Return to Paradise
Return to Paradise (1998)

This remake of Force Majeure (aka Uncontrollable Circumstances), a 1989 film with Alan Bates and Kristin Scott Thomas, recalls the prison plight depicted in Midnight Express (1978). Rambling around Asia, getting high and just having a good… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 14, 1998
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2000
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Geoff Andrew
Time Out

It's a painful prospect, to be sure, and Sheriff, in particular, insists he's no hero, but the next hour or so of handwringing conjures little suspense.

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Paul Tatara

This is a major example of a good idea, one that could have worked, being submitted to a Hollywood tag-team makeover.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

Despite solid performances from the leads, it comes shrouded in a heavy cloud of ethics-class complications that makes it feel like a "dilemma of the week" TV movie.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

What if director Joseph Ruben didn't resort to B-movie suspense tricks? What if the fine cast wasn't saddled with a shamelessly contrived script by Wesley Strick and Bruce Robinson?

James Berardinelli

The best performance in the film belongs to Anne Heche, who continues to impress with her range. Her work here is passionate, and she effectively conveys the inner conflict of a woman whose divided loyalties tear at her soul.

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Anthony Miele
Film Threat

Vince Vaughn finally gives a performance putting him in the serious actor category, Joaquin Phoenix is notable and Anne Heche is believable as the impassioned attorney fighting for the life of her client.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

If it's to be experienced at all, Return to Paradise is best seen as a lively piece of pulp, not a profound exploration of the vagaries of the human soul.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Like Sheriff and Tony, we're pulled both ways by the story: We want them to go back and save Lewis, but we're not exactly sure we'd do the same. That's the Prisoner's Dilemma in a nutshell.

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Involving drama about our responsibilities to others.

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More reviews for Return to Paradise

Flixster Audience Score: 74% Flixster User Reviews
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familiar stranger
Coincidentally, got to see 2 movies focusing more or less on someone dealing with the fear to go to prison. While one movie (The 25th Hour) was a… More
Dan Schultz
An original, thought-provoking film concerning three friends who party hard in Malaysia one summer (Vince Vaughn, Joaquin Phoenix, and David Conrad), where… More
Marcus Woolcott
Fascinating premise but not enough to sustain 100 minutes. Instead it grows bored and throws in an unnecessary romance to try and keep things moving.
Adam Mahler
The intricate workings of the moral dilemma somehow overcome the melodrama. You could complain that the concept deserved to no give-ins to schmaltz from the… More
Kevin L
This movie was amazing, one of Vince Vaugn's best movies.