Criminal Activities

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Criminal Activities
Criminal Activities poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJackie Earle Haley
Produced byHoward Burd
Wayne Allan Rice
Micah Sparks
Written byRobert Lowell
StarringJohn Travolta
Michael Pitt
Dan Stevens
Edi Gathegi
Rob Brown
Jackie Earle Haley
Music byKeefus Ciancia
CinematographySeamus Tierney
Edited byAlex Marquez
Capacity Pictures
May Day Movies
NeeNee Productions
Phoenix Rising Motion Pictures
Distributed byRLJ Entertainment
Image Entertainment
Release date
  • November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States

Criminal Activities is a 2015 American crime thriller film directed by Jackie Earle Haley and written by Robert Lowell.[1] The film stars John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens, Christopher Abbott, Edi Gathegi, Rob Brown and Jackie Earle Haley.[2][3] The film was released on November 20, 2015, by RLJ Entertainment and Image Entertainment.


Four young men invest borrowed money in a company guaranteed to return their venture capital tenfold or more. It does not seem to trouble them that the privileged information on which they are acting was derived from insider trading. Two little things go wrong. The company suddenly folds under the pressure of federal scrutiny and their financial benefactor turns out to be a high-powered mobster.

The mobster named Eddie (John Travolta) offers them a way out of their awkward situation. They are to kidnap and hold a man for 24 hours before turning him over to Eddie and his two-man wrecking crew. This action will clear their massive debt with him, and everyone will cheerfully go their separate ways. But a couple more annoying little inconveniences crop up. One of them is that the kidnap victim is related to an underworld kingpin who offers a two million dollar reward to the first one to recover his nephew. Another is that the four kidnappers are now required to collectively murder their victim before being allowed to leave the building alive.

Adding to these contingencies is the fact that things are not at all what they seem. Perceived motivations may turn out to be vastly different from actual motivations. What at first seemed patently predictable is anything but.




The shooting of the film began on May 27, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio and finished on June 26.[4] A list of road closures was published by the news. Previously planned to be set in Detroit, it was eventually set in Cleveland.[5]


The film was acquired by Image Entertainment for a planned fall 2015-release in the United States and the United Kingdom.[6]


Criminal Activities received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 50% score, and an average rating of 5.9/10, sampled from 20 reviews.[7] Metacritic gives a score of 51 out of 100, based on 9 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]


  1. ^ White, James (23 April 2014). "Jackie Earle Haley Investigating Criminal Activities". Empire.
  2. ^ Kroll, Justin (8 May 2014). "Dan Stevens to Star With John Travolta, Michael Pitt in 'Criminal Activities'". Variety.
  3. ^ Ford, Rebecca (29 May 2014). "'Twilight' Actor Joins John Travolta in 'Criminal Activities'". Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Christine (26 May 2014). "Check out where John Travolta will be filming 'Criminal Activities' in Cleveland this summer". Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  5. ^ Loreno, Darcie (23 May 2014). "Closures This Week with Filming of Travolta's 'Criminal Activities'". Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike (2015-05-14). "Image Entertainment Acquires John Travolta Starrer 'Criminal Activities'". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  7. ^ "Criminal Activities". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  8. ^ "Criminal Activities". Metacritic. Retrieved November 21, 2015.

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