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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.37%
Just Average: 17.11%
Pretty Crappy: 23.68%
Sucks: 10.53%

5 reviews, 46 user ratings

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"U-Turn is one hell of a film. Powerful and wildly entertaining."
5 stars

Wandering into Stone territory can be an unnerving experience. Questions are raised. Is this going to be a turgid three hours of pure re-invention (a la Nixon) or a relentless roller-coaster ride of unprecedented, self-indulgent violence (a la Natural Born Killers or, for that matter, Platoon)? Even more anxiety-generating is the possibility that Stone is once more exorcising his trumped up political conspiracy theories against a Vietnamese hued background of sixties ideology (a la all his other films). But whether you regard Ollie as a genius or goat, for better or worse, he does generate friction.

Thus it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that with U-Turn he has abandoned much that has come to preoccupy the cloven one. In fact it is largely a black comedy staged under the blistering Arizona sun with, of course, more than its fair share of violence. Given that John Ridley (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) scripted might explain this lighter touch.

Bobby (played to perfection by Penn) is late for a Las Vegas meeting with his backers; lone-sharks whose only interest in Bobby is folding stuff. Just when he thinks he's out from behind, Bobby breaks a radiator hose in Superior, Arizona (actual location).

It's a no-horse dust-trap populated by pathological misfits whose jealousies conspire to keep him there. Whether it's the wily and inflation-prone mechanic Billy Bob Thornton, teenage lunatic Joaquin Phoenix or dog-eared Sheriff Boothe; his only hope lies with Grace (Lopez from Anaconda), wife of the most powerful man in town (Nolte). Either Bobby kills him and escapes with Grace or kills her and gets the money. Either way, it's a good case against car ownership.

There are few boundaries in U-Turn. Even surprises have surprises and this relentless crossing and double-crossing turns the pressure right up; from full to unbearable. Add to that a wide range of styles, patinas, jump-cuts and abstract inclusions, and you've got the perfect amalgam of art-house and commercial sensibilities. That which the Stoner does best.

Any sane actor would jump at the chance to work with Ollie and he has not been let down. Thornton is appropriately greasy while Nolte's villainous turn is a stand-out.

Despite a final scene which is metaphorically, figuratively and literally over-the-top, U-Turn is one hell of a film. Powerful and wildly entertaining; for anyone's money this is Stone's best yet. ---Colin Fraser

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=486&reviewer=14
originally posted: 09/15/98 07:27:58
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User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell weird & boring 1 stars
4/06/13 Monday Morning Offbeat, weird, campy and very entertaining 4 stars
12/05/07 dingo Watchable 4 stars
11/10/07 reddye5 For some reason I liked this one. Penn is great, but style outweighs the story too often 3 stars
2/12/07 ES Not just boring, ugly boring 1 stars
6/26/06 Criddic2 Despite the cast, a waste of film; It is pointless, uninspired; Disappointing! 1 stars
9/22/05 Indrid Cold An all-American near-classic. The plot is just too scattered though. 4 stars
6/20/05 Tom quibell it's weird that's what I like about it 5 stars
12/03/04 Steven Loori Ham-faced/fisted/acted. End-to-end rehash. Awful set/sound design. Canned dog barks!?! 1 stars
11/11/04 jellica it was a good movie goood acting 5 stars
9/07/04 Douglas Reese I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! Very well made. Deserved Best Picture Oscar nominee nod. 5 stars
6/05/04 John tries to make obvious moral points but has no story or charachters you care for 1 stars
12/12/03 Agent Sands I agree whole-heartedly with Ryan A, but I was a bit more entertained. 4 stars
9/15/03 Donna Gelpigi A nightmarish thriller that even Jennifer Lopez can't spoil! 5 stars
9/06/03 john awesome, fun 5 stars
7/27/03 francis Bizarrely interesting, but can we really care about what happens to these wackos. 3 stars
5/06/03 Geirn YEAHH awesome 5 stars
4/23/03 Bill go see freeway instead. 1 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Scattershot plot points fire away at the helpless cast. 2 stars
1/26/03 R.W. Welch Sets up well enough but eventually becomes almost ludicrous. 2 stars
11/08/02 Steve Twisty and funny. Lopez and Phoenix are especially good. 4 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Stone proves he doesn't have to rewrite history to make a stupid movie 1 stars
7/11/02 KMG Ho-pez before she got ghetto 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Interesting little 'wrong place at the wrong time' story. Lopez looks delicious. 4 stars
8/04/01 eminem eminem_eminemf@hotmail.com 5 stars
6/21/01 Reini Urban best camera and technic this year, plot almost blood simple. much better than out of sight. 4 stars
3/18/01 Shawn I really dug this film! Sex, violence, drama, comedy, suspense, it has it all! 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake Good plot and music, way too long. Red Rock West had same plot and was way better! 3 stars
9/20/00 Mike Great cast but the plot gets pretty lame. WAY too long, Mr Stone(d)! 2 stars
8/13/00 Cidec Stark fucking awesome 5 stars
1/06/00 PervertedPixie A mix of "Romeo is bleeding", "Pulp Fiction" and "Gilbert Grape". Great stuff! 5 stars
9/20/99 Tina Liked it- nice twists- everybody dies! 4 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Oliver Stone is a fucking genius and this film rocks. thats it. 5 stars
5/26/99 GothamDK Stone trying to pull a Lynch. Jennifer Lopez is the only highlight of this lost film. 2 stars
4/14/99 Jon Jackson Why more people don't like this movie I don't know, but I do know I like cake. 5 stars
3/16/99 The Dude Fucking funny ending I loved this fucking movie 5 stars
1/23/99 Arthur fuck this shit 2 stars
12/05/98 tj usually i hate oliver stone...but this is an amazing movie...and jenn. lopez looks so good 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Nick, think back to Cannery Row, and kick your own ass. I want Jenny. 3 stars
10/12/98 Johny No NBK or JFK, but very watchable 4 stars
9/21/98 Pat_Sicox Crack Film 3 stars
9/07/98 Damien Highly underrated, I thought it was cool and disturbing 4 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee This one lost me way early. Claire Danes rocks, but otherwise... 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Jen Lopez = sex --- Nick Nolte = lame. 3 stars
8/22/98 Superfly Great, if you like dark comedies. 4 stars
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  04-Oct-1997 (R)



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