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Cutter's Way

Cutter's Way (1981)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,539

My Rating

Movie Info

After emigrating to the United States in 1969, Czech-born director Ivan Passer finally broke through to American audiences with his fourth film, a unique blend of mystery and social commentary. Cutter's Way is set in Santa Barbara, CA, a community of wealth and power. Its main characters, however, are among the town's have-nots: Richard Bone Jeff Bridges, a beach-boy gigolo starting to go to seed; Bone's best friend Alex Cutter (John Heard), a Vietnam veteran maimed in body and spirit; and Mo



Jul 10, 2001

United Artists Classics

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

The result is nothing less than a modern masterpiece, and a film ripe for rediscovery.

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

Almost as impressive as Polanski's Chinatown and an extraordinary change of gear from one of the fine Czech New Wave's most notable alumni.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

[Heard] is one of America's great lost actors.

June 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The film moves with an easy uncoerced swing: moment by moment, scene by scene, we are unsure what to think or where we are going. It is a fascinating, organically grown drama.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

An underrated classic.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Passer continued his wayward career without ever producing anything quite like Cutter again. It's a one-off, a largely overlooked shining gem. Do yourself a favour.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

Cutter and Bone are seriously unlikeable characters, yet Czech émigré director Ivan Passer and writer Jeffrey Alan Fiskin make us see light in these hearts of darkness.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Exceptional script, direction and performances make this elliptical neo-noir a forgotten classic.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Like the '70s output of Pakula and Lumet, Ivan Passer's tense thriller stands as a classy monument to the paranoia of post-Watergate America.

June 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The three leads are on outstanding form, while Jack Nitzsche's score shimmers with foreboding.

May 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Paranoid crime thriller.

July 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This anatomy of intimate male camaraderie in the post-Vietnam War era could have been more resonant if the tale didn't include a routine murder mystery, which diffuses the otherwise beautifully acted (particularly Jeff Bridges) and shot saga.

April 27, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Cutter's Way

The crime thriller didn't manage to tickle the bones enough. Not an ideal source of entertainment, but tolerable all the same.
October 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

A forgotten paranoia trhiller from the 80s which delivers the goods with complex characters and great performances from Jeff Bridges and John Heard.
October 23, 2011
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

An excellent, slow-burning, occasionally noirish thriller. Jeff Bridges plays Richard Bone, a yacht salesman/gigolo who accidentally witnesses the disposal of a murdered girl's body after his car breaks down in a rainstorm. When Bone thinks he recognises a wealthy local oil tycoon as the man he saw through the rain that night, his friend Alex Cutter (John Heard), a bitter, alcoholic Vietnam veteran, awakens from his apathetic torpor and embarks on an obsessive quest to bring the 'killer' to justice.

From the outset Cutter is established as a landlocked, modern day Ahab - indeed, his very first words are a reference to Moby Dick - hunting not so much for the one that got away as for the one that gets away with it: the untouchable, over-privileged leviathan of big business; exactly the kind of guy who stayed home in his well-insulated ivory tower while Cutter was being relieved of an eye, an arm and a leg in Southeast Asia. It's a fascinating idea and, if anything, the script could have done more with it. No matter, because what makes the movie really special is the wonderful love triangle between Heard, Bridges and Lisa Eichhorn, who plays Cutter's wife, Mo. It will give you some idea of how great Eichhorn is in this movie if I say she wipes the floor with Heard and Bridges, both of whom are at least as good here as they've been in anything else; she breaks my heart every time and should have picked up every award going.
January 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Cutter's Way" starts out with Richard Bone's(Jeff Bridges) jalopy breaking down in an alley during a rainstorm and he is almost run down by another car. Later, the body of a young woman is discovered in a dumpster there. At first, the police suspect Bone but he is released in time to attend a local parade. While there with his best friend, Alex Cutter(John Heard, who is amazing), and Cutter's long suffering wife, Maureen(Lisa Eichhorn), Bone spots the man he saw in the alley. One problem - it turns out to be J. J. Cord, the city's leading industrialist.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Cutter's Way" is not so much a mystery, as it is a good, solid character study of two friends who have seen better days.(Notice the cars they drive.) Bone has drifted through life with no commitments and is now living on a boat, while working as a boat salesman. On the other hand, Cutter enlisted in the army to fight in the Vietnam War where he was severely crippled(most American soldiers of this war were from poorer families; it is inferred that Cutter is from a wealthy family) and is now angry at the world around him but he is not as crazy as he first seems. Cutter is also one of the only characters who is not automatically deferential to the upper classes.[/font]
September 29, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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