Drugstore Cowboy Reviews

  • May 21, 2019

    In 1971, Robert "Bob" Hughes (Matt Dillon) leads a crew of drug addicts â" his wife Dianne (Kelly Lynch), his best friend Rick (James LeGros), and Rick's teenage girlfriend Nadine (Heather Graham) â" traveling across the Pacific Northwest and robbing pharmacies and hospitals to support their habits. After robbing a Portland, Oregon, pharmacy, they return home to get high, and are visited by David, a local low-life seeking hard-to-find dilaudid. Bob claims they have none but offers to trade him morphine for speed. Initially reluctant, David is persuaded to trade and leaves. The police, led by Detective Gentry (James Remar), who assumes the group is responsible for the pharmacy robbery, bust down the door and wreck the apartment in an unsuccessful search for the stolen drugs, which the group have buried outside. They move to another apartment and Bob plans an elaborate scheme, resulting in one of the policemen being mistaken for a peeper by a neighbor and shot. The next day, a furious Gentry assaults Bob. Believing a hex has been brought upon them, the group goes "crossroading", and robs a drugstore via an open transom. They find their haul includes vials of pure powdered dilaudid worth thousands of dollars each. Bob, declaring, "When you're hot, you're hot," convinces Dianne he should rob a hospital. During the robbery, Bob is almost captured and the group returns to their motel to find Nadine has fatally overdosed on a bottle of dilaudid. She has also put the "worst of all hexes" on them by leaving a hat on the bed. After temporarily storing Nadine's body in the motel's attic, they are alerted by the motel manager that their room was previously booked for a sheriff convention and they must check out. Bob, suffering tremendous anxiety and stress-induced visions of handcuffs and prison, sneaks the body out of the motel in a garment bag. Before burying Nadine in a forest, Bob tells Dianne that he is going to get clean and begin a 21-day methadone treatment program. Shocked by Bob's decision, Dianne refuses to join him. Bob moves into a long-stay motel in Portland and gets a low-level manufacturing job. At the methadone clinic, he meets an elderly drug-addicted priest named Tom (William S. Burroughs), and reminisces about the old days when drugs were not so demonized. Bob later runs into David, who is bullying a kid who supposedly owes David money. Bob stops David and lets the kid escape, much to David's disgust. Bob is visited by Gentry, who warns him that the policeman who was shot has been making threats against Bob. Dianne also visits, now in a relationship with Rick, the group's new leader. Dianne asks Bob what happened on the road to make him change his life, and he answers that Nadine's death, the hex she put on them, and the possibility of serious prison time contributed to his decision. He reveals a deal he made with a higher power: if he could get Nadine's body out of the motel, past the cops, and into the ground, he would straighten out his life... The film was very well received critically and is listed on the Top Ten lists of both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, for films released in 1989. This film was based on the writings of James Fogle, who was a real-life criminal and drug addict who robbed drugstores. At the time the film was made, the source novel by Fogle was unpublished. It was later published in 1990, by which time Fogle had been released from prison. Fogle, like the characters in his story, was a long-time drug user and dealer. Been many years since I saw "Drugstore Cowboy", but it is a pretty slowpaced, a bit boring film and with a not all that exciting storyline about drugged out hipsters in the 70s from Gus van Sant. There is no real background story to the characters and you can not relate to them in their search for drugs. For obvious reasons. The acting is a bit wobbly and the dialogue likewise. There is no real highs and no real lows. No pun intended. "Drugstore Cowboy" is just a bit flatline. Re-seeing this one did not do that much for me.

    In 1971, Robert "Bob" Hughes (Matt Dillon) leads a crew of drug addicts â" his wife Dianne (Kelly Lynch), his best friend Rick (James LeGros), and Rick's teenage girlfriend Nadine (Heather Graham) â" traveling across the Pacific Northwest and robbing pharmacies and hospitals to support their habits. After robbing a Portland, Oregon, pharmacy, they return home to get high, and are visited by David, a local low-life seeking hard-to-find dilaudid. Bob claims they have none but offers to trade him morphine for speed. Initially reluctant, David is persuaded to trade and leaves. The police, led by Detective Gentry (James Remar), who assumes the group is responsible for the pharmacy robbery, bust down the door and wreck the apartment in an unsuccessful search for the stolen drugs, which the group have buried outside. They move to another apartment and Bob plans an elaborate scheme, resulting in one of the policemen being mistaken for a peeper by a neighbor and shot. The next day, a furious Gentry assaults Bob. Believing a hex has been brought upon them, the group goes "crossroading", and robs a drugstore via an open transom. They find their haul includes vials of pure powdered dilaudid worth thousands of dollars each. Bob, declaring, "When you're hot, you're hot," convinces Dianne he should rob a hospital. During the robbery, Bob is almost captured and the group returns to their motel to find Nadine has fatally overdosed on a bottle of dilaudid. She has also put the "worst of all hexes" on them by leaving a hat on the bed. After temporarily storing Nadine's body in the motel's attic, they are alerted by the motel manager that their room was previously booked for a sheriff convention and they must check out. Bob, suffering tremendous anxiety and stress-induced visions of handcuffs and prison, sneaks the body out of the motel in a garment bag. Before burying Nadine in a forest, Bob tells Dianne that he is going to get clean and begin a 21-day methadone treatment program. Shocked by Bob's decision, Dianne refuses to join him. Bob moves into a long-stay motel in Portland and gets a low-level manufacturing job. At the methadone clinic, he meets an elderly drug-addicted priest named Tom (William S. Burroughs), and reminisces about the old days when drugs were not so demonized. Bob later runs into David, who is bullying a kid who supposedly owes David money. Bob stops David and lets the kid escape, much to David's disgust. Bob is visited by Gentry, who warns him that the policeman who was shot has been making threats against Bob. Dianne also visits, now in a relationship with Rick, the group's new leader. Dianne asks Bob what happened on the road to make him change his life, and he answers that Nadine's death, the hex she put on them, and the possibility of serious prison time contributed to his decision. He reveals a deal he made with a higher power: if he could get Nadine's body out of the motel, past the cops, and into the ground, he would straighten out his life... The film was very well received critically and is listed on the Top Ten lists of both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, for films released in 1989. This film was based on the writings of James Fogle, who was a real-life criminal and drug addict who robbed drugstores. At the time the film was made, the source novel by Fogle was unpublished. It was later published in 1990, by which time Fogle had been released from prison. Fogle, like the characters in his story, was a long-time drug user and dealer. Been many years since I saw "Drugstore Cowboy", but it is a pretty slowpaced, a bit boring film and with a not all that exciting storyline about drugged out hipsters in the 70s from Gus van Sant. There is no real background story to the characters and you can not relate to them in their search for drugs. For obvious reasons. The acting is a bit wobbly and the dialogue likewise. There is no real highs and no real lows. No pun intended. "Drugstore Cowboy" is just a bit flatline. Re-seeing this one did not do that much for me.

  • May 10, 2019

    I am sorry Gus Van Sant, but we are not a good match. It's not you, it's me. Or whoever. After being amazingly disappointed with "My Own Private Idaho", I've been let down by this work too. Not terrible like the previously mentioned one, but really nothing special. Miles away from my favorite junky movies.

    I am sorry Gus Van Sant, but we are not a good match. It's not you, it's me. Or whoever. After being amazingly disappointed with "My Own Private Idaho", I've been let down by this work too. Not terrible like the previously mentioned one, but really nothing special. Miles away from my favorite junky movies.

  • Jan 17, 2019

    Gus Van Sant's entry on the world of addiction and crime is a violent, stylish and sometimes funny portrayal of a human descent.

    Gus Van Sant's entry on the world of addiction and crime is a violent, stylish and sometimes funny portrayal of a human descent.

  • Sep 14, 2018

    Van Sant's masterpiece indie is beautifully shot with grainy photography.

    Van Sant's masterpiece indie is beautifully shot with grainy photography.

  • Sep 05, 2018

    Drugstore Cowboy, an avante garden piece of cinema, and an eerie sort of harbinger of the present-day drug scene. Matt Dillon steals the show, as the leader of a pack of drug addicts, content with numbing away the expectations of a 'normal' adulthood. To the extent, that this debauched lifestyle, has propelled them into criminal activity via robbing pharmacies, hospital dispensaries, and wherever drugs may be available to heist. A must see, for anyone curious enough - to enter the drug-addled mind of an addict.

    Drugstore Cowboy, an avante garden piece of cinema, and an eerie sort of harbinger of the present-day drug scene. Matt Dillon steals the show, as the leader of a pack of drug addicts, content with numbing away the expectations of a 'normal' adulthood. To the extent, that this debauched lifestyle, has propelled them into criminal activity via robbing pharmacies, hospital dispensaries, and wherever drugs may be available to heist. A must see, for anyone curious enough - to enter the drug-addled mind of an addict.

  • Aug 21, 2018

    Interesting movie about four drug addicts who rob pharmacies. What I enjoy most about it how the director Gus Van Sant keeps it from being melodramatic. Nothing rings false. Even when one of them dies. Kelly Lynch and Matt Dillion are great.

    Interesting movie about four drug addicts who rob pharmacies. What I enjoy most about it how the director Gus Van Sant keeps it from being melodramatic. Nothing rings false. Even when one of them dies. Kelly Lynch and Matt Dillion are great.

  • Aug 18, 2018

    Painfully true drama, casting is fantastic for this film

    Painfully true drama, casting is fantastic for this film

  • Carlos M Super Reviewer
    Oct 13, 2017

    Matt Dillon delivers an excellent performance (one of his best) in a film that can be equally sad and funny (even funnier than one would imagine), surprising us with the depth it achieves yet reaching an ending that feels too easy compared to the audacity that preceded it.

    Matt Dillon delivers an excellent performance (one of his best) in a film that can be equally sad and funny (even funnier than one would imagine), surprising us with the depth it achieves yet reaching an ending that feels too easy compared to the audacity that preceded it.

  • Jun 30, 2017

    A charming yet dark exploration of the American drug scene and the lost generation consumed by addiction. Dillon gives it the extra notch into greatness.

    A charming yet dark exploration of the American drug scene and the lost generation consumed by addiction. Dillon gives it the extra notch into greatness.

  • Feb 04, 2017

    Excellent film. Been waiting for it to come back out on DVD.

    Excellent film. Been waiting for it to come back out on DVD.