Phoenix (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Phoenix (1998)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

All is not well at the local cop station as some of the colleagues of good at heart, superstitious cop Harry are on the take. He is forced to rip off local pimp and overall bad guy (Louie) to pay off gambling debts run up with "bookie" Chicago. Things do not go exactly to plan, however, and tensions build up between the other cops. Romance and relief from violence is provided by Leila, Harry's on and off girlfriend.
Rating:
R (for strong violence, language and sexuality)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Trimark

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Cast

Ray Liotta
as Harry Collins
Jeremy Piven
as Fred Shuster
Anthony LaPaglia
as Mike Henshaw
Tom Noonan
as Chicago
Daniel Baldwin
as James Nutter
Xander Berkeley
as Lieutenant Clyde Webber
Glenn Morshower
as Anti-Abortionist
Brittany Murphy
as Veronica
David Dunard
as Murray
Earl Carroll
as Seymour
Sandra Taylor
as Video Game Stripper
George Aguilar
as Mr. Fat
Frank Clem
as Mr. Skinny
Kari Wuhrer
as Katie Shuster
Maria Stanton
as Photographer
Sibel Ergener
as Carl's Wife
Giovanni Ribisi
as Joey Schneider
Dig Wayne
as Norm
Simi Mehta
as New Girl
Annie Fitzgerald
as Heist Stripper
Carmen Filpi
as Locksmith
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Critic Reviews for Phoenix

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

t's a film that will not rise from either its ashes or clichés.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Phoenix

Ray Liotta flicks don't generate a lot of positive buzz, but I like his acting which I find personable and quirky. Here he plays a bad cop with a gambling addiction and manages to make me like the character. Throw in early performances by Brittany Murphy and Giovanni Ribisi and the always sexy Kari Wuhrer, and I was even able to stomach Anjelica Huston (something I can't usually do). Good stuff.

Don Schick
Don Schick
½

Harry is a police officer - he is also a degenerate gambler in debt to bookie Chicago for $32K. That's basically the plot, it seems simple but it is enough to drive the film's core once it has been surrounded by plot twists, tension, strong performances, interesting characters and good dialogue. Hats off to Danny Cannon - he was the great British hope once after making Young Americans and going to the US he then messed up with Judge Dredd. But here he shows that he does have talent to lead a dark thriller successfully - albeit he is helped greatly by the plot and his actors. The film follows Harry and his 3 colleagues as they revolve around several loan sharks and bookies whilst also trying to have lives and relationships. The main focus is Harry's addiction to gambling in all areas of his life. There is also a subplot involving Angelica Huston which is meant to represent Harry's potential redemption, but this is not well developed and is secondary to the main story. The story eventually turns into a heist-gone-wrong movie but even then has enough twists to keep the interest. The main strength of the film lies in the actors that are assembled together here. Liotta plays the role well, making it possible to like this person but also making his gambling side believable - it's hard not to feel for him and his bad luck as the film progresses. Anthony Lapaglia, Daniel Baldwin, Jeremy Piven are all excellent for different reasons as his colleagues. Piven good as the cop drawn into things he doesn't want to do and Baldwin and Lapaglia are as solid as every in corrupt roles. Both Ribisi and Huston are capable of great performances but neither have a lot to work with here in terms of time or plot involvement. Giancarlo Esposito is as good as ever in a small role as Louie the loanshark - but then I've never seen him put in a bad performance, even in a bad film. Overall the plot is similar to many other crime thrillers out there. What makes this rise above the normal TV material is a dark atmosphere from Danny Cannon, a strong lead in Liotta with uniformly great support from the rest of the cast and tension an twists throughout.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Surprisingly well made noir flick. Don't let the poster fool you, the heist thing is not the main focus of the plot. The casting makes this work, Liotta can be fun to watch in the right roles. Anjelica Huston's casting do make for an odd choice.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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