Better Off Dead (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Better Off Dead (1985)




Critic Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.

Better Off Dead Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

When his girlfriend dumps him in favor of a more popular kid, a lovestruck teenager's day is ruined. Everyone seems to be tormenting him, from the paperboy to the deejay on the radio. Little does he realize that a French foreign exchange student has a crush on himmore
Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Steve Holland, Savage Steve Holland, Isidore Mankofsky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 16, 2002
CBS Entertainment Production


John Cusack
as Lane Meyer
Kim Darby
as Jenny Meyer
Curtis Armstrong
as Charles De Mar
Scooter Stevens
as Badger Meyer
Dan Schneider
as Ricky Smith
Laura Waterbury
as Mrs. Smith
Aaron Dozier
as Roy Stalin
David Vaughan
as 3rd Jock
Yuji Okumoto
as Yee Sook Ree
Tina Littlewood
as Chris Cummins
Steven Williams
as Tree Trimmer
J. Warren David
as Ski Buddy
Joey Tushnet
as Paperboy
Yano Anaya
as Paperboy
Rima Delane
as Joanne Greenwald
Stuart K. Robinson
as Tree Trimmer's Helpe...
Brian Imada
as Chen Ree
Thomas Rollerson
as Roller Skater
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Better Off Dead

Critic Reviews for Better Off Dead

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2)

The film doesn't seem to have much of a focus. But it doesn't seem to want one, either.

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

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full of...goofy ironies, and while it ain't Molière, it is a pretty great entry in the teen-comedy genre. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | August 2, 2011
Groucho Reviews

Unfortunately, only about half of the many jokes and gags in the film are actually funny.

Full Review… | July 24, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

perhaps the greatest movie of all time

Full Review… | July 19, 2007

Hilarious and brilliantly deadpan.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Better Off Dead


Apparently a cult classic (a fact I was unaware about ... I nearly trashed the thing in the opening 5 minutes for spewing flagrant stupidity at me ("This is terrible."), it took a moment to warm me to the leads, to the flavor of the piece, but once acclimated I discovered that there was charm available here. Cusack et al keep it at a quick pace, it's already a piece of cotton candy, and it gets to be like play-fighting a goofy younger brother in the back seat of yer parents' car.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Things only started picking up when John Cusack stared hanging out with the pseudo-French girl. She was really adorable.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Hilarious John Cusack movie :) I love it :) He was so adorable in the 80s & I love that Johnny kid who always wanted his two dollars lol :) :) :) :) :) :)

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Better Off Dead Quotes

– Submitted by Ana V (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Ana V (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Ana V (4 years ago)

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