The Formula
The Formula (1980)

Based on the novel by Steve Shagan, a conspiracy involving a valuable secret formula for synthetic fuel is uncovered when detective Barney Caine (George C. Scott) begins to probe into the events leading up to a friend's murder. Marlon… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 19, 1980
DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
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Critic Score: 30% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tom Milne
Time Out


Paul Brenner

plays like a tedious checklist of murders without a score card.

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A potentially fascinating subject is torpedoed by an overplotted and overloaded script, and opaque direction.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

its completely muddled plot is a disaster: There can be no joy in unraveling a plot that is a mystery even to itself.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Only Marlon Brando in a small role as a daffy oil tycoon gives the film some spark.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The murder scene is littered with so many red herrings it might as well be a delicatessen.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

The Formula is an intriguing thriller that raises many questions about business ethics and the moral bankruptcy of the very rich.

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More reviews for The Formula

Flixster Audience Score: 19% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
I didn't think a movie staring two such great actors would be this boring, but wow, it could not keep my interest at all. Not even sure what the plot was… More
Steve Strange
In light of the current geo-political context, this film, while no intellectual breakthrough, is more relevant than ever.
Bruce Bruce
This started out as a WWII Film and I was just sitting down and getting ready to enjoy what looked to be a somewhat promising war movie, when all of a sudden we… More
Mike T.
Even though he's being fed his lines through a visible hearing aid, Marlon Brando still pulls off an excellent performance that serves as the highlight of… More