The Jackal (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Jackal1997

The Jackal (1997)



Critic Consensus: The Jackal is a relatively simple chase thriller incapable of adding thrills or excitement as the plot chugs along.

The Jackal Photos

Movie Info

In Moscow, after FBI deputy director Carter Preston (Sidney Poitier) and scarred Russian intelligence officer Valentina Koslova (Diane Venora) bring down a key figure in the Russian Mafia, they are threatened by the criminal's powerful brother who swears vengeance on the FBI and immediately hires a professional assassin, the Jackal (Bruce Willis) to kill a leading American political figure. A master of disguises, the Jackal believes in total perfectionism and demands $70 million for the job. The FBI suspects the Jackal is aiming for the FBI director, so they consult with former Basque terrorist Isabella (Mathilda May), in Virginia, and Isabella's former lover, IRA operative Declan Mulqueen (Richard Gere), serving a prison sentence. Promised leniency, Mulqueen agrees to help. Meanwhile, the Jackal prepares false passports, secures a customized computer system to run his Gatling gun, and heads toward his target in Washington, D.C. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Bruce Willis
as The Jackal
Richard Gere
as Declan Mulqueen
Sidney Poitier
as Carter Preston
Diane Venora
as Valentina Koslova
Tess Harper
as The First Lady
J.K. Simmons
as Witherspoon
Mathilda May
as Isabella
Jack Black
as Lamont
John Cunningham
as Donald Brown
David Hayman
as Terek Murad
Steve Bassett
as George Decker
Ravil Isyanov
as Ghazzi Murad
Serge Houde
as Beaufres
Leslie Phillips
as Woolburton
Sophie Okonedo
as Jamaican Girl
Yuri Stepanov
as Politovsky
Maggie Castle
as 13-Year-Old Girl
Terrence Currier
as Surgeon General
Michael Caton-Jones
as Man in Video
Laura Viederman
as Woman in Video
Richard Cubison
as General Belinko
Jim Grimshaw
as Green Beret Colonel
Bob Kingdom
as Ambassador Koldin
Murphy Guyer
as NSC Rep.
Philip Le Maistre
as Bored Teenage Clerk
James McCauley
as CIA Rep. No. 1
Serge Christiaenssens
as Immigration Officer
Boris Boscovic
as Interrogator
Ewan Bailey
as Prison Guard
Danette Alberico
as Woman with Champagne
Debra Gano
as Woman with Champagne
Pamela Poitier
as Law Clerk
Jonathan Aris
as Alexander Radzinski
Eddie B. Smith
as Washington Cop
Larry King
as Himself
Daniel Ziskie
as CIA Rep. No. 2
Gayle Jessup
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Jackal

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (8)

The usually reliable director Michael Caton-Jones hasn't a clue how to freshen up such stale material. If you bite your fingernails, it will only be from boredom.

March 5, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The international pursuit grows borderline monotonous but there is a jump in pacing during the Washington, D.C., climax.

January 9, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Jackal is a glum, curiously flat thriller about a man who goes to a great deal of trouble in order to create a crime that anyone in the audience could commit more quickly and efficiently.

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

The less-than-engrossing vibe is, at least, tempered by the effectiveness of the three leads' work and a smattering of compelling sequences...

October 22, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It delivers in the shoot-'em-up mentality, not to be taken seriously but a fun thing to watch on a Saturday afternoon.

July 30, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The simple chase set-up is promising, but the follow-through is curiously lethargic and suspenseless.

March 8, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Jackal

Bad movie, bad review. Rotten.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


A cold blooded professional assassin is hired by the Russian mob and a joint FBI-Russian secret service task force race against time to prevent him from reaching his target in the USA. Allegedly a remake of The Day Of The Jackal, this film actually has very little in common with it. The original was a study of an ice cold killer who always kept two steps ahead of the authorities and is unusual for its distinct lack of action. This is more like a cross between In The Line Of Fire and The Rock with the American studio system unwilling to go without a pointless explosion or irrelevant car chase at strategic intervals. Bruce Willis was a very odd casting choice for the part, usually relying on his charm and quips but some dodgy hairstyle choices aside, he is reasonably OK. Sidney Poitier is as reliable as always as the pursuing FBI agent and is nicely complimented by Diane Verona and Richard Gere whose Irish accent is almost bearable (compared to some of the others I've heard in this type of film. Blown Away for example...) Whether you enjoy this film or not is going to rely entirely on if you can swallow the glaring absurdities of the plot; namely the fact that all these international terrorists seem to know each other as if there is some Al-Qaeda social club where they all share eggnog at christmas or something, the implausible final confrontation and the vendetta between the central characters which completely misses the point of the original. All in all, it's just another silly Hollywood action thriller and if that's what you expect then that's what you'll get.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Great thriller with a great performance by Bruce Willis and Richard Gere. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

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