Judgment Night (film)

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Judgment Night
Judgment night poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced byGene Levy
Screenplay by Lewis Colick
Story byLewis Colick
Jere Cunningham
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Peter Levy
Edited byTim Wellburn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • October 15, 1993 (1993-10-15)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$21 million
Box office$12,136,999 [1]

Judgment Night is a 1993 American action thriller film directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jeremy Piven and Stephen Dorff as a group of friends on the run from a gang of drug dealers (led by Denis Leary) after they witness a murder. The film was released on DVD on January 20, 2004. [2]

Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of challenges that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which usually concludes in victory for the hero. Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic, highly unbelievable events are often met with criticism. While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are generally, but not limited to, car chases, fighting and gunplay or shootouts.

Stephen Hopkins is a Jamaican-born British-Australian director and producer of film and television. He directed Predator 2, Blown Away, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and the Jesse Owens biopic Race. He also produced and directed several episodes of the first season of 24.

Emilio Estevez American actor, director, and writer

Emilio Estevez is an American actor, director, and writer. He is the brother of actor Charlie Sheen. Estevez started his career as an actor and is well known for being a member of the acting Brat Pack of the 1980s, starring in The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, and acting in the 1983 hit movie The Outsiders. He is also known for Repo Man, The Mighty Ducks and its sequels, Stakeout and Another Stakeout, Maximum Overdrive, Bobby, and his performances in Western films such as Young Guns and its sequel.



Francis "Frank" Wyatt (Emilio Estevez), his brother John (Stephen Dorff), and their friend Mike Peterson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) decide to go see a professional boxing match in Chicago with Ray Cochran (Jeremy Piven) - another friend, who agrees to drive them there in his lavish new RV.

Stephen Dorff American actor

Stephen Hartley Dorff Jr. is an American actor, known for portraying Roland West in True Detective Season 3, PK in The Power of One, Stuart Sutcliffe in Backbeat, Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, and for his roles in Blade as self-styled vampire-overlord Deacon Frost, Cecil B. DeMented, The Motel Life, S.F.W. and Space Truckers.

Cuba Gooding Jr. American actor

Cuba Michael Gooding Jr. is an American actor. After his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood (1991), he appeared in A Few Good Men (1992), The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Outbreak (1995), and Jerry Maguire (1996), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He gained later attention for his roles in Men of Honor (2000) as Carl Brashear, and in Michael Bay's World War II epic Pearl Harbor (2001) as Doris Miller. His other notable films include As Good as It Gets (1997), the ensemble farce Rat Race (2001), American Gangster (2007), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), and Selma (2014), playing civil rights attorney Fred Gray. In 2016, he portrayed O.J. Simpson in the FX drama series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and co-starred in the sixth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

With the freeway gridlocked, Ray exits the expressway and cuts through a poor residential neighborhood. The four friends are alarmed when they accidentally hit a man named Teddy (Michael DeLorenzo) with Ray's RV...and doubly alarmed when they find that he has been shot. Teddy also has a paper bag filled with stolen drug money.

Residential area land use in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas

A residential area is a land used in which housing predominates, as opposed to industrial and commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include single-family housing, multi-family residential, or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit some services or work opportunities or may totally exclude business and industry. It may permit high density land use or only permit low density uses. Residential zoning usually includes a smaller FAR than business, commercial or industrial/manufacturing zoning. The area may be large or small.

Michael DeLorenzo American actor

Michael DeLorenzo is an American actor, director, writer, producer, dancer, and musician. He is known for his work in television and film.

The foursome notice a police car, which they rush after for help. Suddenly Ray is sideswiped by a Cadillac, which leaves his RV hopelessly stuck in a narrow alleyway. Moments later, three hoods - Rhodes (Everlast), Travis, and Sykes (Peter Greene) - force their way into the RV; they drag Teddy outside, without yet noticing his four would-be-rescuers. Fallon (Denis Leary), a local crime lord for whom the hoods work - and from whom Teddy stole the money - shows up. He kills Teddy, and then notices the RV's other four occupants...who have just become loose ends. The Wyatt brothers and both of their friends escape through the front windshield of the RV, which is now on fire.

Everlast (musician) American singer and songwriter

Erik Francis Schrody, known by his stage name Everlast, is an American musician, singer, and songwriter, known for his solo work and as the front-man for hip hop group House of Pain. He was also part of the hip hop supergroup La Coka Nostra, which consists of members of House of Pain and other rappers. In 2000, he received a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal with Latin Rock musician Carlos Santana for "Put Your Lights On".

Peter Greene is an American character actor, generally known for playing villains.

Denis Leary American actor and comedian

Denis Colin Leary is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer. Leary was the star and co-creator of Rescue Me, which ended its seventh and final season on September 7, 2011. He has starred in many films including playing Captain George Stacy in Marc Webb's film, The Amazing Spider-Man, Cleveland Browns Head Coach Vince Penn in Ivan Reitman's film, Draft Day, and as the voice of Francis in A Bug's Life and Diego in the Ice Age franchise.

Mike, Ray, and the Wyatts are chased by Fallon's hoods into a railyard. They hide in an old streetcar which several bums are using for a homeless shelter. The bums demand payment, or they'll alert Fallon to the presence of his quarry...who give Frank's wallet and Mike's jacket to their "hosts". The hoods overhear one of the homeless men freaking out, and recognize Mike's jacket. While Ray and Mike flee along with the Wyatt brothers, Fallon massacres several bums before noticing his mistake. He also discovers where Frank lives, by taking his wallet off a slaughtered bum.

Taking refuge in an apartment building, the four friends are noticed by some local kids who unfortunately are on Fallon's payroll. Mike, Ray, and the Wyatt brothers look for a phone to contact the police; alas, the tenants are too scared of Fallon to help. Sure enough, Fallon's henchmen soon barge into the building - kicking open doors and gunning down everybody they see. Mike and his three buddies are forced to depart when the woman they've holed up with threatens to kill them herself, in order to save her own life. Mike and both of the Wyatts use a ladder as a bridge so that they can cross over to another rooftop. Ray, who has a phobia of heights, can't bring himself to follow. Instead, he attempts to bargain for his life with Fallon - who instead kills Ray by throwing him from the roof.

The trio are chased into the sewers by Sykes, Fallon's aide-de-camp, and fellow lieutenant Travis...both of whom are outwitted and slain by Mike, much to Fallon's chagrin.

<i>Aide-de-camp</i> personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank

An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.

The threesome break into a swap meet, hoping to summon the police by setting off the building's silent alarm. This instead brings Fallon and his other lieutenant, Rhodes. Rhodes wounds Mike before being tricked and killed himself by John...who, in turn, is wounded by Fallon. The friends split up. Frank is cornered by Fallon in a security office; calling up all his wits, he disarms the crime baron. Their scuffle ends with Fallon being thrown down a stairwell to his death.

Flea market type of bazaar that rents space to people who want to sell or barter merchandise

A flea market is a type of street market which provides space for vendors to sell previously-owned merchandise. This type of market is often seasonal, however in recent years there has been the development of 'formal' and 'casual' markets which divides a fixed-style market (formal) with long-term leases and a seasonal-style market with short-term leases. Consistently, there tends to be an emphasis on sustainable consumption whereby items such as used goods, collectibles, antiques and vintage clothing can be purchased. Flea market vending is distinguished from street vending in that the market itself, and not any other public attraction, brings in buyers. There is a variety of vendors; some part-time who consider their work at flea markets a form of hobby due to their possession of an alternative job, full-time vendors who dedicate all their time to their stalls and collection of merchandise and rely solely from the profits made at the market. Vendors require skill in following retro and vintage trends as well as selecting merchandise which connects with the culture and identity of their customers.

A silent alarm is a burglar alarm that makes no noise that is audible to the trespasser. The alarm makes an audible noise elsewhere and notifies the police. A silent alarm may also be a panic button alarm.

Too late now to do any good, the police arrive. While Mike and John are rushed to a hospital, Frank recovers his wallet and finds his wife Linda (Christine Harnos) waiting for him.



Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. [3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale. [4]

Leonard Klady of Variety wrote: "The most chilling aspect of the urban thriller "Judgment Night" is how infinitely superior its craft is to its art. This is an exceedingly well directed, cleverly filmed and edited, tension-filled affair. It is also a wholly preposterous, muddled, paranoid’s view of the inner-city nightmare where the slightest misstep is sure to have a fateful result." [5] Richard Harrington of the Washington Post felt the movie was "regrettably familiar fare" and stated "The filmmakers have made a big deal of a soundtrack that features 11 collaborations between rappers and rockers (...), but their casting consciousness is less adventurous." [6]

Box office

The movie debuted at No. 5. [7] The film grossed a total of $12,136,938 at the US Box Office. [1]


A soundtrack for the film titled Judgment Night: Music From The Motion Picture was released the same year on September 14, 1993. [2]

Score album track listing

All tracks composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri

  1. "Freeway Confrontation" – 2:07 - Played when the group engages in a fight on the highway.
  2. "New Passenger" – 4:33
  3. "Execution" – 5:22 - Played when the group witnessed a murder and escapes the RV.
  4. "Train Yard" – 2:13 - Played while the group was hiding in a train cab.
  5. "Some 'Splainin' to Do" – 5:17
  6. "Bat Woman" – 2:14 - Played when Frank saw a woman throwing trash.
  7. "Ladder Crossing" – 9:45 - Played when the group crosses the bridge ladder.
  8. "Ray's Deal" – 3:24 - Heard when Ray made a deal with the goons.
  9. "Ray Eats It" – 2:05 - Played when Ray fell off of the building.
  10. "Hello Ladies" – 1:30 - Played when the goons find them in the sewers.
  11. "Make a Stand" – 3:32 - Played when Mike and the group decide to make a stand against the goons.
  12. "Mike Shoots Sykes" – 5:20
  13. "All I Got Is You" – 4:40
  14. "Stalk & Talk" – 4:41
  15. "Final Fight" – 3:34
  16. "It's Over" – 1:04
  17. "Frank Takes the Wheel" – 4:02 (Unused) - Should be played when the group is chasing the police vehicle.
  18. "I Tried" – 2:36 (Unused) - Should be heard when John is sobbing and makes a confession to his brother, Frank.
  19. "Judgment Night Theme" – 3:09


Comedian Adam Carolla was a stand-in for one of the "bad guy" actors, Michael Wiseman [8] . He was friends with the assistant director. It was his first foray into film. [9]

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  1. 1 2 https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=judgmentnight.htm
  2. 1 2 Judgment Night at Amazon.com
  3. "Judgment Night (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  4. "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  5. Klady, Leonard. "Judgment Night". Variety . Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  6. Harrington, Richard. "Judgment Night". Washington Post . Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  7. Fox, David J. (19 October 1993). "Weekend Box Office : 'Demolition Man' Fends Off 'Hillbillies'". The Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  8. "Emilio Estevez and the Rotten Tomatoes Game". Adam Carolla. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  9. "Mohr Stories 134: Adam Carolla". podcast. 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-18.