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Switchback (1997)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 7,318

My Rating

Movie Info

Scripter Jeb Stuart (Die Hard) made his directorial debut with this thriller about an FBI agent in pursuit of a serial killer. Politically ambitious Amarillo police chief Jack McGinnis (William Fichtner) uses a local murder to gain votes in his campaign, a setback for Sheriff Buck Olmstead (R. Lee Ermey), up for re-election. The situation looks better for Olmstead after FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) arrives to track the killer. LaCrosse has a personal agenda: he's convinced this killer


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

Jeb Stuart

Dec 1, 1998

Paramount Home Video

Watch It Now


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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (17) | DVD (1)

Quaid is a one-note sadsack here and no natural action hero.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A superb, underrated drama

December 7, 2006
Atlantic City Weekly

High-class thriller, with a superb turn by Quaid

March 11, 2006

A well-done suspense-thriller...Has modest aspirations, but meets them admirably.

October 6, 2005
Fantastica Daily

The striking American West setting enlivens this efficient, rote thriller.

October 14, 2004
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Switchback plays as entertaining, if not quite classic, dramatic fare.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

messily written and surprisingly poorly acted... the pursuit is a yawn a minute, leading to a climax that would be laughable if it weren't so dull.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for Switchback

The hunter became the hunted.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer


There are many things said in the world that really ought to have been said by somebody else. Meaning is twisted when I discover from whose mouth a particular phrase was hatched, for better or worse. Some words are so alive and wise, almost a separate entity now that they have been spoken or written. The person automatically becomes different, either qualifying for an upgrade or downgrade in intelligent perception. And either these words and its sayer are frolicking in harmony with each other, or they diametrically oppose and form a paradox of meaning. Basically, a 'what the hell' person. "You just don't know enough about these people to assume their actions and words do not align with their selves." Horsefeathers. What kind of logic is that anyway? What part of "I just know, okay?" do you not understand? ...I'm talking to a quoted phrase. Yeah, it's late. But one thing remains the same: some people do not deserve the words they say. Like Shakespeare. When I found out that "You offend your lungs for speaking so loud" was originally said by that dude over 400 years ago, I was devastated. My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Seanor, owned that verse up until "Mr. History Book" freakin' waltzed right onto the scene, dispensing 'facts' like a drug dealer on a schoolyard and blowing kiddies' minds with The Truth. Felt like my lungs were offended via punching. Well, not really. I just wanted to include a lung-punching in this bloodless entry for some reason. *gash*

But I have a solution to these apparent contradictions. The who's and the what's need to take opposing sides, like a game of Red Rover, and I should decide who gets to do and say what with neat little lines drawn connecting it all. Completely, utterly reasonable. It will make perfect sense when connected. A sublime, heavenly, 100 per cent non-perishable kind of perfect sense. "Well 'perfect sense' is highly subjective, and is something hardly perceivable by individuals greatly lacking in it." What is this, a consensus? Stupid double-quoted counterpoints. But since I'm only part-jerk, I shall suffer minor internal conflict and illustrate for you examples of what anybody considers 'perfect sense' (an original phrase by me), and ye all shall understand more clearly when I can organize these concepts, shuffle history and collective personality up a bit, and re-deal a new more sensible existence. Right, so..."perfect sense":
pop rocks
"Twin Peaks"
Michael Jackson
avante garde
writing while half asleep (now)
writing while full asleep (soon)
this entry (by association)

And [url=""][size=4]this[/size][/url].

Perfection. Right there, baby. Okay, it. Come on, click! I know you smell what I smell, too. A good kinda smell, one that twirls your nose hairs in loops and your mind in a bowtie when you sniff it. And it's not that dog fart. It's a smell of ancient time...and of fresh margarita! Come on in, it's my 20,000th post party! And it smells!
April 11, 2006
Neum Daddy

Super Reviewer

Unfairly maligned and under appreciated, Swtichback is a very good suspense thriller, and an especially fine entry into the serial killer genre. The film is bolstered by a strong ensemble cast, headlined by Danny Glover, Dennis Quaid, and the underrated R. Lee Ermy. The film itself is smartly written (save for some of the last act), and does an excellent job of creating atmosphere and a sustained sense of tension.

4/5 Stars
January 30, 2012
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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