River's Edge (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11,219 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?


Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper both went on to star in the 1994 film "Speed" 8 years later. See more »


Layne drives two different VW Beetles in the movie. One car seen later in film has the stock front hood and fenders, while another seen early on has a modified "dune buggy" front end, with the headlights moved to the center. The rear rims on Layne's VW changes style from scene to scene. In some scenes, they are of a five-spoke style (which match the front rims) while in others the rims change to another style. 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 Fear of the Flesh: The Making of 'The Fly' (2005) See more »


Let Me Know
Written by Greg Sage
Performed by The Wipers (as Wipers)
See more »

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User Reviews

Roebuck really makes this movie...
25 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not to take away from anyone else, especially the writer Jimenez and the director Hunter, and the high school teacher and a lot of other people that make this movie really good, but I have to say I found Daniel Roebuck's performance completely riveting. He should have been nominated for it. He's big and brutal but also young and self-pitying and yet careless about his own fate. Those gestures, the tossing of beer cans and breaking into the ammo shop. Really well done.

That scene w/Hopper and the doll by the riverbank was one of the better moments of cinema I've seen in a long, long time. Why was this movie so under the radar compared to other 80's movies? That's what I want someone on this board to answer. The critics kind of mystify me, I guess. I agree with a lot of the postings here that this movie is underrated. Buy why?

7 of 10 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
Crispin Glovers performance... lunchwater
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favorite lines ashratempel
The Real Murder???? Culp111
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