Feb 132019

Backtrace wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it is your run-of-the-mill poorly made direct-to-video flick that will eventually be <$10 level in no time, though you might be missing out on the sweet title-embossed slip cover…




Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 88 min. – $22.99 | February 19, 2019

Date Published: 02/13/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Brian A. Miller
Writer(s): Mike Mapels (written by)
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine, Meadow Williams, Christopher McDonald
Features: Featurette, Interviews, Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 23.62 GB
Total Bitrate: 26.56 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.25/5

This is a Grindstone Entertainment production. /Review.

But seriously, this is yet another half-baked movie that managed to wrangle in some decent talent, this time around Sylvester Stallone and Matthew Modine, though Backtrace marks Stallone’s second Grindstone feature following the atrocious and awful Escape Plan 2: Hades.

The plot for Backtrace follows Macdonald (MATTHEW MODINE) who is in prison after a robbery that resulted in the killings of two men. However, during the shootout, his head is grazed and now has no memory of the events or where he and his crew had hid the money they stole, a cool $2 million. Now years later, he is broken out of prison by a man (RYAN GUZMAN) and a woman (MEADOW WILLIAMS) and utilize a serum that, combined with familiar settings, can unlock memories.

The trio go on the road in attempts of finding the money but on their trail are local detective Skyes (SYLVESTER STALLONE) and FBI agent Franks (CHRISTOPHER MCDONALD). But not everything is as it seems, on both sides of the equation as Macdonald begins to remember, but the serum has some nasty side effects which could cost him his life.

I will give Backtrace a tiny bit of credit for at least having an interesting premise. Sadly, either due to a lack of talent or limited production budget (or both), the result is a film which squanders its potential with some hare-brained plot points, incompetent editing and some lazy acting, particularly on the part of Sylvester Stallone who I guess just wanted a free vacae in New Orleans or had some free time before he went on to film Escape Plan 3.

The other actors were alright I suppose. It’s nice to see Matthew Modine in more of a primary role and he accords himself well enough considering the shortcomings of the script and Christopher McDonald gets a couple okay scenes though wish he was in it more. The others, like Ryan Guzman, are… whatever.

The film was directed by Grindstone go-to guy Brian A. Miller who previously helmed The Prince, Vice and Reprisal for the direct-to-video/on-demand production company (also has 10 Minutes Gone coming up starring Bruce Willis and Michael Chiklis which has a similar plotline). Nothing really remarkable in terms of the direction and in fairness, he is limited by the script which was written by Mike Maples (feature debut).



This release comes with a glossy, title embossed, slip cover and inside a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Making Backtrace (5:58; HD) is your run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes production featurette with canned interviews with the cast and crew.

Cast/Crew Interviews (20:49; HD) – This is a collection of EPK interviews with Director Brian A. Miller, Christopher McDonald, Ryan Guzman and Colin Egglesfield. Notably missing are Sylvester Stallone and Matthew Modine.

Trailer (1:45; HD)

PreviewsReprisal, Escape Plan 2: Hades, Bleeding Steel, Acts of Violence


VIDEO – 3.5/5

Backtrace comes to Blu-ray presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The movie pretty much looks like one of those lesser productions, colors do look fine and detail is at least relatively sharp.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is serviceable enough with good dialogue levels making use of mostly the center speaker and there was some modest depth coming via the front and rear channels. Nothing I’d consider overly amazing but still was halfway decent especially for a movie like this.


OVERALL – 2.25/5

Overall, Backtrace wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it is your run-of-the-mill poorly made direct-to-video flick that will eventually be <$10 level in no time, though you might be missing out on the sweet title-embossed slip cover… In any case, the features were on standard side as were the video and audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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