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At Theaters: 2/20/1998 On Video: 7/7/1998
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 4 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 029808
Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment
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Storyline Heading

When the reporter came across a story that exposed wholesale corruption in the town of Palmetto, he refused ten grand to play along. The "reward" for his honesty? A set up and two years in an 8x10 cell. It's two years later...Harry's definition of the "right" thing may be changing.

Bitter and disillusioned, he wonders why he should stay in a town that he doesn't even consider a nice place to visit, much less to live. With few prospects, he might just shake sand of Palmetto off his boots and move along. The only thing keeping him in Palmetto is his girlfriend Nina. The only thing that is, until Rhea Malroux came along.

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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Mystery Thriller - Palmetto is a film noir mystery with most of the expected elements: sex, violence, mysterious women and mistaken identities. Those who enjoy the standard genre will probalby enjoy the film; those who find it too predictable may enjoy the unexpected humor subverting some of the predictability. The performances are frequently exaggerated, which could annoy some viewers, as will the strange and over-the-top conclusion. Still others will find it unique and clever. A genuine toss-up, definitely for adult viewers only.
Cast and Crew Heading
Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt)
Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas)
Gina Gershon (Face/Off)
Director: Volker Schlondorff (The Blue Angel)
Production Notes Heading
About The Production
Content Heading
PROFANITY: Strong and frequent
SEX/NUDITY: No nudity; strong implied sexual content
VIOLENCE: Slapping; one beating involving kicking, punches
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: No drugs; much consumption of alcohol
ACTION: Some fighting
COMEDY: Some unexpected humor in tense situations

Pictures © Castle Rock Entertainment ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
The film noir genre has become so numbingly predictable in its moody, twisty-turny-ness that there doesn't seem to be anywhere for it to go but subversion. For a while, that's exactly where it looks like Palmetto is headed, turning Woody Harrelson's typical sucker into a complete dim-wit. Unfortunately, the film can't sustain the bizarre comic moments, switching from parody to predictability to complete absurdity. By the time it reaches a climax out of the old Batman TV series, you may not have the faintest clue what's going on...which isn't to say you may not enjoy the weirdness which takes you there.

Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 79 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
Fairly Low
20-29Yg Adults (M)
About 50/50
20-29Yg Adults (F)
Fairly Low
30+Adults (M)
Fairly Low
30+Adults (F)
Fairly Low
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

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Newspaper reporter Harry Barber (WOODY HARRELSON) has just come home to Palmetto -- a sleepy seaside Florida village that has long attracted trouble. Harry is fresh out of prison -- his reward for trying to do the right thing in a chronically corrupt town. Now Harry is back -- and about to receive a Palmetto-style welcome.

First, his artist girlfriend Nina (GINA GERSHON) invites him back into her bed as if there hadn't been a two-year interruption.

Then, he meets another beautiful woman, Rhea Malroux (ELISABETH SHUE), a mysterious blonde with an irresistible offer. The sultry young wife of a dying old millionaire, she asks Harry to take part in the phony kidnapping of her stepdaughter. No real risk involved, since the kidnappee, Odette Malroux (CHLOE SEVIGNY) is the one who came up with the plan. His reward for these simple tasks? A tidy $50,000

Somebody owes Harry for the two years taken from him. Somebody's got to pay him back. Unfortunately, what Harry has forgotten is that sometimes, payback can be a bitch.

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