Havoc (2005 film)

Last updated
Havoc poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Barbara Kopple
Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan
Story by
  • Stephen Gaghan
  • Jessica Kaplan
Produced by
  • Jack F. Murphy
  • John Morrissey
  • Stewart Hall
Cinematography Kramer Morgenthau
Edited by
Music by Cliff Martinez
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • June 26, 2005 (2005-06-26)(Filmfest München)
  • November 29, 2005 (2005-11-29)(United States)
Running time
85 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • Spanish
Budget$9 million [2]
Box office$371,000 [2]

Havoc is a 2005 American crime drama film starring Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips, with Shiri Appleby, Freddy Rodriguez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum, Michael Biehn, and Laura San Giacomo appearing in supporting roles. The film is about the lives of wealthy Los Angeles teenagers whose exposure to hip hop culture inspires them to imitate the gangster lifestyle and engage in slum tourism. They run into trouble when they encounter a gang of drug dealers, discovering they are not as street-wise as they had thought.


Written by Jessica Kaplan and Stephen Gaghan and directed by Barbara Kopple, the film was shown at several film festivals and then was released directly on DVD on November 29, 2005.


In a parking lot, teenage filmmaker Eric attempts to document the Wannabe's lifestyle enjoyed by Allison Lang and her boyfriend Toby's gang of white upper-class teenagers living in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood. A brawl ensues between Toby's gang and another gang, which ends with both sides fleeing just before police arrive. Later that night, Toby's gang goes to a party at Eric's house, and Allison's relationship with Toby as well as her other friends Emily and Sam is further revealed. At the end of the party, Allison performs a blowjob on her boyfriend.

The next day, Allison meets with her father, Stuart, at work to discuss family problems, the awkward conversation revealing the virtually non-existent relationship Allison has with her parents. Afterwards, she and her friends drive downtown into East LA, intent on buying marijuana, eventually encountering Mexican drug dealer Hector and his crew. Toby and Hector make a deal, but Toby believes that Hector did not sell him enough for what he paid, and attempts to confront Hector, who pulls a gun on him, humiliating him in front of his friends. Allison persuades Hector to leave Toby alone.

The next night, Allison and her girlfriends return to the location of the drug deal. There, she and her friends once again meet up with Hector and his crew, who invite them to a party at his house. Before they leave, Hector informs Allison of a motel where his crew regularly party, and invites her to stop by if she wishes. The next day, Eric continues his film project at Allison's home, with Allison turning his interview of her into a bizarre mind-game.

That evening, Allison meets up with Hector again in a store, and he shows her around his neighborhood, while talking about his family and lifestyle. His guided tour abruptly ends when the police arrive in force, ostensibly on a drug bust. Allison winds up being arrested with the other present gang members, but – save for an argument with her parents and Toby – is let off the hook. The experience only serves to increase Allison's fascination with the inner-city lifestyle. The night after her release, Allison and Emily agree to head downtown the next evening to hang out with Hector's crew.

The two meet up with Hector and his gang at a motel, and a night of partying and drinking results in Allison and Emily asking Hector if they can join his crew. Hector informs them of their initiation; to join the gang, the two must roll a dice; the number they roll corresponds to the number of gang members they must have sex with.

Allison rolls a one, Emily rolls a three. Hector and Allison pair off, but Allison has second thoughts and refuses to have sex with him, and is thrown out of the room by the gang when she tries to get Emily to leave with her. Emily eagerly engages in sex with Hector, but as she does so, one of Hector's fellow gang members anally rapes her. When Allison storms the room and screams at the men to stop, they flee the room, leaving the two distraught women.

The next day, Allison returns to the motel and confronts Hector over the previous night, but he responds by saying he didn't do anything wrong; that he only did what she and Emily had asked him to do. At that moment, a woman shows up at the door, surprising Allison, much to the amusement of Hector, who mocks Allison for thinking he had feelings for her, and calling her a poser who only knows how to play games and nothing about the realities of gang life.

The same day Emily is shown at a police station accusing Hector and his crew of gang rape. Allison is brought in for questioning, but claims to know nothing about a rape. Hector is subsequently arrested, and members of his crew vow to seek out and silence Allison and Emily, but wind up getting lost in Bel-Air. Meanwhile, Toby and his gang are shown posing with guns in front of Eric and his video camera, making clear on their intent to seek revenge on Hector's crew. Eric later shows Allison the footage, and Allison subsequently calls Toby and makes an ill-fated attempt to convince him that there was no rape and what he is doing is foolish.

Allison informs Emily of what Toby plans to do and reveals to Emily's parents the events at the motel. This initially upsets Emily to the point of nearly attempting suicide, but eventually the two reconcile. Meanwhile, Toby and his gang arrive at Hector's motel and bust in violently, but only succeed in frightening a group of Latina women and a baby. Toby tries to work up the nerve to shoot them, but, consumed by their desperate pleas to not hurt the baby, realizes he can't and storms out.

On their drive home, the gang passes the SUV containing the members of Hector's crew that had been looking for Allison and Emily. The two gangs exchange looks, and the screen subsequently fades to black. After a few seconds the sounds of tires squealing, people shouting and gunfire are heard.

With Eric's film project complete, Allison concludes by stating that teens will be teens, but if adults are willing to reach out to them to connect and give them even just a small amount of insight, it's like that they now suddenly know everything.



The original treatment of the script was written in 1993 by Jessica Kaplan, who was 14 years old at the time, and was based on her own observations of her affluent white classmates in West Los Angeles. Her script was sold to New Line Cinema two years later for $150,000. Originally titled The Powers That Be, the script went unused for seven years, eventually gaining traction with the studio after it received a re-write as well as a new title from Stephen Gaghan. On June 6, 2003, shortly before filming began, Kaplan was killed in a plane crash in Los Angeles, along with four other people, including her uncle. [3] A dedication to Kaplan is shown preceding the credits at the end of the film.

Mandy Moore was originally cast as Allison, but dropped out and was replaced by her Princess Diaries co-star Hathaway shortly before filming began. Moore reportedly left the project because she felt uncomfortable with the film's subject matter. Jena Malone was originally set to play Emily, but left the project shortly after Moore's departure.

Principal photography took place around Southern California, including Los Angeles, Altadena, Brentwood, and Santa Monica, in the fall of 2003.


Havoc was not given a theatrical release in the United States but received one overseas, grossing only $371,000 on a $9 million budget. [2]

Critical reception

As of June 2020, the film has a 45% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on eleven reviews with an average rating of 5.30/10. [4]

Lisa Nesselson of Variety claimed that the film "too often feels like a gussied-up '50s-style treatise about the dangers of nice girls flirting with social rebels," and suggested that the film be re-titled Slumming for Dummies. [5] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide stated that the picture was a minor effort that was even more disappointing after considering the highly regarded names who had worked on the film, most notably Academy Award-winners Kopple and Gaghan. [6] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times was among the few noted critics who praised the film, calling it "harrowing and authentic," and also claimed that it might have made his list of top 10 films for 2005 had it received a proper theatrical release in the U.S. [7]

Various critics praised Hathaway's performance in the film, with Christopher Null stating that her turn proved "without a doubt that she has been underutilized as an actress for far too long." [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Biehn</span> American actor

Michael Connell Biehn is an American actor, primarily known for his roles in science fiction films directed by James Cameron; as Sgt. Kyle Reese in The Terminator (1984), Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in Aliens (1986), and Lt. Coffey in The Abyss (1989). His other films include The Fan (1981), Navy SEALs (1990), Tombstone (1993), The Rock (1996), Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001), and Planet Terror (2007). On television, he has appeared in Hill Street Blues (1984), The Magnificent Seven (1998–2000), and Adventure Inc. (2002–2003). Biehn received a Best Actor Saturn Award nomination for Aliens.

<i>The Accused</i> (1988 film) 1988 film by Jonathan Kaplan

The Accused is a 1988 American legal drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan from a screenplay written by Tom Topor. The film is loosely based on the 1983 gang rape of Cheryl Araujo in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Set in Washington state, but filmed mainly in Vancouver, British Columbia, the film stars Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias, a young waitress, who is gang raped by three men at a local bar. With the aid of attorney, Kathryn Murphy, she sets out to prosecute the rapists as well as the men who helped induce the assault. Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi, Ann Hearn, Carmen Argenziano, Steve Antin and Tom O'Brien are featured in supporting roles.

<i>Harlan County, USA</i> 1976 documentary film

Harlan County, USA is a 1976 American documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike", a 1973 effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the 49th Academy Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bijou Phillips</span> American actress, model, socialite, and singer

Bijou Lilly Phillips Masterson is an American actress, model and singer. The daughter of musician John Phillips and Geneviève Waïte, she began her career as a model. Phillips made her singing debut with I'd Rather Eat Glass (1999), and since her first major film appearance in Black and White (1999), she has acted in Almost Famous (2000), Bully (2001), The Door in the Floor (2004), Hostel: Part II (2007), and Choke (2008). From 2010 to 2013, she played the recurring role of Lucy Carlyle on the television series Raising Hope.

<i>The Rage: Carrie 2</i> 1999 American supernatural horror film by Katt Shea

The Rage: Carrie 2 is a 1999 American supernatural horror film directed by Katt Shea, and starring Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron and Amy Irving. The film is a sequel to the 1976 horror film Carrie based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Stephen King, and serves as the second film in the Carrie franchise. Its plot follows the younger half-sister of Carrie White (Bergl), also suffering with telekinesis, who finds that her best friend's suicide was spurred by a group of popular male classmates who exploited her for sexual gain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barbara Kopple</span> American film director

Barbara Kopple is an American film director known primarily for her documentary work.

<i>Rosario Tijeras</i> (film) 2005 film

Rosario Tijeras is a 2005 film directed by Emilio Maillé and written by Marcelo Figueras based on the book of the same name by Jorge Franco. It stars Flora Martínez as the title character alongside Unax Ugalde and Manolo Cardona. It is a co-production among companies from Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Brazil, and France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Allison Anders</span> American independent film director

Allison Anders is an American independent film director whose films include Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca and Grace of My Heart. Anders has collaborated with fellow UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television graduate Kurt Voss and has also worked as a television director. Anders' films have been shown at the Cannes International Film Festival and at the Sundance Film Festival. She has been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant as well as a Peabody Award.

<i>Secret Things</i> 2002 film by Jean-Claude Brisseau

Secret Things is a 2002 French erotic drama film written and directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau, starring Coralie Revel and Sabrina Seyvecou. The film is sometimes associated with the New French Extremity. Cahiers du Cinéma named Secret Things, jointly along with Ten by director Abbas Kiarostami, as the best film of 2002. The film was awarded the French Cineaste of the Year title at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, Brisseau was found guilty of sexually harassing two actresses between 1999 and 2001 during auditions for the film.

<i>The Warriors</i> (Yurick novel) 1965 book by Sol Yurick

The Warriors is a novel written by Sol Yurick and illustrated by Frank Modell in 1965. In 1979, it was adapted into the film of the same name. Compared to the film, the novel takes a closer look at the concepts of sexuality, reputation, family, and survival.

<i>Señorita Justice</i> 2004 American film

Senorita Justice is a 2004 film directed by Kantz. It is one of the first features from the low-budget production house Breakaway Films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beatniks (novel)</span>

Beatniks: An English Road Movie (1997) is a novel by British author Toby Litt set in Bedford in The United Kingdom in 1995, and concerns the adventures of a group of young people who admire the Beat Writers and Musicians of the 1950s and 1960s America. Initially published by Secker & Warburg in 1997.

<i>Ghosts of Girlfriends Past</i> 2009 film by Mark Waters

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Mark Waters. The script was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, based on Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. Filming spanned February 19, 2008 to July 2008 in Rhode Island with stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Lacey Chabert, Emma Stone, and Michael Douglas. The film was released on May 1, 2009.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jac Schaeffer</span> American filmmaker (born 1978)

Jacqueline Schaeffer is an American filmmaker best known for her 2009 feature film debut TiMER and for her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe creating the Disney+ television miniseries WandaVision and co-writing the initial story to the film Black Widow.

<i>One Day</i> (2011 film) 2011 film

One Day is a 2011 romantic drama film directed by Lone Scherfig from a screenplay by David Nicholls, based on Nicholls' 2009 novel of the same name. It stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, with Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott and Romola Garai in supporting roles. It was released in the United States on 19 August 2011 by Focus Features and in the United Kingdom on 24 August 2011 by Universal Pictures.

<i>The Color of Lies</i> 1999 French film

The Color of Lies is a 1999 psychological mystery film co-written and directed by Claude Chabrol. The film was entered into the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Akku Yadav</span> Indian criminal

Bharat Kalicharan, also known as Akku Yadav, was an Indian gangster, robber, home invader, kidnapper, serial rapist, extortionist, and serial killer. Yadav grew up in the Kasturba Nagar slum, which is outside the Indian central city of Nagpur, Maharashtra. He lived and did business in the slum which housed a number of criminals and two rival gangs.

<i>Sushi Girl</i> 2012 American crime film by Kern Saxton

Sushi Girl is an American crime film directed by Kern Saxton and starring Tony Todd, Mark Hamill, Noah Hathaway, Sonny Chiba and Cortney Palm. Tony Todd also served as an executive producer. It premiered at a TCL Chinese Theatre, played in several festivals and was then released directly to home media in 2012.

<i>Elle</i> (film) 2016 film by Paul Verhoeven

Elle is a 2016 psychological thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven from a screenplay by David Birke, based on the novel Oh... by Philippe Djian. Djian's novel was published in 2012 and received the Prix Interallié. The film stars Isabelle Huppert as a businesswoman who is raped in her home by a masked assailant and decides not to report it due to her past experience with police.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dwayne Hicks</span> Fictional character in Alien franchise

Corporal Dwayne Hicks is a fictional character in the Alien franchise. First appearing in the film Aliens, he was portrayed by actor Michael Biehn. The character is a Senior Corporal of the United States Colonial Marine Corps aboard the USS Sulaco and is one of only four survivors of the Sulaco crew's expedition to LV-426, along with Ellen Ripley, Rebecca "Newt" Jorden and the android Bishop. Hicks was initially killed during the introduction of the film's sequel Alien 3, a decision that garnered negative backlash from fans of the franchise. Hicks was later rewritten to have survived, as he returns as the main protagonist of the "Stasis Interrupted" DLC in the videogame Aliens: Colonial Marines and as a side character in the game's main story.


  1. "HAVOC (18)". British Board of Film Classification . 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
  2. 1 2 3 Havoc at Box Office Mojo Retrieved July 4, 2013
  3. "Obituaries: Jessica Kaplan" June 9, 2003.
  4. "Havoc (2005)" . Retrieved 18 June 2020 via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  5. Nesselson, Lisa (2005-11-03). "Variety Reviews - Havoc - Film Reviews - Chicago - Review by Lisa Nesselson". Variety.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  6. "Havoc Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  7. "Havoc (2005)". Your Video Store Shelf. 23 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  8. "Havoc - Filmcritic.com Movie Review". Filmcritic.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2012-05-24.