Pacific Heights

1990

Pacific Heights

Critics Consensus

Michael Keaton certainly proves himself as an effective villain, but Pacific Heights sticks too closely to well-worn thriller conventions.

46%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,871
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Movie Info

John Schlesinger directed this upscale horror film about a landlord with the ultimate problem tenant. Patty Palmer (Melanie Griffith) and Drake Goodman (Matthew Modine) are a middle class couple who lie on their financial statement in order to buy an old Victorian house in San Francisco, planning to renovate it and rent it out. Unfortunately, they select as a tenant Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton), a psychotic real estate bargain hunter who plans to drive Patty and Drake into foreclosure proceedings and then buy the house cheap. Carter starts the ball rolling by refusing to pay his rent and driving out a couple who had rented the rear flat by hammering and sawing all night -- and then releasing a tidal wave of cockroaches. What follows is a psychological war between Carter and the Yuppie couple, with Carter succeeding not only in provoking Drake into more extreme means of eviction, but also causing a rift between Drake and Patty.

Cast

Michael Keaton
as Carter Hayes
Melanie Griffith
as Patty Palmer
Matthew Modine
as Drake Goodman
Mako
as Toshio
Laurie Metcalf
as Stephanie
Tippi Hedren
as Florence
Sheila McCarthy
as Liz Hamilton
Beverly D'Angelo
as Carter's Lover (uncredited)
Guy Boyd
as Warning Cop
Jerry Hardin
as Bennett Fidlow
Dan Hedaya
as Loan Officer
James Staley
as District Attorney
Luis Oropeza
as Revilla
Nicholas Pryor
as Hotel Manager
Tony Simotes
as Desk Clerk
O-Lan Jones
as Hotel Maid
Seth Isler
as Sergeant
Dabbs Greer
as Mr. Thayer
Florence Sundstrom
as Mrs. Thayer
Tim Pulice
as Younger Man
Ray Hanis
as Older Man
Takayo Fischer
as Bank Teller
J.P. Bumstead
as 1st Deputy Sheriff
Hal Landon Jr.
as 2nd Deputy Sheriff
Hy Anzell
as Locksmith
Tracey Walter
as Exterminator
John Diaz
as Shoe Shine
Roger Bearde
as Arresting Cop
Ed Hodson
as Other Cop
Frank di Elsi
as Precinct Cop
Michael J. Parker
as Man at Police Station
Michael Parker
as Man at Police Station
David Lloyd Wilson
as Television Host
Matthew Flint
as Neighbor
Scott Freeman
as Neighbor
Alice Barden
as Neighbor
Danny Kovacs
as Neighbor
Wat Takeshita
as Neighbor
Frank Maruoka
as Neighbor
Aida Anderson
as Neighbor
John Schlesinger
as Man in Elevator
View All

Critic Reviews for Pacific Heights

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (13)

Audience Reviews for Pacific Heights

  • Oct 31, 2019
    Keaton is key to this film and he is incredible. Sadly the film falls into all the pitfalls of films of this era and lacks central characters. The thriller troupes are all here and it's all these beat for beat moments that you'll love or hate. My biggest hate is how the police are experts at everything or ignorant to the facts. The couple could've have lied and said he manipulated the police into coming. He did come to their apartment. Frustrating story beats are just pure Hollywood story moments. The film is actually quite interesting and I only wish they managed to maintain the key characters relationship. Modine was the incorrect choice here, he seems to struggle with the role. This could be the filmmakers error, but it's clear he doesn't match the material. Passable thriller, sadly had so much more potential. Reboot worthy. 31/10/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2011
    1 of the best suspense films I've seen.Michael Keaton was great as the psychopathic trust fund con artist.After watching The Dream Team I can understand why he was cast in this role.He was perfect for the part.Pacific Heights also shows that criminals have more rights then we do.It's sad but true!
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2011
    Having such good films under his belt like "Midnight Cowboy" and "Marathon Man", director John Schlesinger is no slouch when it comes to crafting a quality drama or suspense. However, with an irritatingly underpar cast, this is not one of his finer efforts. Young couple Patty (Melanie Griffith) and Drake (Matthew Modine) purchase a Victorian home in San Francisco. They fix it up and rent one of the apartments to fast-talking businessman Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton) unaware that he is in fact, a sociopathic swindler. When this film was released in 1990, I actually enjoyed it. I was 12 years old. Looking at it now, I have to admit that my critical faculties had not kicked in then. There's no denying that it's a well crafted suspense yarn but it's also ludicrously plotted. The fault doesn't lie with Schlesinger though, in fact, he does really well handling the tension and suspense. The fault lies with the unintelligible script. Would this stereotypically disturbed character really waste his time, being no more than an inconvenience by drilling holes in the walls? Do disturbed sociopaths really sit watching static interference on TV, in a darkened room, while flipping a razor blades over their fingers? Methinks it's all a little melodramatic. Keaton does his best sinister look with animated eyebrows, Modine needs his quiff trimmed and Griffith gives her usual one-note innocent, softly spoken, damsel in distress act. Three very limited actors with a very limited script. Schlesinger brings what he can to the table, but it's not enough to overcome ineptitude. Hitchcock would have had a field day with similiar material. Schlesinger tries his best to emulate the old master but he's ultimately fighting a losing battle with a very limited cast.
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2011
    A dull thriller with one of the lamest final fight sequence I've ever seen. Even otherwise, the movie sucked in the action department.
    familiar s Super Reviewer

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