Rumble Fish (1983)
Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 7
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Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 22,657
One of two S.E. Hinton novels Francis Ford Coppola directed in 1983, Rumble Fish is a stylized black-and-white film about the death of gang culture in a rough-and-tumble town full of stunted youths. The central character is the strutting Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a foul-mouthed lunkhead clad in sweaty tank tops, who passes his time at the billiards hall waiting for "something" to happen in his life. That something might be the return of his brother, known only as the Motorcycle Boy (Mickey
Oct 7, 1983 Wide
Sep 8, 1998
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If Rumble Fish fails as a traditional movie about real people, it is beguiling as an exercise in hallucinatory style.
Coppola's recent viewing seems to have been German silent films of the '20s, so he has decided to coat the whole enterprise in a startling Expressionist style, which is very arresting but hardly appropriate to the matter in hand.
This is a movie you are likely to hate, unless you can love it for its crazy, feverish charm.
A number of the images in Rumble Fish are more memorable than the film is as a whole, sometimes for the wrong reasons.
The action is clotted and murky, and Coppola obviously hasn't bothered to clarify it for the members of his cast, who wander through the film with expressions of winsome, honest befuddlement.
Rumble Fish is like a unisex Sweet 16 gift for children whose favorite hangouts are the pool hall, the Cinématheque Française, and the rings of Saturn.
A bit too over-stylized to allow for any great involvement, the most interesting part of this is spotting the young actors before they became stars -- most notably nephew-of-the-director Nicolas Cage.
Transcends the conventions of its roots to present a moving showcase of agitated, fitful youth.
An offbeat experiment that, while certainly not a brilliant movie, flies far more than it fails.
Visually stunning but dramatically inert coming-of-age tale
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