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Snake Eyes

3.6 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brian De Palma's 1998 thriller is largely an exercise in airing out his orchestral, oversized visual style (think of his Blowout, Body Double, or Raising Cain) for the heck of it. The far-fetched story features Nicolas Cage as a crook

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Brian De Palma's 1998 thriller is largely an exercise in airing out his orchestral, oversized visual style (think of his Blowout, Body Double, or Raising Cain) for the heck of it. The far-fetched story features Nicolas Cage as a crooked police detective attending a championship boxing match at which the Secretary of Defense is assassinated. The unfortunate Secretary's right-hand man (Gary Sinise) happens to be Cage's old friend, a fact that complicates the cop's efforts to reconstruct the crime from conflicting accounts--a directorial strategy bearing similarities to Kurosawa's Rashomon. The outrageousness of the scenario essentially gives De Palma permission to construct a baroque cathedral of spectacular camera stunts, which (he well knows) are inevitably more interesting than the hoary conspiracy plot. (The opening scene alone, which runs on for a number of minutes and consists of one, unbroken shot that moves in from the street, following Cage up and down stairs, and in and out of rooms until finally ending ringside at the match, is breathtaking.) The shifting points of view--based on the contradictory statements of witnesses--also give De Palma license to get creative with camera angles and scene rearrangements. The script bogs down in the third act, but De Palma is just revving up for a big, operatic finish that is absolutely gratuitous but undeniably impressive. Yes, it's style over substance in Snake Eyes, but what style we're talking about.--Tom Keogh

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard, Carla Gugino, Stan Shaw
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: Brian De Palma, David Koepp
  • Producers: Brian De Palma, Chris Soldo, Jeff Levine, Louis A. Stroller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305277958
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Snake Eyes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I find that people don't really give Snake Eyes enough credit. There are claims that Cage's character can't really be related to. Well, how many movies can you find where you can actually relate to what the character is going through? I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time relating to Bruce Willis' part in "Die Hard" and I also have a tough time relating to Nicolas Cage's character in "Gone In 60 Seconds". Why? Because I've never been a One-man army against terrorists and I've never been a car thief. The point is, that you don't have to relate to the character to enjoy the movie.
I find this movie enjoyable because the camera work is superb, the plot keeps you interested, and Cage plays his role as a weak, corrupted cop very well. Cage's character really comes across as being a flashy sleezeball, and yet some people are attributing that to poor acting on his part. There is a fine line between bad acting and a bad character. Unfortunately, many people confuse the two.
Overall, if you're looking for an excellent mystery/suspense flick, put this on your lists of things to see.
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Format: VHS Tape
Snake Eyes is a better movie than some have concluded; noteworthy is how in the first half of the movie it shows you the view points of the witnesses which is how it is in real life when trying to construct what rreally happened in a complex event. DePalma employs some OUTSTANDING camera work; particularly the camera view replicating from the prize fighter's eyes that then turns into the mirror and you see the fighter, shadow boxing, and the scene in the upper hotel rooms where the camera looks down and glides over several adjacent rooms to show how people really behave behind closed doors. On a tactical note when the Gary Sinese character shoots THROUGH the adjacent material to hit the alleged assasin that is very well done since in real gunfights you shoot through to the enemy (if your bullets will penetrate) not waltz into a line-of-sight like a Hollywood gunfight. The movie's failure is that it revealed that Gary Sinese's character is the mastermind/villain in the movie middle, the film should have lead us to believe he was a good guy longer, until the near end, have the betrayal and beating of the Nicholas Cage character. The rationale behind Sinese's character that he was fed up that the Navy didn't have an effective close-range missile defense system rings true, but I doubt such a person would resort to evil to get a good result, but the servicemen's frustration was well portrayed. The girl's desire to not waste billions on a defense system that can't work makes both viewpoints very timely in light of recent current events. These revelations should have come as a shock just at the end as DePalma did in Body Double. Then have the weak, bleeding and battered Cage returns to the girl in hiding and get at the truth just as Sinese arrives to finish them both off.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
I was never a huge Nicolas Cage fan. When I heard of this film though I was very intrigued. So the night of its release, I went and waw it. It was the most amazing film I had seen all year at that point. Brian DePalma did an excellent job with this one.
It opens with a huge single shot where a steady-cam follows Cage (as a corrput cop) around as he talks to his wife and his mistress on a cell phone, beats up a thug for money, places bets, and meets his Naval Comander friend (Gary Sinise) in the arena where a huge boxing match is about to take place. And you thought the single shots in "GoodFellas" and "Boogie Nights" were long. By the time this scene was over I felt like I witnessed cinematic history.
The rest of the films deals with the assasination of a government official as Cage and Sinise try to discover who is responsible. Lots of great camera work and a great plot make this film a winner. The critics seemed really harsh on the film but if your a fan of action thrillers you'd be hurting yourself if you missed it.
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Format: DVD
While the plot of the movie sounds terribly cliche, it couldn't be more farther from the truth. The middle and ending will make your hair stand on end. If you want a great thriller or you are a Cage fan, get this. I highly recommend this.
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Format: DVD
What I enjoyed the most about this crime thriller is the fact that everything connects. Brian De Palma focuses on long shots, uninterrupted takes. Cage plays the eccentric, sometimes scheming, detective who is caught in the middle of a giant conspiracy. This movie has a really film noir taste to it compared to FACE/OFF. I really enjoyed the persona of Ricky Santuro, the man who thinks he has everything covered but in the end really has to do some heavy detective work.
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Format: DVD
Brian De Palma's "Snake Eyes" (1998) is about a fast-talking shady Atlantic City detective, Rick Santoro (Nicolas Cage), who becomes involved with a murder conspiracy at a heavyweight boxing match in an Atlantic City casino while a hurricane hits. Gary Sinise plays Naval officer Commander Dunne, Santoro's best friend, and Carla Gugino plays a mysterious woman in white.

This is a top-of-the-line crime thriller that cost a bundle. The opening 13-minute sequence is an amazing continuous shot, but some say it actually consists of several seamless cuts. Regardless, it's filmmaking of the highest order. The score by Ryûichi Sakamoto is unique and a highlight. Gugino is a cutie and Jayne Heitmeyer is stunning as the lady in red. Interestingly, practically the entire movie takes place in the extravagant casino/hotel.

Some complain about the contrivances of the ending, but all these types of thrillers contain contrivances; besides, it's not as bad as people say if you reflect on it. Speaking of the ending, as good as the opening is I actually enjoyed the second half more, which is when the real villain manifests. What I like about the antagonist is that he or she has a good -- almost noble -- motive. But does the end justify the means?

Like the excellent "Training Day," "Snake Eyes" is about a corrupt authority figure but, unlike that movie, redemption might still be possible. Unfortunately, the chickens must first come home to roost, as they say.

On the downside, as great as the two women are, they coulda done more with 'em, but this is a minor cavil.

The film is lean at 98 minutes and was shot in Atlantic City and Montreal.

GRADE: B+
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