Straight Time Reviews

  • Mar 24, 2019

    another great 70s picture from the great hoffman

    another great 70s picture from the great hoffman

  • Mar 23, 2019

    Hard nosed story about a convict who enjoys being a thief. Hoffman does a decent job. Although he acts a bit too laid back sometimes. But it's a good movie.

    Hard nosed story about a convict who enjoys being a thief. Hoffman does a decent job. Although he acts a bit too laid back sometimes. But it's a good movie.

  • Dec 19, 2018

    Ulu Grosbard only did seven films in his thirty years in the biz. This is the first I see from the guy. Max Dembo is out from prison after six years. He tries to live an honest life, but Earl Frank - a guy that checks up on him to make sure he is straight, is getting on his nerves. One day Max snaps at him, and he is back to the wild life. This is a very solid film and rather unheard of. It's exciting, smooth and quite classic and has everything you want from the 70's crime movie scene. The cast is very impressive. Dustin Hoffman is great as usual and Harry Dean Stanton is amazing too. Kathy Bates is doing a smaller part and Theresa Russell is introduced as a lovely young woman. This is a typical "coming out of jail and having a hard time coping" film, and it does not really stand out. The only bad thing about the film for me as it's really good. It's never dragging, never flat and it's always interesting. 7.5 out of 10 lady watches.

    Ulu Grosbard only did seven films in his thirty years in the biz. This is the first I see from the guy. Max Dembo is out from prison after six years. He tries to live an honest life, but Earl Frank - a guy that checks up on him to make sure he is straight, is getting on his nerves. One day Max snaps at him, and he is back to the wild life. This is a very solid film and rather unheard of. It's exciting, smooth and quite classic and has everything you want from the 70's crime movie scene. The cast is very impressive. Dustin Hoffman is great as usual and Harry Dean Stanton is amazing too. Kathy Bates is doing a smaller part and Theresa Russell is introduced as a lovely young woman. This is a typical "coming out of jail and having a hard time coping" film, and it does not really stand out. The only bad thing about the film for me as it's really good. It's never dragging, never flat and it's always interesting. 7.5 out of 10 lady watches.

  • Aug 01, 2018

    just Ok . Good acting weighed down by the weak storyline

    just Ok . Good acting weighed down by the weak storyline

  • Feb 19, 2018

    One of my favorite crime films is an engrossing gritty depiction of the life of an ex-con (not that I'm a real expert on the subject, but it seemed realistic to me). The film opens with Dustin Hoffman playing a greasy haired lowlife just released from prison, having to check in with his sleazy parole office, the great M. Emmet Walsh, looking for a job, but having trouble since he has a record, though he does con his way into the life of a pretty girl, the under appreciated Theresa Russell. Hoffman tries to go straight for a bit, but he doesn't try all that that hard before he slips back into a life of crime, pulling jobs with his equally scuzzy friend Harry Dean Stanton. What's most striking and memorable about "Straight Time" is how realistic the film feels. Sure lots of film have presented unglamorous depictions of a life of crime, but "Straight Time" does more than that. The script was based on a novel from real-life career criminal Edward Bunker, who later became a respected Hollywood script doctor and screenwriter. Besides Bunker, the script was also worked on by Jeffrey Boam ("The Dead Zone" "Innerspace" "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"), Alvin Sargent ("Ordinary People," "Paper Moon," and even the recent Spider-Man films), and uncredited work by Michael Mann ("Miami Vice," "Heat," "Collateral"). The script is filled with wonderful small moments that you rarely see in crime films prior to this, such as Hoffman telling a junkie friend that his shooting up in front of him could put him away, or Hoffman casing a jewelry store with his unwitting girlfriend as cover, or a burglary scene where Hoffman bypasses a pawn shop's alarm by breaking into the store next door and busting a hole in the wall to steal pawn shop guns. The films filled with these sorts of moments that give it an authenticity that's missing from most standard of crime films. Another huge asset of the film is it's cast. Besides the above mentioned Hoffman, Russell, Walsh, and Stanton, you also have strong a strong performance by Gary Busey as Hoffman's junkie friend and most surprising of all is a young Kathy Bates playing Busey's wife, who's trying to raise a family and also trying to keep her husband on the straight and narrow, away from the criminal influence she knows Hoffman brings. Bates only has a few scenes, but leaves a strong impression on the audience as likely the most identifiable "normal" character in the film. Her most memorable scene is when Hoffman visits her and Busey and their family, when at one point she has Hoffman alone in their kitchen and tries to very nicely tell him to not come around anymore. Writer Edward Bunker also shows up in one scene as a sleazy low life character. Directed by Ulu Grosbard, the film has a wonderfully gritty feel for this lurid story of low level street criminals. While most crime films of this era focused on "professional" criminals, films such as "Prime Cut," "Charley Varrick," "The Outfit," or even "The French Connection" (which are all great films), "Straight Time" presented a unique window in the life of real criminals. Watching this film now in 2018, there's also a retro charm to the film, from Hoffman's huge sideburns, to Russell's awesome 70s outfits, to the cars, to the quaint lack of technology, which now all seems super cool, even if it was probably quite the opposite at the time of the film's original release. It's also pretty clear that "Straight Time" was an influence on "Reservoir Dogs," particularly the jewelry store robbery that's never shown in Dogs, but is shown in this film; not to mention Bunker having a small role in "Reservoir Dogs" as Mr. Blue. With music by David Shire and cinematography by Owen Roizman ("Tootsie," "The Exorcist," "The French Connection"), "Straight Time" is an American Film classic of the first order that deserves more recognition than it's been given.

    One of my favorite crime films is an engrossing gritty depiction of the life of an ex-con (not that I'm a real expert on the subject, but it seemed realistic to me). The film opens with Dustin Hoffman playing a greasy haired lowlife just released from prison, having to check in with his sleazy parole office, the great M. Emmet Walsh, looking for a job, but having trouble since he has a record, though he does con his way into the life of a pretty girl, the under appreciated Theresa Russell. Hoffman tries to go straight for a bit, but he doesn't try all that that hard before he slips back into a life of crime, pulling jobs with his equally scuzzy friend Harry Dean Stanton. What's most striking and memorable about "Straight Time" is how realistic the film feels. Sure lots of film have presented unglamorous depictions of a life of crime, but "Straight Time" does more than that. The script was based on a novel from real-life career criminal Edward Bunker, who later became a respected Hollywood script doctor and screenwriter. Besides Bunker, the script was also worked on by Jeffrey Boam ("The Dead Zone" "Innerspace" "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"), Alvin Sargent ("Ordinary People," "Paper Moon," and even the recent Spider-Man films), and uncredited work by Michael Mann ("Miami Vice," "Heat," "Collateral"). The script is filled with wonderful small moments that you rarely see in crime films prior to this, such as Hoffman telling a junkie friend that his shooting up in front of him could put him away, or Hoffman casing a jewelry store with his unwitting girlfriend as cover, or a burglary scene where Hoffman bypasses a pawn shop's alarm by breaking into the store next door and busting a hole in the wall to steal pawn shop guns. The films filled with these sorts of moments that give it an authenticity that's missing from most standard of crime films. Another huge asset of the film is it's cast. Besides the above mentioned Hoffman, Russell, Walsh, and Stanton, you also have strong a strong performance by Gary Busey as Hoffman's junkie friend and most surprising of all is a young Kathy Bates playing Busey's wife, who's trying to raise a family and also trying to keep her husband on the straight and narrow, away from the criminal influence she knows Hoffman brings. Bates only has a few scenes, but leaves a strong impression on the audience as likely the most identifiable "normal" character in the film. Her most memorable scene is when Hoffman visits her and Busey and their family, when at one point she has Hoffman alone in their kitchen and tries to very nicely tell him to not come around anymore. Writer Edward Bunker also shows up in one scene as a sleazy low life character. Directed by Ulu Grosbard, the film has a wonderfully gritty feel for this lurid story of low level street criminals. While most crime films of this era focused on "professional" criminals, films such as "Prime Cut," "Charley Varrick," "The Outfit," or even "The French Connection" (which are all great films), "Straight Time" presented a unique window in the life of real criminals. Watching this film now in 2018, there's also a retro charm to the film, from Hoffman's huge sideburns, to Russell's awesome 70s outfits, to the cars, to the quaint lack of technology, which now all seems super cool, even if it was probably quite the opposite at the time of the film's original release. It's also pretty clear that "Straight Time" was an influence on "Reservoir Dogs," particularly the jewelry store robbery that's never shown in Dogs, but is shown in this film; not to mention Bunker having a small role in "Reservoir Dogs" as Mr. Blue. With music by David Shire and cinematography by Owen Roizman ("Tootsie," "The Exorcist," "The French Connection"), "Straight Time" is an American Film classic of the first order that deserves more recognition than it's been given.

  • Feb 14, 2018

    One of a number of seventies movies that focus on character more than plot. An ensemble of excellent character actors pivot round a low-life crook (Hoffmann, very good, restrained) trying and failing to go straight. Nice unobtrusive direction from Ulu Grosbard, and another fine jazz score by David Shire.

    One of a number of seventies movies that focus on character more than plot. An ensemble of excellent character actors pivot round a low-life crook (Hoffmann, very good, restrained) trying and failing to go straight. Nice unobtrusive direction from Ulu Grosbard, and another fine jazz score by David Shire.

  • Feb 02, 2018

    I just saw this movie on February 1, 2018. This was really a gritty movie about crime and its diverse aspects. It also demonstrated how that power hungry officials can complicate, if not destroy, the life a criminal who has done his time, and wants to make a decent life for himself. Dustin Hoffman was outstanding and so was M. Emment Walsh, Max Dembo's parole officer. The photography was superb of life in L.A. of the 1970's. I highly recommend this film.

    I just saw this movie on February 1, 2018. This was really a gritty movie about crime and its diverse aspects. It also demonstrated how that power hungry officials can complicate, if not destroy, the life a criminal who has done his time, and wants to make a decent life for himself. Dustin Hoffman was outstanding and so was M. Emment Walsh, Max Dembo's parole officer. The photography was superb of life in L.A. of the 1970's. I highly recommend this film.

  • Feb 01, 2018

    Well hay I quit watching it on TV boring to watch and to old fashioned I didn’t think there was too much swearing in this movie, boo this bad movie

    Well hay I quit watching it on TV boring to watch and to old fashioned I didn’t think there was too much swearing in this movie, boo this bad movie

  • Jan 31, 2018

    Strong performances just don't elevate this straightforward, if cautionary, film.

    Strong performances just don't elevate this straightforward, if cautionary, film.

  • Mar 28, 2017

    Though this crime drama film is hardly original in its plot it is elevated above average status by a great lead performance by Hoffman, a solid supporting cast, an excellent score and a couple of tense and well filmed heist scenes.

    Though this crime drama film is hardly original in its plot it is elevated above average status by a great lead performance by Hoffman, a solid supporting cast, an excellent score and a couple of tense and well filmed heist scenes.