Cutter's Way

1981

Cutter's Way (1981)

TOMATOMETER

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Critic Consensus: A suitably cynical neo-noir that echoes the disillusionment of its era, Cutter's Way relies on character-driven drama further elevated by the work of an outstanding cast.

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Movie Info

When his close friend, a small-time hustler and drifter, is falsely accused of murder, disabled Vietnam veteran Alex Cutter reluctantly comes to his defense. This gritty drama depicts the mixed emotions of the alcoholic, alienated Cutter as he attempts to uncover the truth.

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Cast

Jeff Bridges
as Richard Bone
John Heard
as Alex Cutter
Ann Dusenberry
as Valerie Duran
Stephen Elliott
as J.J. Cord
Arthur Rosenberg
as George Swanson
Nina Van Pallandt
as Woman in Hotel
Geraldine Baron
as Susie Swanson
Katherine Pass
as Toyota Woman
Frank McCarthy
as Toyota Man
George Planco
as Toyota Cop
Anne Dusenberry
as Valerie Duran
Jay Fletcher
as Security Guard
Jack Murdock
as Concession Owner
Rod Gist
as Black
Julia Duffy
as Young Girl
Randy Shephard
as Young Man
Roy Hollis
as Working Stiff
Billy Drago
as Garbage Man
Caesar Cordova
as Garbage Truck Driver
Jon Terry
as Police Captain
Chris Noth
as Guard at estate gate (uncredited)
William Pelt
as Detective
Ron Marcroft
as Detective
Ted White
as Guard #1
Tony Epper
as Guard #2
Andy Epper
as Guard #3
Chris Howell
as Guard #4
H.P. Evetts
as Guard #5
Ron Burke
as Guard #6
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Critic Reviews for Cutter's Way

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (3)

Suffers from a terminal case of creative indecision.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

The result is nothing less than a modern masterpiece, and a film ripe for rediscovery.

Feb 9, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

It's the sort of picture that never wants to concede what it's about. It is, however, enchanted by the sound of its own dialogue, which is vivid without being informative or even amusing on any level.

Aug 30, 2004

Cutter's Way is at once an American film of its time and for all ensuing times, an ugly-truth endeavor examining a nation in which the rich and powerful literally get away with murder while the poor and pitiful barely exist at all.

May 7, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

An inspiring film, it is constructed like a thriller; but instead of reaching for thrills, it leaves them in the background and concentrates on the complexities of its characters.

Jan 31, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Almost as impressive as Polanski's Chinatown and an extraordinary change of gear from one of the fine Czech New Wave's most notable alumni.

Jun 24, 2011 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Cutter's Way

Non-cohesive but impressively charismatic and well performed neo noir. Bridges, Heard and Lisa Eichhorn have great chemistry together and richly defined characters with rough edges. My only regret is that the plot never tickens, and wanders without consistency through romance, comedy and paranoia. The story ends on a grim, and yet perfect note.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

½

The crime thriller didn't manage to tickle the bones enough. Not an ideal source of entertainment, but tolerable all the same.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

A forgotten paranoia trhiller from the 80s which delivers the goods with complex characters and great performances from Jeff Bridges and John Heard.

Matheus Carvalho
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

An excellent, slow-burning, occasionally noirish thriller. Jeff Bridges plays Richard Bone, a yacht salesman/gigolo who accidentally witnesses the disposal of a murdered girl's body after his car breaks down in a rainstorm. When Bone thinks he recognises a wealthy local oil tycoon as the man he saw through the rain that night, his friend Alex Cutter (John Heard), a bitter, alcoholic Vietnam veteran, awakens from his apathetic torpor and embarks on an obsessive quest to bring the 'killer' to justice. From the outset Cutter is established as a landlocked, modern day Ahab - indeed, his very first words are a reference to Moby Dick - hunting not so much for the one that got away as for the one that gets away with it: the untouchable, over-privileged leviathan of big business; exactly the kind of guy who stayed home in his well-insulated ivory tower while Cutter was being relieved of an eye, an arm and a leg in Southeast Asia. It's a fascinating idea and, if anything, the script could have done more with it. No matter, because what makes the movie really special is the wonderful love triangle between Heard, Bridges and Lisa Eichhorn, who plays Cutter's wife, Mo. It will give you some idea of how great Eichhorn is in this movie if I say she wipes the floor with Heard and Bridges, both of whom are at least as good here as they've been in anything else; she breaks my heart every time and should have picked up every award going.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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