Critics Consensus

John Travolta and Nicolas Cage play cat-and-mouse (and literally play each other) against a beautifully stylized backdrop of typically elegant, over-the-top John Woo violence.



Total Count: 86


Audience Score

User Ratings: 450,162
User image

Watch it now

Face/Off Photos

Movie Info

The third of John Woo's American-made feature films, Face/Off stars John Travolta as Sean Archer, an FBI agent obsessed with capturing Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), a criminal genius who years before killed Archer's son while trying to assassinate the agent. Archer's single-minded pursuit of Troy has caused serious harm to his marriage, but Archer thinks the light may have appeared at the end of the tunnel when a seriously wounded Troy is captured in a bloody shootout. However, it turns out that Troy has planted a time bomb, with a biological payload that could destroy the entire city of Los Angeles -- and Troy isn't about to say where it is. The only other person who knows the bomb's location is Troy's brother, Pollux (Alessandro Nivola), who is no more helpful than Castor. FBI scientists hatch a plan: they have developed an experimental surgery which would allow them to graft Troy's face temporarily on Archer's head and allow him to question Pollux as if he were his brother. But after Archer has taken Troy's face, Troy regains consciousness and forces the doctors to give him Archer's face. Now the criminal mastermind has the FBI at his disposal, and the lawman is underground with few places to turn. Along with Woo's usual elaborately choreographed action scenes, Face/Off features a number of notable supporting performances, including Joan Allen as Archer's wife, Colm Feore and C.C.H. Pounder as FBI scientists, and Gina Gershon as Troy's loyal but long-suffering girlfriend. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


John Travolta
as Sean Archer
Nicolas Cage
as Castor Troy
Joan Allen
as Eve Archer
Alessandro Nivola
as Pollux Troy
Gina Gershon
as Sasha Hassler
Dominique Swain
as Jamie Archer
Nick Cassavetes
as Dietrich Hassler
Colm Feore
as Dr. Malcolm Walsh
Harve Presnell
as Victor Lazarro
John Carroll Lynch
as Prison Guard Walton
CCH Pounder
as Dr. Hollis Miller
Robert Wisdom
as Tito Biondi
Thomas Jane
as Burke Hicks
Matt Ross
as Loomis
Romy Walthall
as Kimberly
Paul Hipp
as Fitch
Kirk Baltz
as Aldo Adino
Lauren Sinclair
as Agent Winters
Ben Reed
as Pilot
Del Zamora
as Janitor
Lisa Boyle
as Cindee
Megan Paul
as Adolescent Girl
Mike Werb
as Iris's Dad
Tom Reynolds
as LAPD Cop
Steve Hytner
as Interrogating Agent
Myles Jeffrey
as Michael Archer
Carmen Thomas
as Reporter Valerie
Walter Scott
as Port Police Commander
Brooke Leslie
as ER Nurse
David McCurley
as Adam Hassler
Cam Brainard
as Dispatcher
David Warshofsky
as Bomb Leader
John Neidlinger
as Bomb Technician
Norm Copton
as Cigarette Guard
Gregg Shawzin
as Lock Down Guard
Clifford Einstein
as Restorative Surgeon
Marco Kyris
as Recreative Guard
Tom Fridley
as Prison Guard
Andrew Wallace
as Altar Boy
Chic Daniel
as FBI Squad Leader
John Bloom
as Prison Medical Technician
Laurence Walsh
as Walsh Clinic Nurse
View All

News & Interviews for Face/Off

Critic Reviews for Face/Off

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Face/Off

  • May 06, 2016
    Well for a start you can't knock this film for being the same old action film, It stands out from the rest thanks to a great well told plot that yes is very silly but works very well, Travolta and Cage work well together and play both their parts very well good and evil, I'm not the biggest Woo fan as I always find his over the top action to just get too silly to take seriously, But it's Woos best film and will probably remain to be too, It's full of well shot action scenes that are great fun, I did feel the ending could if had an extra twist as I'm not the biggest fan of happy endings but maybe it was the right choice overall, Great entertainment from start to finish and that's all we ask for in a action film.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2014
    Kept me at the edge of my seat.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2013
    This film might have been better if done with today's CGI. But then again, maybe not. The story's kinda foolish and no amount of modern technology can make it seem like Travolta can act. Travolta is the single worst element of this film -- his acting is so bad, it's a distraction.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

Face/Off Quotes

News & Features