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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.67%
Average: 17.33%
Pretty Bad: 24%
Total Crap: 9.33%

5 reviews, 45 user ratings

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by Chris Parry

"Somebody change Oliver Stone's batteries. Please."
2 stars

Directors are a bell curve. They start out unknown and rapidly rise in rep, more often than not through good luck, not talent. They make a big flick, get some cred, start believing their own press, take up an addiction, and start making celebrity filled movies that are nothing more than a long wank. U-Turn is just such a movie.

Oli Stone can make anything he wants. If he decides his local deli assistant should be a star, then his local deli-assistant becomes a star. If he decides to make a $300m remake of Barb Wire starring an Olsen Twin, chances are someone'll pony up the big ones to make it happen.

And hence you have U-Turn. Stone hitting the desert, bringing in an indian for sage advice, throwing in way too many bizarro cutaways and close-ups designed to look poignant because they're pointless.

Masses of celebrities filling every damn role is also an Oli habit. Why Jon Voight is needed to play an old crazy indian is beyond me. I mean, any time you have to dress someone in rags, cover their face with hair, black out their teeth, put dark glasses on them, make them talk with an accent and paint their skin just to get them to look realistic, you're either making Star Wars or you need to rethink your casting. What's wrong with just getting an indian to play the role? Native American my ass.

So the gig is this. Sean Penn is a hood driving across country to pay off some other hoods he owes money to. When his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he has no option but to let old crazy Billy Bob Thornton fix his car. Stuck in the most backward town in existence while his car is worked on, Penn meets the delectable Jennifer Lopez, a prickteaser of the highest order. Just as she's about to ride the skinslide, husband Nick Nolte comes home.

To make a long story short, the only way Penn can get out of town is by killing Jen Lopez. Or Nolte. Or everybody. Or himself. By the end, you kind of hope the one to be killed is you.

The performances are all enthusiastic. You can see everyone's happy to be in a Stone flick, assuming it's bound to be big box office and a career stepping stone. It never was. U-Turn was pretty much ignored and the reason why is that it's mostly crap.

Oh sure, there's funny stuff. There's some clumsy sexual atmos. And there's a bunch of weirdo sub plot characters - Joaquin Phoenix (if only he could have changed places with the more talented River) and Claire Danes being just two. Sean Penn, as always, kicks mighty ass as a snide loser.

But, much like Warren Beatty's directorial masturbation exercise, Dick Tracy, once you've met all the bizarro charaters, there's nothing left to see but the odd starlet's rump. And even in an Oliver Stone movie.. that's just not enough.

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originally posted: 03/02/99 10:51:13
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User Comments

4/07/13 Monday Morning Offbeat, weird, campy and very entertaining 4 stars
12/05/07 dingo Watchable 4 stars
11/11/07 reddye5 For some reason I liked this one. Penn is great, but style outweighs the story too often 3 stars
2/13/07 ES Not just boring, ugly boring 1 stars
6/27/06 Criddic2 Despite the cast, a waste of film; It is pointless, uninspired; Disappointing! 1 stars
9/23/05 Indrid Cold An all-American near-classic. The plot is just too scattered though. 4 stars
6/21/05 Tom quibell it's weird that's what I like about it 5 stars
12/04/04 Steven Loori Ham-faced/fisted/acted. End-to-end rehash. Awful set/sound design. Canned dog barks!?! 1 stars
11/12/04 jellica it was a good movie goood acting 5 stars
9/08/04 Douglas Reese I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! Very well made. Deserved Best Picture Oscar nominee nod. 5 stars
6/06/04 John tries to make obvious moral points but has no story or charachters you care for 1 stars
12/13/03 Agent Sands I agree whole-heartedly with Ryan A, but I was a bit more entertained. 4 stars
9/15/03 Donna Gelpigi A nightmarish thriller that even Jennifer Lopez can't spoil! 5 stars
9/06/03 john awesome, fun 5 stars
7/28/03 francis Bizarrely interesting, but can we really care about what happens to these wackos. 3 stars
5/07/03 Geirn YEAHH awesome 5 stars
4/23/03 Bill go see freeway instead. 1 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Scattershot plot points fire away at the helpless cast. 2 stars
1/27/03 R.W. Welch Sets up well enough but eventually becomes almost ludicrous. 2 stars
11/09/02 Steve Twisty and funny. Lopez and Phoenix are especially good. 4 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Stone proves he doesn't have to rewrite history to make a stupid movie 1 stars
7/12/02 KMG Ho-pez before she got ghetto 3 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk Interesting little 'wrong place at the wrong time' story. Lopez looks delicious. 4 stars
8/04/01 eminem 5 stars
6/22/01 Reini Urban best camera and technic this year, plot almost blood simple. much better than out of sight. 4 stars
3/19/01 Shawn I really dug this film! Sex, violence, drama, comedy, suspense, it has it all! 5 stars
2/17/01 Jake Good plot and music, way too long. Red Rock West had same plot and was way better! 3 stars
9/21/00 Mike Great cast but the plot gets pretty lame. WAY too long, Mr Stone(d)! 2 stars
8/13/00 Cidec Stark fucking awesome 5 stars
1/07/00 PervertedPixie A mix of "Romeo is bleeding", "Pulp Fiction" and "Gilbert Grape". Great stuff! 5 stars
9/21/99 Tina Liked it- nice twists- everybody dies! 4 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Oliver Stone is a fucking genius and this film rocks. thats it. 5 stars
5/27/99 GothamDK Stone trying to pull a Lynch. Jennifer Lopez is the only highlight of this lost film. 2 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Why more people don't like this movie I don't know, but I do know I like cake. 5 stars
3/17/99 The Dude Fucking funny ending I loved this fucking movie 5 stars
1/23/99 Arthur fuck this shit 2 stars
12/05/98 tj usually i hate oliver stone...but this is an amazing movie...and jenn. lopez looks so good 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Nick, think back to Cannery Row, and kick your own ass. I want Jenny. 3 stars
10/13/98 Johny No NBK or JFK, but very watchable 4 stars
9/22/98 Pat_Sicox Crack Film 3 stars
9/07/98 Damien Highly underrated, I thought it was cool and disturbing 4 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee This one lost me way early. Claire Danes rocks, but otherwise... 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Jen Lopez = sex --- Nick Nolte = lame. 3 stars
8/23/98 Superfly Great, if you like dark comedies. 4 stars
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  04-Oct-1997 (R)



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