Nothing to Lose (1997 film)

Nothing to Lose

Theatrical Poster.
Directed by Steve Oedekerk
Produced by Martin Bregman
Dan Jinks
Michael Bregman
Written by Steve Oedekerk
Starring Martin Lawrence
Tim Robbins
John C. McGinley
Giancarlo Esposito
Michael McKean
Kelly Preston
Susan Barnes
Rebecca Gayheart
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Donald E. Thorin
Edited by Malcolm Campbell
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • July 18, 1997 (1997-07-18) (U.S.)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $44.5 million

Nothing to Lose is a 1997 action comedy film starring Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins. The film was directed by Steve Oedekerk who also wrote the film and made a cameo appearance as a lip-synching security guard in the film.

The film was released in July 1997 and went on to gross over forty million dollars at the box office. The theme song was "If I Had No Loot" by Tony! Toni! Toné!, but it was remix version of the song "Not Tonight" performed by Lil' Kim and featuring Left Eye, Da Brat, Angie Martinez, and Missy Elliott that garnered the most attention from the soundtrack as it gained much airplay on television and radio and even reached the top ten on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The film was shot at various locations in California and New Jersey. The prime location used for filming in California was Los Angeles and Monrovia. Nick's office is located in the U.S. Bank Tower. The prime location used in New Jersey for filming was Bloomfield.


Advertising executive Nick Beam (Tim Robbins) thinks his life is going very well—until he returns home from work and discovers that his wife Ann (Kelly Preston) is apparently having an affair with his boss, Philip Barlow (Michael McKean). On the edge of a nervous breakdown, Nick drives around the city until small-time carjacker T-Paul (Martin Lawrence) jumps into Nick's SUV and attempts to rob him. Turning the tables on his mugger, Nick accidentally kidnaps T-Paul on the spot and drives him to the desert. After T-Paul robs a gas station in the Arizona desert, the mismatched pair devises a scheme to rob Philip in revenge for the affair. Nick knows the combination to a safe in his office containing a large amount of cash, as well as the best time to enter, and where not to venture in the building. T-Paul knows the weaknesses of the security system, how to avoid the cameras, and how to get through any electronic locks that they might encounter.

Another criminal duo, Davis "Rig" Lanlow and Charles "Charlie" Dunt (John C. McGinley and Giancarlo Esposito) get blamed for the gas-station robbery and pursue the pair to L.A. After a brief confrontation, the two ram Nick's truck off the road. Nevertheless, the two manage to escape the 'real' criminals' wrath, T-Paul accidentally shoots Nick in the right arm. T-Paul takes Nick to his apartment so his wife can bandage Nick's right arm; while there, Nick peruses "Terrance" T-Paul's electrical engineering degree and a stack of rejection letters from potential employers. That night, the pair execute their plan. During the robbery, however, Nick damages his boss' prize fertility statue and reveals himself to the security camera. The situation worsens further as the crooks that Nick and Paul escaped from, who are now waiting outside, follow them to their hotel and steal their money, place T-Paul in a trap for Nick to find when he returns from the bar.

Nick calls Ann and discovers that she was not, in fact, having an affair; the cuff links he thought were his boss's were left by his boss at the Christmas party, and it was her sister and her sister's fiancee in the bed. Suddenly overcome with remorse, he quickly manages to rescue T-Paul from his precarious predicament and then catching up to Rig and Charlie, which Nick attempts to shoots the gun out of Rig's right hand and leaving them tied up in an alley for the police. Nick insists on returning the money back to the safe, assuring T-Paul that nobody will bother to look at the tapes unless something is missing or damaged. T-Paul, who had planned on using the money to move his family out of their troubled neighborhood, gets into a fight with Nick and ends their partnership. T-Paul decides to walk home, while Nick drives home and tells Ann what happened to him.

Returning to his job, Nick is told Philip is reviewing the security tapes to investigate a burglar who vandalized his fertility statue. Nick races to his boss' office to no avail, only to discover that the tape was recorded over right before the "vandal" removed his mask, and that a man identifying himself as an electrician was allowed into the building earlier.

Nick goes to see T-Paul and confirms T-Paul recorded over the tape, saving Nick from the life he himself was desperately trying to escape. In return, Nick convinced Philip to hire an electrician responsible for the security system that was so easily bypassed and offers T-Paul the job, which he happily accepts.

After the credits finish, a postman delivers a letter to the gas station T-Paul robbed. The owner opens it up and finds it full of money, replacing what was stolen.



Critical reception

Nothing to Lose was met with negative reviews from professional critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 29% of the critics has given the film a positive review based on 24 reviews (7 "Fresh", 17 "Rotten") with an average rating of 5.1/10. Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star gave the film a positive review and stated, "Tim Robbins' understated depression and Martin Lawrence's hyperactive ranting are the perfectly hilarious foil for one another."

Box office

The film made its debut at #4 at the North American box office, and made $11,617,767 on its opening weekend in 1,862 theaters. Its widest release was 1,888 theaters. During its run, the film made a domestic total of $44,480,039. Its production budget was $25 million.[1]

Awards and nominations


A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music was released on July 1, 1997 by Tommy Boy Records. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was certified gold on September 3, 1997.


External links

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