Year of Release: 1997
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, Powers Boothe, Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Voight, Julie Hagerty, Bo Hopkins, Brent Briscoe, Laurie Metcalf, Abraham Benrubi,
Genre: Drama, Crime, Suspense
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Synopsis & Review:
Oliver Stone's career was filled with fantastic films through the 80s and 90s, but as the 90s came to an end, the same happened with the quality of his directorial efforts. "U Turn" exhibits the traits of the formal experimentation that Oliver Stone trademarked with the fantastic "JFK", "Natural Born Killers" and even "Nixon", but in this film he and his usual collaborator, cinematographer Robert Richardson, applied it to a noir context, which turned out was a perfect fit. The film uses the small town as a claustrophobic setting, one from which none of the characters have a chance of escaping. In that town, the typical archetypes from film noir appear, such as the femme fatale, the young hothead, the young beautiful ingenue, the drifter, all adding a layer of familiarity and bizarreness, much like a "Twilight Zone" scenario. The film succeeds in being both a dark crime drama and another step in an experiment that stretches the language of film. The director has also managed to assemble a fantastic cast, with the awesome Sean Penn leading the ensemble, with Joaquin Phoenix, Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton and Claire Danes in supporting roles. The cinematography from Robert Richardson is fantastic, as is the score from the legendary composer Ennio Morricone. An underrated film worth revisiting.