Cradle 2 the Grave

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Cradle 2 the Grave
Cradle Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Produced by Joel Silver
Screenplay by John O'Brien
Channing Gibson
Story by John O'Brien
Starring Jet Li
Kelly Hu
Tom Arnold
Mark Dacascos
Gabrielle Union
Music by John Frizzell
Damon "Grease" Blackman
Cinematography Daryn Okada
Edited by Derek Brechin
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 28, 2003 (2003-02-28)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $56 million

Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and starring Jet Li and DMX. The film was released in the United States on February 28, 2003.


The film opens with a group of thieves led by Anthony Fait attempting to steal diamonds for a Frenchman named Christophe, who serves as the middleman for a mysterious employer. When Fait contacts Christophe, a Taiwanese Intelligence Agent named Su intercepts the conversation and attempts to identify the criminals.

While the crew gathers up as many diamonds as they can, including a bag of black diamonds, Agent Su calls Fait and demands that he and his crew leave the diamonds in the vault, warning him that the police are on the way. However, Fait ignores this warning, and the criminals attempt a daring escape past a SWAT team blockade. While Fait, Daria, and Tommy all manage to escape, Agent Su captures Miles and recovers Miles' share of the diamonds. Su is disappointed to find that Miles does not have the black diamonds though. Meanwhile, Fait asks his friend Archie to appraise the black diamonds he had stolen. Arriving at the San Francisco International Airport, Christophe's mysterious employer, Ling, is informed, by his assistant Sona, that Christophe has been attacked and that Fait and his gang have taken the black diamonds.

Later that night, Fait runs into Su. During this inadvertent meeting, Fait receives a phone call from Ling, who demands that Fait hand over the black diamonds. Fait refuses and is subsequently attacked by two of Ling's henchman. With Su's help, he defeats them and escapes. After the fight, Archie tells Fait that some gangsters came to his workshop and demanded the black diamonds as well. After some hesitation, Archie admits that he gave the stones to the gangsters to spare his own life. Fait also receives another call from Ling, who has kidnapped Fait's daughter, Vanessa, to persuade Fait to give up the diamonds. Now with a common enemy, Fait and Su team up to recover the diamonds from the gangsters and rescue Vanessa from Ling.

Fait visits jailed crime lord "Jump" Chambers, most likely the employer of the gangsters who had robbed Archie. When Chambers refuses to cooperate, Fait goes to Chambers' night club, hoping to find the stones somewhere in his office. The plan goes awry, and Fait and the gang have to leave empty-handed. Meanwhile, Su and Archie go to an underground club to try to find the gangsters who attacked Archie. Because the club does not allow guests, Su is forced to enter as a fighter in the club's fighting ring. During Su's fight, Archie sees the man they are looking for, recognizing the man's ring. Through this informant, they learn that the diamonds are hidden in the bubble bath in Chamber's office. When they return to the nightclub to retrieve the diamonds, they find that Ling's men have already taken the stones. Meanwhile, while locked in a van, the bound and gagged Vanessa frees herself, and finds a cell phone to call her father. Just before the phone's battery runs out, Vanessa gives some clues as to her location. With these clues, the gang surmises that Vanessa is being held in an airport hangar.

Realizing that Ling will want to auction off the stones, which are actually weapons of mass destruction, the group searches flight schedules to find an airport where a large number of private flights will be landing that night. Finding the right airport, the group races to the hangar, where Ling's auction is already starting. A fight ensues, and Fait and his crew take out members of Ling's team. However, Vanessa is rescued and Ling is killed after Su forces him to swallow a capsule of synthetic plutonium and then breaks the capsule lodged in his neck. When the police arrive, Fait promises to end his criminal career in order to lead a safe and happy life with Vanessa.

In a bonus scene during the credits, Tommy and Archie made a plan to make the movie with their story, and using famous actors, such as Mel Gibson and Denzel Washington. They plan to get the director of the movies Exit Wounds and Romeo Must Die (Andrzej Bartkowiak).


This film reunites actors Jet Li, DMX and Anthony Anderson with Polish film director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who they first worked together in the 2000 film Romeo Must Die, and alongside Drag-On and Tom Arnold in the 2001 film Exit Wounds.


The movie received mixed reviews.[1] On the site Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 26% rating from critics, with the consensus reading "Dumb and by-the-numbers, but serviceable."

According to Roger Ebert, both stars deserved better scripts, but the film filled a need for some action film fans.[2]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted at number one at the North American box office, grossing $16,521,468 in its opening weekend.[3][4] However, this accounted for a hefty 47.6% of its total $34,712,347 gross. The film's worldwide gross stands at $56,489,558.


Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
U.S. U.S. R&B
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave
  • Released: February 18, 2003
  • Label: Def Jam
6 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elder, Robert K (2003-02-28). "Cradle 2 the Grave (no stars)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ "Cradle 2 the Grave". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  3. ^ "No. 1: Hip-hop martial arts thriller "Cradle 2 the Grave..." Chicago Tribune. 2003-03-03. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  4. ^ Karger, Dave (2003-03-03). "Cradle Rocks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  5. ^ "RIAA – Searchable Database: Drag-On". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference MC was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]