Snake Eyes (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Brian DePalma directed this taut thriller, set in Atlantic City, where a corrupt cop investigates a political assassination. Outside an Atlantic City arena-hotel-casino, a TV news reporter stands in a pre-hurricane storm to report on the heavyweight boxing match about to begin inside. A transition to the stadium interior focuses on Atlantic City homicide Detective Rick Santoro (Nicolas Cage), a father with a wife and son, yet also a dishonest cop who maintains a mistress and cheerfully accepts … More

Rating: R (For some violence.)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Brian DePalma, David Koepp
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 16, 1999
Paramount Pictures


as Det. Rick Santoro

as Cdr. Kevin Dunne

as Gilbert Powell

as Julia Costello

as Lincoln Tyler

as Lou Logan

as Jimmy George

as Secretary Charles Ki...

as Walt McGahn

as Mickey Alter

as Michael Santoro

as Jose Pacifico Ruiz

as Zietz/Drunk

as Tyler's Party Girl N...

as Casino Security No. ...

as Tyler's Bodyguard

as Arena Security No. 1

as Ring Announcer

as Arena Security

as Lady at Elevator

as Blonde Reporter

as College Boy No. 1

as College Boy No. 4

as Blue Shirt No. 3

as Roundgirl

as PPV Director

as Latecomer

as College Boy No. 2

as Blue Shirt

as Remote Producer

as Powell's Aide

as Agent No. 2

as Anthea's Cameraman

as Cop No. 3

as Coin Cup Grabber

as Detective

as Coin Cup Decoy

as Couple No. 1

as College Boy No. 3

as Tyler's Party Girl N...

as Cop No. 2

as Casino Security No. ...

as Agent No. 1

as Tyler's Party Crash ...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Snake Eyes

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (16)

Wispy threads of dramatic plausibility and character involvement unravel completely by the time of the incredibly silly final reel.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
Top Critic

Never loses its bearings as it hovers between preposterous paranoia and a Billy-Wilder-like moral fable about a deeply flawed hero who draws a line in the sand beyond which he cannot go.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

The film echoes the technical wizardry and complex plotting of De Palma's best film, Blow Out.

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

Director Brian De Palma does his stylish best to weave the patchy script into a cinematic quilt, but despite his best efforts -- and they're often formidable -- the thing just doesn't cohere.

Full Review… | July 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

What might have been fascinating after a while becomes frustrating and, finally, a real slog.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

De Palma continues perfecting his brilliant visual style within the most blatantly artificial plot scenarios.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009

Audience Reviews for Snake Eyes

'Ricky' Santoro: It isn't lying! You just tell them what you did right, and you leave out the rest! 

"Believe everything except your eyes."

Snake Eyes is a tale of two halves. The first half was amazing, exciting, and just a great setup for a thriller. The second half didn't live up to the standards of the first, and ended up only disappointing me. Still, this was an interesting and cool film from De Palma. It isn't up there with his best, but it is still a lively and entertaining thriller. The endings disappointment may be a little too much for most, but I was able to get over it and still find enjoyment with the whole production. Even when the movie ended up running out of steam at about the hour mark; it still managed to be pretty cool and never got boring. Part of the entertainment is the eccentric performance from Nicholas Cage. This performance from him came when he wasn't a complete laughingstock. I am one of the few who actually like his eccentric performances in movies like this and Bad Lieutenant. It's when he sleepwalks through performances in shitty movies, that I hate him. 

I'll only talk about the setup for Snake Eyes as I don't want to give away too many details. Ricky is a corrupt cop, who is at a heavyweight fight. He has money down on the favorite. As the fight goes on, he and everyone else witness an assassination. He, along with his naval friend, try to figure out everyone who was behind this; as it wasn't just the shooter. There's a major plot twist that De Palma sort of undersells, but probably because it was predictable. The film could have taken a few different routes and the one Koepp and De Palma chose may not be the best, but as it is, it isn't too bad. 

Just don't expect another masterpiece from De Palma with Snake Eyes. It is definitely not up to standards with the best of his work. Still, it is a cool little thriller. Nothing more and nothing less. When looked at as it is, it isn't too bad. I know a lot of people hate it just because it has another wacky performance from Cage. More people hate it because the ending didn't really wrap it up in a satisfactory way. For me, I like it because of Cage and because of the amazing setup. It could have been much better, but it is a decent effort nonetheless. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Brian DePalma's Snake Eyes is a pretty bad thriller. The concept of Snake Eyes was great, and I quite enjoyed the idea, however the execution of the plot isn't poor, and Brian DePalma, who usually directs good films, is pretty sloppy this time around. Snake Eyes could have been something great, but instead it's an awful film that simply doesn't cut it. I felt that the writing was sloppy and the film was one of those films that didn't know what to do with an elaborate concept. This is exactly the problem with Snake Eyes, the filmmakers don't know how to effectively develop the films plot to truly be something that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Snake Eyes conclusion leaves a lot to be desired and is frankly disappointing. The film could have been good, but it never delivers anything spectacular. Nicholas Cage overacts his part, and it becomes laughable. Snake Eyes may have had a good idea for its plot, but Brian DePalma and the cast really don't know how to make it work so that it is effectively entertaining for the viewer. After watching Snake Eyes, I was really thrilled overall, and was very disappointed. I've seen quite a few DePalma films, and he's a good director, but Snake Eyes is one of his worst films. DePalma does his best to try and conceive an effective thriller, unfortunately his efforts are wasted, and Snake Eyes ends up being a bad film that is quite frankly a waste of time. This film could have been much better, but instead it doesn't do anything to thrill the viewer. Usually a thriller sucks you in by the first frame, and leaves you hooked, Snake Eyes does the opposite, it sucks you in, but doesn't do anything great to capture your imagination, and thus it's quite a lame thriller.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


When it comes to thrillers, Brian De Palma's name always comes to the top of my list as one of the living masters. In his polical conspiracy thriller Snake Eyes, we have an extremely effective film that is very much in the De Palma style with the long uncut sequences and split-screen scenes while also carrying what is perhaps Nicolas Cage's finest performance outside of Raising Arizona. Of course this sort of film gets made a lot and they all come a dime a dozen these days but with De Palma behind this one it all just fits perfectly and works. The only thing that bothers me is the pseudo-happy ending, which I won't spoil. I'm a huge fan of De Palma as he's one of my favorite directors and this film is just another in a long line of great pieces of cinema from the master. Riveting and entertaining with his style written all over it, you can't go wrong.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Snake Eyes Quotes

– Submitted by Travis J (3 years ago)

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