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Funny, original, and thoroughly cinematic, Down by Law represents writer-director Jim Jarmusch at his most ingratiating and evocative. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A disc jockey (Tom Waits), a pimp (John Lurie) and an Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) escape from jail in New Orleans.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Down by Law

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Down by Law

  • Sep 30, 2015
    Down By Law is another great Jim Jarmusch film. Like the others, you are either going to feel the vibe or you won't. I find myself agreeing with many of the negative reviews -- sometimes the acting feels ad-libbed, sometimes it does feel like it has a student film quality to it, sometimes it does not end up so cool as it wants to be. But then again, so what? The film has an authenticity to it and many great little moments that would probably not be in it if the cast and crew were not going for it. Down By Law is an all-time great comedy adventure.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 31, 2012
    Odd tale with gorgeous cinematography. Benigni steals the show.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    Jim Jarmusch is the king of cinematic understatement. His films -- at least, his early ones -- are always composed of long takes, nuanced characters and rambling dialogue, and they never really seem to be headed anywhere. "Down by Law" is in glorious black-and-white (courtesy of cinematographer Robby Muller) and features understated humor at its finest. John Lurie, Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni are great as Jack, Zack and Bob and give us one of the best movie trios of all time. Basically, the film itself is nothing more than these the lives of these characters before, during and after their time in prison, and it's just as enjoyable as Jarmusch's previous effort, "Stranger Than Paradise."
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    Jarmusch's greatest film in my opinion, it features great performances from the three lead roles (especially Tom Waits who is one of my favorite artists) and beautiful black and white shots of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.
    Graham J Super Reviewer

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