Push (2009 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul McGuigan
Written byDavid Bourla
Produced by
CinematographyPeter Sova
Edited byNicolas Trembasiewicz
Music byNeil Davidge
Distributed bySummit Entertainment
Release date
  • February 6, 2009 (2009-02-06)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$38 million[2]
Box office$48.9 million[2]

Push is a 2009 American superhero thriller film directed by Paul McGuigan and written by David Bourla. Starring Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, and Djimon Hounsou, the film centers on people with superhuman abilities who band together to take down a government agency that is using a dangerous drug to enhance their powers in the hope of creating an army of super soldiers.

The film was released on February 6, 2009, by Summit Entertainment and Icon Productions. It was a moderate box office success, though critical reception was mostly negative.


Since 1945, various countries have set up Divisions to track, categorize and experiment on people with psychic abilities to turn them into soldiers.

10 years ago, two Movers, Jonah Gant, and his young son Nick are pursued by the U.S. Division. Jonah instructs Nick to help a girl who gives him a flower in the future. A team led by Division agent Henry Carver, a Pusher, kills Jonah, but Nick escapes.

In the present, the U.S. Division has developed a drug that can boost psychic abilities, but all test subjects died until Pusher Kira Hudson successfully adapted to it. She steals a syringe of the drug and flees, aided by another woman in the facility. Carver orders the Division to capture Kira and retrieve the syringe.

Meanwhile, Nick has moved to Hong Kong, a common hiding place for psychics. Nick's powers are blunted from rare usage, and he incurs debt when his powers fail to help him cheat in gambles. Division Sniffers Mack and Holden visit Nick to look for Kira but find no trace. Nick is visited immediately after by Cassie, a moody teenage Watcher, who also wants Nick to help find Kira. At a market, Nick and Cassie are confronted by a triad, who are also looking for Kira. The Triad Bleeders wound Nick, and Cassie calls in a favor from Stitch Teresa to heal him. Nick realizes Cassie is the girl he is supposed to help. Mack and Holden capture Kira in Hong Kong, but she Pushes Mack to kill Holden and escapes. Carver dismisses Mack, but Mack insists on continuing, so Carver Pushes Mack to kill himself.

Nick and Cassie track down Kira with the assistance of Shifter Hook Waters and Sniffer Emily Wu. Kira has hidden the syringe and had Wiper Wo Chiang erase her memory of its location, protecting it from Division agents. Nick recruits Shadow Pinky Stein to hide Kira from the Division. Nick and Kira, who are former lovers, reconcile and kiss. Nick tracks down Carver with Emily's assistance, and attempts an ambush. Carver reveals that Kira will eventually die without more of the drug, which only Carver has. Carver's right-hand man, Victor, defeats Nick. Cassie convinces Carver to spare Nick. Cassie finds a key in Kira's shoe which unlocks the locker containing the syringe.

Aided by Cassie, Nick plans and writes instructions for his allies, then has his memory of them erased by Wo Chiang. Hook creates a duplicate of the syringe, while Pinky delivers Kira to Carver as part of the plan. Teresa betrays Nick to the triad, passing Hook's duplicate syringe to them, before Nick defeats her. Carver influences Kira to believing that she was a Division agent and that her relationship with Nick was a cover. Cassie is ambushed by the triad's Pop Girl, only for Wo Chiang to appear and erase Pop Girl's memory per Nick's instructions.

Nick visits Carver to trade the syringe for Kira, only to discover she had been brainwashed and is restrained. Kira, Carver, and Victor visit a construction site to retrieve the syringe, but the Triad ambushes them, leading a battle that kills many Triad members and inadvertently frees Nick, who also joins the battle. Victor is killed by the triad leader, whom Nick defeats. Nick seizes the syringe and injects himself with it. Believing the drug will kill him, Carver leaves with Kira. After they leave, Cassie appears, revealing that Nick is alive, as he used a syringe with a fake drug. They retrieve the real syringe and discuss using it to free Cassie's Watcher mother from the Division, who hatched the entire plan to take down the Division before Cassie was born.

Later, Kira discovers her unopened envelope, which contains a photograph proving her relationship with Nick was real, with an instruction to kill Carver. Kira Pushes Carver to shoot himself.


  • Chris Evans as Nick Gant, an untrained Mover hiding in Hong Kong from the Division. As a child he witnessed his father being murdered by Agent Carver and has difficulty controlling his power.
Dakota Fanning at the film's premiere
  • Dakota Fanning as Cassie Holmes, a 13-year-old Watcher and the daughter of the most powerful Watcher the Division has encountered. Her abilities are not fully developed and she is sometimes confused by the premonitions she draws.
    • Cassie's mother Sarah Frank (uncredited); a powerful Watcher imprisoned and drugged by the Division to prevent her using her powers against them.
Camilla Belle at the film's premiere
  • Camilla Belle as Kira Hudson/Hollis, a high-level Pusher escapee from the Division. The only Division patient to have survived experimentation.
  • Djimon Hounsou as Division Agent Henry Carver, a powerful Pusher who killed Nick's father and is tasked to recapture Kira.
  • Joel Gretsch as Jonah Gant, Nick's father. An advanced Mover killed for refusing to join the Division.
  • Ming-Na Wen as Emily Wu, a Sniffer who helps Nick and Cassie find Kira.
  • Cliff Curtis as Hook Waters, a former Division Shifter who believes the Division murdered his wife.
  • Nate Mooney as Pinky Stein, a Shadow who hides Kira. He is missing his pinky finger.
  • Corey Stoll as Sniffer Agent Mack.
  • Scott Michael Campbell as Sniffer Agent Holden.
  • Neil Jackson as Victor Budarin, an advanced Mover and Carver's right-hand man.
  • Maggie Siff as Teresa Stowe, a Stitch who heals Nick.
  • Paul Che as Wo Chiang, a Wiper living on a boat.
  • Xiao Lu Li as Pop Girl, a Triad Watcher who draws her visions and tracks Nick and Cassie.
  • Kwan Fung Chi and Jacky Heung as Pop Boys, Triad Bleeders.
  • Haruhiko Yamanouchi as Pop Father, Triad Bleeder and father to the Pop siblings.


Director Paul McGuigan at the film's premiere

Box office[edit]

On its opening weekend, the film opened No. 6 grossing $10,079,109 in 2,313 theaters with a $4,358 average.[3] The film grossed $48,858,618 worldwide, and $16,285,488 in DVD sales in the US alone making $65,157,106 (not including worldwide DVD sales) surpassing its budget cost of $38 million by over $27 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 23% approval rating based on 128 reviews and a rating average of 4.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The sci-fi thriller Push is visually flashy but hyperkinetic and convoluted."[4] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to critic reviews, gave the film an average score of 36 out of 100, based on 21 critics.[5] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one and a half stars out of four stating: ""Push" has vibrant cinematography and decent acting, but I'm blasted if I know what it's about."[6] Robert Koehler of Variety called the film “a confused jumble of parts in search of a whole", and said it "plays like a mix-tape sample of scenes from Heroes, Fringe, Alias and The X-Files."[7] Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said “While the concept of corralling assorted [Movers, Watchers, and Pushers] and placing them against a stylish Asian backdrop is intriguing, the picture seldom rises to the occasion.”[8]

Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club was more positive, giving it a B+: "Superhero fans will likely be into Push just for the cool-factor of watching embattled heroes and villains in a tense war of wits, wills, and skills. That broader audience is less likely to come along for the ride, but this particular gateway drug at least has ambition and brains going for it, as well as the usual spastic style."[9]


Wildstorm, an imprint of DC Comics, published a comic book mini-series that acts as a prequel to the film. It was written by Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (who wrote The Highwaymen for Wildstorm) and Bruno Redondo supplied the art.[10] Issues were published from January 2009 and February 2009, and a softcover collection (ISBN 978-1401224929) was published in September 2009.

Home media[edit]

Push was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 7, 2009. The DVD included deleted scenes, a commentary, and a 'making of' featurette. Wal-Mart released the film as a double-feature DVD with Knowing. Push was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray on April 10, 2018.[11]

Soundtrack and score[edit]

No official soundtrack has been released, although the full score is available to stream online on the official Neil Davidge website.

Artist Title
The Kills What New York Used to Be
Yin Xiangjie The Love of Boat Trackers
Radio Citizen and Bajka The Hop
Working for a Nuclear Free City Rocket
Neil Davidge Original music for Push
Daniele Benatie and Fernando Paterlini Everybody Ciao
South Rakkas Crew Elevator China
The Notwist Consequence
South Rakkas Crew China Funk
The Old Ceremony Bao Qian
Jiang Xianwei A Visit to Suzhou

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PUSH (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 19, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Push (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
  3. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 6–8, 2009". Box Office Mojo. February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "Push". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 6, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ "Push Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 4, 2009). "Push Movie Review & Film Summary (2009)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Koehler, Robert (February 1, 2009). "Push Variety". Variety. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Film Review: Push – Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Robinson, Tasha (February 5, 2009). "Push Film Review – AV Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  10. ^ SDCC 08: Wildstorm Snares Push License Archived January 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, IGN, July 22, 2008
  11. ^ Push 4K Blu-ray, retrieved April 10, 2018

External links[edit]