Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

Critics Consensus

An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.



Reviews Counted: 71

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,038,983


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as a quartet of Manhattan-based "paranormal investigators". When their government grants run out, the former three go into business as The Ghostbusters, later hiring Hudson on. Armed with electronic paraphernalia, the team is spectacularly successful, ridding The Big Apple of dozens of ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties. Tight-lipped bureaucrat William Atherton regards the Ghostbusters as a bunch of charlatans, but is forced to eat his words when New York is besieged by an army of unfriendly spirits, conjured up by a long-dead Babylonian demon and "channelled" through beautiful cellist Sigourney Weaver and nerdish Rick Moranis. The climax is a glorious sendup of every Godzilla movie ever made-and we daresay it cost more than a year's worth of Japanese monster flicks combined. Who'd ever dream that the chubby, cheery Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man would turn out to be the most malevolent threat ever faced by New York City? When the script for Ghostbusters was forged by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, John Belushi was slated to play the Bill Murray role; Belushi's death in 1982 not only necessitated the hiring of Murray, but also an extensive rewrite. The most expensive comedy made up to 1984, Ghostbusters made money hand over fist, spawning not only a 1989 sequel but also two animated TV series (one of them partially based on an earlier live-action TV weekly, titled The Ghost Busters. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Bill Murray
as Dr. Peter Venkman
Dan Aykroyd
as Dr. Raymond Stantz
Harold Ramis
as Dr. Egon Spengler
Sigourney Weaver
as Dana Barrett
Ernie Hudson
as Winston Zeddmore
Rick Moranis
as Louis Tully
William Atherton
as Walter Peck
Annie Potts
as Janine Melnitz
Michael Ensign
as Hotel Manager
Steven Tash
as Student
Alice Drummond
as Librarian
Jordan Charney
as Dean Yeager
Timothy Carhart
as Violinist
John Rothman
as Library Administrator
Larry King
as Himself
Joe Franklin
as Himself
Casey Kasem
as Himself
Norman Matlock
as Fire Commissioner
Joe Cirillo
as Police Captain
Joe Schmieg
as Police Sergeant
Tom McDermott
as Archbishop
Rhoda Gemignani
as Real Estate Woman
Murray Rubin
as Man at Elevator
Larry Dilg
as Con Edison Man
Danny Stone
as Coachman
Patty Dworkin
as Woman at Party
Jean Kasem
as Tall Woman at Party
Frances E. Nealy
as Chambermaid
Sam Moses
as Hot Dog Vendor
Winston May
as Businessman in Cab
Tommy Hollis
as Mayor's Aide
Eda Reiss Merin
as Louis' Neighbor
Ric Mancini
as Cop at Apartment
Kathryn Janssen
as Mrs. Van Hoffman
Paul Trafas
as Ted Fleming
Cheryl Birchfield
as Annette Fleming
Ruth Oliver
as Library Ghost
Kymberly Herrin
as Dream Ghost
Kym Herrin
as Dream Ghost
Nancy Kelly
as Reporter
Frantz Turner
as Reporter
John Ring
as Fire Commissioner
James Hardie
as Reporter
Paddi Edwards
as Gozer (uncredited)
Carol Henry
as Reporter
Jason Reitman
as Birthday party kid
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News & Interviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

Critic Reviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (13)

  • Ghostbusters is like romping through Disneyland's haunted house with Bill Murray.

    Jun 8, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Joseph Gelmis

    Top Critic
  • Ghostbusters is primarily a showcase for Murray, who slinks through the movie muttering his lines in his usual cheeky fashion and getting off an occasionally hilarious crack that proves he's thoroughly enjoying himself.

    Jun 16, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The plotting may be primitive, but it's all carried off with far more style and finesse than one might expect from the creators of Animal House and Meatballs.

    Jun 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Part of the sheer joy of this movie -- aside from the comic timing of Bill Murray -- is the cartoonish crapness of its apparitions and their placid acceptance by the Ghostbusters team.

    Oct 31, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • On balance, Ghostbusters is a hoot. It's Murray's picture, and in a triumph of mind over matter, he blows away the film's boring special effects with his one-liners.

    Aug 19, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It provoked huge box-office success in 1984 and is still director Ivan Reitman's defining movie.

    Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)


I know a lot of Gen-Xers hold a nostalgic place in their hearts for the original "Ghostbusters," but I just couldn't really get into it. Bill Murray's lazy snark is just not my cuppa, and the demon hunting plot is just kinda whatever.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


I think I will never really grasp what made this mildly entertaining movie so adored when it was released; it is funny and has great performances (especially Bill Murray, ad-libbing insanely), but it drags a bit and the special effects look awfully cheesy and dated today.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


"Ghostbusters" stands as one of the best horror/comedies out there. It is hilarious in almost every sense of the word, even if not in the conventional way, and it never falls short with the cheesy scares. It can be genuinely shocking at times but that is taken away immediately throughout the film, especially due to the lack of seriousness. This all being said, "Ghostbusters" is an extremely unique film that will never be able to be touched by any filmmaker. It's smart, cool, slick, witty, scary, and intense. The only issue this film has is that the title is not explored to it's highest potential. It sets up a great premise but it takes just a tad too long to reach the climax in my opinion. Overall, I loved every minute of "Ghostbusters" and it deserves the fame that it has.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Ghostbusters is quite simply one of my most beloved films of all time. The iconic production is a perfect marriage of a special effects extravaganza with spectacular performances to create one side-splitting gem. Bill Murray is the undeniable star and he's in top form as Dr. Peter Venkman a sly, laid back scientist with deadpan delivery that seems more concerned with dating his pretty client Dana Barrett than actually getting to the bottom of her disturbances. Sigourney Weaver nicely straddles the line between exasperated annoyance and charmed love interest. Bill Murray likewise has great camaraderie with his fellow Ghostbusters Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Those two are also responsible for writing the finely tuned screenplay. It zips, it pops and it never lets up. Ernie Hudson joins them later as Winston Zeddemore. He delivers my favorite quip after the group is blown away by the lightening bolts of an evil entity from another dimension. There is a slew of funny dialogue and Rick Moranis' nerdy portrayal of Louis Tully delivers a lot of it. He's hilarious. "Okay, who brought the dog?" he grins after hearing the growl from the long horned beast hiding in his closet. The spectacular special effects support the story, but they never threaten to overshadow the actors. The technology was state of the art at the time, even earning an Academy Award nomination. But it lost to the mine cart scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Perhaps time has rendered the optics a bit quaint to a modern audience. The sight of that devil dog leaping from the closet and running around the city is the most dicey. But it's the comedic interactions between characters that hold our focus, not the whiz bang appeal of the visual displays. Ok so there's that "monster" near the end that dwarfs everything else. When the Destructor of their choosing threatens the city and their very existence, it's memorable. That's the kind of silly moment of brilliance that make you realize you're watching a work of creative genius. Oh yeah. I adore this film.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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