Push poster.jpg
Film information

Paul Maggiit

  • Bruce Davey
  • William Vince
  • Glenn Williamson

David Bourla

  • Chris Evans
  • Dakota Fanning
  • Camilla Belle
  • Djimon Hounsou
  • Li Xiaolu
  • Cliff Curtis
  • Neil Jackson
  • Ming-Na
  • Maggie Siff
Music by

Neil Davidge

  • Summit Entertainment (USA)
  • Icon Film Distribution (UK)
Release date(s)

February 6, 2009

Running time

111 minutes


$38 million[1]

Not to be confused with the actual art of "pushing," Pushers.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Push is a 2009 American science fiction thriller film directed by Paul McGuigan. The film stars Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Cmilla Belle, Cliff Curtis and Djimon Hounsou. The film centers on a group of people born with various superhuman abilities who band together in order to take down a government agency that is using a dangerous drug to enhance their powers in hopes of creating an army of super soldiers.

Plot[edit | edit source]

A narrator (Dakota Fanning) describes how those with abilities have been involved with the US government since 1945. Two "Movers", Nick Gant and his father (Joel Gretsch), are on the run from the "Division". Realizing that escape is impossible, Nick's father tells him of a vision he received from a "Watcher"; a girl will give him a flower and he is to do whatever she says in order to "save us all." Nick's father throws Nick into an air vent as Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) of the Division arrives. Nick sees his father get killed before escaping.

A decade later, the American Division tests an augmentation drug on a "Pusher", named Kira (Camilla Belle). The test works after many tries. Rendering the doctor unconscious, Kira steals his security clearance card and an augmentation drug-filled syringe and escapes. In Hong Kong, Nick (Chris Evans) is hiding from the Division as an expatriate. He attempts to use his ability to make a living, but his poor skills at "moving" at a dice game leave him indebted to a local Triad controlled by "Bleeders", bred by the now-defunct Chinese Division. A young girl named Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning) arrives at Nick's apartment, explaining that she is a "Watcher" and that they are going to find a case containing 6 million dollars. They are attacked by Triad Bleeders but escape.

Nick and Cassie go to a nightclub on a hint from Cassie's predictions. Nick sees an old friend, "Hook" Waters (Cliff Curtis), who happens to be a "Shifter". He uses his abilities to make a replica of the clue in Cassie's drawing and tells them to go to Emily Hu (Ming-Na), a highly skilled "Sniffer" who can help them find Kira. Nick and Cassie find Kira, who had a romantic relationship with Nick. They recruit a "Shadow" named "Pinky" Stein (Nate Mooney) to hide Kira from the "Sniffers". Cassie finds the key to a locker in which Kira hid a valuable case. With the aid of Cassie's visions, they piece together the events that led them to meet; Cassie's mother used her visions to set a complex plan in motion that will destroy Division. Nick comes up with a plan that involves seven envelopes in which he places instructions; each person in the group is entrusted with one red envelope, and none are to be opened until the right time. While Kira and Pinky leave in a taxi, Nick and Cassie share a goodbye. Cassie tells him to "take an umbrella, it's going to rain", he replies with "you be careful too".

Nick uses a "Wiper" to erase his memories of the plan, ensuring that Watchers from both Division and the Triads will no longer be able to interfere. Hook retrieves the case (which does not have 6 million dollars, but instead has the syringe Kira stole) and brings it back to Cassie. He shifts another case to match the case with the syringe. Cassie takes the shifted case to Nick's apartment and waits. Nick regains consciousness: he has no memory of the envelopes or his plan. He opens his envelope, which tells him to return home. He finds the case in his room but Carver introduces himself to Kira as a friend, stating that her memories are false; she is a Division agent who volunteered to take the augmentation injection and suffered amnesia as a side-effect. Carver shows Kira her badge.

Nick goes to retrieve the augmentation drug and confronts Carver and Kira. Carver tells Kira and Nick that the relationship they believe they had never happened and a special evening together at Coney Island was a "push" memory. Kira reveals she has been using Nick the entire time and Nick takes the three to the building which contain the lockers and the case. They are ambushed by the Triads. In the midst of the fight, Carver injures Nick. Nick grabs the case and jams the syringe into his arm, which "kills" him. After the fights ends, Nick wakes up. Cassie appears with an umbrella and smiles at him, "I told you it was going to rain" she tells him, revealing that it was part of the plan. Cassie retrieves the true case, revealing that Nick injected himself with soy sauce, as they planned. Asked whether they will see Kira again, Cassie tells Nick that they will see "little miss trouble-maker soon enough".

Flying back to America with a sleeping Agent Carver, Kira opens her purse, finding her red envelope. She remembers Nick telling her to open it when "she started doubting the truth" and opens it. She finds a photograph of herself and Nick, obviously in a relationship, at Coney Island and a message that says "Kill him, See you soon!". Kira "pushes" Carver, commanding him to put his gun in his mouth and pull the trigger. The screen fades to black, followed by the sound of a gun shot.

Types of Superhumans[edit | edit source]


Watchers have the ability to foresee the future to varying degrees. As knowledge of the future invariably causes that future to change, Watchers' visions of the future in their direct sphere of influence are subject to frequent shifting.


Movers are powerful telekinetics who are trained to identify the specific atomic frequency of a given material and alter the gravitational field around it, usually causing the nearby air to appear warped. This allows them to move both animate and inanimate objects. Advanced Movers can work at the molecular level, creating protective force fields in the air around them or to reinforce punches and other strikes to make them stronger.


Pushers have the ability to implant memories, thoughts and emotions into the minds of other people in order to manipulate them. The skill level of the Pusher determines how many people the Pusher is able to control at one time, and how vivid the implanted memories are. A powerful Pusher can push a large group of people at the same time, basically creating a personal army. A Pusher is able to make a person do anything the Pusher desires, even commit suicide. A Pusher's eyes indicate how powerful they are: their pupils will dilate to certain degrees depending on how powerful the push is (for example, Henry Carver's eyes are rendered completely black, signifying that he is an extremely able and effective Pusher).


Bleeders have the ability to emit high-pitched sonic vibrations that cause ruptures in a target's blood vessels. While using this ability, their eyes turn into slits because of synthetic materials implanted in them to protect the blood vessels from the effects of their own ability. They are also sometimes known as Joe Mama.


Sniffs are highly developed psychometrics who can track the location of people or objects over varying distances. Like bloodhounds, their ability is increased if they have tactile access to an object that has been in direct contact with the subject. Sniffs receive information in the form of images, which is why identifiable landmarks help increase their effectiveness.


Shifters can temporarily alter the appearance of an object by manipulating the patterns of light interacting with it. Once the illusion is established, it remains with the object for a short period of time. For example, a Shifter could touch a one dollar bill and alter it to appear as a one hundred dollar bill until the effect expires. The object shifted must have roughly the same dimensions as the object it is shifted into. The length of time that the effect will last is based on the Shifter's experience and ability.


Wipers are skilled at either temporarily or permanently erasing memory, an invaluable asset in espionage. Experience will dictate the accuracy of their wipes, though there is always the danger that they will eliminate a desired memory.


Shadows are trained to block the vision of other clairvoyants such as Sniffs, making any subject within their target radius appear "dark". Experience will enhance the size of the area they can shadow and the intensity of their shielding effect. Shadows need to be awake to manifest their ability, so it is common for a detail of two Shadows to operate in shifts while protecting a person or object for extended periods. Most Shadows are effective only against Sniffs, but some extremely powerful Shadows are able to block even Watchers.


Stitches are psychic surgeons trained to quickly reconstruct cells to their previous or healthy state. Using only their hands, they can heal and even "unheal" whatever they have done. For more detailed work, Stitches use a silver based cream on their hands which acts as a conductor for their ability.

There are three extra types of psychics that only appear in the prequel comic book series:

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Nick (Chris Evans adult; Colin Ford child) is a Mover living in Hong Kong in order to stay hidden from Division, whose father was killed by Carver. He was born in America and once had a relationship with Kira. One form of income - although not always successful - is to manipulate betting games involving dice using his ability.
  • Cassie (Dakota Fanning) is the daughter of the greatest Watcher Division has ever encountered, and a Watcher in her own right. Like all abilities, hers is not fully developed as this happens through training. She is sometimes confused by what she draws in her premonitions.
  • Kira (Camilla Belle) is a high-level Pusher, a recent escapee of Division, and the only Division patient to have survived experimentation.
  • Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) is a Division agent and the powerful Pusher that killed Nick's father. He is sent to recapture Kira.
  • Emily Hu (Ming-Na) is a Sniffer who helps Nick & Cassie find Kira. She works as a fortune teller in Hong Kong.
  • "Hook" Waters (Cliff Curtis) is a Shifter. He used to be in Division and after getting out, his wife died in a car accident, and he knew Division was involved since his wife didn't drive. He has since moved to Hong Kong, hanging out in high class escort bars where he uses his shifting ability to pay his way. He implies that Nick's father had a similar past. He has a habit of saying "that won't last long" after he uses his abilities to help.
  • "Pinky" Stein (Nate Mooney) is a Shadow who hid Kira from the Sniffs. His nickname is derived from Division's removal of his right "pinky" finger.
  • Agent Mack (Corey Stoll) is a Sniffer agent.
  • Agent Holden (Scott Michael Campbell) is a Sniffer agent.
  • Victor Budarin (Neil Jackson) is an advanced Mover and Carver's right hand man.
  • Teresa Stowe (Maggie Siff) is a Stitch who helps heal Nick after an encounter with the bleeders, as requested by Cassie's mother, who told her to be in a certain place at a certain time and help whomever was there. However, she is seen as altruistic and only out for personal gain, rather than helping Cassie and Nick overthrow Division.
  • Wong bong
  • (Paul Car) is a Wiper who lives on a house boat in Hong Kong Harbour.
  • The Pop Girl (Xiao Lu Li) is a Chinese Triad Watcher femme fatale who tries to find Nick and Cassie throughout Hong Kong. Like Cassie, she draws her visions. Her visions are based on others' intentions and decisions.
  • The Pop Boys (Kwan Fung Chi, Jacky Heung) are two Triad Bleeders.
  • The Pop Father (Haruhiko Yamanouchi) is a powerful Triad Bleeder and father to the three 'Pop' siblings.
  • Nick's Father (Joel Gretsch) was an advanced Mover whose refusal to join the Division cost him his life. It is implied the he and Hook share a similar past.
  • Cassie's Mother (no credit) is a powerful Watcher who was captured by Division and forced to work for them. It is through her that most of the events occur as she helped Kira escape Division HQ, paid Wo to erase Kira's memories, as well as get Teresa in the right place to heal Nick and told Nick's father to tell his son to follow the one who gave him a flower. Though this alone shows the strength of her Watcher abilities, as she saw this all happen at least a decade ago where most can only see a few hours or days into the future.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Push was generally poorly received by critics.[2] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 21% of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon a sample of 106.[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 36, based on 21 reviews.[2]

On its opening weekend, the film opened #6 grossing $10,079,109 in 2,313 theaters with a $4,358 average.[4] As of May 6, the film has grossed $44,427,122 worldwide, surpassing its budget cost of $38,000,000.[1]

Variety: “A confused jumble of parts in search of a whole, Push plays like a mix-tape sample of scenes from Heroes, Fringe, Alias and The X-Files as it follows good guys gifted with paranormal powers trying to stave off bad guys with the same…”

The Hollywood Reporter: “While the concept of corralling assorted Movers (those with telekinetic talents), Watchers (clairvoyants) and, of course, Pushers (mind controllers with the ability to alter one’s memories) and placing them against a stylish Asian backdrop is intriguing, the picture seldom rises to the occasion. …monotonous…”

Screen Daily: “The most compelling thing about Push is its setting. The film was shot entirely on location, which affords it a fresh look and feel, be it in a chase through a local fish market or the juxtaposition of modern skyscrapers and bamboo scaffolding…[The screenplay] is a jumbled mess of narrative clichés.”

Comic[edit | edit source]

Wildstorm, an imprint of DC Comics, published a comic book mini-series that acts as a prequel to the film. It was written by Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman (who write The Highwaymen for Wildstorm) and Bruno Redondo supplied the art.[5] Issues were published between November 2008 and February 2009, and a softcover collection (ISBN 978-1401224929) was published in September, 2009.

Home release[edit | edit source]

Push was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 7, 2009. The DVD included deleted scenes, a commentary, and a 'making of' featurette. Wal-Mart released the film as a double-feature DVD with Knowing.

Television series[edit | edit source]

On January 19, 2010, Summit Entertainment, E1 Entertainment, and Icon Productions announced that they were developing a television series based on the film. David Hayter will write the pilot and will executive produce with Dark Hero Studios partner Benedict Carver. It is unknown if the actors and actresses from the original film will reprise their roles.[6]

Soundtrack and score[edit | edit source]

No official soundtrack has been released.

Artist Title
The Kills What New York Used to Be
Yin Xiangjie The Love Of Boat Traachers
Radio Citizen and Bajka The Hop
Working for a Nuclear Free City Rocket
Neil Davidge Original music for Push
Daniele Benatie and Fernando Paterlini Everybody Ciao
South Rakkas Crew Elevator China
The Notwist Consequence
South Rakkas Crew China Funk
The Old Ceremony Bao Qian
Jiang Xianwei A Visit to Suzhou

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Stargate Project - the real U.S. Federal Government project to investigate psychic phenomena, used as a basis for the film.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b c "Push (2009)". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=push09.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  2. ^ a b "Push (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/push. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  3. ^ "Push Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/push/. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  4. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 6–8, 2009". Box Office Mojo. 2009-02-08. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2009&wknd=006&p=.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  5. ^ SDCC 08: Wildstorm Snares Push License, IGN, July 22, 2008
  6. ^ 2010 Press Releases & News, Summit Entertainment, February 24, 2010

External links[edit | edit source]

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