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Repo Man (1984)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 1

Repo Man is many things: an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, a send-up of consumerism. One thing it isn't is boring.

100

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0

Repo Man is many things: an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, a send-up of consumerism. One thing it isn't is boring.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 30,599

My Rating

Movie Info

A down and out young punk gets a job working with a seasoned repo man, but what awaits him in his new career is a series of outlandish adventures revolving around aliens, the CIA, and a most wanted '64 Chevy.

R,

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

Alex Cox

Aug 28, 2000

Universal Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Repo Man

March 19, 2010:
Critics Consensus: Wimpy Kid Gets Picked On
This week at the movies, we've got a scheming tween (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, starring Zachary Gordon...
December 4, 2008:
Repo Man Sequel Starts Filming in January
"Repo Chick," Alex Cox's David Lynch-produced, recession-inspired sequel to "Repo Man," will begin...

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (1) | DVD (30)

Repo Man has the type of unerring energy that leaves audiences breathless and entertained.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cox's style is a step beyond camp into a comedy of pure disgust; much of the film is churlishly unpleasant, but there's a core of genuine anger that gives the project an emotional validation lacking in the flabby American comedies of the early 80s.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are endless things to enjoy, from Robby Müller's crisp camerawork to a superb set of performances, from witty movie parodies to a tremendous punk soundtrack.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Repo Man comes out of left field, has no big stars, didn't cost much, takes chances, dares to be unconventional, is funny, and works. There is a lesson here.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's very entertaining, and though it's rude in an R-rated way, it has the good taste never to promise more than it can deliver.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a one of a kind anomaly with Emilio Estevez at his best.

June 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It's kind of a road movie and kind of a science fiction movie and kind of a look at those unsung heroes who repossess cars amid the haze of serious drug use.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Mania.com
Mania.com

It was 1984 and Americans were on course to re-elect a s****y, sadistic, semi-sentient president. In a f****** landslide.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A playful mood informs Repo Man, yet Cox also takes time to comment on the seamy side of LA, the crushing realities of living in a comformist society, and the problems inherent in a decade that so baldly worships Reagan, L. Ron Hubbard and TV evangelists.

May 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A 1984 underground touchstone [that's] a creepy visitation from a fracturing society.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

a western [but] also a punk road movie, a conspiratorial cold-war chase caper, a paranoid apocalypse sci-fi, a postmodern mixed "plate of shrimp", a hilarious Eighties satire and a wry lowlife rejoinder to Reagan's upwardly mobile American dream.

February 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Half-shaggy, half-annihilating vision of a junk culture

November 11, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Defiant, antisocial 'tude in '80s punk sci-fi satire.

September 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Fine, stylish debut from Alex Cox with some great turns from the two leads.

April 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A cult film par excellance.

April 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Wickedly funny, ceaselessly inventive, and never boring.

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The punk/sci-fi film to beat.

April 9, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A sci-fi thriller takes a wacky look at a particular LA subculture and a zany farce with lunatic characters, including a TV evangelist who preaches against "Godless Communism" abroad and liberal humanism at home.

December 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Screendaily
Screendaily

Right up there with the 1980s cult classics like Heathers, Buckaroo Banzai, and Brazil.

February 18, 2006 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

Pure weirdo fun.

February 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

...the movie, more often than not, just comes off as strange for strangeness' sake.

January 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (3)
Reel Film Reviews

Emilio and Cox topped out early with this dirty little postmodern classic.

December 12, 2005
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for Repo Man

A shiftless punk kid takes a job as a car repossesor and finds himself among the many ruthless parties searching for a 1964 Chevy Malibu with a mysterious cargo in the trunk. This gritty punk satire has an appealing wackiness, boosted by sharp dialogue and great roguish performances by Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton.
July 11, 2013
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

This is definitely a product of its time. Alex Cox's debut film is a wild and inventive, albeit messy mix of sci-fi, dark humor, G-Men, and punk rock, and it all revolves around the world of car repossession.

Otto is a young down trodden punk who reluctantly gets a job as a repo man, a job he at first scoffs about, but comes to love, mostly due to the quick cash, and the exciting car chases that result, mostly due to the fact that they're an inescapable aspect of the job.

All seems to be going fine enouh, but he suddenly gets thrust into a mad cap screwball plot that's such a wacky and convoluted mess that it makes fellow cult classic The Big Lebowski seem normal and mainstream by comparison.

The movie is defintiely inventive, and has lots of neat ideas, and, while I can't fault a film in general for trying to be ambitious, I think Cox tried a little too hard and tried to throw too much into the mix with this one. It's all so absurd and weird and really doesn't come together all that great, yet, the film's not boring, and is made better by the performances from Emilio Estevez as Otto, and Harry Dean Stanton as the repo guru Bud. Also, Olivia Barash sticks out as being attractive in a rahter odd way (to me at least). I dunno, it was late at night whe nI watched it, and I was tired, and it seemed like she was more "out there pretty" than "regular pretty".

Anyways, this movie's not great, but it's not a full on train wreck either. It's flawed, yet still kinda fun. If you're into films that defintiely aren't predictable, and have an appreciation for punk, then give this a spin.
July 22, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Talk about cult films, this is probably the king of cults, the perfect example of a trashy low grade 80's punk film that incompasses everything from a weird B-movie plot to glorious displays of anarchy.

Harry Dean Stanton riding high on his 'Alien' fame still chose to go with this which is curious but shows his respect for director Cox, a true British oddball. The plot is just non sensical really, dead aliens in the trunk of a car that is being driven around by some scientist guy who is slowly going mad from the radiation emitted from the bodies. At the same time Estevez and Stanton are repo men and pinching peoples cars when they hear of this one car and the reward, there isn't really much explanation for backstory here.

I love how this film looks with its grimy low budget vibe and harsh street language hehe you gotta love Estevez's look here too, weird kinda clean cut punk thing going on. The film makes little sense and isn't explained in any fashion, it just happens cos it happens basically, director Cox manages to combine an Ed Wood level of sci-fi with a kind of urban punk ghetto gang theme running through it at the same time. The results are not exactly off the wall but gloriously silly, cheap and somewhat eccentric if you will, the whole thing is kinda like a druggie trip.

Certainly not mainstream and probably not liked by just as many that do and see it as a cult classic. Very unique yet kinda pointless really, there doesn't appear to be any kind of revelation or moral to the story, it just ends on a very tacky looking bit of sci-fi leaving the rest up to you.
May 18, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

This film can only be described as inexplicably awesome. Really, I can't think of any other way to describe it. I mean, here's the description this website has for the film: "A down and out young punk gets a job working with a seasoned repo man, but what awaits him in his new career is a series of outlandish adventures revolving around aliens, the CIA, and a most wanted '64 Chevy." Sound insane? It's because it is. And it's a ton of fun. This is one of those cult films you have to see. Almost as quotable as a Monty Python film and it's one of the best examples in film history where imagination and great performances trump the limitations of a very low budget. It's intense, because the life of a Repo Man is always intense.
March 31, 2012
Jacob Ethington

Super Reviewer

    1. Miller: You'll find one in every car. You'll see
    – Submitted by Dale M (23 months ago)
    1. Duke: Let's go get sushi and not pay!
    – Submitted by Jimmy G (2 years ago)
    1. Agent Rogers: It happens sometimes, people just explode. Natural causes.
    – Submitted by Peter A (3 years ago)
    1. Otto Maddox: (to his mother, which tells him to eat off a plate so he can enjoy the meal more) Couldn't enjoy it any more, Mom. Mm, mm, mmm.
    – Submitted by G. V (3 years ago)
    1. Bud: I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.
    2. Otto Maddox: That's bullshit. You're a white suburban punk just like me.
    3. Bud: Yeah, but it still hurts.
    – Submitted by Gm C (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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