The Whole Nine Yards is a 2000 American crime comedy film directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Michael Clarke Duncan and Natasha Henstridge. The title derives from a popular expression of uncertain origin (but which may derive from a saying analogous to "the whole kit and kaboodle"--the lengthiest entirety of a measure of silk fabric from which an Indian Sari is made). A sequel, The Whole Ten Yards, was released in 2004.


Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky (Matthew Perry) is a Quebec dentist from Chicago, who happens to be genuinely likable to almost everyone who knows him. However, he is trapped in a miserable marriage to the daughter of his late business partner. His wife Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) and mother-in-law (Carmen Ferland) hate him, and his deceased father-in-law has saddled him with a lot of debt. He can't divorce his wife because her father embezzled from the dental practice, and he has nothing but debt if they separate. As the movie opens, Sophie tells Oz she needs $5000, but won't say what for.

At the office, Oz and his assistant, Jill (Amanda Peet) have lunch and she tells him that his wife isn't a good person. They joke about the fact that, due to his insurance, he's worth more dead than alive, and discuss having her taken out of the picture, and Jill playfully tells him to name a price. When Oz gets home, he meets his new neighbor, "Jimmy Jones." After recognizing a tattoo on Jimmy's forearm, realizes that he's Jimmy "the Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis). Tudeski is an infamous contract killer from Chicago who was given a shorter sentence after ratting out Laszlo Gogolak and other members of the Gogolak gang.

Oz runs home in a panic and explains to Sophie that their new neighour is a hitman on whom there is a contract. Sophie shows interest in the contract and in Jimmy. Later, while Jimmy asks Oz to join him for a sudden trip to the city in order to get to know each other. Oz befriends Jimmy and reveals his marriage problem: his father-in-law got involved with an underage boy, whose family blackmailed him. Jimmy's father-in-law embezzled money to pay off his blackmailer and then committed suicide, saddling Oz with the debt. Jimmy sympathizes with Oz and the two become friends. However, when Oz returns home, Sophie tells him she has arranged for him to fly to Chicago, then collect a finder's fee by giving up Jimmy's whereabouts to Lazlo's son, Janni (Kevin Pollak). Oz argues against this, saying he quite likes Jimmy and that he has paid his debt to society. Sophie says that if he does not do it, she will make his future life hell.

Upon arriving in Chicago, Oz has lunch with an old reporter friend and confesses that he has no intention of meeting with Janni or giving up Jimmy; unfortunately, when Oz returns to his hotel room, he is greeted by Franklin "Frankie Figs" Figueroa (Michael Clarke Duncan) who is one of Janni's enforcers. Frankie tells him they know he has come with information about Oz, though he will not confirm where the information came from; Oz denies any knowledge of Jimmy; Frankie roughs Oz up to get the truth out of him and then takes him to Janni.

At Janni's estate, Oz meets Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge), Jimmy's estranged wife. Janni instructs Frankie to accompany Oz back to Canada and keep an eye on Jimmy until Janni and his men arrive to take him out. Back at the hotel, Oz calls Jimmy in a panic, warning him to run, but Jimmy casually reassures him everything is okay, that he knows what Oz has done. The more he reassures Oz, the more scared Oz becomes. He is then visited by Cynthia, who asks Oz if he really knows where to find Jimmy, explaining that Janni and Jimmy both want her (as well as each other) dead in order to collect on $10 million, which is being held in trust in their names (the "whole nine yards" of the title). Oz explains that he never wanted to do it, that his wife arranged things, and that he doesn't want anyone to die. Oz and Cynthia share a bottle of scotch and end up sleeping together after he says she is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen and that his whole life has been leading to this moment. Afterwards, Oz vows to find a way to protect Cynthia from Jimmy.

Back in Canada, Frankie and a very nervous Oz enter another hotel room and see Jimmy waiting inside. It turns out that Frankie and Jimmy are old friends and, together, are planning to take out Janni and Cynthia. Jimmy explains he knew about the Chicago visit because Sophie wanted to hire him to kill Oz, an earlier hit having been called off for some unknown reason. Jimmy and Frankie both praise Oz's sincerity and loyalty, even to a wife that hates him, and let him know about their plans to lure Janni to Montreal and kill him preemptively. Revealing that Sophie approached him to kill Oz, Jimmy offers to kill Sophie as a favor to Oz, which he refuses. Oz returns to work and tells Jill about the events in Chicago. Jill is extremely excited when she finds out that Jimmy 'the Tulip' is Oz's neighbor and makes Oz take her to meet him. Jill tells Jimmy that he's her hero and the reason she wants to be a contract killer. She also tells him that Sophie tried to use the $5000 to have Jill kill Oz, but Jill ended up liking Oz after getting to know him (like nearly everyone else does) and refused to follow through on the contract, cancelling it.

Jimmy enlists Jill's help, and as Jimmy and Jill discuss the upcoming ambush, Oz gets angry and says that he won't stand by and let them kill Cynthia. Oz goes back home and tries to call and warn Cynthia about Jimmy's plan, but she is already on the way with Janni. When Janni's gang arrive at Oz's house, Oz gets a chance to warn Cynthia, while she warns him that Janni will kill him after killing Jimmy. The two watch from Oz's garage as Janni's gang walks into the trap.

Down the street, Sophie and her new hired hitman (Harland Williams) are in his car. She is discussing the payment and promises that her mother will pay the remainder of his fee after the job is done. The hitter cuts their rendezvous short when he recognizes Janni Gogolak heading toward Jimmy's house. When Sophie tells him whose house it is, he realizes what's about to happen, pulls out a gun and exits the car, taking the car keys with him.

When Janni enters the house, he is distracted by a naked Jill, and she, Jimmy and Frankie are easily able to kill Janni and his men. Oz and Cynthia make a break for it. Sophie's hitter is in the yard when he hears Oz's car peel out behind him. This draws Jimmy's attention to the window. He has Jill use nakedness to get the mystery hitter's attention and then Jimmy shoots him. Sophie sees this and runs, screaming, down the street. When they get the body inside, they realize he is an undercover Sûreté du Québec detective constable.

As they begin to bag and dispose of the bodies, Oz calls. While they are on the phone, Jill reveals that Oz slept with Cynthia in Chicago — which she thinks is great — but it infuriates Jimmy, who feels that friends shouldn't sleep with each other's wives. Oz suggests a deal with them that will benefit everyone. Back at his office, he alters the cop's teeth to exactly match Jimmy's. They then put the cop's body and Janni's into Oz's car and set it on fire, rendering the bodies unidentifiable, except by dental records. The next day, two investigators arrive at Oz's office, convinced that Janni and Jimmy are both dead. The investigators also find the undercover cop's car when they go to check out Jimmy's house. Inside the car is a tape recorder with Sophie and the undercover cop's conversation to kill Oz, the contents of which are more than enough to put Sophie and her mother in prison, even though Sophie claims that Jill is also a killer, but they do not believe her story. The police clear Oz of suspicion and he jokingly asks if they know any good divorce lawyers. The confirmation of the deaths of Jimmy and Janni allows Cynthia to collect the $10 million, using the required two death certificates. As part of the deal, she agrees to transfer the money to Jimmy in exchange for her and Oz's lives.

Some time later, the key players meet up in the city. While Cynthia and Jill go to the bank to transfer the money, Oz heads to an art museum with Jimmy, where they will be around people and Oz thinks he'll be safe. Jimmy has other plans though and takes Oz (along with Frankie Figs) out on a private yacht. Back at the bank, Jill urges Cynthia to split the money with her and run, leaving Jimmy to kill Oz when he is double-crossed. Cynthia realises that she loves Oz and can't leave him to be killed by Jimmy. Jill tells Cynthia that it was a test, and that Jimmy wants her and Oz to have $1 million as a wedding gift, which can be collected only when they show a wedding certificate. Cynthia wonders about the divorce, and Jill points out that Jimmy is officially dead. The two women make the transfers.

On the boat, Jimmy gets the call that the money has been received. He pulls out a gun and points it at Oz. Frankie grins knowingly before Jimmy turns and shoots him instead; Jimmy explains that he had to kill Frankie or Frankie would kill Oz and then potentially come after Jimmy himself or send others after him in the belief that Jimmy had gone soft. Oz is floored, but happy to be alive. He tells Jimmy that the supposed softness may be because it's obvious Jimmy's in love with "her." Jimmy feigns confusion, asking if Oz is referring to Cynthia. Oz looks at him silently. In the next shot, Jill runs towards the dock and jumps into Jimmy's arms. Oz leaves to meet Cynthia. As soon as he sees her, he asks her to marry him. She looks disappointed and asks if Jimmy told him, but when Oz asks what she's talking about, she realizes he truly doesn't know about the million dollars and then happily agrees to marry him, and when he says he hopes she won't mind marrying a poor dentist, she replies she is sure they'll be okay. In the closing scene, Oz and Cynthia are on a hotel balcony overlooking Niagara falls, dancing to a bluesy version of Ira Gershwin's "They All Laughed" as the credits roll.



Box office

The film grossed $57,262,492 during its U.S. theatrical run, with an additional $49,109,159 internationally. Its worldwide total is $106,371,651.[1]

Critical reaction

The Whole Nine Yards received mixed reviews from critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 45% based on 100 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 5.2/10 and the site's consensus reading: "Despite a charming cast, The Whole Nine Yards could only tickle half of the critics' funny bones. The other half thought it an underwhelming, depressing sitcom".[2] Metacritic gives the film an average score of 47%, based on 32 reviews.[3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film one of the more positive reviews, noting in particular that the highlight was Amanda Peet's performance as Jill, which Ebert called "perfect".[5]


A sequel titled The Whole Ten Yards with most of the original cast was released on April 9, 2004.




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Whole Nine Yards (2000)".. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
  2. "The Whole Nine Yards".. Flixster. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
  3. "Whole Nine Yards, The (2000): Reviews".. CBS. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
  4. "CinemaScore"..
  5. Roger Ebert. "The Whole Nine Yards". 

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