The Death and Life of Bobby Z (1982)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Ex-Marine and convicted criminal Tim Kearney has been marked for death by a murderous biker gang, and now in order to cheat death he will assume the role of a powerful, recently deceased drug lord in this pulsating crime thriller starring Paul Walker and Laurence Fishburne. When Kearney (Walker) copped a plea with a scheming DEA agent (Fishburne) to impersonate surfing drug lord Bobby Z, his back was against a wall. Now, as the former convict convinces everyone including Bobby Z's girlfriend … More

Rating: R (for violence, some drug use, language and brief nudity.)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Bob Krakower, Allen Lawrence
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 16, 2007
MGM Home Entertainment


as Tim Kearney

as Bobby Z

as Brian Cervier

as Don Huerto

as Felipe
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Death and Life of Bobby Z

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Pic overall has the feel of something tossed off to pass time and pay bills between more prestigious gigs.

Full Review… | October 16, 2007
Top Critic

...ultimately manages to overcome its myriad of deficiencies to become a surprisingly entertaining little actioner...

Full Review… | June 8, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

There's a reason this went straight to DVD, folks

Full Review… | September 5, 2007

Filled with head scratchingly dumb twists and cornball dialogue, this is not exactly a brilliant film. Yet it's got a slick look and at least a few passable action scenes.

Full Review… | August 31, 2007
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for The Death and Life of Bobby Z


I think I'm being generous, but come on this was just TERRIBLE.


To live a life of his own, he has to die first.

Very good film! To tell you the truth I didn't know what to expect from this movie but I was gladly rewarded. Olivia Wilde wow, such an amazing hot woman, she drives me crazy and acts pretty good, reminds me of younger version of Julia Roberts, she has a great future ahead of her. The story was excellent and very interesting. Good ending!

Tim Kearney is a loser. He's already in prison for the fourth time because of a criminal offence. There he's offered a deal with the DEA, which would involve his impersonating a legendary drug dealer, Bobby Z. Tim is told that the real Bobby Z has recently died of a heart attack in an embassy in Thailand, shortly after getting out of prison there. The plan that had been in operation at the time of Bobby's death was for him to be exchanged for a DEA agent that was being held by a Mexican drug cartel. The Feds explain to Tim that if he agrees to go along with this "transfer," he will be free to escape south of the border once the DEA agent is safely back on the American side.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Not bad, not great. Paul Walker may get a lot of razz for his acting, but I will take his acting any day over Keanu Reeves. The actor I was really disappointed in was Laurence Fishburne...he totally could have been left out of this movie. Overall, the movie does a good job at keeping action lovers interested, but there definitely was something missing....a decent plot. This movie had potential, but I feel the director did a lousy job and produced a mediocre film.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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