Drive Angry
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Produced by Michael De Luca
Written by Todd Farmer Patrick Lussier
Starring Nicolas CageAmber Heard
Music by Michael Wandmacher
Cinematography Brian Pearson
Editing by Patrick Lussier Devin C. Lussier
Studio Millennium FilmsNu ImageSaturn Films
Distributed by Summit Entertainment (United States)Lionsgate (United Kingdom)Metropolitan Filmexport (France)
Release date(s) February 25, 2011 (2011-02-25)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45–50 million[1]
Gross revenue $28,931,401 [2]


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Drive Angry

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Theatrical release poster

Drive Angry is a 2011 American action film starring Nicolas Cage and filmed by Canadian director Patrick Lussier. It was released on February 25, 2011.


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John Milton (Nicolas Cage) is a criminal who has broken out of Hell to kill Jonah King (Billy Burke), a cult leader who tricked Milton's daughter into joining his followers in the wake of Milton's death, only to kill her and her husband and steal their baby daughter - Milton's granddaughter - to be sacrificed in a Satanist ritual.

After interrogating some of King's followers, Milton discovers that the ritual will take place in Stillwater Marsh, a disused prison in Louisiana. He heads there, but stops by a diner, where he meets Piper (Amber Heard), a waitress who is withholding sex from her boyfriend, Frank (Todd Farmer), so that he will marry her. Milton's car is damaged, so he sabotages Piper's car and follows her to fix it in exchange for a ride to her home, which is on the way to Stillwater Marsh.

There, Piper sees Frank having sex with another woman (Christa Campbell) and they get into a fight, with Frank beating her up. Milton beats him up, knocks him out and steals the keys of his car, taking Piper along with him on the ride to Stillwater Marsh. Meanwhile, a supernatural operative of Satan, The Accountant (William Fichtner), arrives on Earth with the mission to bring Milton back to Hell. After interrogating Frank, he discovers that Milton and Piper are heading to Louisiana and tricks the police into helping him by impersonating an FBI agent.

At a shady hotel, while Milton is having sex with a waitress, and Piper is in another room, Milton is attacked by King and his men, who have heard about his return. Milton is able to kill most of them, all the while still having sex with the waitress. The Accountant appears with the police and chases after Milton and Piper, who are chasing after King's RV. Milton uses a gun labeled "The Godkiller" to shoot the Accountant off the road. They then follow King to a church, which they enter, only to be ambushed by King's disciples and captured. Piper is kidnapped and Milton is left for dead, but awakens and kills King's men before continuing his pursuit of the RV, in which King is now holding Piper and Milton's granddaughter. Inside the RV, Piper breaks free and fights King before jumping out of the RV and onto Milton's car. King shoots up their car and escapes.

Milton and Piper then meet Milton's friend Webster (David Morse), who provides them with a new car. Piper discovers that Milton had to abandon his daughter to protect her from his former companions and that's why she was so easily manipulated by King. She also discovers that the Godkiller was stolen by Milton from Satan himself and has the power to completely destroy one's soul, preventing it from going to either Heaven or Hell. Meanwhile, the Accountant discovers that Milton is trying to save his granddaughter from being sacrificed and decides to help him, because, if there's one thing Satan hates more than souls that escape, it is children being sacrificed by madmen in his honor.

Milton tells Piper that he cannot guarantee her safety and that she should leave, but she assures him that she's with him until the end. They then set out for Stillwater Marsh, evading the troops of Sheriff Cap (Tom Atkins) with the help of the Accountant. Finally, they arrive at Stillwater Marsh, where Milton slaughters King's men before they can sacrifice the child.

King eventually shoots Milton and orders one of his servants to murder the child. However, the woman, who has been caring for the baby ever since King stole it, finds herself unable to carry out the deed, allowing Milton to grab the Godkiller and shoot King, destroying his soul. The Accountant appears and retrieves the baby, who is given by Milton to Piper. She and Webster promise to take care of the toddler as Milton dies in Piper's arms.

After both Piper and Webster have left, Milton is revealed to be alive. (Seeing that he is already dead, he cannot die again.) He agrees to go back to Hell with the Accountant, but warns that one day he will escape again. The Accountant claims that he looks forward to it, intimating that chasing Milton is the most fun he has ever had. They then drive off through the gates of Hell, towards the city of Dis.


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  • Nicolas Cage as Milton
  • Amber Heard as Piper
  • William Fichtner as The Accountant
  • Katy Mixon as Norma Jean
  • David Morse as Webster
  • Billy Burke as Jonah King
  • Christa Campbell as Mona Elkins
  • Charlotte Ross as Candy
  • Tom Atkins as Police Capt.
  • Bryan Massey
  • James Hébert
  • Brent Henry as Teen #2
  • Kendrick Hudson as Burly
  • Jack Rush as Hank Mardukis
  • Simone Williams as Leopard Lady
  • Kenneth Wayne Bradley as Man In Wig


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The film was shot in 3-D, and special effects were created by Gary Tunnicliffe. Paradise FX possesses the real 3-D cameras, which Lussier used for his film. The three cars driven by Cage in the film are a 1964 Buick Riviera, a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T (440 Engine) and a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. The lead actor Nicolas Cage narrated the supernatural film at WonderCon 2010.Patrick Lussier wrote the film with Todd Farmer. Lussier filmed the movie in Minden,Plain Dealing and Shreveport, Louisiana. The movie was given an R-Rated rating by MPAA for strong violence, grisly images, pervasive language, sexual content and strong nudity.


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The film was released in the US on 25 February 2011. Footage premiered on 23 July 2010 as part of the San Diego Comic-Con International.

Critical reception
The film has received mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. James Kendrick said it was 'loud, vicious, tasteless and inane'. He then went on to say 'it thunders at you from every direction with a wild abandon that is more irritating and desperate than enlivening'. Mark Jenkins from the Washington Post commented that 'Even at its most lurid, though, the movie is a little dull. And it only gets less compelling as the back story fills in.' Thomas Layer from the Toronto Telegraph said the film was an "abyssal nightmare" and that this film was "more evidence that Nicolas Cage is a monotone, uninspiring thespian whose films should be avoided at all costs".

Despite the negative reviews, there was some enjoyment from certain critics. Elizabeth Weitzman from the New York Daily News wrote 'Drive Angry is pure grindhouse, so committed to its own junkiness that it is, in its way, a pleasure to behold.'

Box office
The film is considered a box office bomb, having opened at ninth place within the box office rankings at an underperforming $1.6 million on Friday, with a lower than expected $5 million weekend. Drive Angry's box office performance made it the lowest-grossing opening of a 3D film released in over 2,000 US theaters until the release of Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil two months later.The film has however been slightly more successful in international markets earning $29,396,302 but was still not able to recover its budget.

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