Critics Consensus

1985 pays tribute to a generation of lost lives with a powerfully made look at how HIV and the social attitudes surrounding homosexuality affect one man's choices.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 255
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Movie Info

Having been gone for three years, closeted advertising executive Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, "Gotham") returns to his Texas hometown for the holidays during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York City, Adrian looks to reconnect with his preteen brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) while navigating his relationship with religious parents Eileen (Academy Award Nominee Virginia Madsen) and Dale (Golden Globe Award Winner Michael Chiklis). When he reaches out to his estranged childhood friend Carly (Jamie Chung, "The Gifted"), their unresolved issues force Adrian to confront an uncertain future that will significantly alter the lives of those around him. Shot on black-and-white super 16mm film, "1985" takes a unique look at a pivotal moment in American history through the prism of empathy, love and family.

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Critic Reviews for 1985

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (11)

  • What really distinguishes the film is that it gets deep inside this broken family without becoming histrionic or accusatory. Tan avoids any hint of sentimentality, concentrating on the pain instead.

    Apr 24, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The dark inky frames are full of shadows and dread. Yet the narrative, and Adrian's journey, is always leavened with quiet compassion.

    Dec 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A poignant footnote to a monumental crisis.

    Dec 21, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a beautifully acted film. In the dark days of the epidemic it would surely have been impossible to make a drama so balanced, so compassionately attuned to everyone's feelings.

    Dec 12, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Top Critic
  • 1985 feels like a missing minor classic from the decade that preceded the rise of the so-called New Queer Cinema.

    Oct 26, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A moving cinematic sketch of a HIV-infected man living through the height of the plague.

    Oct 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 1985


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