Theatrical Release: June 15, 2001


Multifaceted computer hacker Stanley (Hugh Jackman) is down on his luck after getting out of prison, living in a broken down trailer and forbidden to see his daughter Holly after a bitter divorce. He’s propositioned by a charismatic and dangerous CIA operative gone solo, Gabriel Shear (John Travolta) and his beautiful partner Ginger (Halle Berry), to help steal billions in unused government funds to finance an elite group who stage secret attacks against world terrorists. There is a world within the world of cyberspace called Swordfish where sex, power and the art of illusion manage to create an unrealistic life full of deep secrets and incriminating information. The key to the power? Things aren’t always what they seem to be. Don Cheadle, Sam Sheppard also stars.

Dove Review

THE GOOD:…This is one heck of a fast-action, popcorn movie for adults! From the exhilarating beginning with a unique monologue (I’ve never seen done before) that begins the story with incredible visuals and sound effects that literally almost blow you away, to the last brain teaser that has the audience second guessing, this is one movie adults will flock to because of the intelligent script, interesting story and keen direction of Dominic Sena (“Gone in Sixty Seconds”). The Matrix style fights, angles, special effects, explosions, and even a flying bus full of hostages held up by a helicopter, compliment Travolta’s electrifying back-from-the-dead performance! Berry is beautiful and talented in a rare role that gives the female sidekick something intelligent to do and say. And Jackman proves he’s a contender for leading roles wooing women with his virile good looks and charm. I enjoyed this movie because of the star talent, the intelligent script and very unique plot that has the audience rooting for bad guys that aren’t necessarily bad. I enjoyed the element of surprise in this movie and when my adrenaline stopped pumping, I realized I’d been on one sophisticated rush of a ride. THE NOT-SO-GOOD:…This is an action-adventure story made for mature, adult audiences who can handle the profanity, implied sexual situation and brief nudity. But perhaps the most intriguing and cunning device used in this movie is the anti-hero bad guy who commits crimes at whatever costs to a few humans, to save the masses and protect millions. This is an interesting new element to 21st century movies, where good guys and bad guys blur on the frontier of world terrorism. I’ve noticed this trend infiltrating films for a couple of years now and it’s interesting because ultimately, you find yourself rooting for the bad guy who does good things.

Content Description

Offensive language: Abundant use of the "F" word along with religious profanities. Several characters smoke in excess to the point that my chest began to hurt. Sexual situations: Berry bares her breasts, a couple of brief shots of women in their skimpy underwear, and it's implied a woman performs oral sex on a man under a table while he works on a computer in front of people. Violence: Lots of explosions Numerous deaths due to gun violence, a woman and man are blown up, intense chase scenes with gun battles. A woman is hung, shot and others are killed.


Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: Skip Woods
Director: Dominic Sena
Producer: Joel Silver, Jonathan D. Krane, Jonathan Krane and Steve Richards
Genre: Action
Runtime: 97 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Holly McClure