Escape From New York Poster

Release Date: July 10th, 1981

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 1999

R|1 hr 40 min

Plot Summary
In 1997, a major war between the United States and the Soviet Union is concluding, and the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a giant maximum security prison. When Air Force One is hijacked and crashes into the island, the president (Donald Pleasence) is taken hostage by a group of inmates. Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a former Special Forces soldier turned criminal, is recruited to retrieve the president in exchange for his own freedom.

Cast: Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine, Adrienne Barbeau, Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley, Harry Dean Stanton

Director: John Carpenter

Genres: Action, Science fiction

Production Co: AVCO Embassy Pictures

Distributors: Embassy Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc., AVCO Embassy Pictures

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Escape from New York isn't really science fiction -- it's an action flick set in a futuristic setting. Epic potential for a masterful, gripping tale is abandoned in favor of cheap thrills. show more

  • The pleasures are right in your face, beginning with the million-dollar idea of turning NYC into a walled-off prison where criminals run free. Even born-and-raised New Yorkers (of which Carpenter was decidedly not) could smile at that histrionic setup; it’s an outsider’s joke made funny by our willingness to be entertained. show more

  • It has got an intriguing premise, an effective cast, and it has been expertly mounted. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com