Sudden Death


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.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,220
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Sudden Death Photos

Movie Info

Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin was the producer of Sudden Death, and the action is set in his hockey arena, in which the Penguins are playing the Chicago Blackhawks. Pittsburgh fire inspector Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is attending the game with his two children. He's quit fighting fires because of a tragedy a few years earlier involving a child he couldn't save. Also at the game is the vice-president of the United States (Raymond Barry), who is the target of a terrorist plot. The terrorist leader, an insane ex-CIA agent named Joshua Foss (Powers Boothe), has masterminded a scheme to hold the vice-president hostage in his luxury suite while demanding that payments be transferred to his account electronically at the end of each period of the game. If he doesn't get his money, he will kill one member of the vice-president's party at the end of each period, and at game's end he will order ten bombs hidden in the arena to be detonated with all 17,000 fans present. McCord discovers the plot while his daughter Emily (Whittni Wright) is kidnapped by the terrorists too. McCord must dispatch the villains and find the bombs, while saving all the hostages. Luckily, he is adept at martial arts. He fights one henchman dressed in a Penguins mascot outfit in the arena's kitchen, and another terrorist on the arena's retracting dome. At one point, McCord switches identities with a player, is sent into the game, and scores a goal. Director Peter Hyams also directed Van Damme in the blockbuster Timecop. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

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Powers Boothe
as Joshua Foss
Jean-Claude Van Damme
as Darren McCord
Whittni Wright
as Emily McCord
Ross Malinger
as Tyler McCord
Raymond J. Barry
as Vice President
Audra Lindley
as Mrs. Ferrara
Karen Baldwin
as TV Director
Pat Brisson
as Player No. 2
William Cameron
as Secret Serviceman
Jay Caufield
as Tolliver
Alan Clement
as Mr. Wirtz
Bill Clement
as Pre-Game Announcer
Gil Combs
as Secret Service No. 1
Jack Erdie
as Scratch
Ed Evanko
as Baldwin
David Flick
as Spectator
Glenn Alan Gardner
as Sugarman Driver
John Hall
as Hallmark's Secret Service No. 2
Mark Hager
as Elevator SS Man
Gilbert B. Combs
as Hallmark's Secret Service
Brian Hutchison
as Young Agent
Jeff Jimerson
as Anthem Singer
Callum Keith-King
as Kitchen Assistant
Rick LeFevour
as Ante Room SS Man
Tommy Lafitte
as Sugarman Guard
Raymond Laine
as Foss Man No. 1
Mike Lange
as Play by Play Announcer
Butch Luick
as Fat Man
Rosine 'Ace' Hatem
as Concessionaire
Larry John Meyers
as Box Secret Service No. 2
Paul Mochnick
as Andre Ferrara
Brad Moniz
as Toowey
Jean Pierre Nutini
as Employee No. 1
Daniel R. Pagath
as Asisstant Coach
Allan Pinsker
as Older Man
Douglas Rees
as Spotter
Diane Robin
as Mrs. Baldwin
Paul Mochnik
as Andrew Ferrara
Thomas Saccio
as Foss Helicopter Pilot
Vinnie Sciullo
as Foss Man No. 2
Jack Skelly
as Elderly Guard
Brian Smrz
as Thug No. 2
Phil Spano
as Player No. 1
Paul Steigerwald
as Color Commentator
John Sterling
as Kitchen Secret Service Agent
Harold Surratt
as Hallmark Secret Service Agent No. 3
Rohn Thomas
as Mayor Taylor
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News & Interviews for Sudden Death

Critic Reviews for Sudden Death

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (11)

  • Reuniting Hyams and Van Damme, director and star of Timecop, this spectacular nail-biter exploits their combined, if limited, abilities to the full.

    Feb 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.

    Jun 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.

    Feb 13, 2001 | Full Review…
  • Van Damme races against time, trying to thwart Boothe and defuse all the bombs. But in the hands of director Peter Hyams, these are just banal action-movie chores.

    Jan 1, 2000 | 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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