Down by Law (1986)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 21,671
Jim Jarmusch follows his groundbreaking Stranger Than Paradise with another rambling, character-driven film with a twisted sense of humor. Set in a seedy New Orleans summer, Down By Law details the meeting of three unlikely convicts and their just as unlikely escape. Zack (Tom Waits) is an out-of-work DJ who is accused of murder when a body is found in the trunk of a stolen car he was hired to drive across town. Jack (John Lurie) is a pimp set up for a fall by a competitor. These two sullen
Oct 1, 1986 Wide
Oct 22, 2002
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Joy N. Houck Jr
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The Jim Jarmusch penchant for off-the-wall characters and odd situations is very much in evidence.
After the initial establishment of character and atmosphere, the laughs come thick and fast, most notably from the marvellous [Roberto] Benigni.
The excitement (of Down by Law) comes from the realization that we are seeing a true film maker at work, using film to create a narrative that couldn't exist on the stage or the printed page of a novel.
Perhaps it's not what you expect from a prison movie, but Jim Jarmusch has always adhered to his own personal vision.
Director-writer Jarmusch's characters are insignificant antiheroes adrift in an America that is both sad and beautiful.
Its soul is the same as all Jarmusch films, but here he digs a bit deeper into the roots of his own methodology and that to which he is opposed.
More cheerful than Stranger Than Paradise, this movie plays a reversal on the Hollywood comedy in which a high-spirited American usually brings joy to a foreigner; here it's Italian Roberto Benigni.
Not as good as it should be.
Audience Reviews for Down by Law
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