An attorney is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 5.9/10 (7,767 voted)

Russell Mulcahy

Stars: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T

In this action thriller, Denzel Washington plays Nick Styles, the assistant district attorney of L.A. The film opens in his early days as a cop on the L.A.P.D. During a carnival, master criminal Earl Talbot Blake creates a scene after a botched drug deal. Styles and Blake confront each other, during which Blake is wounded by Styles and later sent to prison. Seven years later, Blake escapes from prison during a parole board hearing to carry out his revenge against Styles, and what follows is a violent series of events that destroys Styles' career. This sets the stage for one last bloody duel between Styles and Blake.

Writers: Fred Dekker, Menno Meyjes


Denzel Washington

Nick Styles

John Lithgow

Earl Talbot Blake



(as Ice T)

Kevin Pollak

Larry Doyle

Lindsay Wagner

DA Priscilla Brimleigh

Mary Ellen Trainor

Gail Wallens

Josh Evans


Victoria Dillard


John Amos

Reverend Styles

John Cothran Jr.

Councilman Farris

Linda Dona


(as Linda Doná)

Matt Landers

Chief Floyd

Lydell M. Cheshier


Starletta DuPois

Mrs. Styles

Sherman Howard


He's a cop accused of murder. And the only man who knows he's innocent is the killer who framed him.

Release Date: 4 October 1991

Filming Locations: City Hall – 200 N. Spring Street, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $4,831,181
(6 October 1991)
(1560 Screens)

Gross: $21,760,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Denzel Washington worked out for three hours a day, six days a week for four months so as not to look out of shape for his shirtless scenes.


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers):
When the lead characters arm wrestle their hands are not in the correct positions – fingers wrap around the lower thumb, not the opponents palm.


Parole Board Official:
The parole board's ready, Blake. I hope you remembered to floss.

Parole Board Official:
I did! With your wife's pubic hair!

User Review

Typical Washington Fare, Which Means Interesting

Rating: 8/10

This is a typical Denzel Washington film: well-acted, rough language, a
racial theme and an involved story that holds your interest. A lot of
his movies fit those categories.

Washington plays a preacher's kid and its nice to see he has such
respect for him.So many times, Hollywood portrays fathers and
especially clergymen in a bad light. John Lithgow is the villain and is
such a crazy over-the-top loon he's fun to watch. There are no lulls in
this story, yet the action scenes weren't overdone.

It gets predictable in the end but I like the analogy in the film to
the classic movie, "White Heat."

I was sorry to see a few things: once again, white people are all the
bigots; Lindsay Wagner, television's nice lady of the past, now using
very profane language here and looking hard.

Overall, this sometimes looks like a "B" action film more than a classy
one but it's still an interesting crime film that sports a few
different angles. It may not be one of Washington's better-known
efforts, ut it is still entertaining.