It's high-voltage thrills as hot X-FILES star David Duchovny and new big-screen bad boy Timothy Hutton (BEAUTIFUL GIRLS) square off in an edgy confrontation where the stakes are high ... and the action is deadly! Duchovny ... more »plays Dr. Eugene Sands, an ex-surgeon lured into a dark underworld by a hip -- but lethal -- mob boss (Hutton) in need of some unorthodox medical assistance. Before long, Sands is "playing God" -- caught in a web of murder and mayhem, and growing far too close to the mobster's seductive mistress, played by sexy Angelina Jolie (GONE IN 60 SECONDS). It's a potent action thriller where passion and deception meet in a battle between good and evil!« less
Dayna B. (independentchickz) from LANCASTER, CA Reviewed on 11/19/2010...
I loved it. Timothy Hutton is so enjoyable in anything he does.
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 1/30/2008...
"Playing God" is a cool little gem of a film starring David Duchovny, Timothy Hutton and Angelina Jolie. It came out in late '97 and wasn't a big success, but I remembered seeing trailers for it at the time, but never got around to watching it. This was basically Duchovny's first leading role in a film, that was supposed to try to take him from big TV star to big film star, but it didn't quite work out! Nonetheless, it's a very cool flick!!
Duchovny plays Dr. Eugene Sands, a medical surgeon who has an addiction to heroin. High off his gourd, he performs a surgery and loses a patient, which results in the revoking of his medical license. About a year later, he saves the life of a man at a club, which impresses the likes of thug Raymond Blossom (Hutton). Raymond, along with his girlfriend Claire (Jolie), befriend Eugene and have specific plans for his medical talents, plans involving Raymond's criminal transactions.
Has some great "shoot 'em up" action and has the lovely Angelina. Definitely worth checking out!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Excellent acting with an absurd premise
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 05/20/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"David Duchovny took his time off from The X-Files to star in this far fetched thriller where he plays a disgraced surgeon who is recruited by a wealthy criminal (Timothy Hutton) to perform meatball surgeries on his wounded henchmen. The plot, character development, and directing aren't anything sophisticated and are far from being anything special, but Playing God kind of works thanks to excellent performances from Duchovny, Hutton (in his best role next to The Dark Half), a pre-fame Angelina Jolie, Peter Storemare, and CSI's Gary Dourdan. Check it out if your a fan of Duchovny, just don't take it too seriously."
Uneven, couldn't make up its mind about what it was
Tung Yin | Portland, OR | 04/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Playing God" was supposed to be David Duchovny's breakout movie role; he had previously starred in movies such as "Kalifornia" and "The Rapture," but "Playing God" came out at the height of "The X-Files"'s popularity and acclaim.You can understand what Duchovny was trying to do here, to get away from the straight arrow yet weird role of Fox Mulder. So he chooses the role of a disgraced doctor whose license to practice medicine has been revoked due to his substance abuse problems. What's a guy supposed to do?Well, if you hang out in seedy bars where gunfights break out, you demonstrate how handy your skills can be to people who get shot and wounded a lot. Kind of like a black market surgeon. That's how Duchovny gets hooked up with crime boss Timothy Hutton.I had great expectations for this movie when it came out, and while I was disappointed, I thought the critics were far harsher than warranted. True, Duchovny's performance, while not bad, seems very similar to what he does on "The X-Files," a sort of flat, somewhat wry, never in real danger attitude.The biggest flaw with the movie has to be the fact that it couldn't make up its mind about what it wanted to be, film noir or dark comedy. At times, it veers toward a "Pulp Fiction"-like fascination with the minutia of being a criminal, while at other times it tries (but fails) to evoke suspense and fear. (For example, there's a scene where some bad guys want him to fix up their dead friend. The way the scene is cut in the trailer, it comes across as funny when Duchovny says, "I'll see what I can do." The way its cut in the movie, there's an intervening line of dialogue where Duchovny seems to be quite frightened; the effect of the following response is ruined.) With the excellent cast, it could have done either one competently; but its attempt to do both fails. Personally, I think the dark comedy would have been the better way to go. There's a scene near the end where Duchovny, in an elevator surrounded by Asian tourists, does a deadpan response to an annoying FBI agent that's the highlight of the movie.In summary, this is a decent rental if you lower your expectations."
Reticuli | Las Vegas | 03/26/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What can you get with a good script, good acting, good casting, poor editing, poor original music composition, and so-so direction? The answer: a film like this. The composer is channeling some of the worst b-movie concepts in the history of the last few decades here. There's a scene where Jolie gets shot that is so badly edited, directed, and scored you'll actually think it's intentionally botched...but I highly doubt it. Someone criticized the Director of Photography, but I didn't see any indication of incompetence in that regard here. The angles and shots you see in the final film are the fault of the director and the editor. They're not poorly lit or underexposed, and the principles look fine. The sets were also not bad, either. I would say it was likely the script that appealed to the actors and, in all honesty, how bad could some Hollywood professionals mess up a concept like this? A lot, it turns out. On the plus side, Jolie is at her most photogenic in this. You're only 21 once, after all. It's unfortunate they got rid of the romance between the doctor and her, both for the skin potential and to add more weight to the conflict at the end. In all likelihood the producers of this film simply got lucky when they happened to hire one really good casting director."
A very enjoyable movie
J. Rhone | Clearfield, PA United States | 08/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would give it five stars because it is my favorite movie of all time, but some would say that it's far from perfect. I really like this movie because the main character, has flaws. It makes it seem more realistic to me when people in movies aren't perfect. It has good camera work that I really like. It makes for some cool shots and I never felt lost when some action was going on. It has a cool car chase, just the right amount of comedy here and there, a decent story, fairly good acting, and some good action! This definatly could have been better, but I think it has just the right combination of things to make it an enjoyable movie that I think anyone that is a fan of action or David Duchovny should definately see. I don't think you'll be dissapointed!"
An Enjoyable "B"
Accidental Tourist | Twilight Zone, America | 02/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While it isn't the most impressive movie, Playing God does have its moments. When I first saw it, I laughed out loud at a pairing of David Duchovney and Angelina Jolie, but after the third veiwing, the characters and the story began to grow on me. Duchovny and Jolie's chemistry actually works, and Timothy Hutton is crazy, colorful and quotable as a slightly sadistic crime lord. You'll get the gist of the story from previous reviews, but the important thing with this movie is to watch it tongue-in-cheek. It's entertaining, has a certain replay value, and has enough plot holes/unbelieveable happenings/goofy dialogue to warrent a double-play, and in my case, extensive nerd-ish study. What I've gleaned from the story and the character is basically: What goes around comes around. If you like enjoyable, well-meaning cheese, check this one out!"