The 'Burbs


The 'Burbs

Critics Consensus

The 'Burbs has an engaging premise, likable cast, and Joe Dante at the helm -- so the mixed-up genre exercise they produce can't help but feel like a disappointment.



Reviews Counted: 37

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 60,767


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

Ward and June Cleaver have nothing on suburban couple Ray and Carol Peterson (Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher). Together with their perfect son, Ray and Carol are so clean that they squeak. Thus, when new neighbors Dr. Werner Klopek (Henry Gibson), Uncle Reuben (Brother Theodore), and Hans (Courtney Gains) begin evincing bizarre behavior, Ray is slightly put out. Carol thinks that Ray is getting all worked up over nothing. Ray and his fellow suburbanites endure all sorts of slapstick misadventures in the vain hope of getting "the goods" on the newcomers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Tom Hanks
as Ray Peterson
Bruce Dern
as Mark Rumsfield
Carrie Fisher
as Carol Peterson
Rick Ducommun
as Art Weingartner
Corey Feldman
as Ricky Butler
Henry Gibson
as Dr. Werner Klopek
Wendy Schaal
as Bonnie Rumsfield
Theodore Gottlieb
as Uncle Reuben Klopek
Courtney Gains
as Hans Klopek
Cory Danziger
as Dave Peterson
Heather Haase
as Ricky's Girl Friend
Nick Katt
as Steve Kuntz
Brenda Benner
as Walter's Daughter
Patrika Darbo
as Art's Wife
Dick Miller
as Vic, Garbageman #1
Robert Picardo
as Joe, Garbageman #2
Franklyn Ajaye
as Detective #1
Bill Stevenson
as Ricky's Friend
Nicky Katt
as Steve Kuntz
Rance Howard
as Detective #2
Gary Hays
as Ricky's Friend
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News & Interviews for The 'Burbs

Critic Reviews for The 'Burbs

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11)

  • It's inconceivable that "The 'burbs looked good on paper.

    Mar 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The 'Burbs doesnit quite go the distance, but for most of its length it is a superbly inventive, insightful and funny black comedy.

    Feb 22, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This movie was directed by Joe Dante, whose style has become increasingly broad and abrasive since he made the clever Gremlins back in 1984.

    Feb 22, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The script would like to be a horror film, a comedy and a commentary on suburban living, but it doesn't hit any target.

    Feb 22, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Director Joe Dante funnels his decidedly cracked view of suburban life through dark humour in The 'Burbs.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Characteristically, Dante's nonchalant attitude towards plot structure makes for erratic pacing (the last half hour does flag), but that's part and parcel of his breathless, anarchic style.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The 'Burbs

I love this movie to pieces. It is one my all time favorite 80's film and definitely my favorite Tom Hanks film. The neighbors are crazy and the characters are a lot of fun. The whole movie is fun. It's a comfort movie for me. One I know that will forever be on my shelf and one I will always go back to watch. I can't believe there are still so many who haven't seen this film. If you get the chance do so.


Super Reviewer


This comedy shows Tom Hanks at his early best, as him and his friends are trying to investigate the disappearance of a neighbor and the new oddball family that moved in next door. The film has little flattering things to say about the so called normal suburb life and its picket fences. At the same time, it's hard not to like these narrow-minded and silly characters. The plot is smart enough not to reveal if they are just seeing ghosts or if evil has been moving in next door. It's just good 80s kind of fun to see things develop and turn into a whole lot of mess.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Dante is one of my favourite directors, and I remember absolutely loving this comedy about a strange new family that moves into the neighbourhood, but I can't seem to remember it too well. I need to re-watch this one.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

One of the best early films from Tom Hanks, The Burbs is a terrific horror comedy with plenty of laughs. The Burbs is actually a great film for non horror fans to watch because its scary elements are used purely for comical effect. The film surrounds neighbors who have to deal with a weird family that has moved into the neighborhood. Tom Hanks plays Ray Peterson the neighbor of the new family, The Klopeks. Ray gets more and more involved during his vacation into investigating the family next door. At first, he suspects something strange as Ray comes out and sees strange flashing lights and a strange roaring sound. It's not soon after that his neighbors start suspecting the strangest things that are happening next door to ray's place. Art is the neighbor who's interests are primarily in conspiracies and other odd stuff. Mark Rumsfield is the paranoid Vietnam veteran and Ricky Butler is the neighborhood teen who tries to impress his friends with the strange ongoings in his neighborhood due to his neighbors investigating the odd family, the Klopeks. The Burbs is yet another terrific film by director Joe Dante who directed Gremlins and Piranha. The film will definitely appeal to Horror genre fans and is one of the best Horror comedies to come out during the 80's. Dante's colorful cast do a great job, and the film is as equally funny as it is tense. A terrific, underrated gem of a film The Burbs is a film not to miss. If you love light hearted horror and mystery mixed with great comedy, then this is a film that will definitely appeal to you.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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