My Own Private Idaho - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Own Private Idaho Reviews

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Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
July 5, 2016
"My Own Private Idaho" is both a love story and a tragedy. It remains the high point in Gus Van Sant's career.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
June 2, 2014
A simultaneously heartbreaking and exhilarating road movie.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2014
Holding all these elements together is Van Sant's sensibility, such an elusive thing it instinctively squirms away from any attempt to pigeonhole it.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 2, 2014
Although River Phoenix has distinguished himself as an actor ever since his second film, Stand By Me, nothing he has ever done before prepares you for his performance in Private Idaho as the motherless, homeless, loveless piece of human driftwood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun
June 2, 2014
Cracked and beautiful, stranger than strange, yet in some assuring way so pulsing with life that it embraces you as warmly as Father Knows Best.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 2, 2014
Van Sant proves again that he is masterful at charting the hearts and minds of young people adrift.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
June 2, 2014
This is a very rich, very sympathetic piece of work.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
June 2, 2014
[Van Sant] disdain[s] narrative. He got away with Drugstore Cowboy because its band of drugged-out dodoes were engaged in a petty crime spree that almost passed for a plot. But My Own Private Idaho is a different story. Or rather nonstory.
Top Critic
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
June 2, 2014
One of the most original cinematic talents at work in this country, Van Sant has a knack for pulling disparate elements together and twisting them into wildly funny lyrical odysseys of the mind and heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Alan Jones
Radio Times
June 2, 2014
Audacious, controversial, directional, important and totally unique, you'll either love it or hate it. But see it!
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Total Film
June 2, 2014
American indie god Gus Van Sant's most iconic moment was this giddily rich revisionist road movie-cum-western.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ralph Novak
People Magazine
June 2, 2014
The two actors create vivid characters, but they're so unsympathetic and Van Sant drags them through so many tiresome, pretentious scenes that it begins to look as if Phoenix's narcolepsy isn't part of the plot.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
June 2, 2014
Written and directed by Gus Van Sant, who mingles tremendous visual imagination with a leaning toward off-the-wall situations and sometimes raunchy images.
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
June 2, 2014
Director-writer Gus Van Sant sets up disturbing -- and, often, oddly comic -- situations and then gives his characters (and actors) the freedom to explore them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
June 2, 2014
Van Sant takes a lot of chances, and, visually, the movie is so imaginative, so fiercely alive, that it carries us along. But when the over-all design of the picture becomes clear, we feel cheated rather than enlightened.
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
June 2, 2014
The movie weakens every time Mike's story is interrupted by the leaden allusions to Shakespeare.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Lou Cedrone
Baltimore Sun
June 2, 2014
It's a very poetic film. That is, it includes images that may mean more to the director than the spectator, but the film is an interesting one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Josh Larsen
LarsenOnFilm
April 27, 2014
...gets off to a gangbusters start. And then Shakespeare butts in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine
November 12, 2012
My Own Private Idaho might be the perfect cinematic time capsule for '90s aimlessness, universal in its details.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Luke Goodsell
Empire Magazine Australasia
November 7, 2012
Van Sant photographs the story in his trademark dreamy-surreal style, fusing elements of Warhol with the classic American road movie, and interpreting the Western as the refuge of society's maligned fringe.
| Original Score: 5/5
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