River's Edge (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11,224 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 44 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.



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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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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 <sai@mit.edu>

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:


(opening sequence)| (Metrocolor)

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 »


When Layne kicks Matt and Clarissa out of his car, he does so in front of a gas station. The lights are on, so the station appears to be open, but as they walk past, you can see that the station has no gas pumps. 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 »


References Easy Rider (1969) See more »


Evil Has No Boundaries
Written by Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King
Performed by Slayer
See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing Creepy 80's apathy!
7 July 2004 | by (sparks, nevada) – See all my reviews

This film is one of the best of 1986 with creepy, yet intriguing performances from Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper! The Reagan years were pretty bleak for a lot of people, not just teenagers, but this flick really captured the desperation and despair. Well-directed with great script (apparently based on a true story), I don't really see any weaknesses in this. The opening shot was brilliant.

Keanu Reeves was decent for a change and Miss Skye was right on the money. Hopper had three other great performances that same year (Blue Velvet, Texas Chainsaw II, and Hoosiers). I imagine this has a cult following and I wonder how this picture would fare if it was re-released. Super stuff!

26 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Bad acting MADE this film kidpsycho_1999
it could have been one of the best movie ever... ebanfi-fusiorari
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The Real Murder???? Culp111
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