Johnny Handsome (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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A notably unattractive small-time hood is given plastic surgery while in prison and is released with a new face and a new chance at life in this crime drama. While he at first seems reformed, the newly handsome criminal is actually plotting to seek revenge upon his old enemies.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
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In Theaters:
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Mickey Rourke
as John Sedley
Ellen Barkin
as Sunny Boyd
Elizabeth McGovern
as Donna McCarty
Morgan Freeman
as Lt. A.Z. Drones
Forest Whitaker
as Dr. Steven Fisher
Lance Henriksen
as Rafe Garrett
Scott Wilson
as Mikey Chalmette
David Schramm
as Vic Dumask
Yvonne Bryceland
as Sister Luke
Peter Jason
as Mr. Bonet
J.W. Smith
as Larry
Allan Graf
as Bob Lemoyne
Ed Zang
as Prestige Manager
John P. Fertitta
as Prestige Salesman
Raynor Scheine
as Gun Dealer
Ed Walsh
as Judge
Jim Burk
as Prison Guard
Ken Medlock
as Shipyard Accountant
Gie-G Duncombe
as Accounting Secretary
Dick Butler
as Shipyard Security Guard
Blake Clark
as Sheriff
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Critic Reviews for Johnny Handsome

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

The underrated, old-fashioned B-movie director Walter Hill (The Warriors) made this excellent action drama with an amazing cast.

Full Review… | March 19, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

The more ridiculous it becomes, the better looking it gets.

Full Review… | March 5, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A stylish and tough crime-thriller with that underlying mournfulness which characterizes Hill's best work.

January 25, 2006
Fantastica Daily

Not one of Hill's better efforts.

January 14, 2004

Quote not available.

July 4, 2005

Quote not available.

February 27, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Johnny Handsome


I somehow missed this Walter hill-directed earlier-career Mickey Rourke film back in its day, and that's too bad because it's got plenty of great qualities. The noir-ish story is excellent, from the director of 48hrs and The Warriors; if you liked those, this will appeal to you also. Rourke's acting chops are great here, superior in performance to Angel Heart, though maybe not on par with The Wrestler. The grimy New Orleans setting is perfect, although I could have done without the phony Louisiana accents. The supporting characters are also memorable. Morgan Freeman and Forrest Whittaker are convincing in telling the story of the doomed, ill-fated Johnny. Ellen Barkin is magnificent as well. It's a great evil role, and she's the toughest, sexiest broad from this era. It's easy to see why she was cast as the cougar in Ocean's 13. With such star power, this modern noir should have amassed longer-lasting popularity. The oddest irony regarding this film now is Rourke's facial disfigurement. In the film, he transform from disfigured to "handsome," but in reality, shortly after this film, his boxing career and subsequent surgeries render him unrecognizable as the 80s matinee idol.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

Curious little crime thriller based around a disfigured criminal that has a major face lift, almost like an early version of 'Face Off' really accept a little more realistic. Its kinda unique because the film almost comes across as an endearing story of a criminal who turns his life around after receiving his new face but then turns into a silly revenge thriller towards the end. I thought the endearing story might have worked better. The cast is pretty slick with Rourke as the main lead and almost a prediction of his future facial issues and Morgan Freeman looking and acting exactly the same as usual. Forest Whitaker is looking really geeky with a stupid beard and Lance Henriksen is looking completely hilarious in some very gay looking tight fitting 80's attire complete with a ridiculous earring. Silly title and surprisingly for a Walter Hill film not that good, the problem being its almost two different films stuck together awkwardly.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

A tough, stylish, high-energy and explosive crime-thriller. A great movie with a slam-bang finish thats knocks you out. It`s loaded with style, originality and great stars. An intense, hard-boiled and action-packed movie ride. One of Director, Walter Hill`s best films ever and one of the best performances of Mickey Rourke`s career. Mickey Rourke is absolutely outstanding. Morgan Freeman is excellent. Forest Whitaker is terrific.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

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