A River Runs Through It (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

A River Runs Through It (1992)



Critic Consensus: Tasteful to a fault, this period drama combines a talented cast (including a young Brad Pitt) with some stately, beautifully filmed work from director Robert Redford.

A River Runs Through It Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This film, based on an autobiographical book by Norman MacLean, centers on brothers Paul and Norman, the sons of a Presbyterian minister living in Montana. Norman is the responsible son; hard-living Paul is the rebel. What unites the MacLean men is their mutual love of fly fishing.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Norman Maclean, Richard Friedenberg, William Hjortsberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 23, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Craig Sheffer
as Norman Maclean
Brad Pitt
as Paul Maclean
Tom Skerritt
as Mr. Maclean
Brenda Blethyn
as Mrs. Maclean
Emily Lloyd
as Jessie Burns
Edie McClurg
as Mrs. Burns
Stephen Shellen
as Neal Burns
Vann Gravage
as Young Paul
Rob Cox
as Conroy
Fred Oakland
as Mr. Burns
David Creamer
as Ken Burns
Madonna Reubens
as Aunt Sally
Macintyre Dixon
as Police Sergeant
William Hootkins
as Mr. Murchison
Jess Schwidde
as Mr. Sweeney
Chuck Adamson
as Harry the Editor
Rex Kendall
as Reporter
Jack Kroll
as Reporter
Martina Kreidl
as Secretary at Newspap...
Noah Snyder
as Copy Boy at Newspape...
Philip A. Braun
as Dealer at Lolo
Tracy Mayfield
as Bouncer at Lolo
Anne Merrem
as Hooker at Lolo
Chuck Tweed
as Drunk in Jail
Prudence Johnson
as Pavilion Singer
D. Gorton
as Pavilion Announcer
Lincoln Quesenberry
as Drunk in Alley
Hawk Forssell
as Bouncer at Speakeasy
Jim Dunkin
as Speakeasy Bartender
Jacob Snyder
as Piano Player
Kathy Scharler
as Waitress at Speakeas...
Don Jeffery
as Black Jack
Byron Dingman
as Speakeasy Patron
Cecily Johnson
as Speakeasy Patron
Robert Redford
as Narration
Caleb Shiff
as Young John
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A River Runs Through It

Critic Reviews for A River Runs Through It

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (11)

A skilled, careful adaptation of a much-admired story.

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Top Critic

This may work for you if you settle at the outset for a nostalgic, all-American mood piece.

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Leave your preconceptions about fishing at the door: you'll be caught hook, line and sinker.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Here are two things I never thought I'd say: I like a movie about fly fishing, and Robert Redford has directed one of the most ambitious, accomplished films of the year.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Redford's movie is too little show and too much tell.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Redford and his writer, Richard Friedenberg, understand that most of the events in any life are accidential or arbitrary, especially the crucial ones, and we can exercise little conscious control over our destinies.

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

Audience Reviews for A River Runs Through It

This movie is about the youth and young adulthood of two brothers - set in the mountains of Montana - with fly fishing as a major component. Robert Redford is the narrator (and director). Worth watching.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Absolutely breathtaking cinematography more than makes up for a less-than riveting storyline. A young Brad Pitt shines as well.

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer


Robert Redford directs and narrates this American poem about the life of one family in early 20th century Montana. Touching and evocative, surely this is one of Redford's better films, a bittersweet toast to life itself. The casting choice of C.Sheffer, in my opinion, is where this work unfortunately falters. He seems to be wondering through the length of the film: "what am I doing in this here movie with Brad Pitt?!?"

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A River Runs Through It Quotes

– Submitted by Sandpoint I (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Sandpoint I (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Mackenzie M (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Mackenzie M (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss A River Runs Through It on our Movie forum!