6.3/10
46,065
159 user 95 critic

Formula 51 (2001)

The 51st State (original title)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

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An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

Director:

Ronny Yu

Writer:

Stel Pavlou
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Elmo McElroy
Nigel Whitmey Nigel Whitmey ... L.A. Highway Patrol
Robert Jezek Robert Jezek ... Priest
Emily Mortimer ... Dakota Parker
Meat Loaf ... The Lizard
Jake Abraham Jake Abraham ... Konokko
Mac McDonald ... Mr. Davidson
Aaron Swartz Aaron Swartz ... Mr. Yuri
David Webber ... Mr. Jones
Michael J. Reynolds ... Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim Sonny Muslim ... Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes Barbara Barnes ... Boy's Mother
Junix Inocian ... Mr. Ho-Fat
Robert Carlyle ... Felix DeSouza
Paul Barber ... Frederick
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Storyline

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula - a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to 'the 51st state.' McElroy's new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of shady characters and dirty deals, this is just business as usual. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, drug content and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Formula 51 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (United Kingdom), 9 December 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,817,719, 20 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,204,007, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Emily Mortimer, she hated working on this film so much, that she would cry to her mother over the phone. See more »

Goofs

SPOILER. Whilst Virgil Kane interrogates Leopold Durant, he tells Arthur to face front, pointing with his empty right hand, whilst holding his baton (which is inserted in Leopold Durant's left shoulder) in his left hand. When the scene immediately cuts to Arthur, Virgil Kane is pointing with the baton in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elmo: I mean, rules are like, arbitrary, you know. Made up for people who believe in fairy tales like, you know, like Santa Claus. Hey, but not us, right? I mean, we know what's important. There's a war going on, man. A war. Ain't that a bitch?
[cop sucks his teeth]
Elmo: I just graduated today, man. With honors. Got my degree in pharmacology. I'm licensed. Look, if you write me up on this drug charge, I won't be able to practice. So what we're talking about here is, is my life. The rest of it.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Shortly after the credits start there is a short segment with Elmo on the Golf Course outside the castle on the post card See more »

Connections

References Trainspotting (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Utha Side
Written by Nelly (as Haynes) / Epperson
Published by BMG Songs, Inc./Jackie Frost Music
Administered by BMG Music Publishing Ltd./Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Nelly
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing Division, Part of Universal Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Worth a watch
19 March 2007 | by grezza_2004See all my reviews

The 51st State is certainly no classic, but its funny and has a half-decent storyline. Being from the Liverpool area, I'm glad to see a film set there, even if it is about crime. Samuel L. Jackson is as cool as ever as kilt-wearin', drug-dealin' Elmo McElroy, and Robert Carlyle is in good form as Felix DeSouza, desperately trying to get himself a cut in the deal. The use of Ricky Tomlinson, a very funny actor pretty much unknown to American audiences, was also a nice touch. I'm very much a believer that British comedy is (almost) always better than American. I always enjoy the inclusion of English words and slang, and with Elmo not having a clue about English customs, such as the different language and the Mini Cooper, makes this film very funny. I'm not sure about Americans, but English people will appreciate the hilarity of the situation as Elmo and Felix run around Liverpool, with Elmo wanting his 20 million, and Felix just wanting to watch the Liverpool vs. Man Utd game! A clever twist at the end adds a bit of a philosophical side to the film, and shows The 51st State is more than just a few laughs.


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