Peppermint (2018 film)

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Teaser poster
Directed byPierre Morel
Produced by
Screenplay byChad St. John
Music bySimon Franglen
CinematographyDavid Lanzenberg
Edited byFrédéric Thoraval
Distributed bySTXfilms
Release date
  • September 7, 2018 (2018-09-07)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$51.2 million[2]

Peppermint is a 2018 American vigilante action film directed by Pierre Morel and starring Jennifer Garner.[3][4][5] Also featuring John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, and Tyson Ritter, the plot follows a mother who sets out for revenge against the cartel that killed her husband and daughter. The film was released in the United States on September 7, 2018. It has grossed over $51 million worldwide and received generally negative reviews from critics, although Garner's performance was praised.


An unidentified woman is engaged in a brutal fight with a man in a car and finally dispatches him with a shot to the head.

Five years earlier, the same woman, Riley North, is working as a banker in Los Angeles struggling to make ends meet. Her husband Chris owns a failing mechanic shop. They have a ten-year-old daughter, Carly. Chris's friend tries to talk him into robbing Diego Garcia, a powerful drug lord. Chris turns him down, but not before Garcia has already discovered his involvement and ordered his men to make an example of him. Riley and Chris take Carly out for pizza and to a carnival for her birthday since no one showed up to her party. At the carnival, Carly orders peppermint ice cream. As the family walks to the car, Diego's men gun down her husband and daughter in a drive-by shooting. She is wounded but survives.

Despite her injuries, Riley is able to positively identify the shooters. The detectives handling the case are hesitant to pursue charges against the three, as they are members of Garcia's drug cartel, which wields considerable influence. Detective Beltran explains to his partner Carmichael that the last detective who tried to bring Garcia to justice was found murdered and his badge placed inside his own police station locker.

Prior to the preliminary hearing, Riley is visited by the perpetrators' lawyer, who tries to bribe her. She refuses the bribe, but the lawyer notices she has anti-psychotic medication at home and uses this information to paint her as an unreliable witness. Judge Stevens, who is secretly on the cartel's payroll, declares there is insufficient evidence to allow the perpetrators to stand trial and dismisses the case, while the prosecuting lawyers do nothing. Outraged, Riley tries to attack her family's killers, but is tasered and placed on a psychiatric hold in a psychiatric ward. En route, she escapes and vanishes.

Five years later, Detectives Beltran and Carmichael arrive at the site of the carnival and find the three shooters hanging from a ferris wheel, having been killed by Riley. The killings attract the attention of FBI agent Lisa Inman, who meets with Beltran and Carmichael. Inman explains that before vanishing, Riley robbed the bank she used to work at, and that she has now returned, having robbed a gun store of various assault rifles and ammunition.

Riley kills Judge Stevens by blowing up his house, having already killed the defense and prosecution lawyers involved, deaths which Inman, Carmichael and Beltran learn of after the explosion. They decide to tell the media about Riley, which causes a debate on social media between those who see her as a hero and those who see her as a criminal.

Riley heads to a business that is a front for Diego's money laundering, where she kills most of his men, save for one she interrogates. Diego realizes Riley is responsible for his recent shipments going missing and resolves to kill her. Meanwhile, Inman discovers Riley has been living on Skid Row, owing to recent changes to crime patterns in the area. She finds Riley's van, which is filled with the stolen weapons, and learns that the people there see Riley as their guardian angel for keeping them safe.

Riley survives a trap set by Diego, follows his henchmen to Diego's home, and kills many of his men. When Diego's young daughter—who evokes her own murdered child—interrupts her as she confronts Diego, she hesitates and Diego wounds her and escapes. Inman calls Carmichael to Skid Row to wait for Riley. Carmichael, secretly on Diego's payroll, arrives and shoots Inman dead, then notifies Diego of Riley's likely destination.

Riley returns to Skid Row, which is swarming with Diego's men. She manages to kill several of them and finds Inman's body. Using Inman's phone, she contacts the media and reveals her location, inviting both the media and LAPD. She confronts Diego, stalling him long enough for the police to arrive. Diego shoots Carmichael and runs, only to be beaten down by Riley. Surrounded by police, Riley shoots Diego in the head yet manages to escape.

Beltran finds her critically wounded at her family's gravestone and has her brought to the hospital, despite Riley's expressed desire to die. Beltran later visits her, telling her that there are those who agree with what she did, and slips her the key to her handcuffs, allowing Riley to escape again.



The film was released in the United States on September 7, 2018.[12][10][13]

Box office[edit]

Peppermint has grossed $35.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $11.1 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $46.5 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[2]

In the United States and Canada, Peppermint was released alongside The Nun and God Bless the Broken Road, and was projected to gross $10–13 million from 2,980 theaters in its opening weekend.[14] The film made $4.7 million on its first day, including $800,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $13.4 million, finishing second at the box office, behind The Nun.[15]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 9% based on 106 reviews, and an average rating of 3.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Far from refreshing, Peppermint wastes strong work from Jennifer Garner on a dreary vigilante revenge story that lacks unique twists or visceral thrills."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 29 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "Death Wish on steroids", and said it "lacks subtlety and anything even remotely resembling credibility, but like its heroine, it certainly gets the job done".[18] IndieWire's Jude Dry gave the film a "C+". He wrote that Garner deserves to be in better films, and said the film is "rare return to form for Garner, who doles out her vigilante justice with effortless charm. Unfortunately, that's about the only reason to see Peppermint".[19]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2/4 stars, writing "In the stylishly directed but gratuitously nasty and cliché-riddled Peppermint, Garner plays essentially two characters cut from the same person."[20] Writing for TheWrap, Todd Gilchrist said that Peppermint "ultimately possesses the stale predictability of an unwrapped candy discovered at the bottom of a purse."[21]


  1. ^ "Peppermint at an AMC Theatre near you". AMC Theatres. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Peppermint (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. (August 8, 2017). "Jennifer Garner Joins Lakeshore & Pierre Morel-Helmed Revenge Thriller 'Peppermint'; STX films To Distribute". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Lee, Ashley (August 8, 2017). "Jennifer Garner in Talks to Star in Revenge Thriller 'Peppermint'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Ford, Rebecca (May 21, 2017). "Cannes: Lionsgate Takes Female Action Movie 'Peppermint'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  6. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (November 21, 2017). "Richard Cabral & John Gallagher Jr. Join Jennifer Garner In 'Peppermint'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e N'Duka, Amanda (November 28, 2017). "Jennifer Garner Thriller 'Peppermint' Adds Kyla Drew & Annie Ilonzeh". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 24, 2018). "Method Man Joins Jennifer Garner in Action Movie 'Peppermint'". Variety. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  9. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (December 15, 2017). "Tyson Ritter Cast In 'Peppermint', 'Gloria' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  10. ^ a b McNary, Dave (March 22, 2018). "Jennifer Garner's Action-Thriller 'Peppermint' Sets September Release". Variety. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Heimbrod, Camille (January 23, 2018). "Jennifer Garner Photographed On Set Of 'Peppermint' With TV Daughter Cailey Fleming". International Business Times. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 22, 2018). "Jennifer Garner Thriller 'Peppermint' Sets Post-Labor Day Weekend Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 22, 2018). "'Taken' Helmer Pierre Morel To Direct 'The New Mrs. Keller' With Claes Bang Set As Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 4, 2018). "'The Nun' To Fly To $40M+, Eyes Record Opening For 'Conjuring' Franchise – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  15. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 9, 2018). "'The Nun' Hits The Hallelujah With $54M Opening, Best Ever In 'Conjuring' Universe – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "Peppermint (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "Peppermint reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Scheck, Frank. "'Peppermint' Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Dry, Jude (September 6, 2018). "'Peppermint' Review: Jennifer Garner's Vigilante Mom Deserves Better". IndieWire. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  20. ^ Roeper, Richard (September 6, 2018). "'Peppermint' movie review: Jennifer Garner back to kicking butt in nasty revenge thriller". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice. "'Peppermint' Film Review: Jennifer Garner Vengeance Saga Lacks Snap". Retrieved September 13, 2018.

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