My Cousin Vinny


My Cousin Vinny

Critics Consensus

The deft comic interplay between Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei helps to elevate My Cousin Vinny's predictable script, and the result is a sharp, hilarious courtroom comedy.



Total Count: 56


Audience Score

User Ratings: 109,296
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Movie Info

When sweet Northern college kid Bill (Ralph Macchio) and his buddy Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) are picked up and thrown into the slammer in a hick Southern town, at first it looks like no big deal. Then they are informed that they are accused of murder. Penniless and without a single friend in the area, Bill decides to call his goofy cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), who has somehow recently become a lawyer. Full of family feeling and bravado, Vinny, who has never tried a criminal case in his short life as a lawyer, rides south to defend his trusting relative. He's an expert motormouth and street-level logician from the wilder reaches of metropolitan New York, complete with a thick accent and the attitude to go with it. Otherwise, he's much less well qualified than your average public defender. When he arrives on the scene with his equally brassy girlfriend Lisa (Marisa Tomei), Bill is fairly sure he's going to be sentenced to death. His buddy Stan is even less confident of his legal representative, if that's possible, and the first thing Vinny has to do is to regain the consent of his clients to represent them. The local judge doesn't seem any too sympathetic to Vinny's verbal shenanigans either, and even the most optimistic supporter of the boys would begin to have doubts at this point -- and Vinny's no exception. With the insistent moral encouragement of his girlfriend, Vinny somehow accomplishes the impossible and wins grudging (if very irritated) respect from all concerned, for once studying as if his life depended on it. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi


Joe Pesci
as Vinny Gambini
Ralph Macchio
as Bill Gambini
Marisa Tomei
as Mona Lisa Vito
Mitchell Whitfield
as Stan Rothenstein
Fred Gwynne
as Judge Chamberlain Haller
Lane Smith
as Jim Trotter III
Austin Pendleton
as John Gibbons
Bruce McGill
as Sheriff Farley
Maury Chaykin
as Sam Tipton
Pauline Meyers
as Constance Riley
Raynor Scheine
as Ernie Crane
James Rebhorn
as George Wilbur
Michael Simpson
as Neckbrace
Lou Walker
as Grits Cook
Ken Jones
as Jimmy Willis
Kenny Jones
as Jimmy Willis
Thomas Merdis
as Man in Town Square
J. Don Ferguson
as 1st Guard
Michael Genevie
as 2nd Guard
Jeff Lewis
as 1st Deputy
Ron Leggett
as 2nd Deputy
Aubrey J. Osteen
as 3rd Deputy
Larry Shuler
as Hotel Clerk
Suzi Bass
as Woman
Michael Burgess
as Prison Van Driver
Bill Coates
as Bailiff
Jill Lane Clements
as Courtroom Clerk
Muriel Moore
as 1st Juror
Jill Jane Clements
as Courtroom Clerk
Bob Penny
as 2nd Juror
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Critic Reviews for My Cousin Vinny

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (8)

  • Vinny is a winning character and Pesci's performance as the beleaguered litigant is terrific - cranked yet cuddly.

    Mar 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • With such canny scene-stealers as Gwynne, Smith, Pendleton, McGill and Chaykin filling out the cast, it is very hard for My Cousin Vinny to go wrong, and indeed, for the purpose of pleasant Saturday night entertainment, it does not.

    Apr 30, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Marisa Tomei, as Vinny's fiancée, imbues the most obligatory reactions with either a startling ferocity or a farcical ambiguity worthy of her character's name: Mona Lisa Vito.

    Apr 30, 2014
  • The movie sags as Vinny sets out to demolish the patently shaky case and dubious witnesses for the prosecution. Pesci does his best, but a lawyer's suit on him becomes a straitjacket.

    Apr 30, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • As Vincent Gambini, a swaggering pint-sized New York lawyer who only recently passed the bar on his sixth try, Pesci modulates his usual psycho-nuttiness and gives it some recognizably human, even melancholy, undertones.

    Apr 30, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Nothing makes a moviegoer feel more isolated than sitting stony-faced through a comedy that makes the rest of the audience laugh and cheer.

    Apr 30, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Cousin Vinny

  • Oct 16, 2013
    During a cross-country road trip, two New Yorkers are arrested and jailed in Alabama after being mistaken as murderers of a convenience store clerk. In their desperation, they hire the cousin of one of them to be their lawyer, only to find out that Vinny has only recently become a lawyer, and has no real experience with legal procedure. According to my research, this film is actually fairly accurate and realistic in terms of how it portrays legal procedures, trials, and that sort of thing. So, going by that, I can get behind this film for trying to do some *ahem* justice to its subject matter. The film does occasionally dip into outdated and on the nose territory with some of the fish out of water elements, but overall, this is a pretty witty, sharp, and funny comedy. Ralph Macchio is fine as Bill, but Mitchell Whitfield is only okay as his buddy Stan. As Bill's cousin Vinny, Joe Pesci is a delight. Lane Smith is fun as the prosecutor, Bruce McGill is fun as the sheriff, and Fred Gwynne (in his final film) is quite strong as the judge. The real scene stealer here though, is Marisa Tomei in her breakout Oscar winning performance as Vinny's loudmouth fiancee who is along for the ride. And then of course there's yet another turn by James Rebhorn in an antagonistic role. He's fine of course, but sometimes I wish I could see him go against type. The film is a bit dated and out of touch, and, like I said, goes for easy and obvious targets with its humor. All in all though, this is a a really funny and delightful film, so give it a watch if you haven't done so yet.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2012
    very good movie with some great acting.. joe pesci was great. had some very funny memorable moments good storyline and a nice ending.. worth watching!
    Paul A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2012
    Very funny legal drama with Joe Pesci's crazy mouth of small law experience and Marisa Tomei's Oscar-winning bouyant and combative chemistry stealing the whole movie.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    My Cousin Vinny is a classic and funny movie about the legal system, and it honestly may be one of the greatest courtroom films of all time. Joe Pesci was teriffic in his performance and really sold me, and Marissa Tomei was incredible as well and had a well deserved Oscar. The plot is well written and is a great interpretation of the legal system, and I was just dropped into it. My only problem was that it wasn't really leading to anything huge like another courtoom movie, but that wasn't a huge problem. The movie itself is sharp, cool, and funny and I completely reccomend it.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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