Collateral (film)

Collateral (film)

Theatrical poster
Directed by Michael Mann
Produced by Michael Mann
Julie Richardson
Associate producer:
Michael Doven
Written by Stuart Beattie
Michael Mann
Frank Darabont
Starring Tom Cruise
Jamie Foxx
Jada Pinkett Smith
Mark Ruffalo
Peter Berg
Bruce McGill
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Editing by Jim Miller
Paul Rubell
Distributed by DreamWorks
Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) August 6, 2004 (2004-08-06)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $217,764,291[1]

Collateral is a 2004 crime thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. It was directed by Michael Mann and written by Stuart Beattie. It was Mann's first feature film to be shot mostly with high-definition cameras. Mann had previously used the format for portions of Ali and for his CBS drama Robbery Homicide Division.

The film is set in Los Angeles, California. In an HBO movie review, director Michael Mann stated that the film takes place on the night of January 24 to 25, 2004 from 6:30 PM to 5:40 AM. Foxx was widely praised for his performance and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.



Nightshift cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) drives U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith) to her office building to spend the night preparing for a pending federal grand jury drug indictment case convening the following day. Annie takes a liking to Max, leaving her business card as he drops her off. Vincent (Tom Cruise) a former special operator hails the cab next, explaining he is in town for one night closing a real estate deal and bribes Max with US$600 on the pretense of chauffeuring him to his five appointments. As Max waits at the first stop, Vincent enters an apartment complex and shoots drug dealer Ramone Ayala. Ayala unexpectedly falls out of the window directly onto the cab, forcing Vincent to reveal himself as a hitman. He coerces Max to hide the body in the trunk and continue with their arrangement.

On the way to the second stop, Max is pulled over by police due to the damage from Ayala's impact. The officers prepare to have the cab towed but are summoned to a higher priority call and abandon the cab seconds before they were about to discover the corpse in the trunk. Vincent then leaves Max tied to the steering wheel in an alley as he murders attorney Sylvester Clarke in his condominium. Max calls for help from passersby who proceed to steal his wallet and Vincent's briefcase; Vincent returns in time to shoot the two thugs in the chest and forehead at point blank range. He then brings Max to a jazz club under the guise of having a few drinks with club owner Daniel Baker (Barry Shabaka Henley). After the club closes, Max witnesses Vincent execute Baker when he incorrectly answers a question about jazz legend Miles Davis. Shocked, Max suffers a panic attack.

Vincent then insists they visit Max's mother Ida (Irma P. Hall) in the hospital to avoid breaking routine. He pretends to be Max's business colleague and develops a rapport with Ida, which upsets Max to the point that he runs out of the hospital with the briefcase and tosses it off a bridge overpass onto the freeway below. With his hit list now destroyed, Vincent forces Max to enter a Hispanic nightclub to obtain a backup copy from the contractor, threatening to murder Max's mother otherwise. Acting as Vincent, Max meets with drug lord Felix Reyes-Torrena (Javier Bardem) and successfully acquires the USB flash drive containing details of the last two targets. Felix orders his men to follow "Vincent" and eliminate him should he fail. Vincent uses the cab's mount computer to direct Max to a nightclub called Fever and the fourth target; Korean gangster Peter Lim.

Meanwhile, LAPD Detective Ray Fanning (Mark Ruffalo) uncovers the connection between the three victims and reports his finding to FBI Special Agent Frank Pedrosa (Bruce McGill), who identifies them as witnesses for the pending indictment case against Felix. Pedrosa assembles backup to secure their final witness, Lim, and converges on the crowded nightclub simultaneously with Vincent and Felix's men. Vincent manages to execute all of Lim's guards, Felix's hitmen, and Lim himself. He slips out of the club amid the chaos of the subsequent gun fight. Fanning rescues Max and smuggles him outside but is killed by Vincent, who beckons Max back into the cab. Following their hasty getaway, the two get into a critical war of words over their lives. Angrily responding to Vincent's accusations of passiveness, Max speeds through the empty downtown streets and deliberately crashes the cab. Vincent takes off on foot before a police officer arrives at the wreck and notices the corpse in the trunk.

Max spots Annie's profile on the cab computer and, realizing she is Vincent's final target, overpowers the officer and takes Vincent's gun. He runs to Annie's building and arrives at her office in time to prevent the assassination by shooting Vincent and sufficiently wounding him enough for them to escape. Max flees with Annie, boarding a metro rail train with Vincent in close pursuit. Boxed in and left with no other option, Max makes his last stand, uncharacteristically asserting himself to protect Annie. He uses a clever trick as the train goes into a tunnel to remain unharmed while mortally wounding Vincent in a face-to-face shootout. Vincent slumps into a seat and expires as he repeats an anecdote heard earlier about a man who died on a train and went unnoticed for six hours. Max and Annie then get off at the next station, leaving Vincent's body on the train as it continues on in the breaking dawn of a new day.


  • Tom Cruise as Vincent, a former special operator and professional hitman hired by middlemen to terminate four witnesses and a prosecutor.
  • Jamie Foxx as Max Durocher, a taxi driver whom Vincent employs to drive him to the locations of the hits.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith as Annie Farrell, the lawyer prosecuting Felix Reyes-Torrena. She is Vincent's last hit, but is saved by Max.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Ray Fanning, an LAPD detective on the tail of Vincent and Max.
  • Peter Berg as Richard Weidner, Fanning's partner
  • Bruce McGill as Frank Pedrosa, an FBI agent staking out El Rodeo, Felix Reyes-Torrena's club.
  • Irma P. Hall as Ida Durocher, Max's mother
  • Barry Shabaka Henley as Daniel Baker, a jazz club owner. He is the third witness to be killed.
  • Richard T. Jones as Traffic Cop #1
  • Klea Scott as Zee, one of Pedrosa's team members
  • Bodhi Elfman as Young Professional Man
  • Debi Mazar as Young Professional Woman
  • Javier Bardem as Felix Reyes-Torrena
  • Emilio Rivera as Paco, one of Felix's bodyguards and hitmen
  • Jamie McBride as Traffic Cop #2
  • Thomas Rosales, Jr. as Ramon Ayala, a low-level player in the exotic substances business. He is the first witness to be killed.
  • Inmo as Peter Lim, the owner of the club Fever. He is the fourth witness to be killed.
  • Jason Statham as Airport Man
  • Angelo Tiffe as Sylvester Clarke, a former criminal attorney who represented Ramone. He is the second witness to be killed.


When he was 17, Australian writer Stuart Beattie took a cab home from Sydney airport, and had the idea of a homicidal maniac sitting in the back of a cab with the driver nonchalantly entering into conversation with him, trusting his passenger implicitly. Beattie drafted his idea into a two-page treatment entitled "The Last Domino", then later began writing the screenplay. The original story centered around an African-American female cop who witnesses a hit, and the romance between the cab driver and his then librarian girlfriend. The film has limited resemblance to the original treatment.

Beattie was waiting tables when he ran into friend Julie Richardson, whom he had met on a UCLA Screenwriting Extension course. Richardson had become a producer, and was searching for projects for Edge City, Frank Darabont, Rob Fried and Chuck Russell's company created to make low budget genre movies for HBO. Beattie later pitched her his idea of "The Last Domino". Richardson pitched the idea to Frank Darabont, who brought the team in for a meeting, including Beattie, and set up the project under Edge City. After two drafts, HBO passed on the project. At a general meeting at DreamWorks with executive Marc Haimes, Beattie mentioned the script. Marc Haimes immediately contacted Richardson, read the script overnight, and DreamWorks put in an offer the following day.

Collateral sat on DreamWorks development books for three years. Mimi Leder was initially attached to direct, it then passed on to Janusz Kamiński. It wasn't until Russell Crowe became interested in playing Vincent that the project started generating any heat. Crowe brought Michael Mann on board, but the constant delays meant that Crowe left the project. Mann immediately went to Tom Cruise with the idea of him playing the hitman and Adam Sandler as the cabbie.

Beattie wanted the studio to cast Robert De Niro as Max (once again making him a taxi driver, though the exact opposite of Travis Bickle). However the studio refused, insisting they wanted a younger actor in the role.

Michael Mann chose to use the Viper FilmStream High-Definition Camera to film many of the scenes of Collateral, the first such use in a major motion picture. There are many scenes in the movie where the use of a digital camera is evident, in particular, scenes where the Los Angeles skyline or landscape is visible in the background. One event of note was the filming of the coyotes running across the road; the low-light capability allowed Mann to spontaneously film the animals that just happened to pass, without having to set up lighting for the shot. Mann would later employ the same camera for the filming of Miami Vice.[2]

The sequence in the nightclub was shot in 35mm.

The film was co-produced by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. The former studio would handle North American rights, while the latter held international rights. Upon Paramount's purchase of DreamWorks in 2006, they also acquired the US/Canadian rights. Paramount released the film on Blu-ray on March 30, 2010 (the first Region 1 video release that they distributed, previous releases were distributed by Universal Studios).


The film received positive reviews, with particular praise going to Tom Cruise's and Jamie Foxx's performance. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 86% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 224 reviews.[3] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 71 out of 100, based on 41 reviews. Tom Cruise went on to garner critical acclaim, while Foxx got several award nominations.[4]

The film opened August 6, 2004 in 3,188 theaters in the United States and Canada and grossed $24.7 million its opening weekend, ranking number 1 at the box office.[5] It remained in theaters for 14 weeks and eventually grossed $101,005,703 in the United States and Canada. In other countries it grossed a total of $116,758,588 for a total worldwide gross of $217,764,291.[1]

Richard Roeper placed Collateral as his 10th favorite movie of 2004. The film was voted as the 9th best film set in Los Angeles in the last 25 years by a group of Los Angeles Times writers and editors with two criteria: "The movie had to communicate some inherent truth about the L.A. experience, and only one film per director was allowed on the list".[6]

Awards and nominations

2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards (Oscars)

2005 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (Saturn Awards)

2005 American Society of Cinematographers

  • Nominated - Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases — Dion Beebe, Paul Cameron

2005 Art Directors Guild

  • Nominated - Feature Film - Contemporary Film — David Wasco, Daniel T. Dorrance, Aran Mann, Gerald Sullivan, Christopher Tandon

2005 BAFTA Film Awards

  • Won - Best Cinematography — Dion Beebe, Paul Cameron
  • Nominated - Best Actor in a Supporting Role — Jamie Foxx
  • Nominated - David Lean Award for Direction — Michael Mann
  • Nominated - Best Editing — Jim Miller, Paul Rubell
  • Nominated - Best Screenplay (Original) — Stuart Beattie
  • Nominated - Best Sound — Elliott Koretz, Lee Orloff, Michael Minkler, Myron Nettinga

2005 Black Reel Awards

  • Won - Best Supporting Actor — Jamie Foxx
  • Nominated - Best Supporting Actress — Jada Pinkett Smith

2005 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

  • Nominated - Best Supporting Actor — Jamie Foxx
  • Nominated - Best Picture

2005 Golden Globe Awards

  • Nominated - Best Supporting Actor - Jamie Foxx

2005 MTV Movie Award

  • Nominated - Best Villain - Tom Cruise


The Collateral soundtrack was released on August 3, 2004 by Hip-O Records.

Collateral: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Briefcase"   Tom Rothrock 2:07
2. "The Seed (2.0)" (Extended Radio Edit) The Roots, Cody Chesnutt 4:13
3. "Hands of Time"   Groove Armada 4:19
4. "Guero Canelo"   Calexico 3:00
5. "Rollin' Crumblin'"   Tom Rothrock 2:21
6. "Max Steals Briefcase"   James Newton Howard 1:48
7. "Destino De Abril"   Green Car Motel 5:15
8. "Shadow on the Sun"   Audioslave 5:43
9. "Island Limos"   James Newton Howard 1:33
10. "Spanish Key"   Miles Davis 2:25
11. "Air"   Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion 5:46
12. "Ready Steady Go (Korean Style)" (L'Arc-en-Ciel cover) Paul Oakenfold (this version) 4:48
13. "Car Crash"   Antonio Pinto 2:19
14. "Vincent Hops Train"   Howard 2:02
15. "Finale"   Howard 2:18
16. "Requiem"   Pinto 1:56
Total length:


External links

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