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—— The Class Of '92 Jul 08

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The Grifters Reviews

Page 1 of 24
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2008
A forgettable outing from one of my favourite directors, unfortunately. Annette Bening is a sparkplug, Angelica Huston is electric, and the final act is a knockout. Unfortunately, the film bounces around for the first hour or more, in a way that, instead of building intrigue, is jarring and kind of confusing. Every time you think you understand what's happening with a character, the film cuts away and focuses elsewhere. It's not the three way chase that has been mastered elsewhere (see: No Country for Old Men), it's just a rote series of flashes. This film could easily have been 20 minutes shorter. But, to its credit, most of the threads dropped in the wandering earlier portion are picked up in the end, and the final half hour is gripping. Definitely an immature film from Frears, and one that was probably over-rated due to its adhesion to that weird early 90s neo-noir thing (see: Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, etc.). If you turned it off before getting to the ending, I won't hold it against you.
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

April 28, 2011
This is my semi-strange parallel: I see this film as a depraved, con man version of My Cousin Vinny. It's regional, it's tricky, and it's female character driven, even though the protagonist in each is ostensibly the male. But I think it's mostly because Annette Bening's character reminds me a lot of Marisa Tomei's, body hugging dress and all.

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2010
ok first of all..for those who don't know what a grifter is, its when a person manipulates another individual to give them money leaving you high and dry.
this film is based on a novel and it follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other.
great performances and a solid script
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2007
Unjustifiably forgotten new classic. A striking and quirky neo noir with a superb triad of criminals blinded by greed. Terrific score by Elmer Bernstein.
William S

Super Reviewer

September 23, 2007
It's dated slightly over the years but the performances are still astonishing "the lady or the loot?"

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2007
Angelica Huston is gloriously hard as nails in this superior film.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2007
A wow of a movie! Angelica Huston blew me away as the female hustler who screws over anybody who gets in her way of riches -- even her own son. The final confrontation between her and John Cusack has stuck with me to this day, and I only saw it once -- 16years ago.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2007
Roy Dillon: It's great to get away, isn't it? Take some time off. Next week, I'll be back to work.
Myra Langtry: You already went back to work.
Roy Dillon: What?
Myra Langtry: I watched you, working the tat on those sailor boys.
Roy Dillon: Working the what?
Myra Langtry: Oh, come on, Roy, the tat. What you do for a living.
Roy Dillon: I'm a salesman.
Myra Langtry: You're on the grift, same as me.
Roy Dillon: Myra, I'm not following you.
Myra Langtry: Roy, you're a short-con operator... and a good one, I think. Don't talk to me like I'm another square!

Smart movie about three characters all in the career of coning people and what they have to do to survive.

Stephen Frears directs a good neo-noir set in LA and La Jolla with the help of producer Martin Scorsese.

John Cusack stars as a small-time con artist who makes a little bit of money, getting himself by, but he's not the best at what he does.

Two femme fatals are also involved in his life, one is his girlfriend Myra, played by Annette Benning, who is also in the con game, but these professions are unknown between them.

The other lady is Cusack's mother, played by Angelica Huston, who had Cusack when she was very young and is not very involved in his life...they hate each other.

The movie surrounds these three characters and a few days between them. It's not a standard con artist film where a big score is setup to go down in the end with some big twist. This movie is about the lives that professional con artists live without the bennefit of that big score that they can retire with.

This is a well acted movie, with a good score, good cinematagraphy, and a good story. Very well done.

Myra Langtry: I'm Roy's friend.
Lilly Dillon: Yes. I imagine you're lots of people's friend.
Myra Langtry: Oh, of course, now that I see you in the light, you're plenty old enough to be Roy's mother.
Lilly Dillon: Aren't we all?
Roy Dillon: Play nice. Don't fight.

Super Reviewer

November 20, 2006
Average mood, bleak tale of three small-time, big-aspiration con artists who bring about each other's downfall.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2010
Is this the first time that I saw John Cusack in a meaningful role? Perhaps. It was a great start. Did people really swoon over Annette Bening with that big 80s hair?
Alec B

Super Reviewer

March 3, 2010
The biggest problem with all con films is that they all move towards the inevitable "twist" at the very end. The Grifters ignores that cliche and as a result the movie is a resounding success. The characters spend a lot of time talking about "big cons" but they never happen. Its a film about the characters. The final scene between Cusack and Huston is amazing, you expect some huge twist but instead you get Greek tragedy.
William G

Super Reviewer

December 17, 2006
Well-acted, but rather cold, which is to be expected.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

April 6, 2009
Some fantastic acting raises this "con" movie above most others.
Stephen E

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2011
"The Grifters" is a film all about style. It takes on the attitude of a hardboiled film noir, bringing back memories of a time never replicated but always copied. The score by Elmer Bernstein is a fantastic one and worthy of an Academy award, and there is great acting all around, especially from Annette Bening. This is a film that isn't liked by many due to its pacing and lack of tangible plot, but I found to be quite mesmerizing for the most part. A rewarding watch.

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2008
Hit the road Frears and there you go,the ultimate con-men/thieves movie of the 90's (a totally different style from Usual Suspects) shrouded by incest,betrayal and wit to the bone!
Wu C

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2006
Great story about con artists.
February 3, 2014
This is a strange movie to say the least. The positive is that you definitely get that noir feel in the movie and the soundtrack starts to grow on you. I also enjoyed the performances of Cusack, Huston and Bening. I thought they all did an excellent job. I personally hated the editing. Too fast of cuts, unnecessary cross fades. Ruined flow. Also, the movie takes a good 40 to 50 minutes to really get going, which is way too long. I started wondering out loud when it was going to get interesting. Not to mention the mob boss's name was bobo. Like what? Bobo? I'm scared of Bobo? Also, it's a little hard to follow the grifting schemes (Lilly and the horse track scheme, Bobo and the oranges). It was a little tough to figure that out, and unlike something like Wolf of Wall Street (which is a character study and therefore the importance is not on the illegal acts), this is not that. It is actually kind of important to understand some of these things. Also, I know there was this Oedipus complex I guess going on, but from how it was directed, it wasn't clear whether Lilly was Roy's actual mother, or maybe like an old lady he used to date, or what. I think that weakens that theme. Also, Roy doesn't necessarily have a real goal. He tells Lilly that he's out of the game, but obviously he's not, but you don't really know what he wants. Does he want Myra? Or Lilly? Or money? Not quite sure and it doesn't delve into this at all. The action does pick up in the second half of the movie and there are some great twists. Unfortunately, you had to slough through the first half to get there. Overall, I think I like it a little better now (as I have to rewatch parts and make a trailer of the film for editing class) but it's still a meh movie for me.
November 30, 2012
Some good performances, especially from the ladies, but Cusack is suited for his role as a slimy con man. But who has a boss named bobo? The clowns?
July 31, 2011
I had high expectations for this one but somehow it just didn't resonate with me... even though I love noir movies.
April 27, 2011
The dark side. Implied incest, crooks, con artists, fear, greed, violence, losers. The book by Jim Thompson is even grimmer, but this will do to mess with our minds. Well acted, raw material.
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