Tequila Sunrise 1988

Tequila Sunrise

Critics Consensus

Tequila Sunrise unites three of its decade's most in-demand stars for a slickly packaged crime drama that looks great without ever going anywhere particularly interesting.

52%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

40%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,545

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Movie Info

In a seaside California town, best friends Mac (Mel Gibson) and Nick (Kurt Russell) are on opposite sides of the law. Mac is a former drug dealer trying to clean up his act, while Nick is a high-profile detective trying to take down a Mexican drug lord named Carlos (Raul Julia). Soon Nick's loyalties are put to the test when he begins an affair with restaurateur Jo Ann (Michelle Pfeiffer) -- a love interest of Mac's -- unwittingly leading his friend into a police-orchestrated trap.

Cast & Crew

Mel Gibson
Dale "Mac" McKussic
Michelle Pfeiffer
Jo Ann Vallenari
Kurt Russell
Det. Lt. Nicholas "Nick" Frescia
Raul Julia
Carlos, Comandante Xavier Escalante
J.T. Walsh
DEA Agent Hal Maguire
Arliss Howard
Gregg Lindroff
Ann Magnuson
Shaleen McKussic
Arye Gross
Andy Leonard
Gabriel Damon
Cody McKussic
Robert Towne
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for Tequila Sunrise

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (15)

  • Towne has acres of plot here, lashings of it, plot so complicated and so intricate that if you're not clenched to follow every second of it, you're lost. The sheer details of what he has created finally engulf Towne's handsome trio.

    August 12, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Towne has a tremendous gift for creating dialogue that is concise, expressive and distinctive without advertising its own cleverness, and ''Tequila Sunrise'' is worth seeing just to be heard.

    August 12, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Sexy and intelligent is an irresistible combination, and "Tequila Sunrise" is the sexiest, most intelligent Hollywood movie in a long time.

    August 12, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The best parts of Tequila Sunrise are so very good that you wish they could be in a more sustained movie.

    August 12, 2020 | Full Review…
  • There's not much kick in this cocktail, despite its mix of quality ingredients.

    August 12, 2020 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The set-up has the precision of fine needlepoint, picking out the plot outline before embroidering it with a complex pattern of interwoven relationships.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tequila Sunrise

  • Sep 05, 2012
    Tequila Sunrise is an entertaining crime thriller that's full of mystery and intrigue. Two former friends, Lt. Nick Frescia and Mac McKussic, find themselves on opposite ends of the law, and engage in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse when Frescia gets wind that McKussic will be making a major drug deal. Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kurt Russell form a solid cast and give strong performances. The story is written fairly well and does a good job at building the suspense. Yet, there are some parts of the film (including the last act) that don't work, and come off as a bit forced. Still, Tequila Sunrise is an engaging neo-noir drama with a compelling story and interesting characters.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2011
    Two friends on different sides of the law head for a showdown - only they're not on different sides at all, so there's no showdown, and so this film ends feeling like coitus interuptus. You think you're going somewhere but yer not. Its a good looking film though.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    A boring and predictable thriller with an all star cast.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2009
    A very fun movie and a decent story. Kurt Russell and Mel Gibson were a great opposing team in this and worked extremely well together. Michelle Pfieffer was also a great addition to the cast. It is an interesting story that is very well executed and has a nice harmless tint to it. While it is not the best movie of all time, it is a great form of entertainment.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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