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critics consensus

Despite some formulaic touches, Clint Eastwood's haunting, ambiguous crime drama is smart and gritty, and features a bravura performance from Kevin Costner as a prison escapee on the run. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Butch (Kevin Costner), a escaped state prisoner from a Texas jail, kidnaps Philip (T.J. Lowther), a young, impressionable boy. As they embark on a trip across the American Southwest together, a surprising bond grows between the convict and his captive, even as law enforcement forces slowly catch up with them. An honorable Texas Ranger, Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood), understands Butch has a heart of gold, but must pursue him anyway out of duty to the law and a desire to protect the child.

Cast & Crew

Kevin Costner
Robert 'Butch' Haynes
Clint Eastwood
Chief Red Garnett
Laura Dern
Sally Gerber
T.J. Lowther
Phillip Perry, Buzz
Keith Szarabajka
Terry James Pugh
Paul Hewitt
Dick Suttle
Jennifer Griffin
Gladys Perry
Bruce McGill
Paul Saunders
Mark Johnson
Producer
Lennie Niehaus
Original Music
Jack N. Green
Cinematographer
Joel Cox
Film Editor
Ron Spang
Film Editor
Henry Bumstead
Production Design
Alan Hicks
Set Decoration
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News & Interviews for A Perfect World

Critic Reviews for A Perfect World

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for A Perfect World

  • Nov 02, 2016
    The surprise of this film is in its decision to view a desperado as a very relatable figure who's motivations are generally noble, ultimately twisted by a society too busy to sweat the small stuff. One of the best by Eastwood and Costner.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2013
    This is a film that is quietly tremendous in its story telling and acting. Kevin Costner is terrific in a subdued performance as an ex con loser, named Butch, on the run. He seems to have nothing to lose, when he takes a young boy hostage. The irony is that the boy, as his hostage, gives Butch a chance at a sort of redemption. His chief pursuer is Texas Lawman, Red Garnett, played by a lower key Clint Eastwood. The beauty of this film is that the two heavyweight stars(Costner was in his prime) let the script dictate the pace and somber tone of this movie. The score is haunting and the film directed by Eastwood, is a minor masterpiece.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2011
    I'm very biased towards Clint Eastwood films. I believe that he is a terrific director and actor, and he's also one of my favorites actors. I thought that A Perfect World is a wonderful drama that is among Clint Eastwood's best. Not only does Eastwood direct, but he also acts in this film. The story surrounds a kidnapped boy and a convict who become friends as the convict, Butch (Kevin Costner) shows Phillip (T.J Lowther) the joys of life as Phillip is a Jeovah's Witness and has never enjoyed stuff that other kids do. This film has a good heart, and is very charming as we see Butch' and Phillip's friendship unfold. There are a few violent parts, but this film has a very good story. This is the type of film only Clint Eastwood could make. A Perfect World is a near perfect film, and this is one of Kevin Costner's best films. I absolutely enjoyed this film and I thought it great. There are a few things that could have been perfected, but theres so little mistakes in this film that one can forgive its imperfections. A wonderful story, brought to life by a great cast and a great director, A Perfect World is simply a terrific, well acted film that is another Eastwood classic. This is definitely a film that Clint Eastwood fans shouldn't pass up. A remarkable film that is sad, funny and powerful, A Perfect World is awonderful drama film that should be seen.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2011
    A Perfect World is a very good and very underrated Clint Eastwood film. Kevin Costner is great as Butch Haynes. It possibly is his greatest performance of his career. Lowther is very convincing in his role as Phillip and helps take the movie from good to great. The movie takes you through a gauntlet of emotions through their performances. At times it is fun to watch and at other times it is very sad. The movie deserves much more exposure then it has, which is surprising seeing as it's a Clint Eastwood movie.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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