Kalifornia (1993)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

With writer Brian Kessler's (David Duchovny) contractual deadline for a book on serial killing fast approaching, he and girlfriend Carrie Laughlin (Michelle Forbes) decide to embark on a cross-country tour of famous murder sites for inspiration. When the couple advertises for fellow travelers to help absorb expenses, the only response comes from greasy trailer park denizen Early Grayce (Brad Pitt) and his girlfriend Adele Corners (Juliette Lewis). Only too late do Brian and Carrie realize just … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Tim Metcalfe, Stephen Levy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 1997
PolyGram Video



as Early Grayce

as Adele Corners

as Brian Kessler

as Carrie Laughlin

as Mrs. Musgrave

as Walter Livesy

as Parole Officer

as Little Girl

as Teenage Girl

as Middle-Aged Farmer

as Police Officer

as Bar Waitress

as Mrs. Musgrave

as Female Officer

as Male Officer

as John Diebold

as Mr. Musgrave

as Young Cracker

as Newscaster

as Gas Station Attendan...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Kalifornia

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Critic Reviews for Kalifornia

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (9)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

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

Brad Pitt's performance is crucial, and he rips into the character with a frightening sense of unhinged egomania, violently subverting the Redford-lite pretty-boy image with which so many wanted to associate him

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Q Network Film Desk

It's good-looking but unsubstantial.

Full Review… | July 14, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The movie begins extremely well before escalating into the inevitable Straw Dogs confrontation, when the sensitive-intellectual man discovers, just like Dustin Hoffman, that when push comes to shove, we're all brutes and animals.

Full Review… | December 18, 2006

Audience Reviews for Kalifornia


Starting like a soft-core Red Shoe Diaries episode, the guitar score is less heart-throbbing and more chintzy. In a sociological study on murderous psychology, 'Kalifornia' delves headlong into sociopathic analysis (Duchovny asserts that serial killers can distinguish between right and wrong and they should receive the death penalty). These aspects of the film are intrinsically provocative. However, Duchovny's voiceover is a sleep tranquilizer like Harrison Ford's lukewarm narration in 'Blade Runner'. He waxes poetic about how serial killers "dream they can fly" and it sounds irredeemably pretentious. Pitt is superficial unkemptness as the hayseed Early and he is such a dimwit that he can hardly be classified as a threat (Early romanticizes California with claims that there "ain't no speed limits and the first month is rent free."). Anything spouted by Juliette Lewis is a juvenile stereotype of Southern yokels (she doesn't fathom the definition of the word "karma") and she is intolerable in the role. Early's parole officer with the hook appendage is extremely cartoonish. The cross-cutting of the two stories is awfully uneven since we are more enthralled with Early's impecunious trailer lifestyle than Brian's na´ve obsessions. Truthfully, 'Kalifornia' is a vapid exercise in David Fincher style, but its declarations about the ill-bred origins of serial killers are shallow.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer


Very few people would dare to question Brad Pitt's versatility today. That was different in the early 90s, when he was still underestimated as just another pretty face. Undeservedly so, as this early work in his oeuvre shows. He has hardly ever been as menacing, unpredictable and merciless as in this thriller about an author taking a road trip to famous murder sites and sharing gas costs with a white trash couple. As brilliant as Pitt is, he is even outshined by Juliette Lewis as dumb but sweet bimbo. As the trip turns more and more into a nightmare for the yuppie couple, the violence is ruthless, realistic and ugly, as in real life. While our protagonist ("Mulder" David Duchovny) is looking for an explanation for the mindset of serial killers, the film has no answers to the questions of the their motifs. Which just makes it even more unpleasant and important. Well done.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Fear never travels alone

Good movie. It gets better as it goes along. Not only is the story very impressive, so is the acting from our four leads. Overall this is a very good and impressive psychological thriller with a very powerful story.

Brian Kessler, a journalist researching serial killers, and his photographer girlfriend Carrie set out on a cross-country tour of the sites of the killings. Sharing the ride and their expenses are Early Grayce, a paroled white trash criminal, and his girlfriend Adele. As the trip progresses, Early begins to appear more and more unstable, and Brian and Carrie begin to fear that they may have a real-life killer in the back seat of their car.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Kalifornia Quotes

– Submitted by Melanie D (2 years ago)

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