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River's Edge (1986)

Cast: Crispin Glover, Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, more...
Director: Tim Hunter, Tim Hunter
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Coming of Age
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
    see additional details...

The nude, strangled body of a teenaged girl lies on the edge of the river. Her murderer is her boyfriend, Daniel Roebuck. All the kids in Roebuck's dismal, dead-end town know who committed the murder. Trouble is, no one bothers to turn Roebuck in; some of the teens don't know how to react to the crime, while others, strung out on drugs and booze, just don't give a damn. A study of contemporary alienation, River's Edge was based on a real-life incident that occurred in Milpitas, California, in 1981. That same year, Neal Jimenez wrote his screenplay for River's Edge, but was not able to finance the project until 1987. Except for Dennis Hopper, cast as a holdover from the sixties who hobbles about on one leg and makes love to a blow-up doll, the cast was largely comprised of unknowns, many of whom (Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye) would definitely be heard from in the future. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Rivers "Edgy" by TGrimshaw November 29, 2004 - 2:54 PM PST
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
in response,
Seriously, I grew up in a small, lower class community on the central coast of California, and, watching this movie is like getting in a time machine for me. I had all of these dicks as real life friends. I don't see this movie as any commentary on "the '80's". I think it's just the classic "man, kids are assholes" witch has been around, hell, since Blackboard Jungle. ( that's all i could come up with ) there wasn't enough gratuitous crystal meth usage in the film to make it realistic is my only complaint. that little kid that played Keanu's little brother is a brilliant tiny asshole.

Captures the feel of an early gunge song before grunge made it to the mainstream by ADKnott October 26, 2004 - 12:07 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I feel like this movie was definitely worth the rent.

Basically, it is a story about a guy that kills his girlfriend in a fairly small California suburb; He brags about it to all of his classmates and everyone is pretty much numb to that fact, even after seeing her dead body.

The movie is a social commentary about the relationships people had with each other during the 80's and how they were becoming increasingly distant with each other as well as well as with society. Even though a girl was murdered for apparently no reason, no one really cared. I particurlarly liked the fact that during the whole movie the viewer was never really introduced to the girl. You saw her die, you saw her body and you saw a picture of her with some of the main characters, but you never really knew anything else about her, just like her friends.

The acting was very good considering most of the actors, albeit some have made names for themselves now, were relatively unknown at the time this movie was made. Even though I am not much of a Keanu Reeves fan, his sullen demeanor fit the tone of this movie perfectly.

I think that the Crispin Glover character was a little over the top, but it didn't really take away from the main point of the movie.

Honestly, there are no bells are whistles here; the movie is straigtforward and progresses very well. It is not worthy of any awards in my book, but it is an interesting exploration.

My only true complaint was the soundtrack. It seemed more suitable for a horror movie than a social commentary. Maybe this was for a reason, I am not sure; however, I do know that it was uneffective to say the least.

Dude. That's, like, a dead girl... by wes2666 September 28, 2004 - 11:12 PM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
If you didn't see this back in the 80s, it will probably play more like an anthropology lesson than a meditative study of teenage inertia. Other films from the period have aged worse though. River's Edge would make a fun double feature with the Twin Peaks pilot. Who makes a better corpse? Danyi Deats or Sheryl Lee?

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.23)
221 Votes
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