• R, 1 hr. 54 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Ulu Grosbard
    In Theaters:
    Mar 18, 1978 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 22, 2007
  • Warner Bros. Pictures

Opening

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—— Unforgettable: Season 2

Straight Time Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2010
I watch a lot of movies and most of them are decent. A lot of the time I've got to convince myself that I didn't just waste a couple hours of my time or I'll have to dig for reasons as to why I liked a particular movie but whatever. But I'll endure long stretches of mediocrity because I know there are movies like Straight Time out there. I know there are obscure and unheard of gems that for one reason or another have been forgotten. This isn't to say Straight Time is a perfect movie. David Shire's hokey and dated score and a slow buildup work against it but this is easily one of Dustin Hoffman's best performances and the rest of the cast is nothing short of brilliant. Once Hoffman's character makes his choice to go back to a life of crime after the first hour, the story just creeps and creeps on you and doesn't let up. Written by Eddie Bunker (Mr. Blue from Reservoir Dogs), who spent much of his life in prison, this movie also gives what I'm guessing is a pretty accurate and definitely gritty portrayal of an ex-con's life. By the time it's over all you can do is as yourself why the hell you haven't seen it before or why Straight Time isn't as celebrated as it should be.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2010
A hidden jewel that shows 70s gritty and raw cinematic power. Perfect Hoffman characterization of Max Dembo, a man who sees crime as the main engine of his existence.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

October 14, 2007
Superb, but sadly forgotten, character study.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2007
dull ugly looking film
Danny R

Super Reviewer

June 15, 2010
A fascinating character study of a hardcore career criminal, Max Dembo, Dustin Hoffman in one of his finest and most underrated performances. Dembo is a loser who rationalizes his psychotic behavior by a thief's code of honor. After serving six years in prison he is release on parole, he attempts to go straight, and get regular employment. But his ball-busting, slimy parole officer, played superbly by veteran character actor M. Emment Walsh, has driven him to the breaking point with his constant harassment, because of him Dembo soon ends up in jail again. When he gets out he takes revenge on the parole office by assaulting him and handcuffing him to a fence in the middle of a highway without his trousers.This begins his downward spiral back towards a life of crime. Well-directed by Ulu Grosbard with outstanding supporting performances by Theresa Russell, Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton, and Kathy Bates. An engrossing film. Highly Recommended.
Stephen E

Super Reviewer

December 26, 2011
This is not a film about a man moving up in the world of crime, but rather about his decline. The farther up he goes, the harder it is to go back down. Giving up begins to seem more and more futile, even if it means running for the rest of his life. There is a cast of fine performances in "Straight Time", but the best acting comes from Hoffman, whose meticulous performance the film dwells upon. He manifests the character of Max better than any other actor imaginable, and not once does his acting ever falter.
mattsigur1
mattsigur1

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2011
The reason I enjoyed this flick so much, besides the fact that it's a heist flick, is Dustin Hoffman playing against type. Watching Hoffman go Pacino-crazy-like on his parole office is an added bonus. Good for an evening view. One of the underrated, or unheard of for me, rather, gems on netflix instant.
James B

Super Reviewer

October 6, 2008
Hoffman is stellar as usual in this somewhat forgotten gem from the late 70's. Excellent crime flick.
Patrick D

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2008
That's what I call a fucking movie.
You Know.
It's not "profoundly" directed, but it's directed right and adequate. There are shots in this film that are beautiful just because of how great they fit in, and stand out at the same time. I've never even heard of Uli Grosbard before, but I'd love to see more by him.
The script also really gave something too. Making crime out to be like a drug. And just playing everything well.
Let's of course not forget fucking Dustin Hoffman, who WAS Max Dembo, and really shows how talented he is as an actor.
Do yourself and favor and see this, and love it.
Wu C

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2008
Interesting character study of career criminal 'Max Dembo'.
August 23, 2012
Harrowing crime drama, with Hoffman as an ex-con trying to go straight. But, we learn he has a breaking point, and the drama is what happens if he gets to that point. Excellent performance from Hoffman, plus great work from Director Grosbard and his crew. Very unique film that must be seen if you love Hoffman's work!
February 10, 2012
Good performance by Dustin Hoffman. Not too many people know about this entertaining movie. Good cast.
GabrielKnight
December 2, 2010
Arguably the best performance by Dustin Hoffman. One of his rare non-comic roles, it shows that there's a lot more to him to being a funny man. Excellent story and very well told. Also starring Theresa Russel in her debut role!
Brody M

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2009
Edward Bunker is my favorite author & No Beast So Fierce is my favorite book but this movie sucked!!!
jklein8787
July 13, 2007
One of my favorite 70's films and easily Hoffman's best performance. They don't make films like these anymore.
heartman71
July 5, 2007
Dustin Hoffman's most underrated performance, and one of his least seen films, which is a shame, because it ranks with his best. It portrays a thief who is released from prison, and in trying to go straight, he finds the world is even more corrupt on the outside than it was in jail. Great work.
johnwaynebandit
June 30, 2007
Great underrated movie... about a man struggling to stay in line in a systyem that has destined him for failure... A great movie about when a bad guy tries to go good and can't break his past... In an odd way this movie reminded me of an old western movie... can't say why, it just had that feel to me...
victorwantsrevenge
June 23, 2007
Very good 70's film. I'm starting ti understand why Hoffman was such a huge star then. His performance is very good. And the movie, in total 70's style, didn't go where I thought. It was much better and more dark.
February 19, 2014
How has nobody seen this film!? Unbelievably underrated film with incredible performances from Hoffman, Busey, Stanton, and Walsh.
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