Grand Canyon (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Grand Canyon (1991)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Director Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon is a gathering of random events, uniting the film's wildly divergent protagonists. Driving home from an LA Lakers game, Mack (Kevin Kline), an immigration attorney, is stranded in an unsavory part of town when his car breaks down. He is rescued from a gang of hoods by Simon (Danny Glover), an African-American tow truck driver, inaugurating a friendship between these two men. Mack offers to repay Simon's kindness by helping his sister (Tina Lifford) find an apartment in a better neighborhood, and by arranging a blind date between Simon and Jane (Alfre Woodard), a friend of Mack's secretary Dee (Mary Louise Parker). Woven into this fabric are the tribulations of Mack's best friend, a pompous exploitation movie producer (Steve Martin), who is later wounded in a robbery similar to the one threatening Mack at the beginning of the film; of Mack's wife Claire (Mary McDonnell), who adopts an abandoned baby, and disenfranchised son Roberto (Jeremy Sisto); and of Simon's nephew (Patrick Malone), who is contemplating joining a street gang. The title is symbolic, referring to the class-imposed chasms which would normally separate the characters. Kasdan co-wrote the screenplay with his wife Meg.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Cast

Jeremy Sisto
as Roberto
Tina Lifford
as Deborah
Randle Mell
as The Alley Baron
Sarah Trigger
as Vanessa
Candace Mead
as Claire's Baby
Loren Mead
as Claire's Baby
Shaun Baker
as Rocstar
Deon Sams
as Jimmy
Walt Jordan
as Deuce Cop
Todd Allen
as Myers
Carole Ita White
as Morning Nurse
Basil Wallace
as Insurance Salesman
Georgina Lindsey
as Cathy Fox
Jack Kehler
as Steve Fox
Lynn Salvatori
as Woman in Baseball Cap
Jim Morange
as Bus Driver
Sharon Lee Jones
as Studio Girl
Ben Chaney
as Young Roberto
Gary Carlos Cervantes
as Watch Robber
Ben McCreary
as Jackson
Brett Jones
as Window-Breaking Thug
Jeanne Bates
as Mrs. Menken
Sam H. Ginsburg
as Mr. Menken
Brett A. Jones
as Window-Breaking Thug
Paul Short
as Myers's Partner
Hugh Ross
as Davis's Assistant
Willie C. Carpenter
as Simon's Friend
Edward G. Perez
as Carlos's 1st Friend
Clifton Collins Jr.
as Carlo's Second Friend
Hugh R. Ross
as Davis's Assistant
Anne Ward
as Davis's Assistant
Roxanne Kasdan
as Davis's Assistant
Cora Lee Day
as Woman in Car
John Ashby
as Woman's Driver
Jacqueline Alexandra
as 1st Forum Twin
Kristen Amber
as 2nd Forum Twin
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News & Interviews for Grand Canyon

Critic Reviews for Grand Canyon

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9)

This is the sound of a filmmaker wrestling (transparently) with ideas, talking at but not quite down to his audience.

Full Review… | April 18, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

[An] earnest, often moving but not totally successful film.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

If this disaster-packed parable often smacks of melodramatic contrivance, it does at least benefit from solid performances and direction, and a leavening line in sardonic humour.

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

For long stretches of this offbeat and innovative film, the viewer truly has no idea what will happen next and many reasons to care.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Even when he wasn't trying, Kasdan's camera found tragedy, as with the opening footage of Magic Johnson, filmed before anybody knew he had the AIDS virus. The filmmaker and his team have truly caught society on the verge.

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

It maps these dark, desperate, fearful times with comic and terrifying veracity, and holds out a glimmer of hope for the soul-searching survivors of the '90s.

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

Audience Reviews for Grand Canyon

An uplifting drama from Larry Kasdan that takes a peek into the modern urban life, about the fear and confined spaces within which everyone's living. The plot revolves around six characters, each of them having trouble to get on with their daily lives, for several different reasons. As these lives serendipitously criss-cross each other, they're convinced eventually that there's hope at the end of the tunnel.

Sajin P A
Sajin P A

Super Reviewer

Almost like an unofficial prequel to Crash, but it really doesn't have the unique style or writing. It's pretty obvious that this was made to be an edgy race film and it almost has no purpose aside from that. A lot, if not all, of the characters are one-noted. It's good for a casual viewing in your high school classroom, but it is so unrealistic and negligent that it can't be taken seriously.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

This ensemble drama follows the lives of a couple of Los Angeles residents in the early 90s and their exceedingly pessimistic view on their lives and the state of the world at that time. Carried by excellent performances (Kevin Kline, Mary McDonnell and Steve Martin in a surprisingly serious, yet not entirely humorless role) the film develops a quite mesmerizing pace, despite of a few slow scenes (especially the dream sequences could have used some editing), also thanks to James Newton Howard's great soundtrack score. The fact that the film doesn't feel the need to end in a pretentiously dramatic and bad way is another big plus. It's keeping its optimistic view throughout the small twists of fate the characters have to go through, stating that it pays off to care about others and trying to help them out. And the final moments of the film are as overwhelming and humbling for the characters as for the audience. A smart, touching and heart-warming experience.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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