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Risky Business (1983)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 1

Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 69,333

My Rating

Movie Info

Risky Business is the film in which 19-year-old Tom Cruise dances around his living room in his underwear. He does this to celebrate the fact that his parents have left him alone while they go on vacation. Somewhere along the line, hooker Rebecca De Mornay, fleeing her vicious pimp, hides out in the Cruise manse. Things go from bad to worse to as Cruise inadvertently drives his father's Porsche into Lake Michigan and nearly scuttles his college recruitment interview. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

R,

Comedy

Aug 27, 1997

Warner Bros.

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (1) | DVD (14)

For writer/director Paul Brickman, this was a case of being in the right place at the right time and, perhaps most importantly, getting the right leading man in place.

April 30, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film is deftly made, the humor nicely understated, the leading actors (Tom Cruise and Rebecca de Mornay) smart and appealing.

June 24, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the finest film explorations of the end of innocence.

August 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director Paul Brickman can therefore be accused of trying to have it both ways, but there's no denying the stylishness and talent of his direction.

August 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What distinguishes it, however, is that it's hovering permanently on the brink of stark, staring disaster in a way that strangely recalls The Graduate.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's funny because it deals with subjects that are so touchy, so fraught with emotional pain, that unless we laugh there's hardly any way we can deal with them -- especially if we are now, or ever were, a teenage boy.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As adolescent adventures go, Risky Business is an invigorating, first-class affair: It manages to make coming of age a witty proposition.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Writer/director Paul Brickman has honed a sharp satire on American go-getting here.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

It's sexy, smart and funny, but also stylish and filled with social satire and commentary on the culture of money.

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

A capitalist wet dream; one that we have long since woken up from screaming.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Clothes on Film | Comments (16)
Clothes on Film

It's easy to forget the idiosyncracies of a film that so successfully trades on adolescent male fantasies and nightmares. [Blu-ray]

September 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

It works well as a comedy but one cringes at the thought that it defined, for a while, the social expectations of a generation.

June 25, 2008 | Comment (1)

De Mornay does sterling work as the helpful hooker, but this is Cruise's big chance, and he relishes it, putting in a believable and likeable performance.

April 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

One of the key films of the 1980s, and proof that a teen sex comedy could merit serious consideration.

August 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Good '80's teen movie with a suitable soundtrack and the loveable Cruise displaying his new found starry confidence.

August 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Paul Brickman makes a splashy debut with a stylish youth satire that conveys more vividly Reagonomics and the corrupt and decadent decade of 1980s than serious dramas like Wall Street; it's also a wonderful showcase for Tom Cruise, who became a star.

April 25, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Mildly diverting, wildly overrrated.

August 29, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Now classic Cruise-in-briefs highlights the goings on.

October 14, 2005
Video-Reviewmaster.com

A classic! Welcome to stardom Mr. Cruise.

January 8, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

involving and entertaining

September 19, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for Risky Business

What an understated title!

Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on 6/13
June 10, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

Miles: Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, "What the fuck." "What the fuck" gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future. 

"There's a time for playing it safe and a time for Risky Business."

Risky Business is one of the definitive 80's movies. It features a young Tom Cruise in one of his career defining and career starting films. This is a classic 80's film with a lot of sex and a lot of style. It's also one of the better teen comedies out there. The movie is smart, funny, honest, and really good. The plot, while not likely, still makes a lot of sense when you examine the teenage boy. We're horny, stupid, and crazy. Combine those three and you have a rough combination there. That's what Joel does when his parents leave for vacation. His whole life, he has lived by the rules. He's worked hard in school and in his extracurriculars, so that he can fulfill his dads dream of him going to Princeton. So when Joel finally he gets a little freedom, he says "What the fuck?" 

Let's be honest, every guy out there can sympathize with Joel. We are him. When our parents left the house when we were in high school, it would go a lot like this. "Don't have anyone over" "No parties" Don't drive my car" To which we responded, "Okay, you can trust me." Bull Shit. The minute they were gone we were cruising in their car and calling up all of the friends we could think of. In the same way that is what Joel is doing in Risky Business. He's having a good time just like every teenager does. The only problem with it, is it got way out of hand and way over his head.The best thing about Risky Business is that it does make every guy think back to all the stuff he did in high school. You can really connect with a lot of what's going on in the movie. Maybe just not to that extreme though. 

Risky Business really is a must watch. It transcends being just another teen comedy. It ends up being a drama/comedy/romance all in one. There's scenes of pure brilliance such as the one between Cruise and De Mornay on the train. It's one of those movies that bring back the teenage days so well and with a lot of honesty. 
June 24, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

An entertaining and interesting movie; nothing more to be said. The movie will keep you entertained even though the movie delves into dark and troubling themes. One thing to be mentioned is the score; it fits perfectly within every scene. The editing could've been sharper but I give it the benefit of the doubt for it is an older movie. Acting is great.
March 9, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

"Risky Business" represents the 80's teen genre with style, as a a teenager has the house to himself when his parents leave for vacation. His friends tell him that he owes himself a good time, so he ends up having a one-night-stand with a hooker who inevitably steals a very expensive crystal egg off his families mantlepiece. His life just get's worse from here on out, by having his father's car slide into the lake and almost blowing his entire college interview. I must say that this film knows when to be subtle and good hearted and it knows when it is the right time to make you laugh. Tom Cruise is very cool in one of his very first theatrical roles, and the classic underwear scene will never tire. The acting is fun, the outfits fit the film perfectly, the plot line brings out the true events of the 80's, and by the end of the movie, I was either feeling happy when he was or sad when he was. My only complaint is that there are a few too many moments where it is a little too dramatic for the type of film that it is meant to be, but all-in-all, this is one of my favourite teen films!
February 1, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Miles: I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the killer pimp
    2. Joel Goodson: My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment. I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?
    – Submitted by Pamela B (9 months ago)
    1. Joel's father: Sometimes you just gotta say "what the heck."
    – Submitted by Alex L (16 months ago)
    1. Joel Goodson: Every now and then say, 'What the fuck'. It gives you freedom.
    – Submitted by Vishal S (21 months ago)
    1. Miles: Every now and then say, 'What the fuck.' 'What the fuck' gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.
    – Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
    1. Miles: Sometimes you gotta say, 'What the fuck'?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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