Bagdad Cafe (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bagdad Cafe (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

After breaking down in the middle of the California desert, a German couple begin to argue, and the wife walks. She ends up at a flea-bitten truck stop that is the second home to a group of odd characters, and she begins to transform their lives.more
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Eleonore Adlon, Percy Adlon, Christopher Doherty, Christopher Doherty
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 24, 2001
Virgin Vision


Marianne Sägebrecht
as Jasmin Münchgstettne...
Jack Palance
as Rudi Cox
Hans Stadlbauer
as Münchgstettner
as Sheriff Arnie
Ronald Lee Jarvis
as Trucker Ron
Mark Daneri
as Trucker Mark
Ray Young
as Trucker Ray
Raymond Young
as Trucker Ray
Gary Lee Davis
as Trucker Gary
Baby Ashley
as Herself
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bagdad Cafe

Critic Reviews for Bagdad Cafe

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

Unfortunately, the film's curious conceits remain implausible even on a fantasy level, and most of the satirical possibilities are either sidestepped or fumbled.

Full Review… | February 8, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bagdad Cafe


This enjoyable fable is expertly edited and makes smart use of a surreal cinematography to enhance the sense of oddness created by the rather unusual story. But it also doesn't know how to end and simply drifts without any clear direction in the last fifteen minutes.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Starts out like low budget community theater but that's probably part of its charm. Bagdad Cafe has substance and heart that reveals itself in a slow-burn of oddball characters and intelligent scripting.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Bizarre, eccentric, and for the most part quite wonderful film. Jasmin, a tourist from Bavaria, Germany, walks away from her husband in the middle of the Mojave Desert and eventually stumbles upon a rundown roadside cafe/motel/gas station, managed by the stressed out and overworked Brenda (CCH Pounder, The Shield). The two characters clash as they try to make sense of each other; Brenda is suspicious of Jasmin as she arrived without a car and with a suitcase full of men's clothes and magic tricks. Jasmin, meanwhile, fills her time by befriending Brenda's children and setting to work at cleaning the motel, much to Brenda's irritation. Gradually (this is a slow paced film), the two form an understanding and a friendship, and the cafe is soon attracting lots of visitors due to word-of-mouth. The film is graced with very unusual but strong performances from the two leads, and from some stunning photography and off-kilter editing. A frankly surreal music number near the end is toe-curlingly embarrassing and almost ruins what has gone before, but the film just about rights itself in its final scenes. The film was successful enough to warrant a spin-off television series starring Whoopi Goldberg, which ran for two seasons.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

Bagdad Cafe Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Bagdad Cafe on our Movie forum!