Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) knows how to stop elusive terrorist Castor Troy (Cage). He'll become him. Archer undergoes a futuristic surgery and has Troy's face mapped onto his, then infiltrates the terrorist's world to discover his deadly secrets. But as much as Archer looks and acts like Troy, he doesn't really know him. He never figures Troy will retaliate and force doctors to transform him into Archer. Now the agent faces a shattering nightmare: his archrival is living with his family. (Paramount) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 100
    Exciting and then some, Face/Off blends the director's supercharged images of balletic brutality and spiritual catharsis with an off-the-wall humor that allows John Travolta and Nicolas Cage to really let it rip.
  2. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    100
    Sure there are niggles, the most obvious being the length, which could have been reduced by trimming the prison sequences, but in the end this may be his finest moment so far which, by default, puts it in as having a strong claim on the title "best action movie ever made". Really.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Face/Off is a summer movie extraordinaire: violent, imaginative, crazily funny and, oddly moving. Hollywood has finally wised up and let Hong Kong auteur John Woo strut his stuff in all its undiluted, over-the-top glory.
  4. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    88
    It could be argued that this movie's callousness toward human life is nihilistic and nasty. But Woo takes everything so absurdly far that audiences laugh at what horrified them moments before. [27Jun1997 Pg01.D]
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    This isn't just a thrill ride; it's a rocket into the thrilling past, when directors could scare you with how much emotion they packed into a movie.
  6. 70
    Unlike Woo's successful but rather disappointing "Broken Arrow", this brutal, stunningly choreographed spectacle weaves together lyrical beauty, blasphemy, sadistic cruelty and grotesque sentimentality with breathtakingly smooth assurance.
  7. 50
    Yet the movie, distilling into purest form the blend of viciousness and sentimentality that informs all Woo's work, winds up as emotionally bogus as it is viscerally overwhelming.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Nov 20, 2010
    10
    movies too often try to be realistic, the big brother of movie form. Face off, is a movie that moves beyond realism to the sublimely ridiculous. The fantasy of a five year old on crack. What sort of genuisly muddled mind come up with a plot that simutaneoulsy dumbs and enthrawls a watchers mind? John Travolta shines in a way you would never expect, but possibly this means he shines in nicholas cages skin. How am i to review when i am so confused. This confusion is the genuis, the genuis is the twist and turn the yes and the no of the watchers mind. The idea of identity, the idea of it being lost with ones name and body, the value of face. The value of ones face lost. What is really important? what really are you beyond the skin, face off to your expectactions, face off to the revelations, face off, because this movie asks, beyond face, what do you have to prove? Expand
  2. Aug 30, 2014
    10
    Face/off is one of the smartest action movies ever and it is one my favourite action movies of
    all
    time........................................................................................................................................ Expand
  3. Jun 29, 2014
    10
    Face/off has a brilliant plot spliced with oscar worthy acting from Cage and Travolta. The action scenes are plentiful and the movie is unlike any movie. Travolta is an FBI agent who switches identities with an elusive terrorist. His goal is to infiltrate his coterie to get key knowledge on a bomb that Cage has stashed in Los Angeles. The intricacies elevate the movie to a classic. All around this is the smartest movie from John Woo, every actor, action scene and plot twist is executed with genius. Expand
  4. Nov 14, 2013
    10
    My favorite movie....................................................................................................................
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    ace cuts no doubt.

    it really is 2good

    great film

    like i said my favorite of all time no joke no doubts true stuff
    Expand
  5. Nov 25, 2013
    9
    Poetically violent action, magnetically brilliant lead performances, and an undeniably ingenious premise culminate in John Woo's "Face/Off," an action movie that never ceased to impress, entertain, and fulfill my hopeless masculine dreams. Expand
  6. Mar 29, 2014
    9
    Ha! I love this film. Nic cage actually rides a burning boat THROUGH another BURNING BOaT! How can anyone not love that? Best Nic Cage film hands down. Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2014
    5
    I generally dislike Cage's acting in just about anything so a positive review on any flick he's in is saying a lot. Face/Off has an interesting storyline, albeit a bit far-fetched. It's an alright way to pass your time if you've got an hour or two to spare. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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