Tequila Sunrise


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.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,528
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Tequila Sunrise Photos

Movie Info

For his first directorial project in six years, Robert Towne selected a timeworn romantic-triangle yarn, injecting the material with subtlety and conviction. Tequila Sunrise stars Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell as two lifelong friends who, in true James Cagney-Pat O'Brien fashion, grow up on the opposite sides of the law. One is a retired drug dealer (at least he says he is), the other a "celebrity" cop. Both fall in love with gorgeous restaurateur Michelle Pfeiffer. Veteran movie buffs will enjoy spotting director Budd Boetticher as a judge, and will welcome the presence in the production credits of cinematographer Conrad Hall, who earned an Oscar nomination for his richly textured color camerawork.

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Mel Gibson
as Dale McKussic
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Jo Ann Vallenari
Kurt Russell
as Nick Frescia
Raul Julia
as Carlos/Commandante Escalante
J.T. Walsh
as Maguire
Arliss Howard
as Gregg Lindroff
Arye Gross
as Andy Leonard
Gabriel Damon
as Cody McKussic
Eric Thiele
as Vittorio
Tom Nolan
as Leland
Budd Boetticher
as Judge Nizetitch
Ann Magnuson
as Shaleen
as Sin Sister No. 2
Jason Randal
as Magician
Dawn Martel
as Sin Sister #1
Bob Swaim
as Ralph Spudder
Lala Sloatman
as Sin Sister #2
Bob Swain
as Ralph Spudder
Geno Silva
as Mexican Cop
Efrain Figueroa
as Carlos' Man #1
Tomas Goros
as Carlos' Man #2
Austin Hawk
as Lifeguard #1
Scott Harms
as Lifeguard #2
John D. Steele
as Men At Party
David Rees Snell
as Men At Party
Oscar Abadia
as Himself
Jim Ladd
as Himself
Tom Schnabel
as Himself
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Critic Reviews for Tequila Sunrise

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3)

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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