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U Turn (1997)

Sean Penn , Jennifer Lopez , Oliver Stone  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

Price: $49.88 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton, Abraham Benrubi
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Writers: John Ridley
  • Producers: Richard Rutowski, Clayton Townsend, Dan Halsted, John Ridley, William H. Brown
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767805763
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,599 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "U Turn" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

He's a small-time gambler with a backpack full of cash, an overdue debt in Vegas and a broken radiator hose. She's a hot-and-cold vixen caught in the grips of a twisted relationship with her powerfulhusband. Both of them just want to get out of town. And after you meet the citizens of Superior, Arizona, you'll understand why.

Oliver Stone used such words as "liberating" and "fun" to talk about U Turn's relatively quick production schedule of 42 days. Stone's ideas of film fun, however, are something older generations would call sick. This film is a Southwestern noir tale about Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn), a hotshot who is stuck in the tight confines of Superior, Arizona, when his car breaks down. His subsequent adventure is a meatball comedy--loud, obnoxious, and violent, and stuffed with diffused light, a hot cast, and a no-fat Ennio Morricone score. This film has plenty of odd characters, but you never really find out much about them. Bobby's first encounters include a repulsive mechanic (Billy Bob Thornton under the grease) and a blind Indian (Jon Voight under the makeup). Then there's Grace McKenna (a sizzling Jennifer Lopez), who is as dangerous as the curves of her red sundress. Bobby's got time to kill, and Grace seems more than willing. Unfortunately, it seems that Bobby has never seen a movie such as A Touch of Evil; if he had, he would know it can only get worse. About the time Grace's husband, Jake (Nick Nolte), shows up, Bobby is knee-deep in murder plots and double-crosses.

The first 40 minutes or so are "fun" to a point. Penn is the perfect near-creep to root for, and as he wanders back into town after meeting Grace, the eclectic characters pile up. But soon it gets monotonous, tiring, and just plain ugly. And when incest and bloody fights begin, the fun is gone. If Penn weren't so solid an actor and able to be empathetic in the most morose situations, the movie would be unwatchable at stretches. Lopez makes another good impression, but this is not a performance that stands out. Nolte, raspy and ill-looking, is the Lee Marvin of the '90s. Before U Turn is over, you are already wondering if Oliver Stone will do something else, something more important, soon. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Love you Grace, but I can't trust you." November 2, 2005
By Dave
Adapted from John Ridley's (who also wrote the screenplay) novel Stray Dogs, U-Turn is a darkly humorous, hypnotic film noir. Shot on a $20,000,000 budget and featuring an outstanding cast (Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Jon Voight, Billy Bob Thornton, Claire Danes, Joaquin Phoenix, Powers Boothe), it's surreal visual quality was due in part to all the outdoor scenes being shot using Kodak 5239's color reversal stock, which intensified colors and tones. When Sean Penn turned down the role due to schedule conflicts, Bill Paxton replaced him, but Paxton backed out a week before filming began and Penn was available again for the movie. Thankfully, Penn accepted the role and ended up giving yet another great performance. Jennifer Lopez got the role of Grace after salary negotiations with Sharon Stone fell through. Lopez couldn't have picked a better role, and she played the femme fatale to perfection!

As the movie opens, Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn) drives into the small town of Superior, Arizona to get his broken car fixed. The only mechanic in town is a greasy hick named Darrell (Billy Bob Thornton, who gained around 50 pounds for the role!), and Bobby has no choice but to leave his beloved "1964 & ˝" Mustang with him. Bobby has an overdue gambling debt in Vegas, and has several missing fingers to prove it. He's on the run from ruthless mobsters who'll stop at nothing until they get their money or kill Bobby. Superior appears to have nothing to offer to Bobby, until he meets Grace McKenna (Jennifer Lopez), a sultry vixen who makes seduction an art. She invites Bobby to her house, and he gladly accepts. And while they're kissing each other at her house, Grace's husband Jake (Nick Nolte) walks in and promptly throws Bobby out.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CULT CLASSIC IN A FEW YEARS June 14, 2002
This is the fourth time in four years that I've been watching Oliver Stone's U TURN. I admit it sincerely, I didn't like it so much the first times but I kept watching it because there was something in the movie that attracted me. And I know by now that any quality movie deserves more than a single showing if you want to express an objective opinion about it.
There is much to discuss about U TURN's content, arty effects or characters. The movie can also be the beginning of hour long discussions on the homages and the references, evident or more subtle, distillated by Oliver Stone along the road. Take the final scene, for instance. Watch it again with the final scene of King Vidor's DUEL IN THE SUN in mind. The Sean Penn-Jennifer Lopez bloody show takes a totally different dimension, doesn't it ?
So one of the reasons of the cult status gained by a peculiar movie is the pleasure the movie creates with each new vision. Like a classical music opus, the film must never make you feel as if you had digested its entire substance. You must feel unsatisfied, ready for a next showing right after the end credits. With U TURN, you'll be sure to possess a DVD that will outlive the most sophisticated DVD players.
A DVD zone "they don't like it but I do".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Oliver Stone's U Turn is a small town Arizona story with love crosses and plot twists galore. A drifter (Sean Penn) breaks down in the Arizona back-woods and gets entangled with a spitfire (Jennifer Lopez) who wants to leave her twisted, abusive husband (Nick Nolte). The husband, on the other hand, wants his wife murdered. The town mechanic (Billy Bob Thornton) is a greasy local who dislikes city slicker outsiders and doesn't aim to make Penn's character's life any easier. Our hero also gets mixed up with a cute local waitress (Claire Danes) seeking refuge from her abusive boyfriend (Joaquin Phoenix).

The movie is a day-in-the-life-of look at a strange little desert town with hidden undercurrents and long-standing family secrets. With an all-star cast and plot upheavals galore, the viewing is a full-on thrill-ride. Highly recommended. Also check out Clay Pigeons.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ridley + Stone + Penn = serious rock 'n roll. April 12, 2007
U Turn (Oliver Stone, 1997)

I'm a big fan of Stray Dogs, the John Ridley novel upon which U-Turn is based, and I avoided the film for while because, really, how many film adaptations of your best-loved novels actually work the way you want them to? I shouldn't have worried, though; U-Turn is the stuff, most decidedly.

The plot: Bobby Cooper, an on-the-run tennis pro (Sean Penn) has his car conk out on him just shy of a very, very weird little desert town. One of its residents, Grace McKenna (Jennifer Lopez), immediately catches his eye, but he soon finds out she's married to a nasty old character named Jake (Nick Nolte), who'd just as soon see her dead-- and offers Bobby fifty grand to do the deed. Immediately, a complex web of deceit unfurls among all the characters, complicated by a number of even stranger events happening at just the wrong time to make Bobby's life miserable.

The main thing that sticks out about this movie is the caliber of its cast, and the caliber of the performances they give. When you have to stick Jon Voight and Billy Bob Thornton seventh and eighth in credits order, you've got a high-powered cast working for you. All of them are spot on. The plot moves forward at almost blinding speed (just as it did in the book; Ridley adapted his own novel), and the viewer has very little time to do anything but clench his teeth and hang on for the ride until the final credits roll. It's just plain fun. I'm not sure why I stopped watching Oliver Stone flicks in the late eighties (okay, yeah I am-- Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, and JFK back to back got a little heavy in to the world of way-out conspiracy theory for me), but I'm glad I've started again. *** ˝
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