Get Shorty

1995

Get Shorty

Critics Consensus

With a perfect cast and a sly twist on the usual Hollywood gangster dynamic, Get Shorty delivers a sharp satire that doubles as an entertaining comedy-thriller in its own right.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 55

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 62,051
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Movie Info

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job. Based on Elmore Leonards' 1990 novel of the same name.

Cast

John Travolta
as Chili Palmer
Gene Hackman
as Harry Zimm
Rene Russo
as Karen Flores
Danny DeVito
as Martin Weir
Dennis Farina
as Ray Barboni
Delroy Lindo
as Bo Catlett
David Paymer
as Leo Devoe
Jon Gries
as Ronnie Wingate
Martin Ferrero
as Tommy Carlo
Miguel Sandoval
as Mr. Escobar
Jacob Vargas
as Yayo Portillo
Linda Hart
as Fay Devoe
Bobby Slayton
as Dick Allen
Alison Waddell
as Bear's Daughter
Amber Waddell
as Bear's Daughter
John Cothran Jr.
as Agent Curtis
Jack Conley
as Agent Dunbar
Bernard Hocke
as Agent Morgan
Big Daddy Wayne
as Ray Barboni's Bodyguard
Xavier Montalvo
as Big Guy with Escobar
Carlease Burke
as Rental Car Attendant
Vito Scotti
as Manager At Vesuvio's
Greg Goossen
as Duke, Man At The Ivy
Rino Piccolo
as Waiter at Vesuvio's
Alfred Dennis
as Ed The Barber
Ralph Manza
as Fred The Barber
Zed James Frizzelle
as Kid at Lockers
Harry Victor
as Limo Driver with Sign
Patrick Breen
as Resident Doctor
Alex Rocco
as Buddy (Martin Weir's agent)
Donna Wilson
as Screaming Woman
Zach Phifer
as Ivy Restaurant Maitre D'
Gregory B. Goossen
as Duke, Man at the Ivy
Stephanie Kemp
as Ivy Restaurant Waitress
Rebeca Arthur
as Las Vegas Waitress
Jeffrey J. Stephan
as Bones' Buddy No. 1
Ernest 'Chili' Palmer
as Bones' Buddy No. 2
Harvey Keitel
as Himself (uncredited)
Penny Marshall
as Herself (uncredited)
View All

News & Interviews for Get Shorty

Critic Reviews for Get Shorty

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (7)

  • How cool can a mere movie be? A perfect cast and great script, based on a hilariously witty best seller, are key elements. When you add a talented director and let the magic of Hollywood take over, the result is Get Shorty.

    Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's terrifically entertaining.

    Jan 5, 2018 | Full Review…

    Carol Buckland

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • Hollywood has been in love with mobsters since the beginning of movies. But the other side of the equation has seldom been considered. That is, until now.

    May 7, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • A drolly offbeat look at Hollywood mores dedicated to the proposition that the best preparation for becoming a film producer is a stint in the criminal underworld.

    May 7, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • An entertaining comedy-thriller adapted by Scott Frank from the Elmore Leonard best-seller and directed with bounce (if not much nuance) by Barry Sonnenfeld.

    May 7, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Everything clicks.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Get Shorty

  • Jun 14, 2015
    Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, Get Shorty is fun and entertaining satire. The story follows a Miami mobster who goes to LA to collect some outstanding debts, and in the process becomes a movie producer. John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Dennis Farina lead the cast and give some pretty solid performances. The comedy is also well-done, with some witty dialog and clever gags. Yet, the plot is a little cluttered and hard to follow are times. Also, some of the characters are underdeveloped and seemingly pop in and out of the film without much explanation. However, despite its flaws Get Shorty delivers some good laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2015
    Despite the screenplay easily (and far too quickly) tying up all it's loose ends, it remains an enjoyable trifle. If the Travolta that gave this performance showed up more often he'd be infinitely more successful.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2015
    This is a pretty good movie that time has simply not been kind to. I don't know, but it never seemed to work as well for me as it, seemingly, did for others who review films professionally. While it does have a good cast, with some of John Travolta's best work ever, and a script that subverts tropes and satirizes what it takes to make it in this business, I can't help but feel that its head is way up its own ass. It's a film that in is in awe of its own cleverness. It's so goddamn self-aware sometimes, with constant classic movie references thrown in for no reason other than to show off, that it's very difficult for this film to stand out on its own. And I do think it manages to have its own style, it does so in spite of itself to be perfectly honest. I understand the need for movie references, it sort of makes Hollywood into something real for these characters. They don't exist in a universe where these classics don't exist. So I understand the reasoning behind it. It's just that these are thrown at you constantly, to the point where you're sickened by it and you hope they'd just move on to whatever the movie is supposed to be about, which is this movie that Chili Palmer is trying to make and how it gets complicated when third parties try to force their way into it. Honestly, outside of some few moments of subversiveness here and there, the film isn't really even that funny. Comedy is entirely subjective, of course, but I don't think that the genre, in 20 years, has changed THAT much. It's not like this material is only relevant to someone in the 90s, I was 7 when this film came out. So what else am I supposed to think, if it's not that this is outdated? It really didn't strike me as that funny of a movie. And I realize it wasn't supposed to be all comedy, but still. I will say this, as mentioned earlier, this features some of Travolta's best work. This was post-Pulp Fiction, so he was probably feeling inspired about his career comeback, but the guy was on. He was calm, cool, and collected. He was smooth in his dealings with people, even those he didn't particularly like. There's just something about his body language that brought a lot to the table. The rest of the cast is solid with Danny DeVito being the comedic highlight as this pretentious method actor. That's not to say his part is laugh out loud funny, but it's pretty good nonetheless...as good as this film would get. Oh and Dennis Farina is also pretty good here as well. Honestly, the last thing I can complain about is the cast. The writing is good but, again, way too self-aware and referential to truly be great. The movie's still good, of course, but it's not anything that I would feel the need to recommend. It's a good little diversion and it's got some good satire, but it's nothing that warrants repeat viewings here. This is a one and done for better or worse.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    Entertaining and chock full of style. This is Sonnenfeld's only redeeming picture.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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