Get Shorty


Get Shorty

Critics Consensus

With a perfect cast and a sly twist on the usual Hollywood gangster dynamic, Get Shorty delivers a sharp satire that doubles as an entertaining comedy-thriller in its own right.



Reviews Counted: 53

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 62,013


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job. Based on Elmore Leonards' 1990 novel of the same name.

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John Travolta
as Chili Palmer
Gene Hackman
as Harry Zimm
Rene Russo
as Karen Flores
Danny DeVito
as Martin Weir
Dennis Farina
as Ray Barboni
Delroy Lindo
as Bo Catlett
David Paymer
as Leo Devoe
Jon Gries
as Ronnie Wingate
Martin Ferrero
as Tommy Carlo
Miguel Sandoval
as Mr. Escobar
Jacob Vargas
as Yayo Portillo
Linda Hart
as Fay Devoe
Bobby Slayton
as Dick Allen
Alison Waddell
as Bear's Daughter
Amber Waddell
as Bear's Daughter
John Cothran Jr.
as Agent Curtis
Jack Conley
as Agent Dunbar
Bernard Hocke
as Agent Morgan
Big Daddy Wayne
as Ray Barboni's Bodyguard
Xavier Montalvo
as Big Guy with Escobar
Carlease Burke
as Rental Car Attendant
Vito Scotti
as Manager At Vesuvio's
Greg Goossen
as Duke, Man At The Ivy
Rino Piccolo
as Waiter at Vesuvio's
Alfred Dennis
as Ed The Barber
Ralph Manza
as Fred The Barber
Zed James Frizzelle
as Kid at Lockers
Harry Victor
as Limo Driver with Sign
Patrick Breen
as Resident Doctor
Alex Rocco
as Buddy (Martin Weir's agent)
Donna Wilson
as Screaming Woman
Zach Phifer
as Ivy Restaurant Maitre D'
Gregory B. Goossen
as Duke, Man at the Ivy
Stephanie Kemp
as Ivy Restaurant Waitress
Rebeca Arthur
as Las Vegas Waitress
Jeffrey J. Stephan
as Bones' Buddy No. 1
Ernest 'Chili' Palmer
as Bones' Buddy No. 2
Harvey Keitel
as Himself (uncredited)
Penny Marshall
as Herself (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for Get Shorty

Critic Reviews for Get Shorty

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (17)

Audience Reviews for Get Shorty

Miami gangster and film buff discovers Hollywood work is not that much different than work in the Mob, thank goodness. Travolta has fun playing a mobster who's playing a mobster ("... like inna movies!") who's dream is to play a movie mobster ("... like DeNiro or Pacino!") and Hackman, playing against type, is perfect as a nice guy only acting the part of a sleezeball producer. Everyone in this movie ( like Jerry Lewis maybe) is the star, the writer, the director and the producer of their own mental movie (like here at Flixster!). The only guy in this movie who doesn't want to be in the movies gets whacked in the end, sort've divine retribution. My fav scene has Travolta teaching DeVito how to act tough like a mobster.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Chili Palmer: Rough business, this movie business. I'm gonna have to go back to loan-sharking just to take a rest. After watching Get Shorty it seems like it should have been great. The story is there and the cast is there but it never seems to amount to anything above average. I hated the first half of the movie. Then once Danny DeVito's character is introduced it starts to pick up. The cast is great except for one actor who I don't like at all and that would be Dennis Farina. For some reason he just annoys the hell out of me. The movie had a lot of potential, which is really annoying because the movie just wasn't that good. I have thee feeling I'm overrating this just because I really like Travolta and DeVito in this movie and I'm not a huge fan of either of them. As a comedy, Get Shorty really didn't work. There were no really funny parts or lines. It seems like every time gangsters get brought into comedy it turns out bad.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer


Liked the ending but the movie itself was not that entertaining.

Dead Angel
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer


Get Shorty is probably the best example of a Gangster Comedy that I can think of. It has a great plot, interesting and bizarre characters, but mostly it does what it promises to do. This is a genuinely funny movie that showcases its amazing cast of John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and others. Chili Palmer is basically the stereotype for a slick Shylock, but he knows it and uses it to the advantage of audience. This is a movie that knows it's a movie, but still lets you have a very sustainable story about the entertainment business. There's some really odd moments, but they're purposefully done. Barry Sonnenfeld's idea here was to play around with Elmore Leonard's book and apply it to his unique sense of style. Now a lot of people call this a Tarantino knock-off, but chances are they have no idea what they're talking about. This is based off a work by the same writer as Jackie Brown, so that should be the only justifiable sense of deja vu. Get Shorty mostly finds its comedy in the fact that some of these characters try so hard to be intimidating or scary, but just come off as idiots. A lot of this is accomplished through the acting; John Travolta's great performance is seen through his ability to hit every joke and every character moment just right. Gene Hackman with his fake teeth and nutty getup makes him incredibly goofy, but in the best way possible. Now I think it takes some time to really understand what's going on in Get Shorty, especially due to its genre-bending quality. Given the chance, it's really fun and one of those movies that I can go back to over and over again and still find a lot to love.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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