plot in the American Southwest.

December 11, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A great example of western film noir from director John Dahl, a modern day master of these types of films.

July 14, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

Red Rock West is a tasty film noir with a western twang to it and enough twists to keep hardened crime buffs on their toes. Even better than the deliciously complicated plot are the performances of a cast enjoying themselves with the ripe material.

December 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

As Red Rock West reached its conclusion, I was completely caught up in its plot -- and unsure of what would happen next. That's rare in a thriller, and it's a tribute to the ingenuity, skill and craft of the people on both sides of the camera.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

Extremely well written. Twists around every corner.

September 19, 2002
Moviehole

Nothing new.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal | Comment (1)
Montreal Film Journal

Enjoyable film noir.

August 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A nifty postmodern cowboy-noir and black comedy...

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.
August 22, 2011
pier007

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.
June 5, 2010
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

An interesting and entertaining alternative Modern day western. Good performances from Hopper and the late, great J.T. Walsh.
September 25, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Mistaken for a hired killer, drifter Nicolas Cage is offered $5,000 to murder a local bar owner's wife, who in turn offers him $10,000 to return the favour. Planning to just keep the money and skip town, he finds leaving Red Rock is a lot harder than he figured. This heavily Tarantino influenced noir-western hybrid has so many twists and turns, double crosses and double bluffs that by the end you're not sure you're coming or going. It's also a little dated as Lara Flynn Boyle must surely be the worst dressed femme fatale in cinema history. On the plus side, it looks good, has a nice soundtrack and is short and efficient enough to not outstay its welcome. Cage is doing his put-upon "this can't be happening to me!" persona rather than the usual bellowed sarcasm so he's quite bearable and J. T. Walsh and Dennis Hopper make a couple of colourful bad guys. Undemanding yet unpretentious, its very silly, but enjoyably so.
January 3, 2009
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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