Fallen – 25th Anniversary

Fallen 25th Anniversary


On the 16th of January 1998, Warner Bros released Fallen in the cinema. it struggled to make a major impact due to the juggernaut that was Titanic. Fallen only ended up making $25.3 Million in its 9-week cinema run.  Having already made $21.3 million by its third week.


Denzel Washington took the leading role and at the time of release, he had already received 3 Oscar nominations (Cry Freedom, Glory and Malcolm X). following those three nominations, Denzel had turned to a mix of lawyers, military men or law enforcement roles. These included: The Pelican Brief, Philadelphia, Crimson Tide, Virtuosity and Courage Under Fire. Fallen continued this trend as he plays a complex character in the movie.

John Goodman appears as Denzel’s partner, kicking off what was a great year in his career with The Big Lebowski and Blues Brothers 2000. This role continued to show Goodman as one of the very best performers in Hollywood. James Gandolfini also reteams with Denzel after Crimson Tide a year before his iconic turn as Tony Soprano.

Elias Koteas plays the psychotic serial killer that gets a flamboyant introduction, thriving through the sequence before execution. He gets to make the most of his role because the execution happens in the opening sequence of the movie. Elias has to show just how much his character had gotten under Hobbes’ skin over the chase.

Donald Sutherland and Embeth Davidtz complete the cast. This showed that we had a great cast for the later 90s, a cast that works very well to make this movie stand out. Everyone in the cast knows how to make the most of their scene, to help Denzel shine with his uncertain mentality coming through.


Gregory Hoblit is the director of Fallen, having spent most of his early career on television shows. In 1996, Gregory directed the smash hit Primal Fear, which would have put him firmly in the front seat for Fallen. He went on to director Frequency, Hart’s War, Fracture and Untraceable. Showing he had the skills to balance the movies with an extra twist involved.


Fallen follows homicide detective John Hobbes (Washington) who witnesses the execution of a serial killer. However, after the execution, the killings start again with a very similar method. The movie sees Hobbes need to question his own sanity when he believes the devil might well be contacting him. This sees him wondering whom he can trust during the difficult times, where the honest cop in himself starts to turn into a prime suspect.

The movie gets to bring us plenty of twists along the way, never letting us know whom Hobbes can trust. Showing how easily the devil can make for a more possessed figure in Hobbes’ life. When it comes to the big reveal of how to deal with the events. It does bring to life a disturbing series of events, that only keep us wondering if they could even stop.

Critic Response

On Rotten Tomatoes Fallen has a rating of 40% despite most of the ratings fitting the average score. Despite Roger Ebert giving the movie 2.5/4 his score is classed as rotten with the simple quote ‘The idea is better than the execution.’ Whereas New York Times critic Janet Maslin called it ‘A stylish if seriously far-fetched nightmare’. In her positive review.


If Fallen had been released in a different month away from Titanic, it would have been a bigger success at the Box Office. The star power and the returning director of Primal Fear. The final line between reality and the supernatural becomes clear and the killer twist ending only leaves us wanting more from this world.

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