Narrow Margin (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Narrow Margin1990

Narrow Margin (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Narrow Margin Photos

Movie Info

Narrow Margin, directed by Peter Hyams and loosely based on the classic film noir of the same title, tells the story of a resourceful District Attorney who must return a witness to San Francisco alive so she can testify in a trial. Carol (Anne Archer) is in the bathroom of the hotel room of her blind date when he is murdered by mobsters for stealing money. Knowing she is the only witness, Carol flees to an isolated Canadian mountain home to hide out. She is followed by Caulfield (Gene Hackman) who knows that she is a witness and wants to make her testify. When the mobsters track Caulfield to the cabin, Carol must join him in a run for her life on a Canadian train. This film, while it is somewhat uneven, is a tour de force for director/writer/cinematographer Peter Hyams, who delivers a fast-paced, action-packed chase through the Canadian mountains, stunningly photographed and well acted by both Hackman and Archer.

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Gene Hackman
as Robert Caulfield
Anne Archer
as Carol Hunnicut
J.T. Walsh
as Michael Tarlow
M. Emmet Walsh
as Sgt. Dominick Benti
Susan Hogan
as Kathryn Weller
Nigel Bennett
as Jack Wootton
J.A. Preston
as Martin Larner
Barbara E. Russell
as Nicholas' Mother
Barbara Russell
as Nicholas' Mother
Antony Holland
as Elderly Man
Doreen Ramos
as Elderly Woman
Kevin McNulty
as James Dahlbeck
Lon Katzman
as Loughlin
Dana Still
as Bellman with Message
Lesley Ewen
as Larner's Secretary
Barney O'Sullivan
as Ticket Agent
Lindsay Bourne
as Club Car Waiter
Ted Stidder
as Conductor #1
Robert Rozen
as Dining Car Waiter
Ron Cummins
as Hotel Valet
Tom McBeath
as Conductor
Harris Yulin
as Leo Watts
Lesley Ewan
as Larner's Secretary
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Critic Reviews for Narrow Margin

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

A gem of a thriller.

April 18, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
Top Critic

The Idiot Plot, of course, is any plot that would be resolved in five minutes if everyone in the story were not an idiot. And rarely has there been a film in which more idiots make more mistakes than in this one.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

The editing leaves something to be desired, considering that gaps in time are presented with slow fade-outs, as if this were made for television.

September 15, 2020 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

The 1952 film noir effort The Narrow Margin is rightly considered a classic; the 1990 remake Narrow Margin is rightly not. Yet that's not to say there isn't much to enjoy in this breezy thriller.

July 4, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This remake is a terrific suspense-thriller in its own right. Ranks with other underrated Peter Hyams films such as Capricorn One, Outland and The Star Chamber as one his best.

January 26, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

Nifty little thriller-on-rails.

June 23, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Narrow Margin


What an incredible gripping tale of the limits a man will go to protect a witness to the prosecution of a murder case. This is one edge of your seat thriller that gently lets go of your emotions at the very end.

Fascade Fiveoneeight
Fascade Fiveoneeight

Super Reviewer

Nowhere near as good as the original.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

A 50s film noir is remade into a by the numbers thriller. Not terrible, but there's nothing here we haven't seen a hundred times before.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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