Desperate Measures (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Desperate Measures1997

Desperate Measures (1997)



Critic Consensus: Times aren't desperate enough for this lame thriller to be called for.

Desperate Measures Photos

Movie Info

Barbet Schroeder directed this thriller about San Francisco police officer Frank Connor (Andy Garcia) who hopes to save his terminally ill son Matt (Joseph Cross) by locating a compatible bone marrow donor. The potential donor turns out to be convicted murderer Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton), who anticipates the trip to the hospital as an ideal chance to escape. When McCabe makes his move, the hospital becomes a battleground, and Connor is put on the spot: He must pursue and protect the psycho killer who is his son's only hope for survival.

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Michael Keaton
as Peter McCabe
Andy Garcia
as Frank Conner
Brian Cox
as Jeremiah Cassidy
Marcia Gay Harden
as Samantha Hawkins
Erik King
as Nate Oliver
Joseph Cross
as Matthew Conner
Janel Moloney
as Sarah Davis
Janel Maloney
as Sarah Davis
Tracey Walter
as Medical Inmate
Peter Weireter
as SWAT Team Commander
Keith Diamond
as Derrick Wilson
Steve Park
as Dr. Gosha
Steven Schub
as SWAT in Airduct
Neal Matarazzo
as Cell Guard
Dennis Cockrum
as Pelican Bay Head Guard
Charles Noland
as Cigarette Guard
Randy Thompson
as Library Guard
Darren Pearce
as Convoy Guard
Eric Tignini
as Convoy Guard
Billy Kane
as Laser Technician
Christine Ashe
as Young ER Nurse
Troy Robinson
as Cop Escorting Frank
Robert Baier
as Security Booth Guard
David Flick
as SWAT Sharpshooter in Street
Joe Drago
as Doctor at Walkway
Josh Kemble
as SWAT Sniper on Roof
Scott Colomby
as Patrol Cop
Howard Meehan
as Policeman on Street
Tim Kelleher
as Helicopter Shooter
Cliff Fleming
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Dirk Vahle
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Craig Hosking
as SWAT Helicopter Pilot
Jack Gill
as Motorcyclist
Scott Waugh
as Motorcyclist
Danny Rogers
as Motorcyclist
John Meier
as Cop Shot in ER
Norman Howell Jr.
as Burnt Cop 1
John Rottger
as Burnt Cop 2
Donna Keegan
as Burning Nurse
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Critic Reviews for Desperate Measures

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (8)

The movie would rather jolly along an action audience than play fair with its material, and so we're treated to the standard obligatory bankrupt action dreck: kinetic energy on autopilot.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Desperate Measures has recovered its momentum to ultimately confirm its place as an erratically-paced yet predominantly entertaining thriller.

October 20, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Desperate Measures" is a drawn-out, and purely disposable, suspense thriller.

May 19, 2009 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Primarily, the movie works as a showcase for Garcia and Keaton.

July 30, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A preposterous yet entertaining thriller with Michael Keaton stretching admirably as a Hannibal Lecter-style killer.

October 6, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

A waste of time.

May 30, 2003 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for Desperate Measures

Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton) is in jail for several murders. He is one of the most dreaded criminals in his prison. However, a cop, Frank Conner (Andy Garcia), finds out that Peter is the only one who can save his son by giving him a bone marrow transplant. Peter agrees to do so after getting several of his privileges, such as smoking, back. However, things take an interesting twist after Peter somehow escapes while in the hospital. Frank can't allow anybody to kill Peter because that would kill Frank's son, but he also doesn't want Peter to do what he is known for, being a murderer. I can't believe that "Desperate Measures" isn't getting a lot better ratings than it's getting. I thought it was a great movie. I like for movies to have a plot, and I'll admit that this movie is choppy in that department, but it does feature one of Michael Keaton's best job as an actor and it has great suspense. That's why I really liked "Desperate Measures." If you can put up with a movie that doesn't have one of the best plots in the world, but one that has good acting and great suspense, I recommend getting "Desperate Measures." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer


This so-called thriller concerns a cop, trying to save his son's life, who must deal with a homicidal sociopath who happens to be the only suitable bone-marrow donor in the entire civilized world. Yeah, right!

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Peter McCabe: You have to appreciate the irony. After all these years of being locked up, I'm given the opportunity to kill again. A cops kid too, and all I have to do is sit right here. This movie does a good job at being terrible, but every time it's on, I enjoy watching it. There's just something about it. A strange combination of Andy Garcia and a particularly good Michael Keaton, who does not get enough work in my opinion, star as cop and criminal. Garcia has a terminally ill son who needs a bone marrow transplant. Enter Keaton, who plays a killer in jail and happens to be the only one in the area that matches up to Garcia's son. Upon the time of the operation, Keaton breaks out, basically takes the hospital hostage, and it becomes a cat and mouse game between Garcia and Keaton, except Keaton can't be killed or Garcia's son dies. The movie has plenty of logic problems, but it is good enough to watch on tv, and Keaton shines. Peter McCabe: [after agreeing to transplant] These cigarettes are stale. You tell that cop and his dead kid I won't stand for stale cigarettes.

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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