Unhinged (2020 film)

Unhinged is a 2020 American action thriller film[4][5][6] directed by Derrick Borte, from a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth. The film stars Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson and Austin P. McKenzie. It tells the story of a young woman who is terrorized by a seemingly mentally ill stranger following a road rage incident.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byDerrick Borte
Written byCarl Ellsworth
Produced by
CinematographyBrendan Galvin
Edited by
Music byDavid Buckley
Distributed bySolstice Studios
Release dates
  • July 16, 2020 (2020-07-16) (Germany)
  • August 21, 2020 (2020-08-21) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$33 million[2]
Box office$44.3 million[3]

Unhinged was theatrically released by Solstice Studios in Germany on July 16, 2020, and in the United States on August 21, 2020. The film was notable for being the first wide theatrical release in several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and grossed $44 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Crowe's performance but felt the film did not take full advantage of its premise.


On a rainy night, a vengeful psychopath, Tom Cooper, is parked outside of his ex-wife's house. He removes his wedding ring and then lights a match, staring blankly at it, and a bottle of hydrocodone. Tom grabs an axe and a tank of gasoline and breaks into the house and kills her and her boyfriend, and sets the house on fire. It explodes as he drives away, expressionless.

The following morning, Rachel Flynn, a newly divorced single mother, drives her son Kyle to school during rush hour traffic. As she is running late to work, one of her clients fires her over the phone. She then honks at Tom's pickup truck, which is blocking traffic at a green light. He soon catches up to Rachel and tries to apologize, then asks for an apology in return, saying he wants to "hit reset", and that "people should apologize for anything they do wrong". The exchange escalates when Rachel tells him that she has nothing to apologize for. In return, Tom promises to teach her "what it means to have a bad day". At the end of the road, Tom drives in front of Rachel and stops. He then drives away. Unsettled, she calls her friend Andy, who is also her divorce lawyer, and arranges to meet him at a diner.

Tom somehow tracks Rachel to a gas station and switches his phone with Rachel's while she is inside paying for gas. She sees him outside and gets help from a customer who accompanies her back to her car. The customer gets Tom's license plate number but is killed not when Tom rams him with his truck, but after another car accidentally hits him. A chase ensues, during which Tom shows Rachel that he has her phone. He uses her daily planner to locate Andy at the diner. Before she can warn Andy, Tom arrives and they begin a conversation regarding Rachel. When Andy asks for his phone, Tom smashes a mug in his face and stabs him to death in front of everyone, the murder is filmed by a customer. Tom tells Rachel over the phone that she must choose another one of her contacts to die next. When he suggests her ex-husband, her mother, or Kyle, she names the client who fired her, then calls the police, who respond to the client's home while Rachel is racing to her son's school.

Tom arrives at Rachel's home, where her brother Fred and his fiancée Mary, are living. Tom sneaks inside and Fred arms himself with a knife. Tom confronts him, holding Mary hostage, and explains to him that over time, he began to feel insignificant, powerless and invisible to humanity, and that revenge and violence are all he has left to get him through the day. Tom repeatedly pushes Mary into Fred's knife, accusing Fred of killing her (as he was the one holding the knife). He then ties Fred to a chair and tells Rachel over the phone that she has three minutes to go into the school, get Kyle, and drive away, or he will light Fred on fire, and demands him to read a letter about how Rachel is a liar and how she is selfish. At the school, Rachel desperately demands that the principal release Kyle. She drives away with Kyle. A police officer arrives at Rachel’s house, and, after being told to let Fred go, Tom sets him on fire and pushes him to the cop. The cop is able to shoot a running Tom in the shoulder and tries to put the fire out. Tom catches up to Rachel and Kyle on a highway. They use a GPS app on her tablet to find out that Tom is in a minivan and is right in front of them. When they attempt to alert a nearby police officer, Tom sees them and rams the officer's car, causing a massive multi-vehicle car accident.

Tom pursues Rachel to her mother's house where Kyle triggers a silent alarm to bring the cops and hides. Rachel rams the van that Tom is driving, flipping the vehicle, but he gets out and attacks Rachel, telling her that she will always see Tom everywhere she goes, then enters the house in search of Kyle, intent on killing him. As he is about to walk back outside, Kyle inadvertently alerts Tom to his hiding place upstairs. Rachel sneaks inside the house and finds Kyle, but Tom finds them both and they engage in a brutal fight, beating and throwing each other around the room. When Tom begins to strangle Kyle with a cord, Rachel stabs Tom in the eye with a pair of scissors, screaming, "here's your fucking courtesy tap!", before pushing the scissors further in his eye socket, finally killing him.

The police arrive and inform Rachel that Fred survived Tom's attack. Rachel and Kyle leave to see Fred at the hospital. As they drive away, a car cuts Rachel off and she stops herself from honking at the angry driver. Kyle says, "good choice." They drive away as the sun sets.



Principal photography took place in the summer of 2019 in Kenner and New Orleans, Louisiana. Production was completed in September 2019.[7][8][9]


Unhinged was originally scheduled to be released on August 28, 2020, before being pushed back to September 4.[10][11] In May 2020, its release was moved up to July 1, 2020, in order to "likely be the first to test the waters as theaters try to rebound" from the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] The date was later pushed back to July 10, then July 31, and, on July 23, the film was again delayed, this time to August 21, 2020.[12]

The film began a premium video on demand release on October 20, 61 days after opening in theaters. Normally if distributors put a film on VOD before the 75-day window, theaters will stop showing it; however, given the pandemic, exhibitors feel it "remains a welcome addition to a limited release schedule".[13]

The film began an international release on July 16 in Germany, and then on July 31 in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. The film was released in Ecuador on August 6,[14] and by VVS Films in Canada on August 14, 2020.[15]

Home mediaEdit

Unhinged was released on 4K Blu-ray in Germany on November 27, 2020[16] and on Blu-ray and DVD in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2020.[17] [18]


Box officeEdit

Unhinged grossed $20.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $23.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $44.3 million.[3]

In its opening weekend in Canada, the film made $601,032 from 299 theaters.[19] Playing in both the United States and Canada the following weekend, the film grossed $1.4 million from 1,823 theaters on its first day, and went on to debut to $4 million over the weekend; 71% of the audience was over the age of 25, with 56% being male. It was the first film with a weekend gross of over $1 million since Onward in March, and despite theater chains reopening some locations the top-five grossing venues were all drive-ins. Deadline Hollywood noted the increase of ticket sales from Friday to Saturday was likely an indication of audience interest moving forward, while The Hollywood Reporter called the film's debut a win, and said studio executives were "pleased by the results."[20][21] Playing in 2,331 theaters the following weekend, the film made $2.8 million (a drop of 35%), finishing second behind newcomer The New Mutants.[22] In its third, fourth, fifth weekends of release in the U.S. the film made $1.7 million, $1.5 million, and $1.3 million, respectively, with drive-in theaters remaining its top venues.[23][24][25]

Unhinged grossed $251,849 from 380 theaters in its German debut, slightly below expectations but finishing in first place.[26] In its second weekend the film made $201,655 from 438 theaters for a 12-day total in the country of $530,572.[27] In the film's United Kingdom debut, it grossed $230,000 (£174,901) from 250 theaters, becoming the first film to make over £100,000 in the country since the re-opening.[28] By its third week of release, beginning August 7, Unhinged was the top film in six of about 50 countries, and had a running international gross of $5.41 million. Its top markets at the time were Australia ($1.24 million total gross), Germany ($877,000), the Netherlands ($597,000), the United Kingdom ($575,000), New Zealand ($193,000), and Russia ($124,000).[29] It continued to hold the top spot in the UK and Australia the following weekend, with a global running total of $7.7 million.[30]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Unhinged holds an approval rating of 48% based on 203 reviews, with an average score of 5.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Russell Crowe makes for a compulsively watchable villain, but Unhinged lacks enough intelligence or depth to get sufficient mileage out of its pulpy premise."[31] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[32]

Guy Lodge of Variety said the film "delivers exactly the nasty B-movie thrills you expect," and wrote, "The carnage is the point here, not any of the reasoning behind it, and Borte and Crowe bring it to a suitably frothing, furious head."[33] Writing for CTV News, Richard Crouse gave the film two stars and specified, "Unhinged distinguishes itself by keeping the pedal to the metal without providing anything new in the way of thrills. As a study of an emasculated man seeking revenge it brings to mind Falling Down, Michael Douglas' 1993 black comedy, except Unhinged is all darkness and no comedy."[34]

Writing for IndieWire, Kaleem Aftab gave the film a "D" and said, "For a film so reliant on the telephone, it's probably not a surprise that Crowe dials in his performance. Dressed heavy-set, Crowe is all grimaces and frowns in disgust at everything around him. His only emotional note is all ANGRY, resulting in a parody of his own performances. It's Crowe on overdrive, and it's horrible."[35]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UNHINGED (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 25, 2021. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 12, 2020). "Solstice Studios' Russell Crowe Road Rage Thriller 'Unhinged' To Be First Film Back In Movie Theaters July 1". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 12, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Unhinged (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on March 7, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "Russell Crowe Has a Message for Moviegoers Before 'Unhinged': 'I'm Not F***ing with You". IndieWire. 16 August 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2020-11-02. Rookie distributor Solstice Studios' flagship film has picked up more than $5 million and to get domestic moviegoers excited about the action thriller (which has mediocre reviews), star Russell Crowe has shared a series of tongue-in-cheek ominous video messages on Twitter.
  5. ^ "'Unhinged' Review: Russell Crowe is a nasty piece of work in brutal road rage thriller". The Victoria Advocate. Archived from the original on 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2020-11-02. Russell Crowe is known simply as "The Man" in the new action-suspense film "Unhinged" as the Academy Award-winning actor delivers a performance that's evil personified.
  6. ^ "'Unhinged' Sees Increased Business On Saturday For $4M Opening As Exhibition Turns Lights Back On". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2020-08-22. Retrieved 2020-08-22. Solstice Studios braved the continuing pandemic and assisted the major exhibition circuits to reopen this weekend in the US with their Russell Crowe road rage action movie Unhinged.
  7. ^ "Russell Crowe Stars as an Angry Driver in First Look at 'Unhinged'". Variety. August 23, 2019. Archived from the original on April 3, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Scott, Mike (June 17, 2019). "Russell Crowe to film road-rage thriller 'Unhinged' in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune, The New Orleans Advocate. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (May 10, 2019). "Russell Crowe to Star in Road-Rage Thriller 'Unhinged'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 8, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Squires, John (September 16, 2019). "Russell Crowe-Starring Road Rage Thriller 'Unhinged' Speeding Our Way Summer 2020". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 12, 2019). "Shari Hardison Named Solstice Studios Head Of U.S. Distribution; Russell Crowe Road Rage Thriller 'Unhinged' Set As First Release For August 28, 2020". Deadline. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "'Unhinged' Sets August Release In Wake Of 'Tenet's Labor Day Weekend Plan". Deadline Hollywood. July 27, 2020. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  13. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (October 21, 2020). "As Los Angeles-Adjacent Theaters Close Again, Exhibitor Hopes Remain Pinned to 'Wonder Woman 1984'". IndieWire. Archived from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  14. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (June 23, 2020). "'Unhinged': Russell Crowe Road Rage Pic Gears Up For Global Release As Cinemas Re-Open". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  15. ^ "Unhinged". VVS Films. Archived from the original on 13 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Unhinged 4K Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com.
  17. ^ "Unhinged Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  18. ^ https://www.releases.com/p/unhinged
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 16, 2020). "'Sponge On The Run' & 'Unhinged' Kick Off Domestic Weekend Box Office In Canada – Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 16, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 22, 2020). "'Unhinged' Sees Increased Business On Saturday For $4M Opening As Exhibition Turns Lights Back On". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  21. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 23, 2020). "'Unhinged' Scores $4M Opening in Win for Box Office Revival". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 28, 2020). "'New Mutants' Secures $7M At Weekend Box Office Where Only 62% Of All Cinemas Are Open". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 29, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  23. ^ Mendelson, Scott (September 6, 2020). "Box Office: 'Mulan' Nabs $6M Overseas As 'Bill & Ted' Rules VOD". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 6, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 13, 2020). "'Tenet' Raises To $200M+ Worldwide With Domestic Near $30M In Marketplace Still Slowed By Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 20, 2020). "'Tenet' Now At $36M+ In Domestic Marketplace Still Fractured By Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  26. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 21, 2020). "'Peninsula' Thrills To $21M In Overseas Bow; 'Train To Busan' Sequel Helps Imax Score First $1M Global Weekend Since March – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  27. ^ Kay, Jeremy (July 27, 2020). "'Unhinged' set for August US release, crosses $500,000 in Germany". Screen Daily. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Grater, Tom (August 3, 2020). "'Unhinged' Delivers $230K As UK Box Office Shows First Green Shoots". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  29. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 11, 2020). "International Box Office: Fresh Offerings Build Momentum To Signal Brighter Future Ahead". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  30. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (August 19, 2020). "'The Eight Hundred' Coming On Strong In China Previews, Tops $20M – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  31. ^ "Unhinged (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  32. ^ "Unhinged (2020)". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  33. ^ Lodge, Guy (July 30, 2020). "Russell Crowe in 'Unhinged': Film Review". Variety. Archived from the original on December 4, 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  34. ^ Crouse, Richard (August 14, 2020). "Movie reviews: 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on The Run' is enjoyable for fans old and young". CTV News. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  35. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (June 30, 2020). "'Unhinged' Review: Russell Crowe Will Not Save Cinema with This Pointless Thriller". IndieWire. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.

External linksEdit