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Suicide Kings

4.2 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

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(Feb 20, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Suicide Kings

Here's another gritty independent film that tries to invade Tarantino territory by casting Christopher Walken--that most reliable of indie-film actors--as a Mobster who gets chummy with a group of preppie-like young men and becomes the victim of a kidnapping scheme. One of the kidnappers (Henry Thomas) has a sister who's been abducted by another group of kidnappers, and they've bagged Walken for his Mob connections and negotiating power. What follows is a game of psychological strategy in which the desperate group of guys slowly lose their advantage to the smarter, more experienced gangster--even though they've got Walken tied to a chair. The situation turns volatile when the young men start to doubt the wisdom of their strategy and suspect betrayal within the group, and Suicide Kings turns into a talky, repetitious thriller only partially redeemed by Denis Leary's cagey role as Walken's Mob lieutenant. The movie's a showcase for its cast of rising talent (including Jay Mohr, Jeremy Sisto, Johnny Galecki, and Sean Patrick Flanery), but not even Walken can hold it all together. What's best about the film is Leary's sinister presence in a peripheral role and Walken's trademark villainy, here toned down to a steady, simmering menace. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Two alternate endings with director's commentary
  • Movie/storyboard comparison
  • One multi-angle scene

Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery, Mark Watson, Nina Siemaszko
  • Directors: Peter O'Fallon
  • Writers: Don Stanford, Gina Goldman, Josh McKinney, Wayne Allan Rice
  • Producers: Adam Mills, Charles A. Chiara, Morrie Eisenman
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0784011516
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Suicide Kings" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Looking for a mob movie that doesn't star Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino? Neither am I, but, hey, sometimes you need a little variety in your repetoir, right? Suicide Kings is, in my opinion, this variety. Starring Christopher Walken and backed-up by Dennis Leary and a cast of up-and-comers, Suicide Kings succeeds remarkably at creating a dark and twisted tail of revenge, betrayal and getting in over your head.

Walken plays Carlo Bartolucci (also known in the movie as Charlie Barret), a mob boss recently returned from prison and having a night out on the town. During this he is joined by a group of college-aged kids also seemingly celebrating. As the night continues, these youngsters kidnap him.

After a few turns the kids motives are revealed: They're going to use Charlie's ransom money to pay off ANOTHER ransom, that of one of the kidnapper's girlfriends. What follows is a beautifully political example of Stockholm's Psychology as Walken's mob boss systematically turns each of the conspirator's against the other, all the while contacting his right-hand man, played by the fabulously energetic Dennis Leary.

Though this picture has many strong points, including a great plot, excellent scripting and superb acting, it has a few flaws that warrant a four-star rating rather than a five-star, in my opinion. First is the pacing. At times, the movie drags in places where it seems as if the writer wasn't sure what to do next. Though it swiftly recovers from these moments, they still occur enough to bring an impatient sigh or two.

Some of the cinematography is lacking as well, speaking characters are slightly blocked or transitions a bit questionable. There isn't any shaking camera or bad panning, just a few places where I think it could have been done better.
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Format: DVD
While this film did not get much attention elsewhere, it certainly has mine. Suicide Kings is a movie about a group of spoiled rich kids in a tight bind with some criminals. To help gain some leverage in the ordeal, one of them has the bright idea to kidnap a NY mob boss (Walken). A guessing game of who betrayed who ensues and it will keep you wondering. This movie is hilarious, smart and interesting. It's full of great acting, funny dialogue, and interesting plot twists. Christopher Walken, in my opinion one of the greatest movie bad guys, shows his range in an outstanding performance. He's funny, dramatic and intense, all while being taped to a chair for most of the movie. Other notable performances are Dennis Leary, who plays Walken's right hand man in classic Leary style, and Jay Moore as the hard nosed, stubborn leader of the preps. The film has a very independent feel to it and is gritty at some points. While feeling this way, however, it does not feel un-professional ever. Basically, if you want a funny film with great performances from great actors, a good plot (which is often scarce nowadays), and a cheap price ...!!!, you have no excuse not to buy Suicide Kings.
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Format: DVD
I saw one TV spot for this movie, and never even saw it playing at a theatre? Was I out sick that week? This is a hidden jewel. This movie is almost soley driven by dialogue. What a job! A very little bit of action tossed in to aide the story, but other than that it's all in the words. I can't write enough to do this justice. I mean really, the main character (Walken) was strapped in a chair almost the whole time and he still kicked @$$ in the role. I think there are a whole lot of moviegoers who lost out when they missed this movie. If you like a great script, at least rent this to give it a chance. (Then buy it) Don't pass it by. The alternate endings are cool, one of which I think was better than the chosen, though it isn't believable. I like this movie a little more everytime I see it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I watched this so many times I know the dialogue by heart. It's a great movie. Some say a cult classic. I don't know why. First of all anyone who likes Christopher Walken you are in for a treat. This movie is written with his voice or directed by his mom, one or the other it don't matter the part fits him. I have only liked Dennis Leary in two films. This and "The Ref" and I don't particularly enjoy his stand up. But in this movie, you see some depth not as much as in "the ref" but definitely some depth. The rest of the cast is spot on. Casting this thing was just genius. The story is good. Not the greatest writing, but the cast brings what's on the page to life in spite of its shortfalls. The directing is good and moves the story along. It does have a couple of flat spots. But the highlights make up for it. It had two endings and the one they chose I think is correct but they could have gone with either. There are no shockers here. The plot won't keep you guessing but the way they arrive there is very pleasing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is my favorite Christopher Walken film. It's full of great writing for all of the characters, but especially Walken. You even get a few laughs along the way, in this otherwise serious film. For those who like action films, there is a good car chase scene, but the brilliance in this film centers around the mind games that Walken plays with the rich kids in the film. The sets are pretty basic which I like, many good films have excellent actors and simple sets. "Man From Earth" comes to mind specifically (although it's hardly in the same genre as Suicide Kings). It's worth saying that Dennis Leary has some excellent lines too. Originally, this DVD was released with a problem with the master that caused it to freeze on cheaper players (according to my contact with Artisan), when I first purchased it many years ago. After buying it again on DVD this year, I am happy to say that this played through correctly for me this time.
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