The Grifters (1990)
Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 10,443
Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend
Sep 14, 1990 Wide
Jun 30, 1998
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Best to savor The Grifters for its handsome design -- the picture looks as clean as a Hockney landscape -- and its juicy performances.
Cusack underplays Roy, making him an unbelievable wiseguy, a colorless cipher too akin to the saps he loves to fleece.
Donald Westlake's excellent screenplay does some justice to the starkness of Jim Thompson's novel; and Frears' direction never fails to grab the attention.
It seduces you into believing it's merely a cheeky trifle, and then, when you least expect it, lowers the boom.
[VIDEO] Although the movie recalls films by the Coen Brothers or the Dahl Brothers, "The Grifters" retains its source material's voice in a thoroughly original way. Here's a neo-noir you can never see too many times.
Clever writing and fine cast make this tale of thieves among us fun to watch.
British helmer Frears makes auspicious American debut with this light, speedy, perfectly executed noir, based on Jim Thompson's novel, boasting three terrific performances; one of the best films of the year
Well done, but finally airless modern noir.
Donald Westlake's screenplay has the right combination of vivid characters, mordant wit and avaricious savagery which distinguishes the best noir.
An acidic modern noir full of two-faced cons and unexpected jolts.
A love triangle among grifters (con artists), that plays out as a film noir morality tale.
I guess the whole problem is that there's just not enough grifting going on.
This is not a bad film, it just fails to materialize into a very good one.
Audience Reviews for The Grifters
- Lilly Dillon: Lilly: My son will be all right. If he isn't, I'll have you killed.
- Bobo Justus: Tell me about the oranges, Lilly.
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