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The Punisher (2004)

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An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion.


Jonathan Hensleigh
1,791 ( 466)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
A. Russell Andrews ... Jimmy Weeks (as Russell Andrews)
Omar Avila ... Joe Toro
James Carpinello ... Bobby Saint / John Saint
Mark Collie ... Harry Heck
Russell Durham Comegys ... Tattooed Mike (as Russ Comegys)
Antoni Corone ... T.J.
Rick Elmhurst Rick Elmhurst ... Bay News 9 Newscaster
Ben Foster ... Spacker Dave
Michael Reardon Michael Reardon ... Toro Croupier (as Michael Francis)
Laura Harring ... Livia Saint
William Haze ... EMT (as William Hasenzahl)
Thomas Jane ... Frank Castle (as Tom Jane)
Eddie Jemison ... Micky Duka
Marco St. John ... Police Chief Morris
Marcus Johns ... Will Castle


Special agent Frank Castle had it all: A loving family, a great life, and an adventurous job. But when his life is taken away from him by a ruthless criminal and his associates, Frank has become reborn. Now serving as judge, jury, and executioner, he's a new kind of vigilante out to wage a one man war against those who have done him wrong. Written by Mystic80

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The punishment has begun. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


USA | Germany



Release Date:

16 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punisher See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,834,527, 18 April 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,682,273, 4 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Russian fight sequence was described on the set as the "Horrific Clown Show". See more »


After Dave comes back from the hospital, the tissue in his nose switches sides after he comes into the apartment. See more »


[first lines]
Bobby Saint: So I'm gonna get a three-to-one return on my money?
Micky Duka: Otto is the real deal. I met him at a hash bar in Amsterdam. He speaks Russian, German, Arabic...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Marvel Comics logo features comic-book images of the Punisher in its pages; after it fully forms, it is shot three times and "bleeds" white paint which forms the Punisher's skull, and the film's title. See more »

Alternate Versions

Extended edition DVD also includes an animated prologue of Castle and Weeks in Kuwait during Desert Storm, where Castle saves Weeks' life and prohibits another soldier from summarily executing two captured guerrillas See more »


References 61* (2001) See more »


La donna è mobile
(from opera "Rigoletto")
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Peter Dvorský (tenor) with Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu (as The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Ondrej Lenard
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The failure to make Castle a complex, horrifying, hate-filled mess sees the film stuck as an average (if very violent) action movie
16 July 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Frank Castle is a cop who leads a bust that sees the son of crime boss Howard Saint end up dead. Not content with killing Castle, Saint orders the whole Castle family to be killed – which they are, in a bloody seaside massacre. However Frank survives the attack – just; but with nothing left of his life he focuses on the only thing he knows – hate. With this the only thing he now feels, Castle sets out to bring down Saint, killing each and every one of them that were involved in his family's death.

If you are looking for a violent action movie with lots of things going bang and quite cool images then this will pretty much do you. You sound like you have quite low requirements in life and this film is happy to settle for less to help meet them. The action is distracting enough – hardly fun perhaps but certainly violent enough and regular enough to satisfy the target audience of teenage males. However below this there is nothing where really their should have been a great deal. Castle is supposedly a tormented figure; he must blame himself for his family's death since he created the enemies that killed them; he has nothing but revenge and even when he has had that he must know that he will then have nothing else. However Castle in this film is just mean, apart from the extreme violence he just comes across as antisocial rather than racked by a terrible pain and emptiness.

And it is in this part of the film that it falls down in a major way because although it wants to be all dark and complex, it really is nothing of the start. The opening credits are dark and menacing but the rest of the film is just a straightforward action affair – hell, it doesn't even have anything of interest to say in regards revenge or vigilantism; although this is minor compared to the failure to give Castle any character beyond that of a standard Hollywood tough guy. Without this heart to the film, the extreme violence is more about getting an audience than getting to the heart of the character. The violence is unpleasant but not as much as it should have been – it should have been horrific, sickening to the point where we're not sure if Castle was ever any better than Saint. It wasn't like this, it was just gory and seemed to take pleasure if making the audience wince. I wanted to be sickened by the massacre of the Castle family – I wasn't; I wanted the massacre of the Saints to play out so that the film showed us how similar it was to the earlier massacre – but it didn't. It may want to have been dark but it just ends up being a Hollywood action movie after all – and a fairly ordinary one at that.

Jane must have known what he was up against and he can do nothing to stop it. Neither he nor the material have the complexity needed and for most of the film he just seems to be brooding rather than hurting. Travolta is so-so but has little time; I assume he took the role because it is an interesting baddie who did manage to have a more tragic character than Jane did. The support cast are mainly poor mostly because of the material. The film didn't need a love interest or a comic relief – so Romjin-Starmos, Foster and the big guy (sorry, don't know his name) couldn't have gotten off the screen quickly enough. Patton is reasonably good but he is better than this film deserves. Nobody is terrible but nobody is particularly good and, although it should have been, this was not a film for the actors.

Overall what should have been a dark, disturbing, complex, violent and emotional film is just a normal action movie with some rather unpleasant violence. Without heart the film does enough to distract its target audience but those foolish enough to expect anything beyond the basics will only go away disappointed.

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