Truth or Consequences, N.M. is a 1997 crime thriller directed by and co-starring Kiefer Sutherland.
Small-time mobster Raymond Lembecke (Vincent Gallo) has just been released from prison and is reunited with his girlfriend, Addy Monroe (Kim Dickens). Raymond, along with Addy and his friends Curtis (Sutherland) and Marcus (Mykelti Williamson), decide to rip off Raymond's boss by stealing all his drugs from one of his abandoned warehouses. Only one problem: it's not abandoned. And to further complicate the situation, trigger-happy Curtis murders both of the mobsters present in the building. And to further complicate that situation, one of the dead mobsters is revealed to be an undercover DEA agent. A shootout ensues, and the four criminals are forced to flee with the drugs.
The rest of the movie centers around the four criminals traveling across the country so they can sell the drugs to a mob boss named Tony Vago (Rod Steiger). And, as they continuously evade the cops as well as mafia hitman Sir (Martin Sheen), they soon realize how complicated their situation is when they're forced to kidnap two pedestrians named Gordon (Kevin Pollak) and Donna (Grace Phillips). It isn't long before the criminals' lives slowly begin to spiral out of control.
Tropes present in Truth or Consequences, N.M. include:
- Alas, Poor Villain: Ray. All he wanted was to live his life in peace with his girlfriend, but in the end, they both end up dying due to Raymond and Curtis' recklessness.
- Anyone Can Die: The only major characters who live to the end are Marcus, Gordon, and Donna.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Eddie Grillo meets his end, courtesy of Curtis.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Sir interrogates Wayne by brutally cutting off some of his fingers.
- Crazy-Prepared: Marcus and his partner thought up a code ahead of time in case the undercover cop angle gets blown.
- Dead Star Walking: John C. McGinley gets his brains blown out early on in the movie.
- Didn't Think This Through: Raymond could've easily avoided over half the situations that arise if he had just planned everything out. Addy even calls him out on it multiple times.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Tony Vago.
- Downer Ending: Addy (and her unborn child) are killed in the shootout in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and minutes later, a distraught Raymond is shot to death by Marcus.
- Faux Affably Evil: Sir, the calm, menacing hitman who pretends to act civil, but is really just a heartless man who will kill anyone in his way.
- Fingore: Sir tortures Wayne by cutting off some of his fingers.
- For the Evulz: The main reason why Curtis does all the evil things he does: he finds it entertaining.
- Foreshadowing: Raymond tells Addy one night that should anything happen to her, he wouldn't want to live anymore. Guess what happens in the end?
- From Bad to Worse: The movie starts with the bad guys on the run after they gun down a few police officers, and their situation continues to go downhill from there.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see Sir cutting off Wayne's fingers, but we do see the blood that's been splattered on his face.
- Hero Antagonist: Marcus Weans, and the FBI in general.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Curtis pretends to beg for mercy and weep in front of Tony Vago, moments before he takes out two handguns he concealed in the case full of drugs and starts shooting.
- Jerkass: Curtis.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Curtis tries to kill a civilian whose truck he's about to steal so he doesn't identify him or Raymond to the cops. But Raymond convinces him to knock him out, and later on, he ends up telling the cops that they stole his vehicle.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ray and Marcus.
- Kick the Dog: Curtis kills a man whom Gordon previously wounded simply because he felt like it.
- The Mole:
- One of the two men Curtis killed in Eddie's warehouse was an undercover cop.
- Marcus Weans is actually an undercover DEA agent.
- No Name Given: Martin's Sheen's character is only referred to as Sir.
- Oh, Crap!: Curtis after he gets his lucky quarter to stand on its edge.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: See the Wham Line below.
- Soundtrack Dissonance:
- Invoked by Sir, who blasts the song "It's My Party" while he's torturing Wayne.
- As Raymond slowly dies and collapses to the ground beside Addy, "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison is playing in the background.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Gordon, after spending too much time listening to and trying to imitate Curtis.
- Suicide by Cop: Subverted. In the ending, Marcus is forced to shoot Ray because he thought he was going to shoot him. It isn't until after Marcus shoots Ray that he realizes Ray was trying to shoot a mobster who wasn't dead.
- Villain Protagonist: Raymond Lembecke, along with his three friends.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Wayne. The only thing memorable about him is that he has his fingers cut off before he gets executed.
- Wham Line: When Curtis tries to sell the drugs they stole from Eddie Grillo, Tony reveals that "Eddie! Grillo! Worked for me!", meaning they were trying to sell to him what they stole from him.