What seemed like a breezy idea for an engineer to net him millions of dollars, leaves him on the run for his life and piecing together why he's being chased.


John Woo


Philip K. Dick (short story), Dean Georgaris (screenplay)
4,550 ( 62)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Jennings
Aaron Eckhart ... Rethrick
Uma Thurman ... Rachel
Paul Giamatti ... Shorty
Colm Feore ... Wolfe
Joe Morton ... Agent Dodge
Michael C. Hall ... Agent Klein
Peter Friedman ... Attorney General Brown
Kathryn Morris ... Rita Dunne
Ivana Milicevic ... Maya-Rachel
Christopher Kennedy Christopher Kennedy ... Stevens
Fulvio Cecere ... Agent Fuman
John Cassini ... Agent Mitchell
Callum Keith Rennie ... Jude - Guard
Michelle Harrison ... Jane


Michael Jennings is a reverse engineer and what he does is technical jobs for certain companies and as soon as he is done, his memory of the work he has done is wiped out. Now the longest he has been contracted is 2 months. But now billionaire, James Rethrick offers him a job that would last 2 years, maybe 3, and he promises that he will probably earn 8 figures. Michael agrees. Before beginning he turns in all of his personal effects. And when the job is done, his memory is erased and he learns he made over 90 million dollars over the three years. When he goes to claim it and his personal effects, he discovers that prior to the erasure of his memory he waived his rights to the money he earned and that the items that were given to him were not the ones he gave when he began. Later he is arrested by the FBI who say that he committed some act of treason and murder. It's while he is in custody that he escapes using some the items that he was given. He later meets with a friend who gives ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everything's Under control See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


One of the items in the envelope is Michael's identification card from Alcom Corporation. In an F.B.I. office scene, there is a close shot of the card with a U.P.C. barcode 071486036043. This code corresponds to Premiere Magazine published by Curtis Circulation Company. See more »


Fairly early in the movie, when Jennings is having lunch with Troy, he dumps out the contents of the manila envelope on the table. When the two notice that they're being watched, Jennings hastily scoops the items back into the envelope; however, we see that he misses the bullet. In the next shot, the bullet is still on the table, albeit partially obscured by a napkin. The two men flee, leaving the bullet on the table, yet somehow Jennings has and uses it later in the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Holographic Woman: It's time to wake up... and get a life. We live in a 3-dimensional world. Until now, the world of computing has been a flat world, consisting of 2-dimensional imagery. Now, through the use of exclusive breakthrough technology, ARC has made it possible for you to get a life. A-Life, where we can work and play in a lifelike world of 3-dimensional reality. A-Life, the living monitor.
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Referenced in Krrish (2006) See more »


Written & Performed by Paul Horn
Courtesy of Inside Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

Thrilling and moving science fiction film by the great filmmaker John Woo
19 October 2004 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The flick takes place in 2007 , an engineer , Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck's biggest paycheck) , is hired by technology enterprises , when his aim is made , his brain memory is erased of the mind . Then , he's framed of stealing important stuff and being pursued . He is helped by her lover (Uma Thurman) and a friend (Paul Giamatti) . From start to finish intrigue and action-packed is interminable , it's fast moving and is neither boring , nor tiring , but entertaining.

In the motion picture there is emotion , thriller , pursuits by car driving and cycles , shootouts and being enough interesting . The storyline is based on an original novel from Philip K. Dick , the prestigious author of : ¨Blade runner¨ , ¨Screams¨ , ¨Total recall¨ and ¨The Impostor¨ , all of them well adapted on several cinematic renditions . The plot of the film results to be pretty twisted and the ending has an extraordinary surprise . Interpretation by Ben Affleck is riveting , this one was his biggest fees to date . However , Matt Damon was originally considered for the part , but turned it down because it was too similar to The Bourne Identity . Affleck is well accompanied by the enjoyable and enticing Uma Thurman . Aaron Eckhart is outstanding as villain , likeness another nasty as Colm Feore . In addition , Michael C. Hall's feature film debut . The motion picture was compellingly directed by John Woo , who originally did not want to do his trademark "Mexican Standoff" in this film , but Ben Affleck begged Woo to include the scene having been a great aficionado of Woo's films as Better tomorrow (1988) , The Killer (1989) , Bullet in head (1990) and Hard Boiled (1992) . The yarn will appeal science fiction and thriller fans . Rating 6,5/10 , well catching .

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

25 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paycheck See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,462,374, 28 December 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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