U Turn

October 3, 1997 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Joaquin Phoenix and Rain Phoenix at event of U TurnJennifer Lopez at event of U TurnJennifer Lopez at event of U TurnChris Penn at event of U TurnOliver Stone at event of U TurnDavid James Elliott and Nanci Chambers at event of U Turn


A drifter becomes entangled with a femme fatale and her husband after his car breaks down in their small Southwest town.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 6.7/10 (29,208 voted)

Critic's Score: 54/100

Oliver Stone

Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte

When Bobby's car breaks down in the desert while on the run from some of the bookies who have already taken two of his fingers, he becomes trapped in the nearby small town where the people are stranger than anyone he's encountered. After becoming involved with a (unbeknownst to him) young married woman, her husband hires Bobby to kill her. Later, she hires Bobby to kill the husband.

Writers: John Ridley, John Ridley


Sean Penn

Bobby Cooper

Billy Bob Thornton


Abraham Benrubi

Biker #1

Richard Rutowski

Biker #2

Jon Voight

Blind Man

Jennifer Lopez

Grace McKenna

Powers Boothe

Sheriff Potter

Nick Nolte

Jake McKenna

Aida Linares


Sean Stone

Boy in Grocery Store

Ilia Volok


(as Ilia Volokh)

Valeriy Nikolaev

Mr. Arkady

(as Valery Nikolaev)

Brent Briscoe


Bo Hopkins


Julie Hagerty


(as Julie Haggerty)

Sex. Murder. Betrayal. Everything that makes life worth living.

Release Date: 3 October 1997

Filming Locations: Coachella Valley, Mecca, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $19,000,000


Opening Weekend: $2,730,440
(5 October 1997)
(1230 Screens)

Gross: $6,633,400
(2 November 1997)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Loosely inspired by a true event that took place in the early '80s where a drifter (like 'Sean Penn''s character) passed through a remote Southwestern road-stop only to never be heard from again.


Factual errors:
Not only is there a visible line attached to the vulture's leg in one scene, this vulture and all vultures shown in the movie are of a species that does not exist in the United States.


[sitting on a bed, appearing as if she is about to seduce Bobby]
Come here. You know what I wanna do? I wanna hang drapes…
[gets up and walks off]

User Review

Probably not the best advertisement for Superior, AZ

Rating: 9/10

This is one of my favorite Oliver Stone films. It has everything
(cheating incestuous sex, chopping off digits, a dumb hick mechanic, a
blind native American who wants Dr. Pepper all the time, etc etc etc)
that a well-rounded movie needs, plus it was completely done in a comic
fashion. It is closest to Stone's other film "Natural Born Killers" by
way of stylish camera shots and the addition of comedy into a dramatic

Sean Penn brilliantly plays the lead character, whose car blows a
radiator hose out in the middle of the Arizona desert, and the closest
town is that of Superior, AZ, a dirt-road town with barely 1,000 people
living there, if that. Penn goes through hell from the beginning when
random characters in the city want something from him and in return, it
drives him to try his best to get the hell out of Superior. Everything
during his days in Superior is centered around money and the fact that
he has hardly any. So he gets schemed into murders, and he gets
whatever little he has taken away from him (his train ticket gets
ripped up by the local hoodlum, TNT, again brilliantly played by
Joaquin Phoenix, and he has several full bottles of beverages broken
for different reasons). Therefore, he's constantly running in circles
to get out of this town.

There is an all-star cast (back then, and now) of actors: Jennifer
Lopez (a better singer than actress), Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix,
Billy Bob Thornton (the best among the bunch as the hick mechanic),
Sean Penn, Claire Danes, Liv Tyler (only for a second in the train
station), and Jon Voight…all packed into a nice DVD. The music had
that comic, light-hearted side to it (with the country sound of a
jew's-harp played over violin or whatever, etc) which helped you to see
the irony that is driving him to madness in this town. Again the camera
shots were awesome, and they had that Oliver Stone quality of the 90's
where he would switch frames with the villain of the movie with an
animal skull and switch the point-of-view to see what the actors are
seeing, and so on.

I didn't like the ending so much. I kind of wanted things to resolve
themselves, but instead, things just keep on falling into the
bad-luck-category of his life. I also hated Jennifer Lopez's delivery
of lines (just like in any other movie with her…The Cell, etc)
because they feel so fake and put on that you know the director was
just looking for T&A for the film. Also she doesn't play a native
American very well. She has a thick accent straying too much towards
Latino that you don't pick up on any cultural change until you get the

Overall, though, (bad point aside) it is a brilliant movie that is easy
to watch if you like the other Stone films. I had to give it a 9/10 for
great performances, great music, awesome story, and everything in
between. Go out and buy it if your a fan of any of the actors listed
above, or if you are trying to find a great weekend film with friends.