The Grifters

Critics Consensus

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90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,978
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Movie Info

Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), who is too similar to herself. Soon, the two women are competing for Roy in a battle that is more of a power struggle than a pursuit of affection, and the battle quickly turns dangerous. Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for her work.

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Critic Reviews for The Grifters

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (11)

Audience Reviews for The Grifters

  • Aug 28, 2014
    A young con artist learns the hard way that relationship problems cannot be solved with money. And there's a crapload of money here on display. Every time you look somebody is reaching into a bag to pull out stacks of green. Stacks of green laying around like a Halloween candy grab. And while Cusack and Bening are okay in this, make no mistake this is Anjelica Huston's movie. The best scene is between her and Pat Hingle, who can pull off psycho/wackjob with the best of them.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    "The Grifters" is a film all about style. It takes on the attitude of a hardboiled film noir, bringing back memories of a time never replicated but always copied. The score by Elmer Bernstein is a fantastic one and worthy of an Academy award, and there is great acting all around, especially from Annette Bening. This is a film that isn't liked by many due to its pacing and lack of tangible plot, but I found to be quite mesmerizing for the most part. A rewarding watch.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2011
    This is my semi-strange parallel: I see this film as a depraved, con man version of My Cousin Vinny. It's regional, it's tricky, and it's female character driven, even though the protagonist in each is ostensibly the male. But I think it's mostly because Annette Bening's character reminds me a lot of Marisa Tomei's, body hugging dress and all.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2010
    ok first of all..for those who don't know what a grifter is, its when a person manipulates another individual to give them money leaving you high and dry. this film is based on a novel and it follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. great performances and a solid script
    ♥Robyn Super Reviewer

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