*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Pass" (1998) is a neo-noir. That's for sure. The plot is a variation on all those plots in which the wife decides to murder the husband for the sake of getting the insurance proceeds and shacking up with a new man. In this movie, Nancy Allen is in league with Michael Mckean. They hire James Le Gros to kill her husband, William Forsythe.
[written to counteract IMDb's flawed summary and some other reviews] Forsythe is not a compulsive gambler. He's a skilled blackjack player. Almost no gambling is shown in the movie. Le Gros is not a psychotic serial killer; he's a hired gun who kills witnesses when his plans do not work out. Being a hitchhiker is part of the plan. One shouldn't think of this as a hitchhiker picture (despite its title on some releases) and one shouldn't compare it to a picture like that with Rutger Hauer. Thinking of this as a crime plotted neo-noir is more accurate.
The acting is fine in this movie. William Forsythe is always convincing. Nancy Allen's part is rather small. Le Gros scores quite well as the determined killer. Elizabeth Pena adds a side note of moral laxness to the story, but the sub-plot involving her is not essential.
The insurmountable negative of this movie is its story (plot). It has so many holes, contrivances and implausibilities that it must be counted as stupid. I was amazed that in 1998 such a script would be produced and filmed. With a little more effort, the basic story could have been reworked to tighten up all the holes. This simply was not done. The director was also the writer. He's Kurt Voss. His "Genuine Risk" (1990) was much better.