User Reviews (22)

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  • Forget what some of those other reviewers said--this is a good movie! (Perhaps the plot twists were a little too challenging for them to follow.) The acting is great--especially Deborah Unger and James Spader. And Mary Tyler Moore does a great holier-than-thou slut-turned-society-swell. And Cameron Diaz is dead-on as a ditzy blind date. And Joanna Going does a hot striptease. And ... and ... hell, just see it.
  • chaosHD11 January 2009
    Had this been produced by a major studio with an experienced director at the helm, this movie would of been so much better. Keys to Tulsa contains both the look and music of countless straight to video/cable movies from the same period. Which is a shame because the cast is great and was clearly game for anything. Fans of David Cronenberg's Crash will find it amusing to see James Spader and Deborah Kara Unger reuniting, playing a trailer trash couple instead of a yuppie couple. But just like in Crash, their characters aren't exactly faithful to each other. However it's the beautiful Joanna Going who steals the show, looking like a skinnier and smaller breasted Alyssa Milano as the stripper named Cherry who is constantly under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at all the wrong times. It's surprising to know that she was around 34 when she made this movie, as she looks more like 24. Adding more insult to her great performance, despite her large role her name nor picture is nowhere to be found on the region 1 DVD case from Artisan. Meanwhile, Cameron Diaz who only has a cameo that lasts a few minutes at the beginning of the film has second billing.
  • Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed this flick. I'm not nominating anyone for awards, but can't help but love the cast.

    Being a heterosexual male, I am in TOTAL love with Joanna Going and Deborah Unger. SO SHOOT ME.

    This one's for fun, gang. Not all movies have to reinvent the wheel. So pop a cool one and dig in...
  • Keys To Tulsa spends most of its two-hour length teetering on the brink of being a convoluted mess, but the wit and charm of the script and the cast combine to make it a worthwhile watch. Eric Stoltz is hilarious as the hapless Richter, delivering some great one-liners and generally appearing to enjoy the hell out of most of the movie despite his character's fairly pathetic situation. There are a lot of characters with a lot of back story in Keys To Tulsa, and at times it's easy to forget who has done what to whom. (There are also three characters named Richter, Victor and Vicki in this movie, which may work on paper, but phonetically it's a little jarring, and there's no apparent reason for them to have such similar-sounding names.) Overall, though, it works as kind of a slapsticky film noir. Mary Tyler Moore is a scream as Richter's mother, and Michael Rooker is reliably freaky as Richter's childhood friend. Give this one a shot. It's not what you'd call high art, but it's a lot of fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first time I watched this movie, I hated it. The second time I watched it, I liked it. The third time, it actually started to make sense. So ultimately there IS a cohesive plot, you just have to really pay attention, or watch it a few more times, which you won't mind doing if you like seeing a very-close-to-naked Eric Stoltz or a viciously sexy James Spader strutting around like Elvis. Or, if you prefer women, there's the beautiful and talented Deborah Unger, some gratuitous strippers, and this completely unrealistic Cherry girl who keeps peeling off her clothes at the first drop of alcohol.

    The reason I didn't like this film is the dialogue is so trite and predictable that you roll your eyes after every other line, and even though 1997 wasn't that long ago, this film feels completed dated. The didjeri doo (however you spell it) music is completely out of place, and obviously just trying to be trendy. Cameron Diaz serves no purpose except to be annoying, and the Keith/brother character is so offensive and unlikable that I was actually disappointed when he didn't blow his own head off. The 'adolescent male' conversation he has in the bar with Richter was almost enough to make me stop watching.

    I did think the acting was good. I especially liked the interplay between James Spader and Deborah Unger. These two also appeared as a married couple in David Cronenberg's Crash, but their characters in that were completely different. So I thought this film was a good example of their versatility.

    Otherwise, the film is worth a rent to see James Coburn say 'sit down son, have a . . . nut.' And of course, half naked Eric Stoltz and James Spader as Elvis. Can't go wrong there!
  • wes-connors21 November 2010
    Handsome red-haired Eric Stoltz (as Richter Boudreau) has trouble making ends meet on the salary he makes as a "Tulsa" Okalahoma newspaper movie critic. One end he likes to meet is his nose to a line of coke, though Mr. Stoltz never seems to get a buzz off the stuff. He also smokes cigarettes constantly, probably because nobody told him you have to inhale the dammed things for the desired effect; since the character Stoltz plays would work just as well if he did not smoke, why he pretends is a mystery.

    Another end Stoltz likes to meet is the one that finds what he calls the "nether regions" of topless house-guests who spread their legs, like strung-out stripper Joanna Going (as Cherry). Her line, "Sometimes I feel like a little animal protein," is a tip off. Ms. Going is introduced by Stoltz' dark hair-dyed dealer James Spader (as Ronnie Stover). Mr. Spader, who fills his tight clothing well, is married to Stoltz' lusciously lusty ex, Deborah Kara Unger (as Vicky). Trigger-happy Michael Rooker (as Keith) connects everyone.

    Supporting and cameo shots come from Mary Tyler Moore, James Coburn, Cameron Diaz, and Peter Strauss. The DVD sleeve touts Ms. Diaz as one of the top-billed stars, but her "comic" interlude lasts only a few minutes. The synopsis reads, "The black sheep son of a wealthy Tulsa family returns to the world he'd renounced and is forced into a blackmail scheme by his high school sweetheart's menacing husband. When he helps the only eyewitness to a murder, he gets caught in a web of revenge, deceit and redemption."

    Sometimes "Tulsa" seems an awful lot like a "Hollywood" acting class. Stoltz seems to play it straight, while most of the others seem to be having some scenery-chewing fun with their characters. This film was promoted as a "crime thriller" but often looks like it was really intended to be a "comedy thriller" - at least, that is how it comes across. In any case, it's not entirely clear - or successful - but the society "party" scene is funny, with Ms. Moore, Going and Josh Ridgway (as Billy) seeming to capture the film's mood.

    ***** Keys to Tulsa (11/20/96) Leslie Grief ~ Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Joanna Going, Mary Tyler Moore
  • While I may be wrong about many things, compelling trash is not one of them. This film, like the much under-appreciated "Freeway" is NOT a "so-bad-it's-good" film. Rather, it is "Dynasty" for very corrupt smart folks. The film has a definite made-for-cable pace, but I think this adds to its "colored-umbrella in my drink" ambiance. Kind of like "Miami Vice" should have been. The primary reasons to see this film are the acting and the script. First, Eric Stoltz is wonderfully blissed out and funny. Second, Spader does a great stretch in this film, and he makes the catch. Third, Ms. Going walks on water. Fourth, so does Michael Rooker. Trust me; you really want to see James Coburn say "We, Richter, we're men, we love our women badly." It's a grade "A" genuine hoot and a half. And Cameron Diaz has precisely 3 minutes of screen time.
  • "Keys To Tulsa" is not completely uninteresting - that would be impossible with the cast it has (including a made-up-to-look-like-Elvis James Spader and a HOT Deborah Unger). But the story never seems to build and the movie drags from one purposeless dialogue scene to another; it goes on so long that it begins to resemble a soap opera. Certainly the only two tense scenes are not enough for the "thriller" this was misleadingly promoted as. (**)
  • This is a really good movie. I mean that. Great acting, dialogue, and full bodied plot keep this film moving just fine. You'll need to dig this one up in VHS at your local video dealer, but it's well worth the search. This one's a gem. 7 of 10
  • About twenty minutes into this movie, I was already bored. Quite simply, these characters were fairly dull. Occasionally, something enjoyable would happen, but then things would slow down again. Fortunately, my patience was eventually rewarded, and the ending to this movie wasn't bad at all. However, it was by no means good enough to justify sitting through the first ninety minutes. So, I would say that the movie was mediocre overall, and considering all of the talent in the cast, I'd call this a disappointment.
  • I am glad to see most other people here don't think much of this movie, either. It has some big names in the cast, but that's it. There is nothing else to recommend, save ogling a few pretty women which you can do in a thousand films.

    The story involves nothing but unlikable, self-centered, chain-smoking, "hip" characters that national film critics all seem to like....and most of the public can't stand.

    The Oklahoma accents are so fake they are laughable, the southern racist stereotypes are right from Liberal Hollywood 101 and the story is depressing.
  • I saw this movie late at a Saturday night on Tv and after all I think it worth staying awake . It's not a perfect or even a very good film but it has a very interesting story and many well-known performers in big or small roles. Acting is not at it's best though I would like to mention Deborah Unger's performance (or should I say magnetism). It's kind of reminding me those doomed generation movies of the 80's like "Less than zero" or so. Anyway I rate it with a straight 9 out of 10 for personal reasons, for all of you that haven't seen it yet, I think that at least it worth a look!
  • The director tries to be Quentin Tarantino, the screenwriters try to be Tennessee Williams, Deborah Kara Unger tries to be Faye Dunaway, the late James Coburn tries to be Orson Welles, Michael Rooker tries to be Gene Hackman, Mary Tyler Moore tries to be Faye Dunaway (older version), Cameron Diaz tries to get out of the frame as quickly as she can (successfully), don't ask about Joanna Going. Eric Stoltz and James Spader try to conceal their embarrassment with this crappy stuff. It delivers endless, meaningless dialog and very little action.

    Tulsa is a town with beautiful elevator lobbies, an art deco church by Bruce Goff and a lovely, sprawling mansion by Frank Lloyd Wright. Visit Tulsa, don't watch this movie. It doesn't do the location justice.
  • The worst movie of all time? It's on the VERY short list. This is the most lifeless, souless, plotless mess that I have ever witnessed and isn't remotely as fun as any bad Ed Wood movie. Eric Stoltz, looking like Bridgette Fonda's twin sister, er brother, laughingly fakes his way through this as some kind of stud. Defying all laws of science, Stoltz "attracts" every woman that he comes up to. Michael Rooker portrays somebody, possibly a Southern stereotype but I have yet to see anyone who looks or acts like this while I've lived in the South. This movies's problem, other then the terrible acting, the lifeless characters and the dead story, is that it knows nothing about places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, yet portrays them with a seriousness that makes you believe that they live there. We find out what the "plot" is about an hour and a half into the movie. It has something to do with white people being evil. The problem is that there is not one black person in the entire movie (other then a waiter with a five second part) and the story is being told by rich, white actors so there is ZERO credibility and is completely insulting. Until the "plot" unfolds an hour and a half into the movie, people stumble around and don't do much of anything. On top of that, there are very few moments to fast forward through. Beyond awful. On the positive side, I did use to like the moody "Keys to Tulsa" theme until I realized that it was depressing. Oh yeah, James Spader is in this and James Spader is cool. That's it.
  • This movie introduces quite an array of characters and their relationships in the first half-hour or so. None of them generate any interest or positive response. I waited for the intrigue to begin, hoping things would get better and ended up sticking around until the bitter end, but there was no reward for doing that.

    If you want a synopsis, look elsewhere. To me the action isn't worth recounting. Not that the story was that bad, I guess you could say I had some problems with the script--i.e. I thought it stunk. A look at the credits will show you that there's a pretty strong cast here, used to no avail. Most of the old pros in this flick do good jobs; of the actors I hadn't seen much of before I especially liked Deborah Kara Unger. That's about all that I can find good to say about this picture.
  • bobleb28 March 2002
    This is a genuinely horrible film. The plot (such as it is) is totally undecipherable. (I think it has something to do with blackmail, but I'm not entirely certain.)

    Half of the dialogue consists of useless cliches. The other half is spoken by the various actors in such unintelligible imitations of "southern" accents that (thankfully) the words cannot be recognized.

    But the one true tragedy of the movie is that such a historic talent as Mary Tyler Moore apparently was in such dire financial or personal circumstances that she appeared in it.
  • My boyfriend and I made the horrible mistake of renting this one evening. We were intrigued as it had several actors in it that we liked. Also, I am from Tulsa, and not many movies are made that even mention Oklahoma (aside from stereotyping us as inbred crackers and redneck bigots). This film doesn't get away from the stereotyping at all. The accents were completely inaccurate, as well. This movie was so boring that after about an hour, we both agreed to shut it off. What was Cameron Diaz thinking when she agreed to do this one? If this is the only thing left on Saturday night at the video store, I recommend that you take the keys to the nearest theater. You'll pay more money, but at least you won't be wasting time. On a scale of one to ten, I give this one a 1/2.
  • russerj25 August 2005
    I have to admit, I don't remember much about the characters or the story, though I'm not sure there was one, I was soooo irritated by this movie that I had a bit of a hard time focusing on it. How can you name a movie "Keys to Tulsa" and then film it in Texas? The flat desert country around Arlington ( I think that was the location) in no way resembles the green rolling hills around Tulsa, and a celebrity in Tulsa would have a much nicer neighborhood to live in. Obviously no one in the movie has EVER BEEN to Tulsa or else they would have realized how nothing in the movie even resembled it. Hadn't anyone at least seen Rumblefish or The Outsiders? I know this sounds picky but I can't help it. I watched this because I love James Spader and I usually find Eric Stotz interesting. But even these two intriguing actors could not liven up this meandering,and mean story of self-involved people who are NOT IN TULSA!! I'm sorry, it can't be more expensive to film in Oklahoma. What if "To Live and Die in LA" had been shot in Toronto? Would that suck? Well so does this.
  • On the other hand , James Spader is seen here as a very menacing and masculine character and Deborah Unger , Eric Stoltz and Cameron Diaz all do a fine job of showing us the kind of trouble that wealth coupled with boredom can get a spoiled and no longer quite that young brat or two into . I enjoyed it . I got it out to see a bit more of Ms. Unger , but I gained a much greater appreciation of Mr. Spader .
  • Phroggy23 March 1999
    If you want to see a mystery, don't watch this. Though there are elements straight out of Elmore Leonard territory, this comes closer to an episode of "Dynasty", since the filmmaker focuses on "character development" - i.e. long, boring talks between stupid, un-involving characters. Some people can make fascinating movies without real action (see "Exotica"), but not this one. Avoid it, especially if you like the actors involved in this one.
  • Faunus6 December 1998
    Perhaps the biggest waste of production time, money and the space on the video store shelf. If someone suggests you see this movie, run screaming in the other direction. Unless, of course, you're into self-abuse.
  • bbickley13-921-5866421 March 2015
    James spider was pretty cool in the film. I don't think I've seen him play a role like that. Though he's good at playing a dick, he had this kinda Elvis thing going on in the film that made him almost unrecognizable at first.

    Of course I could be given Mr. Blacklist too much credit. He was good in a sea of bad performances. Everyone was trying to be cool and dramatic and tortured all at once and it was coming across nothing but lame.

    It's funny that the movie is made in 1997 or more likely it was just released in 97. The filmed screamed early to mid-90s with the clothes and hair cut.

    It feels aged and out dated as it reflects the culture of rich white people in the 90s. You would think being rich and white was ageless as it still exist today, but I definitely walked into a time warp with this one.

    Overall, it's long and boring and feels like it goes nowhere, so I can't recommend