The Unbelievable Truth (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Unbelievable Truth (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Unbelievable Truth Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Writer-director Hal Hartley's first feature -- shot in less than 12 days in his backyard for a mere $200,000 -- is a dry and dark comedy about the dangerous undercurrents that exist below the surface of normal middle class existence. Over the credits, Josh (Robert Burke), a man garbed in black, is seen hitch-hiking back to his Long Island home. People ask him, "Are you a priest?" and Josh responds, "No. I'm a mechanic." Back in Long Island in the town of Lindenhurst, beautiful and somber 17-year-old Audry (Adrienne Shelly) is busy worrying about the forthcoming apocalypse. Josh arrives in Lindenhurst and is hired by Audry's father (Chris Cooke) as a mechanic at his garage. But Audry's father worries about him, particularly when he falls in love with Audry. Her father's problems compound when Audry dumps her old boyfriend and rejects an invitation to attend Harvard. The whole town is now gossiping about Audry's new boyfriend, with rumors spreading that Josh is a mass murderer who killed two members of the family of local waitress Pearl (Julia McNeal). Pearl tells Audry, "He seems like a nice man." Audry responds, "Even though he killed your father and your sister?" Audry finally makes her father happy when she tells him she won't see Josh again, but dad's relief is short-lived when Audry informs him she's moving to New York to become an underwear model. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Hal Hartley
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2001


Chris Cooke
as Vic Hugo
David Healy
as Todd Whitbread
Edie Falco
as Jane, the Waitress
Jeff Howard
as Irate Driver
Kelly Reichardt
as Irate Driver's Wife
Turner Ross
as Irate Driver's Son
Mary Flynn
as Girl at Counter
Tom Thon
as News Vendor
Mary Sue Flynn
as Girl at Counter
Jeffrey Howard
as Irate Driver
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Unbelievable Truth

Critic Reviews for The Unbelievable Truth

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

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

Audience Reviews for The Unbelievable Truth

Mr. Hartley and his director of photography, Michael Spiller, have made a film that is visually and verbally much richer than its low budget.

I don't know. If you like the Indie vibe, you'll probably be OK, but I struggle with some of the acting here. There are some funny parts, but Rolling Stone's "Wildly Hilarious" comment is mildly exaggerated.


One of the first Hal Hartley movies. Unfortunately he hasn't quite found his style yet, I recommend "Trust" instead, it was shot shortly after with a somewhat similar plot, but it's a much better movie.

Gabriel Knight

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