Twisted (2004 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Produced by Barry Baeres
Anne Kopelson
Arnold Kopelson
Florina Massbaum
Linne Radmin
Written by Sarah Thorp
Starring Ashley Judd
Samuel L. Jackson
Andy García
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by Peter Boyle
Kopelson Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • February 27, 2004 (2004-02-27)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[1]
Box office $41 million[2]

Twisted is a 2004 American psychological thriller written by Sarah Thorp and directed by Philip Kaufman. It stars Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy García. The film is set in San Francisco, California.


Having solved a high-profile case involving a serial killer, Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) is a rising officer in the San Francisco Police Department. She is transferred to the homicide division and promoted to the rank of inspector. Her deceased father's former partner, John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson), serves as her proud mentor. Shepard finds that she might once again have to prove herself in a department that takes no prisoners.

When one of her former one-night stands is murdered, Shepard and her new partner, Mike Delmarco (Andy García), are assigned to the case. Shepard, who has a drinking problem, soon falls under suspicion. Three more murders follow, each victim having had a relationship with her.

Shepard begins to experience a mental breakdown, blacking out for increasingly long periods of time. Her father, a police patrolman, had gone on a killing spree back in the 1970s and then murdered her mother. She begins to fear that she has the same violent tendencies and that she has been committing murder in her disoriented state.

Shepard finds out that Mills is the killer. He killed all of her lovers, as well as her parents, because he considered it his mission to prevent her growing up to be a dissolute woman like her mother. As her father's partner, Mills had felt the responsibility to inform him that his wife was a nymphomaniac, which drove him insane.

As he had an illicit affair with Shepard's mother, Mills felt the need to kill her lovers. Also ashamed that he destroyed his partner's marriage and drove him insane, Mills decided to put him out of his misery by killing him.

Shepard secretly transmits Mills' confession on a mobile phone, allowing her old partner to track them down. When Mills tries to shoot her partner, Shepard shoots him in the chest and he falls off the dock. The film closes on him drifting on the ocean surface surrounded by sea lions as the cops look on.



Despite its well-established director and cast, Twisted received almost universally negative reviews, with a rating of 1% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 135 reviews with an average score of 2.9 out of 10. The consensus states: "An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a cliched, risible whodunit." The film is one of the lowest rated on the site.[3] One reviewer described the role-reversal of the film as "contrived", while allowing that the film "may dole out a few guilty pleasures".[4]

Box office[edit]

The film earned $25,198,598 in the United States and Canada and $15,756,005 in other territories for a combined worldwide gross of $40,954,603[5]—well below the film's production budget of $50 million.

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