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Swordfish is a 2001 American action thriller film directed by Dominic Sena, written by Skip Woods, produced by Joel Silver, and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones, and Sam Shepard. The film centers on Stanley Jobson, an ex-con and computer hacker who is targeted for recruitment into a bank robbery conspiracy because of his formidable hacking skills.


Stanley Jobson is a cyber-hacker who became notorious for infecting the FBI s Carnivore program with a computer virus. Stanley s parole forbids him from accessing the internet and computers while his ex-wife Melissa, an alcoholic and part-time porn star, has issued a restraining order against him. This also prevents him from seeing his only daughter Holly.

Ginger Knowles persuades Stanley to work for Gabriel Shear, who threatens him into cracking a secure Defense Department server. After the hack, Gabriel offers Stanley $10 million to program a multi-headed worm, a hydra , to siphon $9.5 billion from government slush funds. Stanley begins work on the worm, learning that Gabriel leads Black Cell, a secret organization created by J. Edgar Hoover to launch retaliatory attacks against terrorists that threaten the United States. He also privately discovers Ginger is a DEA agent working undercover and is further surprised to discover a corpse that resembles Gabriel.

After he takes Holly home from school, Stanley discovers that he is being followed by FBI agent J.T. Roberts, who had previously arrested him. Roberts, though monitoring Stanley closely, is more interested in Gabriel as he does not appear on any government database, and after learning that another hacker, Axl Torvalds had been killed by Gabriel s men, warns Stanley to be cautious. Stanley opts to secretly code a backdoor in his hydra that reverses the money transfer after a short period. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Jim Reisman, who oversees Black Cell, learns the FBI has started tracking Gabriel and orders him to stand down. Gabriel refuses and narrowly defeats a hit team dispatched against him by Reisman. In retaliation, Gabriel personally kills Reisman in revenge and continues his plan.

Stanley delivers the hydra to Gabriel and leaves to see Holly, only to find that Gabriel has kidnapped her and framed him for Melissa s murder alongside her husband and porn producer. Stanley has no choice but to participate in a bank heist to get Holly back. At the site of the heist, Gabriel and his men storm a branch and secure its employees and customers as hostages, fitting each of them with ball-bearing-based explosives similar to Claymore mines. When police and FBI surround the branch, Gabriel takes Stanley to a nearby coffee shop across the street to meet with Roberts, but Gabriel spends the time discussing the film Dog Day Afternoon and the nature of misdirection. Once back in the bank, Gabriel has one of his men escort a hostage to demonstrate the situation where a sharpshooter kills the man. As other agents pull the hostage away from the bank, the bomb detonates and devastates much of the street, a scene shown in medias res.

Gabriel instructs Stanley to launch the hydra and turns Holly over to him once completed. However, the back door triggers before they can leave the bank, leading to Stanley being recaptured while Holly is rescued. Gabriel threatens to kill Ginger, who he knows is a DEA agent, unless Stanley re-siphons the money back to a Monte Carlo bank. Although Stanley complies, Gabriel shoots Ginger. Gabriel and his men load the hostages onto a bus and demand a plane wait for them at the local airport, but while en route, the bus is lifted off by an S-64 Aircrane and deposited on the roof of a local skyscraper. Gabriel deactivates the bombs and departs with his surviving men on a waiting helicopter, which Stanley shoots down using a rocket-propelled grenade from the bus.

Roberts takes Stanley to verify a corpse they found, believing Gabriel was a Mossad agent. There is no record of a DEA agent named Ginger Knowles, and her body hasn t been found. Stanley recognizes the corpse as the one he discovered earlier and personally realizes that the whole scenario was a deception; Ginger was wearing a bulletproof vest and was working with Gabriel all along, who escaped via a different route. Despite Stanley not telling the police that Gabriel and Ginger are still alive, Roberts arranges for Stanley to have full custody of Holly, where they depart to places elsewhere. In Monte Carlo, Gabriel and Ginger withdraw the stolen money and later watch as a yacht at sea explodes. Over the film s credits, a news report reveals the destruction of the yacht, carrying a known terrorist, as the third such incident in as many weeks.


  • Hugh Jackman as Stanley Jobson
  • John Travolta as Gabriel Shear
  • Halle Berry as Ginger Knowles
  • Don Cheadle as Agent J.T. Roberts
  • Sam Shepard as Senator James Reisman
  • Vinnie Jones as Marco
  • Drea de Matteo as Melissa
  • Rudolf Martin as Axl Torvalds
  • Zach Grenier as Assistant Director Bill Joy
  • Camryn Grimes as Holly Jobson
  • Angelo Pagan as Torres
  • Kirk B. R. Woller as Axl s Lawyer
  • Carmen Argenziano as Agent
  • Tim DeKay as Agent
  • Laura Lane as Helga


The film received press initially because word leaked out early that Halle Berry was doing her first topless scene, paid an extra $500,000 on top of her $2 million fee. Critics said the scene looked forced, just to garner press. Halle Berry Nude jumped to the top of search engine results. Berry said she did the topless scene, knowing it was gratuitous, to overcome the fear of appearing nude onscreen.

As of August 2020, 25% of the 138 reviews compiled on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, with an average rating of 4.35/10. The website s critical consensus reads: Swordfish is big on explosions, but critics dislike how it skimps on plot and logic. Also, the sight of a person typing at a computer just isn t that interesting. In a review for The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote:

With its blasé blend of bogus international intrigue and action-for-action s-sake, Swordfish suggests a James Bond movie stripped of humor. True, there are a few moments of wit, like the opening sequence. But the dominant tone masquerading as humor is a snide, rancid nihilism devoid of laughs, unless wholesale destruction and gloating stupidity are what tickle your funny bone.

The film grossed over $147 million in worldwide box office receipts on a production budget of $102 million. John Travolta s performance in the film earned him a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actor (also for Domestic Disturbance).


The soundtrack was produced by Paul Oakenfold, under Village Roadshow and Warner Bros. and distributed through London Sire Records, Inc. It contains 15 tracks. The film s orchestral score was written by Christopher Young with several electronic additions by Paul Oakenfold. Fragments from the score were added to the official soundtrack, but were remixed by Oakenfold. A more complete release was issued as an award promo, which is known for its rarity.

Year 2001
ReleaseDate 2001-06-08
RuntimeMins 99
RuntimeStr 1h 39min
Plot A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it’s all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help …
Awards Awards, 5 wins & 10 nominations
Directors Dominic Sena
Writers Skip Woods
Stars John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry
Produced by Bruce Berman, Dan Cracchiolo, Anson Downes, Linda Favila, Jonathan D. Krane, Denise O Dell, Joel Silver, Jim Van Wyck, Paul Winze, Skip Woods
Music by Paul Oakenfold, Christopher Young
Cinematography by Paul Cameron
Film Editing by Stephen E. Rivkin
Casting By Lora Kennedy
Production Design by Jeff Mann
Art Direction by Geoff Hubbard, Andrew Laws, Jeff Wallace
Set Decoration by Jay Hart
Costume Design by Ha Nguyen
Makeup Department Joseph Neeko Abriol, Sheryl Blum, Mary Burton, Michelle Bühler, Debra Coleman, Mindy Hall, Rob Hinderstein, Susan V. Kalinowski, Mary L. Mastro, Steven R. Soussanna, Thomas E. Surprenant, Christien Tinsley, Barbara Wilder, Cheryl Ann Nick, Eden Orfanos
Production Management Frédéric Bovis, Daniel R. Chavez, Mark Scoon, Ronald G. Smith, Elizabeth Miller Gavcus
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Dan Bradley, Katie Carroll, Mark Cotone, John Elmore, Christina Fong, Basil Grillo, Gil Kenny, Jayson Merrill, Brian Moon, Craig A. Pinckes, Lisa C. Satriano, Nick Satriano, Robert Skid Skidmore, Nicholas Wolfert
Art Department P. Scott Bailey, Jean-Paul Bernardi, Greg Berry, Robert A. Blackburn, Ted Boonthanakit, Timothy Burgard, Denise Ciarcia, Dan Colegrove, Scott Edward Collins, Robert Consing, Michael A. Contreraz, Mick Cummings, Guillaume DeLouche, Derek du Bellier, Guy Hendrix Dyas, Franco Esile, Marcie Friedman, Neil Gahm, Scott Getzinger, Will Grant, Chris Grantz, Doug Harlocker, Gregory S. Hooper, Steve Howard, Trey Howard, Lawrence A. Hubbs, Thomas Lauifi, Jeff Markwith, Canyon Martens, Michael Mestas, Martin Milligan, Joe Monaco, Ron Butch Montgomery, William H. Phen Jr., Bruce Purcell, Jamie Rama, Dean G. Roberts, Graham Robertson, David Sandefur, David Scott, Anne Seibel, David Shauger, Domenic Silvestri, Dale Snyder, Barbara Ann Spencer, Scott Taft, Brett Tyler, Thomas Noe Welch, Martin Whist, Dean Wolcott, Robert Woodruff, Chris Woodworth, Quinn Yarbrough, Richard Jacobs, Dennis Riewerts, Bret Ross, Fred Seibly, Meg Hyatt Snow
Sound Department Richard Adrian, James Ashwill, Nancy Barker, Ron Bartlett, Jean-Marie Blondel, Thom Brennan, Stephanie Brown, David E. Campbell, Paul Timothy Carden, John T. Cucci, Dane A. Davis, Julia Evershade, John P. Fasal, Stephanie Flack, Kamal Humphrey, Greg Jefferson, Mark Johnston, Andrew Lackey, Linda Lew, Stephane Lioret, Noel McIntosh, Joe Milner, Dan O Connell, Troy Porter, John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Mark Smith, Roger V. Stevenson, Edward Tise, Keenan Wyatt, Terri Ghilani
Special Effects by James Bomalick, Chris Brenczewski, James Camomile, Tom Chesney, David Fletcher, Morgan Guynes, Robert S. Henderson, Patrick Huggins, Bruce Y. Kuroyama, Bret McCabe, Michael Meinardus, William A. Pancake Jr., José Páramo, Joe D. Ramsey, Michael Roundy, Mike Sasgen, Anthony Simonaitis, Richard Terry Tjelmeland, Bradley Jay Valentine, Steve Wolke, Albert Bravo, Tom Ceglia
Visual Effects by James Balsam, Peter Baustaedter, Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr., Chris Bond, Jason Booth, Kristen Branan, Serena Chang, Patrick Clancey, Bill Coffin, Michael Condro, Andrea D Amico, Avishkar Dahiya, Mitchell S. Drain, Conrad Dueck, Dennis Fitzsimmons, Adam Francis, Derry Frost, Gina Galvan, Jared Gray, Rhonda C. Gunner, Jongwoo Heo, Mark Intravartolo, Joni Jacobson, Oded Kassirer, Joe Ken, Scott Kirvan, Marc Kolbe, Sean Konrad, Richard Kratt, Kenny Lam, Don Lee, Jonathan Spencer Levy, Tom Mahoney, Matt McFarland, Rob Meyers, Michael Morreale, Craig A. Mumma, Jaime Norman, Josh Novak, Jeremy Oddo, Phillip Palousek, Marco S. Paolini, Rocco Passionino, Brad Pitre, Rafe Sacks, Justin Schenck, Gregory S. Scribner, Michael Shand, Boyd Shermis, Mark Shoaf, Craig Shumard, Bridget M. Taylor, Esdras Varagnolo, Archie Villaverde, Shawn Wallbridge, Chad Wiebe, Ken Zorniak, David Alexander, Tom Baker, Matt Broeska, Jordan Byrne, Brenda Campbell, Marla Carter Barrett, Paolo deGuzman, Sam Edwards, Robert Green, Kyle J. Healey, Todd Isroelit, Jon-Marc Kortsch, Mark Lipsmeyer, Erin May, Didier Muenza, Kate Neumann, Michael Pecchia, Travis Price, Marc Scott, James D. Tittle, Chris Willie Williams, Deborah Wiltman
Stunts Randy Beckman, Tony Lee Boggs, Robin Lynn Bonaccorsi, Dan Bradley, Chris Branham, Eddie Braun, Tony Brubaker, Richard Burden, Bobby Burns, Jay Caputo, Mark Chadwick, Phil Chong, Eliza Coleman, Gilbert B. Combs, Scott Alan Cook, Leonard Creer Jr., William De Vital, Kevin Derr, Thomas Dewier, Rockey Dickey Jr., Arturo Dickey, Danial Donai, Kofi Elam, Annie Ellis, Debbie Evans, Christian J. Fletcher, Jeremy Fry, Richie Gaona, Troy Gilbert, Jimmy Hart, Nick Hermz, Ben Hernandez Bray, Mark Hicks, Chris Howell, Steven Ito, Kevin L. Jackson, Claudette James, Brett A. Jones, Mike Justus, David Kilde, Cheryl Lawson, Lane Leavitt, Frank Lloyd, Ray Lykins, Sammy Maloof, Francine Morris, Chris Nielsen, Mark Norby, Bobby Ore, Vladimir Orlov, Chris Palermo, Monte Rex Perlin, Diesel Pfingsten, Norb Phillips, Darrin Prescott, Susan Purkhiser, Jeff Ramsey, Spiro Razatos, Scotty Richards, Tim Rigby, Scott Rogers, Mike Ryan, Kevin Scott, Leigh Semas, Monty L. Simons, Peter Stader, P.J. Stover, Matthew Taylor, Davey Thompson, Nancy Thurston, Frank Torres, Aliza Washabaugh, Eileen Weisinger, Jack West, Scott Workman, Keith Adams, Robert Alonzo, Paul Beahm, Kevin Beard, Richard Bucher, Jeff Cadiente, Jennifer Caputo, John Escobar, Mary Fallick, Sean Graham, Gilley Grey, Tad Griffith, Charles Grisham, Steve Hart, Mike Justus, Hubie Kerns Jr., David Lea, Mark Norby, Susan Purkhiser, Mark Riccardi, Scott Rogers, Monica Staggs, Davey Thompson, April Weeden, Bill Young
Camera and Electrical Department Antar Abderrahman Jr., Nathan Alexander, Dustin Ault, Jake Avignone, Greg Baldi, James Slim Jim Ballard, Thomas A. Barrios, Hans Bjerno, Lee Blasingame, Josh Bleibtreu, Kyle Boorman, Eric Bornes, Richard M. Butkus Jr., Rafael Rafa Castro, Vidal Cohen, Andrew Cooper, Edward J. Cox, Steve Crestol, Dhamarata Dhiensuwana, Christian E. Dirkes, Peter Drinco, Andrew Dumas, Todd Durboraw, Marq Edwards, Carlos Escobar, Sean P. Fickert, Steven Frohardt, Tommy Garcia, Denis Garnier, Dana Gonzales, Ron Goodman, Scott Graves, Kirk Greenberg, Kurt Grossi, Steven A. Guerrero, Robert Heine, Brad Heiner, Jaime Heintz, Colin Hudson, Tony Jackson, Danny Jimenez, Jimi Johnson, Tom T.J. Johnson, Scott C. Johnston, Dan Jones, Jacques Jouffret, Gary Kangrga, Michael Lambert, Dwight Joseph Lavers, John Lazear, Charles Lenz, Josh Levy, Jason E. Lord, Joe Angel Martinez, Jesse Mather, Michael May, Niles McElroy, Kevin McNeil, Chris McNellis, Ralph Mendoza, Chris Milani, Frank Montesanto, Chris Moseley, J. Michael Muro, Dale Myrand, David H. Neale, Jerry Patton, Matthew Pearce, Louis Joseph Perez, Ron Peterson, Steve Peterson, David Presley, Robert A. Preston, Derick Pritchard, Rell Putt, Chris Rauch, Brian Rosso, Jason Rupe, John Fest Sandau, Todd Schlopy, Gary D. Scott, David A. Seekins, Alec Shepherd, Don Telles, Brian Tilden, Lance Jay Velazco, Charlie Woodburn, Thomas Wostak, Preston A. Adams, Kevin Boyd, Walter Byrnes, Eric Vincent Cruse, Andrew Degnan, Lamarr Gray, Jack M. Guberman, Diego Quemada-Díez, Vich Thiensuwana
Casting Department Jennifer Bender, Belinda Gardea, Corinne Renard-Bendjadi
Costume and Wardrobe Department Charlene Amateau, Elena Balshem, James P. Cullen, Carol Demarti, Perri Kimono, Bob Moore Jr., Birgit Müller, Lisa D. Quercioli, Nadine M. Reale, Gamila Smith
Editorial Department Catherine Chase, Brigitte Daloin, Janice Friedman, Mo Henry, Ian Slater, Kurt Smith, Bill Daly, Jonathan Malden
Location Management Kent James Stewart Barber, Mark Carter, Jennifer Cook, Kieron Estrada, Chris Gutierrez, Phill Kane, Richard Schuler, Carson Turner, Lary Vinocur, Anna L. Coats
Music Department Pete Anthony, Bruce Babcock, Tom Brown, Andrew Dorfman, Robert Fernandez, Andy Gray, Tanya Noel Hill, Jim Hoffman, Jon Kull, Derrick Lefebvre, Bill Liston, Gerard K. Marino, Thomas Milano, Paul Oakenfold, Jasper Randall, Cassandra Richburg, Samantha Barker, Tom Boyd, Kostas Christides, Sandy DeCrescent, M.B. Gordy, Paul S. Henning, Malcolm McNab, Flavio Motalla, Don Nemitz, Marni Sanders, Steven L. Smith, James Thatcher, Sebastian Toettcher, Karl Vincent, Gernot Wolfgang
Script and Continuity Department Trudy Ramirez
Transportation Department Steve Bonner, Richard Burch, Alberto Coto, Vic Cuccia, Darrell Dubovsky, Bruce Fox, James R. Guillory, Buck Holland, William P. Lafon, Leo Landa, Randy Luna, Kenneth Newland, Jim Petti, Dan Romero, Michael Sean Ryan, William Smallwood, Jay Thompson, Erik Von Hof, Randy White, Dean Winton, Bill Young
Additional Crew Kennie Anderson, Terry Atchison, Angela Athayde, Leona Whitney Beatty, Stephen Bender, Bruce Benson, Victoria Blackburn, John Bonnin, Amanda Brand, Allison Bryan, Brent Carlton, Jeffrey Caruso, Cory Cate, Daniel Ceballos, Daniel R. Chavez, Chris Corrado, Julie Cummings, Chic Daniel, Maria De La Torre, Lonny Dubrofsky, Jay Duncan, Larry Eisenman, Frank J. Ellison, Danishka Esterhazy, Rebecca Feldman, David Fencl, Cliff Fleming, Paul Gebeau, Julie Gilchrist, Alejandra Gravier, Lisa Greenspan, Daniel Griesmer, Michael Haddad, David L. Hall, Chris Higgs, Craig Hosking, John Humber, Merril Hummer, Kyle Hutchison, Patrick G. Ingram, Nicholas Irwin, Dan Isaacson, James Jacobson, Karen Jones, Tim Kendrick, Rachel Kerns, Melina Kevorkian, Ahmed Kirdar, David O. Krupnick, David R. Lawson, Harry Lu, Adam Lubanski, John Malakoff, Nadege Marti, Karen Evette Martin, Paul Maurinac, Meaghan F. McLaughlin, Lisa Michele McTigue, Lisa Mercurio, Tom Mishler, Michael Neal, Kenneth Newland, Craig Nix, John Nolan, Shaun O Banion, Rick Ojeda, Erik Olsen, William Ostroff, Frank Pelluchon, Bill Phillips, Jess Platt, James Popiden, Tamera Raines, Michael P. Rarity Sr., Brian Read, Jim Roberts, Diane Rosenberg, Dan Rudert, Ahmed Saker, Janell M. Sammelman, Robert Sanford, Julie Shack, Burton Sharp, Rick Shuster, Andy Sowerwine, Gene Starzenski, Lynn Struiksma, Susan Such, Miguel Sánchez, Jason Tamez, Bernadette Tanchauco, Michelle Tuella, Ken Twohy, Maria Vallen, Pete Waterman, Tim Whisenant, Jason Zorigian, Anastasia Basche, Larry A. Burns Jr., Carey Goldstein, Dan Harder, Craig Hosking, Rayne Knudson, Adrian Lamo, Peter V.O. Moore, Craig Rees, Marc Wolff, Larry Zanoff
Genres Action, Crime, Thriller
Companies Hollywood Licensing Group, Jonathan Krane Group, NPV Entertainment
Countries USA
Languages English, German
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.5
ImDbRatingVotes 190275
MetacriticRating 32
Keywords computer,bad guy wins,terrorism,secret agent,wearing a sound wire