Tequila Sunrise (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tequila Sunrise1988

Tequila Sunrise (1988)




Critic Consensus: Tequila Sunrise unites three of its decade's most in-demand stars for a slickly packaged crime drama that looks great without ever going anywhere particularly interesting.

Tequila Sunrise Photos

Movie Info

For his first directorial project in six years, Robert Towne selected a timeworn romantic-triangle yarn, injecting the material with subtlety and conviction. Tequila Sunrise stars Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell as two lifelong friends who, in true James Cagney-Pat O'Brien fashion, grow up on the opposite sides of the law. One is a retired drug dealer (at least he says he is), the other a "celebrity" cop. Both fall in love with gorgeous restaurateur Michelle Pfeiffer. Veteran movie buffs will enjoy spotting director Budd Boetticher as a judge, and will welcome the presence in the production credits of cinematographer Conrad Hall, who earned an Oscar nomination for his richly textured color camerawork.

Watch it now


Mel Gibson
as Dale McKussic
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Jo Ann Vallenari
Kurt Russell
as Nick Frescia
Raul Julia
as Carlos/Commandante Escalante
J.T. Walsh
as Maguire
Arliss Howard
as Gregg Lindroff
Arye Gross
as Andy Leonard
Gabriel Damon
as Cody McKussic
Eric Thiele
as Vittorio
Tom Nolan
as Leland
Budd Boetticher
as Judge Nizetitch
Ann Magnuson
as Shaleen
as Sin Sister No. 2
Jason Randal
as Magician
Dawn Martel
as Sin Sister #1
Bob Swaim
as Ralph Spudder
Lala Sloatman
as Sin Sister #2
Bob Swain
as Ralph Spudder
Geno Silva
as Mexican Cop
Efrain Figueroa
as Carlos' Man #1
Tomas Goros
as Carlos' Man #2
Austin Hawk
as Lifeguard #1
Scott Harms
as Lifeguard #2
John D. Steele
as Men At Party
David Rees Snell
as Men At Party
Oscar Abadia
as Himself
Jim Ladd
as Himself
Tom Schnabel
as Himself
View All

Critic Reviews for Tequila Sunrise

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3)

A long, teasing trailer for a film not yet made.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 1/5

In a world where everyone is some kind of insider, the viewer may feel left out in the cold.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

An intriguing movie with interesting characters, but it might have worked better if it had found a cleaner narrative line from beginning to end.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

There is nothing at all happening in Tequila Sunrise but a lot of vacuous drama about the loyalty between two high school buddies and the luminous beauty who must decide between them.

August 23, 2016 | Full Review…

Muddled thriller.

May 17, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

A project with the ingredients for greatness that nonetheless came out half-baked.

April 6, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tequila Sunrise

Two friends on different sides of the law head for a showdown - only they're not on different sides at all, so there's no showdown, and so this film ends feeling like coitus interuptus. You think you're going somewhere but yer not. Its a good looking film though.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A boring and predictable thriller with an all star cast.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


A couple good scenes ruined by a really dull movie and hideously dated 80's sax music.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Tequila Sunrise Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features