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The Salton Sea

HD   R Closed Captioning

D.J. Caruso

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About the Movie

After witnessing the murder of his wife, Val Kilmer ("Red Planet", "Heat") searches for redemption as he's set adrift in a dark world where nothing is as it seems. While going undercover as a drug dealer, he befriends a slacker (Peter Sarsgaard "Boys Don't Cry", "The Man in the Iron Mask"), is antagonized by over zealous undercover narcotics officers and a sadistic drug dealer (Vincent D'Onofrio "The Cell", TV's "Law and Order: Criminal Intent") and becomes involved with rescuing his neighbor (Deborah Unger "The Hurricane," "Payback") from her own demons. Also stars Adam Goldberg ("A Beautiful Mind," "Saving Private Ryan"), Luis Guzman ("The Count of Monte Cristo," "Traffic") and Doug Hutchison ("Bait," "The Green Mile").

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 85
  • Fresh: 53
  • Rotten: 32
  • Average Rating: 5.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: What we see in The Salton Sea, meanwhile, is a twisty, showy, atmosphere-saturated drama that revels (in a post-post-Tarantino- and-Trainspotting way) in sadism and in-your-face seediness -- and attracts a cast of coolios primed to play extreme. – Entertainment Weekly, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: There isn't a single original or involving moment in The Salton Sea. – Charles Taylor,, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: If there's no art here, it's still a good yarn -- which is nothing to sneeze at these days. – Sam Allis, Boston Globe, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: As convoluted in its own way as Memento, and almost as sardonically funny. – Jan Stuart, Newsday, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Definitely worth renting!

This movie is a hidden gem that has a lot of big-name actors, all putting on outstanding performances. A friend of mine introduced me to it years ago, and it's one of those few movies I can watch again and again. Oh, and it's also funny to see R. Lee Ermey (Gunnery Sergeant Hartman) and Vincent D'Onofrio (Lawrence/Private Pyle) in another movie together, although they don't have the same interaction they had in Full Metal Jacket.

Be prepared for a memorable film.

What an unexpectedly funny, deep, and well put together movie! I found this one a few years ago and had to almost replay it after the first viewing... Well done by Val, even if your not a Val lover he puts this character out perfect. Even the soundtrack is amazing thanks to T Newman(Shawshank redemption).. Enjoy!

Great movie!

Wow, unfortunately the above plot summary ruins a lot of the movie. That aside, this one is definitely worth checking out. My buddy recently showed me "The Salton Sea". Going into it I knew nothing. The first few minutes gave me the impression that it was another movie that glorifies druggies, I wanted to turn it off. I'm glad my friend stopped me. A very well thought out story with great acting, and a protagonist who you can look up to.