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This sad attempt by Oliver Stone to stray from his private genre of historical revisionism could be taught in film schools as "How Not To Make a Film Noir." Conspicuously similar in plot to the far superior Red Rock West, U Turn is the story of a slimy drifter (Sean Penn) stuck in a small town who is forced to take sides in a case of murderous marital discord. Insecure about the power of his material, Stone assaults the screenplay with every high-octane camera move and nervous editing tic he can think of. Whereas most films in the noir genre rely on slow burns, sly trickeries, and smoldering deceits, Stone takes the Natural Born Killers approach and throws all his overcooked actors in the blender. All that pours out is carnage. And not very tasty, at that. The strong cast features Penn, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Bob Thornton, Claire Danes, and Joachim Phoenix, but few of them survive Stone's heavy-handed stylings. Anamorphic widescreen (1.85), pan-and-scan on flip-side, DD 5.1 and 2.0 audio, theatrical trailer.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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