A Perfect World (1993)



Critic Consensus: Despite some formulaic touches, Clint Eastwood's haunting, ambiguous crime drama is smart and gritty, and features a bravura performance from Kevin Costner as a prison escapee on the run.

Movie Info

Set in Texas during the fateful month of November 1963, director Clint Eastwood stars as Red Garnett, a Texas Ranger on a manhunt for an escaped criminal (Kevin Costner) who has kidnapped a young boy (T.J. Lowther) and taken off across Texas to get away.

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Lee Hancock
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 1, 2002
Warner Home Video


as Butch Haynes

as Sally Gerber

as Phillip Perry

as Terry Pugh

as Bradley

as Paul Saunders

as Gladys Perry

as Naomi Perry

as Eileen

as Ruth Perry

as Governor

as Bob Fielder

as Bob's Wife

as Bob Fielder Jr.

as Oldtimer

as General Store Manage...

as Local Sheriff

as Farmer's Wife

as Officer Terrance

as Officer Pete

as Governor's Aide

as Road Block Officer

as Tom Adler

as Officer Jones

as Mr. Hughes

as Officer Orrison

as Lottie

as Mr. Willits

as Trick 'r Treat Lady

as Arch Andrews

as Lt. Hendricks

as Cleveland

as Helicopter Pilot

as Helicopter Pilot

as Fred Cummings

as Red Garnett

as Tom Adler

as Prison Guard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for A Perfect World

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11)

In going beyond chase-yarn duty, Eastwood and Costner do themselves proud.

June 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

This is a movie that surprises you.

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

Within its narrow, unambitious, commercial boundaries, the movie is highly watchable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A Perfect World is evidence that Hollywood is still capable of producing the kinds of moving, intelligent movies that have increasingly become the province of independent film makers.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

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

It's an American masterpiece.

Full Review… | November 26, 2013
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for A Perfect World


An escaped convict takes an 8 year old boy hostage and is pursued in the resulting manhunt by a motley assortment of lawmen headed by pragmatic good ol' boy Clint Eastwood. The fact that the central characters of this film are a desperate criminal and an 8 year old Jehovah's witness (not to mention Costner's presence) would probably provoke a groan from more cynical cinephiles expecting a saccharine drenched schmaltz-fest about "learning from each other" and "growing as a person". And they'd be right in some respects as that pretty much is what the film is all about, but thanks to Eastwood's sensitive direction it manages to sidestep cloying sentimentality and the result is an endearing road movie cum western with a streak of gentle humour. The weak link is probably Kevin Costner and if it weren't for the obvious age issues I think he and Clint would've been better served swapping roles, but he still gives a decent performance as the damaged career criminal who comes to share a common bond with his tiny captive. Perhaps the message about the penal system gets a little lost in amongst all the good natured banter, but it's still an intelligent and sensitive offbeat thriller that's well worth seeking out.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

I'm very biased towards Clint Eastwood films. I believe that he is a terrific director and actor, and he's also one of my favorites actors. I thought that A Perfect World is a wonderful drama that is among Clint Eastwood's best. Not only does Eastwood direct, but he also acts in this film. The story surrounds a kidnapped boy and a convict who become friends as the convict, Butch (Kevin Costner) shows Phillip (T.J Lowther) the joys of life as Phillip is a Jeovah's Witness and has never enjoyed stuff that other kids do. This film has a good heart, and is very charming as we see Butch' and Phillip's friendship unfold. There are a few violent parts, but this film has a very good story. This is the type of film only Clint Eastwood could make. A Perfect World is a near perfect film, and this is one of Kevin Costner's best films. I absolutely enjoyed this film and I thought it great. There are a few things that could have been perfected, but theres so little mistakes in this film that one can forgive its imperfections. A wonderful story, brought to life by a great cast and a great director, A Perfect World is simply a terrific, well acted film that is another Eastwood classic. This is definitely a film that Clint Eastwood fans shouldn't pass up. A remarkable film that is sad, funny and powerful, A Perfect World is awonderful drama film that should be seen.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A Perfect World is a very good and very underrated Clint Eastwood film. Kevin Costner is great as Butch Haynes. It possibly is his greatest performance of his career. Lowther is very convincing in his role as Phillip and helps take the movie from good to great. The movie takes you through a gauntlet of emotions through their performances. At times it is fun to watch and at other times it is very sad. The movie deserves much more exposure then it has, which is surprising seeing as it's a Clint Eastwood movie.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A Perfect World Quotes

– Submitted by Ismael M (4 years ago)

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