Straight Time 1978

Straight Time

Critics Consensus

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75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,000

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Movie Info

A career criminal, Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) is determined to go straight after his latest stint in prison. He takes a mindless job in a cannery, patiently endures the abuse of his pompous parole officer, Earl (M. Emmet Walsh), and begins a romance with a sympathetic girl from the employment office, Jenny (Theresa Russell). But when Earl erroneously busts Jack for drug abuse, the ex-con cracks, assaulting Earl and setting off on a reckless crime spree.

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Critic Reviews for Straight Time

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Straight Time

  • Dec 26, 2011
    This is not a film about a man moving up in the world of crime, but rather about his decline. The farther up he goes, the harder it is to go back down. Giving up begins to seem more and more futile, even if it means running for the rest of his life. There is a cast of fine performances in "Straight Time", but the best acting comes from Hoffman, whose meticulous performance the film dwells upon. He manifests the character of Max better than any other actor imaginable, and not once does his acting ever falter.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2011
    The reason I enjoyed this flick so much, besides the fact that it's a heist flick, is Dustin Hoffman playing against type. Watching Hoffman go Pacino-crazy-like on his parole office is an added bonus. Good for an evening view. One of the underrated, or unheard of for me, rather, gems on netflix instant.
    matt s Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2011
    Based on a novel by Edward Bunker, Straight Time is possibly one of the most realistic cinematic probes into the sociopathic psyche of the career criminal. Great cast, strong script and solid direction by Ulu Grosbard. Not for a moment are you allowed to suspect that hoodlums might be smart or attractive, or that crime pays. Thanks to mjgildea for recommending this, it may have stayed under the radar much longer. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view&current=straighttime.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/straighttime.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2010
    I watch a lot of movies and most of them are decent. A lot of the time I've got to convince myself that I didn't just waste a couple hours of my time or I'll have to dig for reasons as to why I liked a particular movie but whatever. But I'll endure long stretches of mediocrity because I know there are movies like Straight Time out there. I know there are obscure and unheard of gems that for one reason or another have been forgotten. This isn't to say Straight Time is a perfect movie. David Shire's hokey and dated score and a slow buildup work against it but this is easily one of Dustin Hoffman's best performances and the rest of the cast is nothing short of brilliant. Once Hoffman's character makes his choice to go back to a life of crime after the first hour, the story just creeps and creeps on you and doesn't let up. Written by Eddie Bunker (Mr. Blue from Reservoir Dogs), who spent much of his life in prison, this movie also gives what I'm guessing is a pretty accurate and definitely gritty portrayal of an ex-con's life. By the time it's over all you can do is as yourself why the hell you haven't seen it before or why Straight Time isn't as celebrated as it should be.
    Michael G Super Reviewer

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