John Campbell McTiernan Jr.
January 8, 1951
Albany, New York, U.S.
|Years active||1986–2003, 2017–present|
(m. 1974;div. 1984)
(m. 1988;div. 1997)
(m. 2003;div. 2012)
John Campbell McTiernan Jr. (born January 8, 1951) is an American filmmaker. He is best known for his action films, especially Predator (1987), Die Hard (1988), and The Hunt for Red October (1990).His later well-known films include the action-comedy-fantasy film Last Action Hero (1993), the action film sequel Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), the heist-film remake The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), and The 13th Warrior (1999). His last completed feature film was the mystery-thriller Basic , released in 2003.
He pleaded guilty to perjury and lying to an FBI investigator in regard to his hiring of the private investigator Anthony Pellicano in late 2000 to illegally wiretap the phone calls of two people, one of whom was Charles Roven, a co-producer of his action film remake Rollerball (2002).He was incarcerated in federal prison from April 2013 to February 2014. During his imprisonment, he filed for bankruptcy amidst foreclosure proceedings for his large ranch residence.
McTiernan was born in Albany, New York, the son of Myra and John Campbell McTiernan Sr., a lawyer and actor.He attended the Juilliard School before graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from the AFI Conservatory in 1975.
In 1986, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Nomads , starring Pierce Brosnan (Brosnan's first lead role in a film). It was not well received by critics, receiving only one positive review out of eight according to the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. – everything adds up to a debut of singular confidence, full of fun and creepiness." Variety wrote, "Nomads avoids the more obvious ripped-guts devices in favor of dramatic visual scares. [...] In fact, everything seems to come naturally in a tale that even has the supernatural ring true." Walter Goodman of The New York Times called the Innuat "as menacing as the chorus from West Side Story". In his memoir, Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was so impressed by the film's tense atmosphere made with a low budget that he hired McTiernan to direct Predator.Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated it 1.5 stars out of four and said that even if viewers cared about the characters, the film is too confusing to understand. However, Jay Scott of The Globe and Mail described it as "a breathlessly unself-conscious film (there is none of the self-congratulatory stylization of Blood Simple ), the tone alternates maniacally between scaring the audience and making it giggle. Until the end. And then, via one of the funniest, cleverest and most unexpected conclusions to any movie in history, Nomads comes off the fence it has been sitting on with a bravura jump." Scott credited McTiernan, saying "he has brought to his project a staggeringly resourceful technique. The sharply unpredictable editing, the hypnotic use of slow motion and rack focus (that's when the background and foreground reverse in clarity), the ominous rock music
The budget for sci-fi Predator was around $15m. It opened as #1 at the U.S. box office with a gross of $12m on just its opening weekend, and went on to gross nearly $100m overall.In 1987, its domestic grosses were second only to Beverly Hills Cop II . Initial critical reaction to Predator was negative, with criticism focusing on the thin plot. Metacritic, which assigns a score out of 100 to reviews, rates the film with an average score of 45 based on 15 reviews, with the review opinions summarized as "mixed". Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times described it as "grisly and dull, with few surprises". Dean Lamanna wrote in Cinefantastique that "the militarized monster movie tires under its own derivative weight." Variety wrote that the film was a "slightly above-average actioner that tries to compensate for tissue-thin plot with ever-more-grisly death sequences and impressive special effects." However, in subsequent years critics' attitudes toward the film warmed, and it has appeared on "best of" lists. The review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes reports that 78% of 40 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review.
Made on a $28m budget, Die Hard went on to gross over $140m theatrically worldwide.It is considered one of the greatest action films. The film's success spawned a Die Hard franchise, which so far has included four sequels, video games, and a comic book. It received very high ratings from critics. English film critic Mark Kermode expressed admiration for the film, calling it an exciting setup of "Cowboys and Indians in The Towering Inferno ". The film has been included in various top-ten lists of best Christmas movies, including Empire (rating it #1), Entertainment Weekly (rating it #4), Forbes (rating it #1), The Guardian (rating it #8), and San Francisco Gate (rating it #1). However, not every critic praised it. Roger Ebert gave it a mere two stars out of four and criticized the stupidity of the deputy police chief character, saying that "all by himself he successfully undermines the last half of the movie".
The Hunt for Red October also received positive reviews from critics. [ citation needed ]Nick Schager, for Slant Magazine , called the film "a thrilling edge-of-your-seat trifle that has admirably withstood the test of time". Ebert called it "a skillful, efficient film that involves us in the clever and deceptive game being played", while Gene Siskel commented on the film's technical achievement and Baldwin's convincing portrayal of the character Jack Ryan.
McTiernan directed Medicine Man (1992), about a medical researcher in a rainforest, starring Sean Connery. Medicine Man was poorly received.Roger Ebert gave it one-and-a-half stars, saying that although the film had "some beautiful moments", it never really came together and had "a cornball conclusion". Entertainment Weekly said the story was "built around some very tired devices" and especially criticized the performance of the female lead.
In 1993 he directed and co-produced Last Action Hero , an action-comedy vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics.Entertainment Weekly said it was "a stupid, generic slab of action bombast that keeps reminding us it's a stupid, generic slab of action bombast" and called it "a lead balloon of a movie". Variety called it a "a joyless, soulless machine of a movie, an $80 million-plus mishmash". Vincent Canby likened the film to "a two-hour Saturday Night Live sketch" and called it "something of a mess, but a frequently enjoyable one". Roger Ebert gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4, writing that despite some entertaining moments Last Action Hero more often "plays more like a bright idea than like a movie that was thought through".
In 1995, McTiernan rebounded with Die Hard with a Vengeance , the third installment of the Die Hard film series. It was highly successful – garnering $366m in box office receipts and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year, although the film had mixed reviews by critics. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that while "McTiernan stages individual sequences with great finesse... they don't add up to a taut, dread-ridden whole." James Berardinelli said the explosions and fights were "filmed with consummate skill, and are thrilling in their own right." Desson Howe of The Washington Post said "the best thing about the movie is the relationship between McClane and Zeus", saying that Samuel L. Jackson was "almost as good as he was in Pulp Fiction ". Ebert gave the film a positive review, praising the action sequences and the performances of Willis, Jackson, and Jeremy Irons, concluding: "Die Hard with a Vengeance is basically a wind-up action toy, cleverly made, and delivered with high energy. It delivers just what it advertises, with a vengeance." Empire magazine's Ian Nathan gave the film a 3/5-star review stating that "Die Hard With A Vengeance is better than Die Hard 2, but not as good as the peerless original. Though it's breathless fun, the film runs out of steam in the last act. And Jeremy Irons' villain isn't fit to tie Alan Rickman's shoelaces."
From 1995 to 97, McTiernan was a producer for several smaller projects, including at least three films that were not major releases – The Right to Remain Silent (a made-for-television film), Amanda, and Quicksilver Highway (a made-for-television film).
He directed The 13th Warrior (1999), a loose retelling of the tale of Beowulf starring Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora and Omar Sharif that was adapted from the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. The film did poorly at the box office, with a total loss estimated at $70–130 million. '" Sharif said it was "terrifying to have to do the dialogue from bad scripts, to face a director who does not know what he is doing, in a film so bad that it is not even worth exploring." The Thomas Crown Affair , directed by McTiernan – a heist-film remake starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, which opened to solid reviews and strong box office results, was released later the same year.It received generally mixed-to-poor reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying that it "lumber[s] from one expensive set-piece to the next without taking the time to tell a story that might make us care." Conversely, James Berardinelli gave it three stars out of four, calling it "a solid offering" that "delivers an exhilarating 100 minutes". The outcome disappointed Sharif so much that he temporarily retired from film acting, saying "After my small role in The 13th Warrior, I said to myself, 'Let us stop this nonsense, these meal tickets that we do because it pays well.
McTiernan then directed the 2002 film Rollerball , a science fiction remake starring Chris Klein, Jean Reno, and LL Cool J. Rollerball was heavily panned by critics.Time Out's Trevor Johnson described it as "a checklist shaped by a 15-year-old mallrat: thrashing metal track, skateboards, motorbikes, cracked heads and Rebecca Romijn with her top off", and Ebert called it "an incoherent mess, a jumble of footage in search of plot, meaning, rhythm and sense". The film was a box-office flop, earning a worldwide total of $26m compared to a production budget of $70m. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times listed the film as one of the most expensive box office flops of all time.
His most recent feature film project (As of July 2021 [update] ) was the 2003 thriller Basic with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Reviews for Basic were mostly negative. Roger Ebert gave it one star out of four, saying it was "not a film that could be understood" and that "If I were to see it again and again, I might be able to extract an underlying logic from it, but the problem is, when a movie's not worth seeing twice, it had better get the job done the first time through." Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide gave it two stars out of four and said the film "keeps adding layers of confusion so that it becomes less interesting as it goes along! The final 'twist' seems to negate the entire story, like a bad shaggy-dog joke."
His career was derailed in 2006 because of legal problems which saw McTiernan spend time in prison (see below). As a result of his conviction, The Hollywood Reporter called McTiernan one of Hollywood's most "despised" people.His short film, The Red Dot, was released by Ubisoft to advertise the 2017 video game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands . It was the first of several action-oriented shorts to support the video game. The Red Dot was his first film project in 14 years.
On April 3, 2006, McTiernan was charged in federal court with making a false statement to an FBI investigator in February 2006 about his hiring the private investigator Anthony Pellicano to illegally wiretap Charles Roven, the producer of his film Rollerball , around August 2000.McTiernan had been in a disagreement with Roven about what type of film Rollerball should be, and had hired Pellicano to investigate Roven's intentions and actions. He had asked Pellicano to try to find instances where Roven made negative remarks about the studio executives or said things to others that were inconsistent with what he said to the studio.
He was arraigned and pleaded guilty on April 17, 2006, as part of an initial plea bargain agreement to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for lenient treatment.Prosecutors said they then became convinced that he was continuing to lie to them, and that he had also hired Pellicano to wiretap someone else, prompting them to seek a prison sentence. He then hired new counsel and tried to withdraw his guilty plea, saying that his prior counsel had not conducted a proper discovery in the case and had not presented him with the available defense approach of suppressing as evidence the conversation with him that Pellicano had recorded on August 17, 2000. However, this bid was denied by the Federal District Judge, Dale S. Fischer, who immediately proceeded to sentence him to four months in prison and $100,000 in fines. The judge characterized McTiernan as someone who thought he was "above the law", had shown no remorse, and "lived a privileged life and simply wants to continue that". He was ordered to surrender for incarceration by January 15, 2008, but was allowed to remain out of prison on bail pending an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In October 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated McTiernan's four-month sentence and ruled that Judge Fischer had erred and he was entitled to a hearing as to whether his plea could be withdrawn. [ citation needed ]The prosecution (and the judge) then agreed to allow McTiernan to withdraw his plea rather than proceed with such a hearing, and his plea was withdrawn on February 24, 2009.
With the case reopened, the prosecution was no longer bound by the prior plea agreement, and filed additional charges against McTiernan, charging him with two counts of lying to the FBI (one count for claiming he had hired Pellicano only in connection with his divorce proceedings and another for denying he had ever discussed wiretapping with Pellicano) and one count of committing perjury during the previous court proceedings by denying he had been coached by his attorney on what to say during his previous guilty plea hearing (a denial that he later stated in a declaration was false).After some adverse rulings on his attempted defense arguments, and facing the possibility of a prison sentence of more than five years on the various charges, McTiernan eventually entered another guilty plea (on all three counts) in a second plea bargain in 2010, conditioned on his plan to appeal the earlier rulings against his defense approach, and Judge Fischer sentenced him to one year in prison, three years of supervised probation, and a fine of $100,000. The judge said that the increased length of the prison sentence was related to the additional, more serious charge of perjury before her court, that McTiernan's crimes were more than just a momentary lapse of judgment, that he still did not seem to have really accepted responsibility for his actions, and that she would have issued an even more lengthy prison sentence if the prosecution had not recommended less. McTiernan was then released on bail pending an appeal of the adverse rulings.
On August 20, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court judgment, but allowed McTiernan to address the U.S. Supreme Court regarding his attempt to suppress the recorded conversation before being required to report to prison.His defense tried to argue that Pellicano had made the recording for an unlawful purpose and that this made it inadmissible, but the district and appeals courts disagreed with that interpretation of the rules of evidence. On January 14, 2013, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
McTiernan surrendered to federal prison on April 3, 2013, to serve a stated 12-month sentence in the Federal Prison Camp, Yankton, in Yankton, South Dakota, a minimum-security former college campus holding about 800 male mainly white-collar criminal offenders. 30 pounds (14 kg) and was suffering from depression and completely emotionally "disintegrating" there. While in the prison he managed to write a possible sequel for The Thomas Crown Affair, with the working title Thomas Crown and the Missing Lioness. His supporters created a "Free John McTiernan" campaign page on Facebook, including expressions of support from Samuel L. Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Brad Bird. He was released from prison on February 25, 2014, after 328 days of incarceration, to serve the remainder of his 12-month prison sentence under house arrest at his ranch home in Wyoming until April 3, 2014.His Bureau of Prisons registration number was 43029-112. Although the Yankton facility was rated by Forbes magazine as one of "America's 10 cushiest prisons", during his incarceration his wife said it was very hard for him and that he had lost
On July 3, 2006, McTiernan's former wife, film producer Donna Dubrow, filed suit against him for invasion of privacy and other claims arising from her belief that he hired Pellicano to wiretap her telephone during their divorce negotiations.The lawsuit continued over time, and was still pending as of October 2015.
In October 2013, while in prison, McTiernan filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy amidst foreclosure proceedings for his 3,254-acre (1,317-hectare) ranch residence in central Wyoming (valued at $8–10M), struggles to pay his past legal bills and IRS tax debts, and ongoing expensive disputes including the lawsuit by his ex-wife, a $5M claim against him of liability in a 2011 automobile accident, and his ongoing effort to reverse his felony conviction.
The bank holding the mortgage on the ranch said the filing was a bad-faith tactic only intended to stall the foreclosure proceedings, and requested the presiding judge to convert the case to a chapter 7 bankruptcy – a more drastic form of bankruptcy that would give the bank the power to demand the liquidation of assets rather than requiring them to negotiate with McTiernan.
McTiernan's lawyers countered by saying that his potential for generating additional future income from new projects could enable him to eventually repay his debts, so a rapid liquidation of assets would be unnecessary and unjustified. – agreeing with his creditors that his assets should be liquidated. It was reported that his ranch was likely to be sold and that an administrator would take over the management of his future film royalty payments.In the bankruptcy proceedings, he identified two likely future film projects with Hannibal Pictures, with working titles Red Squad and Warbirds, with large budgets and significant likely future income and planned to star major well-known actors. On December 8, 2015, a judge ruled against McTiernan
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||Yes||No||No|
|1993||Last Action Hero||Yes||Yes||No|
|1995||Die Hard with a Vengeance||Yes||Yes||No|
|1999||The Thomas Crown Affair||Yes||No||No|
|The 13th Warrior||Yes||Yes||No|
As executive producer
|1988||Predator||Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation||Nominated|
|1989||Die Hard||Hochi Film Award for Best Foreign Language Film (in Japan)||Won|
|1990||Blue Ribbon Award for Best Foreign Language Film (in Japan)||Won|
|Kinema Junpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film (in Japan)||Won|
|1994||Last Action Hero||Saturn Award for Best Director||Nominated|
|Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director||Nominated|
|Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture||Nominated|
|Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Picture||Nominated|
|2003||Rollerball||Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Director||Won|
|Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Remake||Won|
|1997||American Film Institute||Franklin J. Schaffner Award||Won|
The 13th Warrior is a 1999 American historical fiction action film based on Michael Crichton's 1976 novel Eaters of the Dead, which is a loose adaptation of the tale of Beowulf combined with Ahmad ibn Fadlan's historical account of the Volga Vikings. It stars Antonio Banderas as Ahmad ibn Fadlan, as well as Diane Venora and Omar Sharif. It was directed by John McTiernan. Crichton directed some uncredited reshoots. The film was produced by McTiernan, Crichton, and Ned Dowd, with Andrew G. Vajna, James Biggam and Ethan Dubrow as executive producers.
Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, and it stars Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia. Die Hard follows New York City police detective John McClane (Willis) who is caught up in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while visiting his estranged wife. Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Paul Gleason, and Hart Bochner feature in supporting roles.
Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and written by brothers Jim and John Thomas. It is the first installment in the Predator franchise. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of an elite paramilitary rescue team on a mission to save hostages in guerrilla-held territory in a Central American rainforest, who encounter the deadly Predator, a technologically advanced alien who stalks and hunts them down.
Die Hard with a Vengeance is a 1995 American action-thriller buddy film directed by John McTiernan. It was written by Jonathan Hensleigh, based on the screenplay Simon Says by Hensleigh and on the characters created by Roderick Thorp for his 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Die Hard with a Vengeance is the third film in the Die Hard series, after Die Hard 2 (1990). It is followed by Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).
Die Hard 2 is a 1990 American action-thriller film and the second installment in the Die Hard film series. The film was released on July 4, 1990 in the United States. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, written by Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane. The film co-stars Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, Art Evans, William Atherton, Franco Nero, Dennis Franz, Fred Thompson, John Amos and Reginald VelJohnson.
Rollerball is a 2002 remake of the 1975 science-fiction film of the same name. It stars Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn, and Naveen Andrews. It was directed by John McTiernan and has a much greater focus on action, with more muted social and political overtones than the original. Unlike the previous film, it takes place in the present rather than in a future dystopian society.
Jimmy Hollywood is a 1994 American comedy film written and directed by Barry Levinson and starring Joe Pesci and Christian Slater. It was released on April 1, 1994, and was a box office bomb, grossing just $3 million against its $30 million budget. While initially unsuccessful at the box office, it has since gained a cult following.
Vera Drake is a 2004 British period drama film written and directed by Mike Leigh and starring Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Daniel Mays and Eddie Marsan. It tells the story of a working-class woman in London in 1950 who performs illegal abortions. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and it was nominated for three Academy Awards and won three BAFTAs.
Return to Paradise is a 1998 American drama-thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben, written by Wesley Strick and Bruce Robinson, and starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche and Joaquin Phoenix. Return to Paradise is a remake of the 1989 French film Force majeure. The film had its premiere on August 10, 1998, and was released to theaters on August 14, 1998.
Anthony Pellicano is a former high-profile Los Angeles private investigator and convicted criminal known as a Hollywood fixer. He notably served a term of thirty months in a federal prison for illegal possession of explosives, firearms, and homemade grenades. In 2008, he began serving an additional sentence for subsequent convictions for other crimes, including racketeering and wiretapping. Several other people were also convicted of crimes associated with their involvement with his illegal activities, including his actress girlfriend Sandra Will Carradine, film director John McTiernan, Beverly Hills police officer Craig Stevens, Los Angeles police sergeant Mark Arneson, and attorney Terry Christensen.
Nomads is a 1986 American horror film written and directed by John McTiernan, adapted from the novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. It stars Pierce Brosnan, Lesley-Anne Down, and Anna Maria Monticelli. The story involves a French anthropologist who is an expert on nomads. He stumbles across a group of urban nomads who turn out to be more than he expected.
The Postman is a 1997 American post-apocalyptic action adventure film produced and directed by Kevin Costner, who plays the lead role. The screenplay was written by Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland, based on David Brin's 1985 book of the same name. The film also features Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo, and Tom Petty.
Die Hard is an American action film series that originated with Roderick Thorp's novel Nothing Lasts Forever. All five films revolve around the main character of John McClane, a New York City/Los Angeles police detective who continually finds himself in the middle of a crisis where he is the only hope against disaster. The films have grossed a combined $1.4 billion worldwide.
Casino Jack is a 2010 comedy-drama thriller film directed by George Hickenlooper and starring Kevin Spacey. The film focuses on the career of Washington, D.C. lobbyist and businessman Jack Abramoff, who was involved in a massive corruption scandal that led to his conviction as well as the conviction of two White House officials, Rep. Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and congressional staffers. Abramoff was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in 2006, and of trading expensive gifts, meals and sports trips in exchange for political favors. Abramoff served three and a half years of a six-year sentence in federal prison, and was then assigned to a halfway house. He was released on December 3, 2010.
Bernie is a 2011 American black comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, and written by Linklater and Skip Hollandsworth. The film stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. It is based on Hollandsworth's January 1998 article, "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas," published in Texas Monthly magazine. It explores the 1996 murder of 80-year-old millionairess Marjorie Nugent in Carthage, Texas by her 39-year-old companion, Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede.
Will Smith is an American actor and producer. His breakthrough came when he played a fictionalized version of himself in the 1990s television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The role brought him international recognition and two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. He also served as an executive producer on 24 episodes of the series. Two years later, Smith made his film debut in the drama Where the Day Takes You, where he appeared as a disabled homeless man. In 1995, he starred as a police officer with Martin Lawrence in Michael Bay's Bad Boys. The following year, Smith appeared as a Marine Corps pilot with Jeff Goldblum in Roland Emmerich's science fiction film Independence Day. The film grossed over $817 million at the worldwide box office and was the highest grossing of 1996. In 1997, he starred as Agent J in the science fiction film Men in Black, a role he reprised in its sequels Men in Black II (2002) and Men in Black 3 (2012).
Bruce Willis is an American actor who began his career in 1980 with an uncredited role in The First Deadly Sin. After guest-starring in a 1984 episode of Miami Vice, he appeared in the first episode of the 1985 revival of The Twilight Zone. Willis achieved fame starring in the ABC comedy-drama series Moonlighting (1985–1989), for which he received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. In 1988, he starred as John McClane in Die Hard (1988), a film that spawned several sequels that earned him international recognition as an action hero.
Nicolas Cage is an American actor and producer who began his career with The Best of Times in 1981, an unaired television pilot. The following year, he made his feature film acting debut on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the second and last time he was credited as Nicolas Coppola before changing his name professionally to avoid nepotism allegations due to his connection to the Coppola family. In 1983, Cage was cast in a leading role in the teen romantic comedy Valley Girl alongside Deborah Foreman; the film was praised by critics and summarized by Rotten Tomatoes as a "goofy yet amiable film" with "engaging performances from its two leads."
Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor who has appeared in films, television series and video games. He made his film debut in the short One Step Away in 1985. The following year, Reeves appeared in the crime film River's Edge, and the television films Babes in Toyland, Act of Vengeance, and Brotherhood of Justice. His first lead role was as a teenager dealing with his best friend's suicide in the 1988 drama Permanent Record. His breakthrough role came when he played time-travelling slacker Ted "Theodore" Logan in the science fiction comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) with Alex Winter, which was an unexpected commercial success. Reeves followed this with a supporting role in Ron Howard's comedy Parenthood. In 1991 he starred in the action film Point Break with Patrick Swayze, the science fiction comedy sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and the independent drama My Own Private Idaho.