Broken Vessels (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Broken Vessels (1998)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Broken Vessels Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Scott Ziehl made his directorial debut with this high-energy ambulance ride with a pair of paramedics careening through the Los Angeles night, with Antonio Calvache's camerawork capturing the social drama in a documentary-style depiction. In the vein of Leaving Las Vegas, the film was the top 1998 winner (best feature) at the fourth Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Pennsylvanian Tom (Jason London) arrives in L.A., encounters his eccentric neighbor Susy (Susan Traylor), and gets work with an ambulance company. Tom is initially impressed by his cool, hard-driving partner, veteran paramedic Jimmy (Todd Field, who also co-produced), especially after Tom screws up by almost sending a crash victim off to the morgue and Jimmy straightens out the potentially embarrassing episode. Daily collisions with violence and danger soon become routine. During one trip to the hospital, a possibly violent attack from an injured man in the ambulance is quelled when Jimmy simply knocks him out with fibulator pads to the head. Steering the streets with adrenaline action and high-octane intensity, Jimmy cools down with an intake of sex and drugs. Tom soon seeks similar solutions to this frenetic life on the edge.more
Rating: R (for strong and continuous drug use, language, sexuality and violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Scott Ziehl, David Baer, John McMahon
On DVD: Nov 9, 1999
Zeitgeist Films


Roxana Zal
as Elizabeth
James Hong
as Mr. Chen
Al Israel
as Detective McMahon
Bobby Harwell
as Detective Baer
Shashawnee Hall
as Crazy Sword Man/Rick...
Rose Marie
as Mr. Chen's Secretary
Rose Powell
as Earl's Wife
Rita Solomon
as Waitress
Ron Jeremy
as Porn Star/Himself
Marcia Gray
as Porn Star
Solo Scott
as Crackhouse
Ron Lunceford
as Crackhouse
Craig Alsop
as Crackhouse
Lisa Warsniak
as Crackhouse
Joey Gold
as Crackhouse
as Cop
Dolores Anderson
as Mother of Crazy Man
Lisa Davis
as Hooker
Eugene Pagano
as Bartender
Alfred Pagano
as Bartender
Kevin O'Connell
as Fire Captain
Barbara Volz
as Firefighter
Joseph Oritz
as Firefighter
Kevin Brown
as Drug Dealer
Ben Liou
as Drowning Victim
Juan Morales
as Best Man
Leon Fogel
as Wedding Party
Silvia Pelajo
as Wedding Party
Elan Benshimon
as Wedding Party
Sharon Benshimon
as Wedding Party
Carlos Augulo
as Wedding Party
Karen Fogel
as Wedding Party
Natalie Barajas
as Wedding Party
Jim Zarneski
as Bob's Friend
Gelene Collings
as Accident Victim
David Ziehl
as Accident Victim
Jack Kerrigan
as Drunk Driver
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Broken Vessels

Critic Reviews for Broken Vessels

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 1800
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Broken Vessels

Obvious symbolism and pretentiousness aside, this is one boring film. Though it was cool to see William Smith (the white one) in a film again.

Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer


Surprisingly effective drama with fine performances from Todd Field and Jason London. Great pace, believable situations, good supporting cast. The score is very nice, good editing and the overall direction is right on target.

James Higgins

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