U Turn (1997 film)

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U Turn
U-Turnposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Dan Halsted
Clayton Townsend
Written by John Ridley
Oliver Stone
Based on Stray Dogs by John Ridley
Starring
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Robert Richardson
Edited by Hank Corwin
Thomas J. Nordberg
Production
company
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Release date
  • August 27, 1997 (1997-08-27) (Telluride)
  • October 3, 1997 (1997-10-03) (US)
Running time
125 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million (estimated)
Box office $6.6 million (USA)

U Turn is a 1997 American western neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone, and based on the book Stray Dogs by John Ridley. It stars Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, and Nick Nolte.

Plot[edit]

Bobby Cooper is a drifter in debt to a violent gangster when his car breaks down in Superior, Arizona. Stranded and broke, he meets Grace and Jake McKenna who both separately approach Bobby to kill the other for money.

Desperate and in fear, Bobby approaches Jake about killing Grace. He develops feelings for Grace and agrees to kill Jake, then he and Grace can be together and use Jake's money for a new start somewhere else.

With Grace's help, Bobby kills Jake, and they leave together with $200,000. As they make their way out of Superior, the Sheriff, with whom Grace has been having an affair, stops them. Grace shoots and kills the sheriff. As they dump the bodies, Grace pushes Bobby over the cliff, severely injuring him. Grace suddenly realizes that Bobby has the car keys.

Grace makes her way down the steep incline where she and Bobby fight, and in his weakened, injured state, Bobby kills Grace. He makes the grueling journey back up the cliff with a broken leg, then starts the car, but the radiator hose bursts, and Bobby is stranded in the heat injured and dying. His body is later discovered.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

U Turn was filmed in 1996 on location in Superior, Arizona and other areas of Arizona and California, including the Coachella Valley.[1] It was filmed entirely on Reversal stock, 5239, to give an extra harsh look to the hostile environment.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Reaction by critics to the movie was mixed. Roger Ebert gave the film 1½ stars out of four, deeming it a "repetitive, pointless exercise in genre filmmaking—the kind of film where you distract yourself by making a list of the sources".[3] James Berardinelli rated the film three stars out of four, stating "for those who enjoy movies on the edge, U-Turn offers just the trajectory you might expect."[4] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that it "demonstrates a filmmaker in complete command of his craft and with little control over his impulses".[5] U Turn currently holds a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 50 reviews with the consensus: "U-Turn is a lurid, stylish lark that boasts striking moments but lacks the focus and weight of Oliver Stone's best work."

The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Director (which went to Kevin Costner for The Postman) and Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight, also for Most Wanted; ultimately, he "lost" to Dennis Rodman for Double Team).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palm Springs Visitors Center. "Coachella Valley Feature Film Production 1920–2011". Filming in Palm Springs. Palm Springs, CA. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2012. Download[permanent dead link] (Downloadable PDF file)
  2. ^ "The Hollywood Interview: Oliver Stone: The Hollywood Interview". Thehollywoodinterview.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  3. ^ "U-Turn :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1997-10-03. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  4. ^ "U-Turn - A Film Review by James Berardinelli". ReelViews.net. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  5. ^ LaSalle, Mick (1997-10-03). "Stone Makes Scary `U-Turn' / Director's black comedy has style but – typically – gets carried away". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 

External links[edit]