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Truth or Consequences, N.M. (film)

Truth or Consequences, N.M. is a 1997 American neo-noir film directed by Kiefer Sutherland[2] and features Sutherland, Vincent Gallo, Mykelti Williamson, Kevin Pollak, Max Perlich, Rod Steiger and Kim Dickens among others. The film's executive producer was Phillip M. Goldfarb. The noir is about a drug heist gone seriously wrong.

Truth or Consequences, N.M.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKiefer Sutherland
Produced byExecutive Producer:
Phillip M. Goldfarb
J. Paul Higgins
Kevin J. Messick
Hilary Wayne
Brad Mirman
Written byBrad Mirman
Music byJude Cole
CinematographyRic Waite
Edited byLawrence Jordan
Ink Slinger Productions
Triumph Films
Distributed byTriStar
Release date
  • May 2, 1997 (1997-05-02) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$122,046[1]


Raymond Lembecke (Vincent Gallo) is an ex-con just out of prison after serving time for selling drugs for his mob boss Tony Vago (Rod Steiger). (Lembecke was innocent and took the rap for Vago.) Lembecke thinks Vago owes him big time so, when his former boss gets him a measly job in a warehouse, he decides on revenge and plans to steal a million dollars' worth of drugs from him.

Lembecke plans the heist with Marcus Weans (Mykelti Williamson) and the disturbed trigger-happy Curtis Freley (Kiefer Sutherland). They kill an undercover DEA agent (who's wearing a wire) during the heist. They decide to skip town and head to Las Vegas to sell the stolen goods; later they hope to make it to Mexico.

As they head out of the city they kidnap a couple who own a recreational vehicle. But soon, hostage Gordon Jacobson (Kevin Pollak) falls under the spell of the Stockholm Syndrome and begins to emulate his kidnappers and wants to stay involved in their hunt. In addition to fleeing the police, the group must avoid an assassin named Sir (Martin Sheen) who has been dispatched by the mafia.



According to Paul Fischer, the film had ratings problems due to certain gruesomely violent portions involving Martin Sheen.[3]

Filming locationsEdit

The filming Locations include: Heber, Hurricane, Park City, Rockville, Salt Lake City, and Washington, all in Utah; and Las Vegas and Mesquite, both in Nevada. No filming took place in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Critical reactionEdit

Due to its limited release the film was not widely reviewed. Critic Jeffrey Lyon of WNBC called the film, "[a] gritty, effective crime drama", according to the film's theatrical poster.

Critic Dale Winogura liked the film, especially the first half, and was appreciative of the acting. He wrote, "Kiefer Sutherland overcomes some of the faults with a sleek stylistic sheen and rapid pacing in the early stages...[and] Gallo turns a typical loser part into a sympathetic antihero, and Dickens supports him with an equally strong and rounded portrayal"[4]

Critic Leslie Rigoulot called the motion picture "a good ride, not a great one,"[5] and Ben Hoffman did not like the film because "the actors have to do and say some pretty ridiculous things."[6]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 38% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 16 reviews.[7]


The producers used the following tagline when marketing the film:

When you're running on fear, don't stop for gas.

The film opened in a very limited release on May 2, 1997.

After a few weeks the film went straight to video. Box office sales the first week in circulation were $19,528. Total sales for the run were $109,261 and in its widest release the film appeared in seven theatres.[8]


  1. ^ "Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  2. ^ Truth or Consequences, N.M. on IMDb
  3. ^ Fischer, Paul. Crankycritic, film review.
  4. ^ Winogura, Dale., film review. Archived November 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Rigoulot, Leslie. Film Scouts, web page.
  6. ^ Hoffman, Ben, film review, May 6, 1997.
  7. ^ Truth or Consequences, N.M. at Rotten Tomatoes. Last accessed: November 28, 2009.
  8. ^ Boxoffice Mojo. Box office data web site. Last accessed: December 25, 2007.

External linksEdit