Deliverance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Deliverance Reviews

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September 25, 2016
Finally watching this film 42 years after its release, which is a little more than a lifetime for me, I can easily say that this classic lives up to its reputation. Very intense drama with excellent cinematography and action scenes. Really well-filmed and acted. It was great to see Voight, Reynolds, Beatty and Cox in their prime (they would have to be for this kind of film with physically demanding scenes). That kind of film work made it feel very real and added to the intensity of the story.
September 22, 2016
thoroughly entertaining, backwoods mayhem
½ September 19, 2016
Deliverance was not at all what I was expecting. I was aware of the most famous and disturbing scene of the film, but I never suspected that was the harshest part of the whole thing. I thought that was the start of the terrorism that would be rained down on the main characters throughout this film, but instead it's a psychological thriller. The movie isn't about "what are we going to do" instead it's about "what have we done." That's not to say that the film was less thrilling than I expected, because fear and regret can be just as terrifying. It had me on edge through the rest of the film because I kept wondering what would happen to the protagonists next, and are they even protagonists any more. I was hoping there would be another significant confrontation in the film (perhaps it's rooted in my innate desire to see a proper resolution to every story) but the movie had other ideas about how it would wrap things up.

I was bit surprised, because I thought Deliverance was a big Burt Reynolds starring role, but the real lead of the film was Jon Voight. I was glad that was the case, though, because Voight had more complexity to his character, while Reynolds and the other two leads were a bit one-dimensional. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this film is how they used the actors themselves steering through the rapids. There were probably a few shots where stunt doubles were used, but by and large it was clearly the actors themselves wielding the paddles. This kind of authenticity and realism is so rare nowadays that it's nice to see they committed to it so completely back then. Another interesting aspect of the film was how it used simple banjo music to create an unsettling atmosphere. Dueling Banjos is such a fun and cheerful song, and it feels that way at the beginning, yet somehow as the movie goes on there's an ominous feel to that same tune. Deliverance is the kind of movie that I can say I'm glad I saw once, but I never need to see it again.
September 18, 2016
"Amargo Pesadelo" parece ser simples, mas é uma alegoria de vigor incrível.
½ September 7, 2016
A canoe trip turns deadly when four weekend warriors encounter a couple sadistic mountain men in this tense thriller.
September 2, 2016
Another classic I hadn't seen, and which I have been very satisfied by.
August 24, 2016
Tense and harrowing (if not a little dated) survival film. Burt Reynolds is great as the douchey friend full of bravado who ends up getting the whole crew into trouble. Film reaches a crescendo in the middle (that scene) that it never really recovers from,and like a lot of films from this era it overstays it's welcome a little. Nevertheless a must see if you can handle the rough content, but bless the filmmakers to have the guts to take it places mainstream film hadn't gone in 1972.
July 24, 2016
Though not at all what I expected, this movie packed several thrills that made me squeal like a piggy.
July 19, 2016
This was remarkable and scared the crap out of me. I read the book eons ago, probably 1988, for a first-year university class back when I was earning my first degree. Not a Burt Reynolds fan, and having only seen two other works by Boorman (the great 'Point Blank' and the not-so-great 'Exorcist II: The Heretic'), I wasn't in a huge hurry to rush out and see the film. BIG mistake on my part, to be frank.

Probably the gifted 83-year-old, Surrey native and five-time Oscar nominee's best work--and easily the finest work ever done by Reynolds, shortly before he simply rested on his laurels and became nothing but a caricature. THIS at the very least was proof that he at one time actually had chops and could act.

The scariest aspect of all is that this goes on all the time and we just don't know about it. Hundreds of people go 'missing' every day. And, as a Canadian, it's people like the culprits in this film that are responsible for America now having the worst Presidential candidate of all time actually having a chance of being the head of the most powerful country in the world. Now THAT's scary.
July 19, 2016
This was remarkable and scared the crap out of me. I read the book eons ago, probably 1988, for a first-year university class back when I was earning my first degree. Not a Burt Reynolds fan, and having only seen two other works by Boorman (the great 'Point Blank' and the not-so-great 'Exorcist II: The Heretic'), I wasn't in a huge hurry to rush out and see the film. BIG mistake on my part, to be frank.

Probably the gifted 83-year-old, Surrey native and five-time Oscar nominee's best work--and easily the finest work ever done by Reynolds, shortly before he simply rested on his laurels and became nothing but a caricature. THIS at the very least was proof that he at one time actually had chops and could act.

The scariest aspect of all is that this goes on all the time and we just don't know about it. Hundreds of people go 'missing' every day. And, as a Canadian, it's people like the culprits in this film that are responsible for America now having the worst Presidential candidate of all time actually having a chance of being the head of the most powerful country in the world. Now THAT's scary.
July 16, 2016
Eerily creepy and suspenseful. 'Deliverance' showcases a simple plot yet laid out delicately to raise tension in the right areas.
July 13, 2016
Deliverance Review and Analysis

"Deliverance" is a 1972 film that was directed by John Boorman and written by James Dickey based on his novel. The movie tells the story of four city slickers from Atlanta taking a canoe trip on a river in the backwoods of Georgia before the lush landscape is ruined by a dam project. During the trip they are forced to confront the treacherous nature of the backwoods as well as battle against two violent mountain men in order to escape their increasingly perilous situation.

In looking on this film it is hard to believe that it actually came out 44 years ago. The reason is that the cinematography and directing of this movie is gorgeous. The main reason for this is that the movie is directed a lot like a documentary with it containing little music for most of the movie and the way in which John Boorman frames many of his shots and edits. This style of directing makes the movie feel visceral and helped me feel like I was watching something that actually happened. This feeling is further helped with it being shot on location and the four leads rapid river scenes being actually performed. On top of that, every actor in this movie is completely believable in their role. Burt Reynold's macho attitude fits perfectly within the role but the real performance comes from Jon Voight who slowly evolves from a timid city slicker, into someone who slowly embraces the primitive nature in the way that Reynold's character had already done.

This is also one of the few movies where I would say that the violence is actually realistic. When Roger Ebert reviewed this film years ago he claimed that the film "was a fantasy of violence rather than a realistic consideration of it" this likely came about by his interpretation that Dickey was trying to "[tell] us something about the nature of man, and particularly civilized man's ability to survive primitive challenges." While that argument could certainly be made, I have a hard time believing that that was the film's primary objective.

In the context of the movie I believe it is about the line between the violence of civilization and the violence of nature and how it may be more blurry than it first appears. This is reflective in the violent actions of the film since many of them are committed with the use of primitive tools. The only type of homicidal violence that may have not been committed by the bow and arrow is during the death of Drew who may or may not have been shot. Drew's death is a symbol of the blurred lines between a violence of civilization and the violence of nature since in that case how he died was completely unclear. If it was by the gun the fault would be civilization, if not then it was nature that killed him. Bobby's rape scene furthers the point since he is told by his captors to "squeal like a pig" in order to blur the lines of Bobby being a man and Bobby being a helpless animal. The point is furthered by the rape itself which on the one hand is violence committed by men that can be seen as an hideously intimate action but at the same time is the use of something that is only natural as a weapon. There are further examples of this throughout the movie which I believe continues to help elevate this movie beyond the simple machismo-style fantasy violence that Roger Ebert perceives. Instead, the violence is used to paint a portrait of how civilized violence and natural violence is more blurred than most people think therefore disproving his point that it is not a realistic consideration of it.

Overall I would say that "Deliverance" is a movie that I would highly recommend to film buffs like myself. It is a movie that truly came out ahead of its time and it reminds me heavily of what modern movies are like today. The story is fantastic and contains several layers and themes beyond the primary one that I explained. The directing and acting is phenomenal and the scenery is just plain gorgeous. I give this film a 5 out of 5 rating but I wouldn't recommend it to people who get easily queasy.
½ July 5, 2016
While accusing it of exploitation is reasonable, "Deliverance" is an intimidating experience sure to push all who watch it to the brink of despair.
½ June 28, 2016
Group of city slickers go to the backwoods and find trouble in this timeless classic.
½ June 25, 2016
(before i saw it) reading the book now, and it's pretty awesome so far...
(after i saw it) traumatic and epic. the intense rock climbing scene from the book was well represented in film.
June 18, 2016
Tough as nails film with an engrossing story, stellar acting and quailty filmmaking making it an unforgettable film
May 16, 2016
Creepy, riveting , perverse, great movie.
April 21, 2016
A harsh, gritty and uncompromising parable about the civilised world encountering the brutality of nature, Deliverance may be one of the cheapest major movies ever made, but it made a huge splash in the cinematic pond back in 1972, and decades later still has the power to shock and disturb. Utilising long takes to create an atmosphere of discomfort and a near complete absence of music to emphasise the desolation, the woods have rarely seemed so creepy in the daylight. In his best moments, Burt Reynolds echoes the late Marlon Brando in his heyday, with a sly grin and cocksure machismo, and the supporting players all bring something to the table. The film works with subtlety and suspense, eliciting shocks by developing a sense of dread and not with cheap jump scares. The ending is the weakest part of the film, feeling rushed and somewhat tagged on, like the filmmakers were forced to create a hasty dénouement rather than leaving the men's fates and mental states undetermined, which would have been more powerful. It has many standout moments, among them the iconic duelling banjos and squealing like a piggy, and while its muted nature renders it a tad boring at times, it still works as a tense thriller and an examination of the dark side of human nature.
April 19, 2016
Deliverance (1972) ????
Galvanizing, realistic story of four friends who go canoeing on the dangerous waters of the Cahulawassee River and find it a trip they'll never forget. An American classic, and perhaps the most terrifying non-horror film ever made. "Dueling Banjos", first encounter with frightening back-country men, and climax on mountain are unforgettable highlights. Phenomenal editing by Tom Priestley, exhilarating river sequences are tip of the iceberg.
½ April 18, 2016
Still holds all that raw power over people even 40 plus years after it was unleashed to unsuspecting audiences in theaters everywhere. Because it's real and it's authentic. The ultimate conflicts of man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself.
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