Up 736 this week

River's Edge (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 10,977 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 42 critic

A high school slacker kills his girlfriend and shows off her dead body to his friends. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.



0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video


Related News

Movies This Week: May 15-21, 2015
| Slackerwood
The rise and fall of Hemdale
| Den of Geek
R.I.P. Taylor Negron & Anita Ekberg
| Dark Horizons

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 22 Oct 2011
a list of 42 titles
created 29 Jan 2012
a list of 39 titles
created 07 Jul 2012
a list of 48 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
a list of 21 titles
created 12 Jun 2014

Related Items

Search for "River's Edge" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: River's Edge (1986)

River's Edge (1986) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of River's Edge.
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Flying (1986)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Robin and her father have a car accident. Her father dies. Robin is badly injured and cannot compete in gymnasics tournaments anymore. Shattered dreams. She lives with her mother and bad ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Lynch
Stars: Olivia d'Abo, Keanu Reeves, Rita Tushingham
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When David Sinclair, a popular and talented high school student commits suicide, his best friend Chris takes over many of his responsibilities; from the school production of "HMS Pinafore" ... See full summary »

Director: Marisa Silver
Stars: Alan Boyce, Keanu Reeves, Pamela Gidley
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

There's nothing wrong with the Marshetta family that a little felony can't cure. Rupert doesn't want to follow in his father's blue-collar footsteps, so he and his quirky friend kidnap his ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Nyswaner
Stars: Fred Ward, Keanu Reeves, Bonnie Bedelia
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Winston Connelly wakes up in the middle of the night in an alley with no idea of how he got there. Nor does he know where in Los Angeles he is or why he is wearing a beat-up tuxedo. Through... See full summary »

Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Lori Loughlin, Theresa Saldana
The Brotherhood of Justice (TV Movie 1986)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A group of high school students, led by a rich boy Derek, is sick of shool violence and decides to become underground vigilantes named "Brotherhood of Justice". It starts with the idea "... See full summary »

Director: Charles Braverman
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Sutherland, Lori Loughlin
Youngblood (1986)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A skilled young hockey prospect hoping to attract the attention of professional scouts is pressured to show that he can fight if challenged during his stay in a Canadian minor hockey town. ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Markle
Stars: Rob Lowe, Cynthia Gibb, Patrick Swayze
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Martin works at the local radio station, which just hired a new scriptwriter with a reputation for great drama, Pedro Carmichael. Martin's aunt Julia, not related by blood, returns home ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Keanu Reeves, Peter Falk
Letting Go (TV Movie 1985)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Jack Bender
Stars: John Ritter, Sharon Gless, Joe Cortese
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence.... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Kay
Stars: Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody
One Step Away (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Robert Fortier
Stars: Diana Belshaw, Keanu Reeves, Kathleen Fee
Under the Influence (TV Movie 1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Andy Griffith plays Noah Talbot, a long-time alcoholic whose drinking begins to have a devastating effect not only on his personal life but on his family as well.

Director: Thomas Carter
Stars: Andy Griffith, Season Hubley, Paul Provenza
Providence (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A talented but disenchanted high school student seeking more advanced instruction sneaks inside the ivy covered gates of nearby Brown University. Masquerading as a college student he is ... See full summary »

Director: David Mackay
Stars: JD Cullum, Yvonne de la Vega, David Greenlee


Cast overview, first billed only:
Clarissa (as Ione Skye Leitch)
Tim (as Joshua Miller)
Roxana Zal ...
Josh Richman ...
Tammy Smith ...


A group of high school friends must come to terms with the fact that one of them, Samson, killed another, Jamie. Reactions vary, as Layne is intent on protecting Samson and smuggling him out of the state, while others think it's best to go to the police. Matt's tough little brother also finds out about the body and no one knows quite how the police will learn about the murder or who will be blamed for it. Written by Christine Sai-Halasz <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most controversial film you will see this year.


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

River's Edge  »

Box Office


$1,900,000 (estimated)


$4,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Neal Jimenez read the story in the newspaper while visiting friends, wrote a script and turned it in to his instructor while he was an English major at Santa Clara University. Jimenez said "that the incident is merely the inspiration for the screenplay". See more »


At the beginning of the film, during the first close-up of Jamie's face, her tongue can be seen to move slightly. See more »


[first lines]
Checker: [points at legal age sign]
Samson: That's a real nice sign, how much.
Checker: I have to see ID.
Samson: I left it at home. How much?
Checker: I'm not going to sell you this unless you show me ID.
See more »


Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »


Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
Written and Performed by Hank Ballard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Powerful,Dark,Unforgettable,Underrated Classic. One Of The Best Teen Films Ever Made.
7 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

River's Edge is one of the best Teen films ever made and also one of the darkest Teen films ever made. Filled with terrific direction,great performances,a wonderful screenplay and a dark,unforgettable soundtrack,River's Edge is an Underrated classic that you won't forget.

Set in California and Based on the true story of the 1981 murder of Marcy Renee Conrad who was murdered by boyfriend Jacques Broussard,River's Edge tells the story of teenager Samson 'John' Tollet(Daniek Roebeck)who murders his girlfriend Jamie(Danyl Deats). When John goes to school and tells his friends he killed his girlfriend,his friends don't believe John until he shows them the dead body. Realizing the danger,John's friend Layne(Crispin Glover)wants to protect him and leaves John under the watch of Local drug dealer Feck(Dennis Hopper)while John's other friends Matt(Keanu Reeves)and Clarissa(Ione Skye Leitch)are conflicted:turn John in or be conflicted about it.

Released in 1986/87,River's Edge was a great film because it was different from other Teen films at the time because it was not a John Hughes film or a Brat Pack film,but a dark Teen film that stands right next to Heathers as the darkest,Nihilistic Teen film of the 1980s that paved the way for films like Alpha Dog,Bully and Mean Creek. River's Edge is a powerful film that right from the start gives viewers a world that is bleak and filled with sadness and hopelessness and where you feel like the Teen characters have no future and will have nothing going for them and the only things that the teens can do is get stoned or drunk and have no emotion where the characters home life and town are broken and very downbeat. The teens in this film are not interested in going to the prom or getting a date but are focused and interested in doing nothing with their lives. What is shocking and disturbing about River's Edge isn't the murder itself(which is horrible)but how the characters react and feel about the murder. When the murder happens each character has a different feeling about it. Layne wants to protect John at any and all costs despite John murdering Jamie,John doesn't care about himself or the murder,Matt and Clarissa are conflicted and Feck cannot understand why John is so uncaring. Throughout the film there is a dark feeling of apathy and carelessness because despite Jamie being murdered the film's main characters act like the murder never happened or Jamie never existed or that the kids are too dazed and confused to care. You can say that RE is a Horror film in some ways not just because of the murder and dread surrounding the film but a Horror film about feelings and human emotions in society and how we as people deal with the harshness and darkness of most human beings. This film is a dark and grim study of human nature and apathy and how we as humans deal with things in life and you can say is true to the term "disaffected youth" because the teens don't know how to feel or react to the situation. What I also love about the film is the movie's offbeat and dark Humor which is thanks to the characters Lanye and Feck with Lanye trying to protect John at all costs and saying funny dialog and Feck whether it's scenes when he's dealing drugs to the kids and saying funny dialog,watching John or having conversations with his plastic sex doll Ellie. While the film is a drama River's Edge has a quirky sense of Humor. The screenplay by Neal Jimenez is excellent with Jimenez giving the film and the main characters well-written dialog as well as great depth and personality. Jimenez says the characters were based on friends that he knew and I really believe him because the characters feel real and truthful and the dialog doesn't feel forced but natural and honest. The ending of the film is excellent because of it's ambiguous nature and how it makes viewers asks questions rather than easily answering them for us and it's one of the things that makes River's edge a great film.

The whole cast does great in their roles. Crispin Glover is brilliant,funny and over the top as Layne,the one who wants to protect John. Keanu Reeves is wonderful as Matt,with Reeves bringing depth to the role. Ione Skye Leitch is fantastic as Clarissa,Matt's love interest. Daniel Roebuck is great and bone-chilling as John,the killer of the film. Dennis Hopper is amazing,funny and over the top as Feck,a local drug dealer,with Hopper making Feck the most sympathetic character in the film. Joshua Miller is disturbing and memorable as Tim,Matt's little brother. Tom Bowler(Bennett),Jim Metzler(Mr. Burkewaite),Leo Rossi(Jim),Roxanna Zal(Maggie),Josh Richman(Tony),Phillip Brock(Mike),Constance Forslund(Madeleine),Taylor Negron(Checker) and Tammy Smith(Kim)give good performances as well.

The direction by Tim Hunter is excellent,with Hunter bringing a dark,eerie,somber and gritty tone to the film and uses great camera angles and shots. Great direction by Hunter.

The score by Jurgen Kniper is masterful,dark,big and powerful and definitely fits in with the tone of the film. A great score by Kniper. The film also great songs on the soundtrack from Slayer(Die By The Sword,Evil Has No Boundaries,Tormentor,Captor Of Sin),Fates Warning(Kyrie Eleison),Hallows Eve(Lethal Tendencies),Agent Orange(Fire In The Rain),The Vipers(Let Me Know),Burning Spear(Happy Day)and Hank Ballard(I'm Gonna Miss you and Let's Go,Let's Go,Let's Go). Great soundtrack.

In final word,if you love Teen Films,True life films,Drama films or films in general,I highly suggest you see River's Edge,a powerful,underrated classic that will stay in your mind after you watch it. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
it could have been one of the best movie ever... ebanfi-fusiorari
The Bad acting MADE this film kidpsycho_1999
Crispin Glovers performance... lunchwater
Keanu-u-u theoutsidersgirl
favorite lines ashratempel
The Real Murder???? Culp111
Discuss River's Edge (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: