Sudden Death

Critics Consensus

Sudden Death may not be a classic, but exciting set pieces and strong work from Jean-Claude Van Damme help this action thriller pay off part of its Die Hard debt.

50%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,251

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Movie Info

Ex-fireman Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has a new job working security at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Hoping to impress his kids, he's scored tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, unaware that the place has been taken over by a group of terrorists. Ex-CIA agent Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe) is holding the vice president hostage in a press box and plans to blow up the building if he doesn't pay the ransom. But, when Darren learns of his scheme, he jumps into action to save the day.

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Critic Reviews for Sudden Death

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (18)

  • Quote not available.

    December 27, 2010 | Rating: D- | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Offers above-average pyrotechnics, a body count that steadily mounts, and plenty of hand-to-hand combat.

    May 20, 2003
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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
  • 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…

Audience Reviews for Sudden Death

  • Aug 15, 2009
    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.
    Jason O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 2009
    Not bad but he has alot better movies out there to see.
    Lee K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2008
    Of all the Die Hard wannabe's to come down the pike, Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Die Hard In A Hockey Arena" is one of the best. A lightning faced action movie that makes absolutely the most of it's surroundings. From fist fights in the kitchen, to gun fights in the locker room, to dangling from the overhanging scoreboard, Van Damme puts his best Bruce Willis forward, as he tries to stop a group of terrorists that have taken hostages in the arena during the last game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals. Director Peter Hyams does his usual double duty as director of photography and provides action on a large scale. Powers Boothe is the smooth criminal holding not only the Vice President hostage, but Van Damme's daughter as well. He's calm, methodical, and smooth as he executes his plans and his hostages with ease. Plenty of time is given to Van Damme to showcase his martial arts skills as the fights are plentiful, and up close and personal. The movie is not perfect of course. Some of the bad guys are too cliched, and the final downfall of the bad guy not only defies the laws of physics, but is kind of lame. Still, it's a great action movie, and proof that Van Damme could've had a much bigger career than what it has become.
    RJ M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2008
    Sudden Death is a well made movie, it has great action sequences, pretty good acting and a very high level of entertainment. The movie starts out really well, and ends really well. A high level of entertainment makes Sudden Death a must see.
    Steven V Super Reviewer

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