Movie: "Judgment Night"
Year: 1993
Rated: R
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Writing credits: Lewis Colick, Jere Cunningham

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 2/7/2008

Plot: Four suburbanite buddies in a RV get lost in the one place they definitely don't want to be. After witnessing a murder, they have to hightail it on foot through the worst areas of the city in a desperate attempt to save their own lives.

Review: There were plenty o' fun movies that came out in 1993: Cliffhanger, In The Line Of Fire, The Fugitive, etc. For my money, however, it just didn't get any better than Judgment Night that year. It stars Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven (before he was famous), and Denis Leary in a role that was absolutely perfect for him.

So when these four friends get lost in gangland and witness a murder, Fallon (Leary) tells his thugs to leave no witnesses. The four friends manage to escape at first, but it's not long before Fallon and company are chasing them through the city streets, train yards, apartment buildings, rooftops and even the sewers. Eventually, Ray Cochran (Piven) gets too exhausted and decides to stay behind and try to make a deal with Fallon. Piven is great as the scheming guy who thinks he can talk his way out of anything, but Leary's character is the exact opposite of him and doesn't want to hear another word. "Let me tell you something, Ray. You don't understand shit, OK? Nothing. Guys like you check to see if they got a dick. I got one. You and your friends are the kind of spoon-fed fucking fruit bait that I fucking HATE! Shut the fuck up. You speak when fucking spoken to, okay. This is not fucking high school, motherfucker. I'll eat your fucking friends for fucking lunch. You know who we are? You got no fucking idea, do you? No. Jerks like you sail through life, reading about people like me in the newspaper. HEY! You're in a different place now, motherfucker! $100,000 might buy you out of North Shore. Here, that means shit. This is my fucking world." Like I said, this is the perfect role for a ranter-extraordinaire like Denis Leary.

In the end, what it comes down to is whether or not the guys can keep running away from the relentless Fallon and his henchmen, or if they're going to have to just take a stand. What kind of chance do a bunch of suburbanites stand against hardened criminals who are heavily armed? While it's not too hard to guess the outcome, I guess you'll just have to watch the movie to see what happens exactly.

I also feel I should mention the soundtrack that was released in conjunction with the film as it was quite unique and one of the best soundtracks of all-time in my opinion. They basically got members from various popular rap and rock bands to get together and record completely new songs together. The result is combinations you'd never expect to see such as Slayer & Ice-T, Pearl Jam & Cypress Hill, Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., Helmet & House Of Pain and more. As an interesting tie-in for the soundtrack, one of Fallon's thugs (Rhodes) is portrayed by none other than Erik 'Everlast' Schrody from the rap group, House Of Pain.

I gotta give kudos to the director too because the cinematography is fantastic in this film - a lot of unusual angles that help build the tension and, of course, the extremely dark & gritty style of the city setting. All in all, it's a great suspenseful action movie filled with lots of classic one-liners, really solid characters and a killer soundtrack. For some reason, it slipped under most people's radars, but trust me when I say it's absolutely worth checking out.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

after enough bourbon ...
Feb 7th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Daaaaaamn! This sounds awesome. Wonder how I missed it. I also love Denis Leary. Thanks for the review.
Forum Virgin
Feb 7th, 2008, 09:41 PM
This is definitely one of my favourite movies ever! I have it on DVD! I think Dennis Leary IS amazing in this, as is Cuba Gooding Jr. Jeremy Piven was good at convincing me he was a whiny little bitch too. He was a bit annoying for my taste.

I'm glad you picked this one to review! Good job!
Serial Loiterer
Feb 7th, 2008, 09:48 PM
This movie completely traumatized me everytime I watched it, but I couldn't quit watching everytime it was on. Dennis Leary would have to get a nomination for scariest villain ever for his role in this movie.
Pickled Patriarch
Feb 7th, 2008, 10:41 PM
Glad some of you remember this flick... it's truly one of the unsung gems of 1993 in my opinion. And yeah, I just love how unrelenting Leary's character is when it comes to killing all four of those guys. I also loved the scene where he drowns one of his own guys, "You know what I hate? I hate whiners you know? I hate people who just complain, complain, complain! I know a guy in the joint once one time, cell next to me you know he'd just. He'd just used to yap about everything, he used to yap about the food and yap about the guards, and yap about this and yap about that and yap, yap, yap all night long! Fucking yap, yap, yap... like a fucking 747 you know what I mean? Like an engine stuck right between your fucking ears and you can't get rid of it because he's right next to you! Know what I mean?"

That some yappity fucking yap yap classic stuff right there.
Feb 7th, 2008, 11:24 PM
I remember seeing this on tv when I was a kid. Got me into Denis Leary actually.
The Goddamned Batman
Feb 7th, 2008, 11:56 PM
A good flick, and one I haven't seen in too long. I need to rewatch this, yes I do.
Forum Virgin
Feb 8th, 2008, 03:37 AM
oh yeah..and before Cuba Gooding Jr I meant to write Emilio Estevez..who stole my heart early on in Maximum Overdrive...he was as good as Emilio Estevez gets in this one
Member (haw haw, scrotum)
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:42 AM
Thank heavens for you, Rog! I saw this film years ago and lately I've been looking for it, but didn't remember the name.
Forum Virgin
Feb 8th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Best soundtrack ever.
Feb 8th, 2008, 01:30 PM
One of my faves as well. My best friend always busts out this soundtrack as well, during the apex of his drunken partying.
Feb 8th, 2008, 02:33 PM
I've never even heard of this film, it must have really slipped through the cracks back in 1993.
Forum Virgin
Feb 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
I remember it being pretty popular when it came out. As I remember, it was often confused with Trespass. Which is a travesty.
Waiting for the worms.
Feb 9th, 2008, 03:09 PM
I was a bit young for flicks like this then...well, no, not really. But I never went to the theatre. Ever.
Emilio Estevez is the man though. Anyone who says otherwise is a goddamn liar.
Forum Virgin
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:01 AM
The movie itself is enjoyable without question, however, I'd be remiss were I not to mention the original motion picture soundtrack. This is one of the earliest albums I can recall to feature established bands doing a rap/rock duo. The whole album is comprised of rock and rap artists collaborating to bring a unique sound to the project. I mean Slayer/IceT, Helmet/House of Pain, Dinosaur Jr/Del the Funky Homosapien....these aren't just casual haphazard musical combinations, these are the very backbone of Judgement Night. It and the Last Action Hero soundtrack were locked in constant battle for control of my tape player back in 93.