Desperate Measures


Desperate Measures

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,142
User image

Desperate Measures Photos

Movie Info

Barbet Schroeder directed this thriller about San Francisco police officer Frank Connor (Andy Garcia) who hopes to save his terminally ill son Matt (Joseph Cross) by locating a compatible bone marrow donor. The potential donor turns out to be convicted murderer Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton), who anticipates the trip to the hospital as an ideal chance to escape. When McCabe makes his move, the hospital becomes a battleground, and Connor is put on the spot: He must pursue and protect the psycho killer who is his son's only hope for survival.

Watch it now


Michael Keaton
as Peter McCabe
Andy Garcia
as Frank Conner
Brian Cox
as Jeremiah Cassidy
Marcia Gay Harden
as Samantha Hawkins
Erik King
as Nate Oliver
Joseph Cross
as Matthew Conner
Janel Moloney
as Sarah Davis
Janel Maloney
as Sarah Davis
Tracey Walter
as Medical Inmate
Peter Weireter
as SWAT Team Commander
Keith Diamond
as Derrick Wilson
Steve Park
as Dr. Gosha
Steven Schub
as SWAT in Airduct
Neal Matarazzo
as Cell Guard
Dennis Cockrum
as Pelican Bay Head Guard
Charles Noland
as Cigarette Guard
Randy Thompson
as Library Guard
Darren Pearce
as Convoy Guard
Eric Tignini
as Convoy Guard
Billy Kane
as Laser Technician
Christine Ashe
as Young ER Nurse
Troy Robinson
as Cop Escorting Frank
Robert Baier
as Security Booth Guard
David Flick
as SWAT Sharpshooter in Street
Joe Drago
as Doctor at Walkway
Josh Kemble
as SWAT Sniper on Roof
Scott Colomby
as Patrol Cop
Howard Meehan
as Policeman on Street
Tim Kelleher
as Helicopter Shooter
Cliff Fleming
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Dirk Vahle
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Craig Hosking
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Jack Gill
as Motorcyclist
Scott Waugh
as Motorcyclist
Danny Rogers
as Motorcyclist
John Meier
as Cop Shot in ER
Norman Howell Jr.
as Burnt Cop 1
John Rottger
as Burnt Cop 2
Donna Keegan
as Burning Nurse
View All

Critic Reviews for Desperate Measures

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for Desperate Measures

  • Feb 25, 2011
    Enjoyable movie to check out on netflix instant
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2009
    Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton) is in jail for several murders. He is one of the most dreaded criminals in his prison. However, a cop, Frank Conner (Andy Garcia), finds out that Peter is the only one who can save his son by giving him a bone marrow transplant. Peter agrees to do so after getting several of his privileges, such as smoking, back. However, things take an interesting twist after Peter somehow escapes while in the hospital. Frank can't allow anybody to kill Peter because that would kill Frank's son, but he also doesn't want Peter to do what he is known for, being a murderer. I can't believe that "Desperate Measures" isn't getting a lot better ratings than it's getting. I thought it was a great movie. I like for movies to have a plot, and I'll admit that this movie is choppy in that department, but it does feature one of Michael Keaton's best job as an actor and it has great suspense. That's why I really liked "Desperate Measures." If you can put up with a movie that doesn't have one of the best plots in the world, but one that has good acting and great suspense, I recommend getting "Desperate Measures." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.
    Jason O Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2008
    Widowed police officer Frank Conner (Andy Garcia) has a cancer-stricken nine-year-old son, Matthew (Joseph Cross), whose only hope for survival is a bone-marrow transplant, but the only matching donor is Pete McCabe (Michael Keaton), a vicious, psychotic killer being held in a maximum-security prison. McCabe at first denies Conner's request for help but then agrees, devising an elaborate plan to use the medical procedure as an opportunity to escape. McCabe breaks loose before the transfusion can occur, and Conner is forced to become both his tracker and his ally, wanting to bring the serial killer back into custody but determined--for the sake of his son--to keep McCabe alive. Keaton is chilling as the vicious, brilliant convict, while Garcia turns in a heartfelt performance as a devoted father caught in the middle of a bad situation getting worse. With DESPERATE MEASURES, director Barbet Schroeder (REVERSAL OF FORTUNE), renowned for his knack of combining urgent family drama with white-knuckle suspense, adds another crowd-pleasing, thought-provoking film to his list of successes.
    Martin D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2008
    Great movie. Andy Garcia and Michael Keaton play off each other really well and make this film very entertaining, intense and assured direction, moments of genuine suspense, and a booming score.
    Steven V Super Reviewer

Desperate Measures Quotes

News & Features