Best Seller (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Brian Dennehy plays a Wambaugh-type cop who has flourished as a novelist. At the moment, however, Dennehy is suffering from a profound case of writer's block. Coming to the rescue, as it were, is professional hit man James Woods. Recently dumped by his boss, above-suspicion business executive Paul Shenar, Woods is anxious to tell his life story to Dennehy, in hopes of striking it rich with a tell-all bestseller. Shenar, however, takes a dim view of Woods' indiscretions, and for a while it looks … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: ,
Written By: Larry Cohen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
Vestron Video


as Dennis Meechum

as David Madlock

as Roberta Gillian

as Holly Meechum

as Graham

as Mrs. Foster

as Cleve's mother

as Cleve's Father

as Taxi Driver

as Longshoreman

as Woman in Laundry

as Man in Bar

as Man in Bar

as Bartender

as Woman at Bar

as Quentin

as Female Officer

as Man in Car

as Meechum's Lawyer

as Turner

as Jason

as Cop in Depository

as El Paso TV Anchor

as Man at Airport

as Bodyguard

as El Paso TV Anchor

as Bodyguard

as Bodyguard

as 1st Bodyguard

as Supervisor

as Dock Worker

as Mature Cop

as News Reporter

as Teacher

as Talk Show Host

as Drug Kingpin
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Best Seller

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 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
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Best Seller


Best Seller is a stunning well crafted dramatic thriller that boasts a strong cast and great directing from director John Flynn. James Woods gives a blistering performance as Cleve a contract killer who tells his story to Dennis Meechum, a cop and true crime author. Meechum is also very well acted by Brian Dennehy. This is a well constructed film that is highly engaging from start to finish. The plot is very engaging and in the end it delivers a cat and mouse angle to the plot which is riveting. James Woods' performance alone makes this film worth seeing and he is simply psychotic with a certain charm that adds a lot to the film. Of course the film could have been better and it does fall flat in a few areas. For the most part however, Best Seller is a very good picture that showcases two standout actors at their best. I really liked the conflict that Dennehy brought to the role as he tries to balance the author and the cop part of himself. Best Seller has its flaws, but due to a very good script, it manages to overcome its shortcomings and deliver something quite memorable. This is a film that didn't deserve the flack it has received and it is one of the better dramatic thrillers of the latter half of the 1980's. Best Seller is a film worth checking out and is definitely a film that the critics were wrong about. The performances are great and with that being said, it's what makes this one standout above other movies in this caliber. Don't believe the critics, if you love James Woods, you'll surely enjoy this. Far from perfect, but it is nonetheless a well constructed picture that will grab your attention from the first frame onwards.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Another underrated gem from the 80s.

Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

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