River's Edge (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • It follows the lives of a group of teenagers after their friend Samson (known as John) kills their friend Jamie. Their reactions vary- some want to report it, others want to cover it up as best as possible, and others don't want anything to do with it. Yet above all, no one seems to be that disturbed by the girl's death. A drama that will have you laughing out loud as the characters experience pot, sex, beat-up cars, police interrogations, insanely out of control 12 year olds, and of course, murder.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • All late teen high schoolers, Layne, Matt, Samson - who is nicknamed John since his last name, Tollet, sounds like toilet - Mike, Tony, Clarissa, Jamie, and Maggie are a bunch of delinquents who often hang out together drinking or smoking weed. John has just killed Jamie because she was spouting off about his deceased mother, a sensitive issue to him. John has left her naked dead body where he killed her, in a small clearing by the river. John feels the need to tell his friends about what he did, they, in small groups, who come down to the clearing to see if John is indeed telling the truth that he murdered her. One other person who knows about the murder is Matt's equally delinquent twelve year old brother Tim, who may be even more dangerous than his older counterparts as he does whatever to get what he wants, namely weed, and to honor what he sees as the code, not understanding the consequences. Despite Jamie being their friend too, no one says anything to the authorities, almost paralyzed, especially in that their unofficial leader, Layne, wants to protect John at all cost by getting rid of Jamie's body. The police eventually do find out about the murder. Layne continues to lead a charge now to hide John, using his older "friend" Feckler - who generally supplies them with weed for free and who purportedly killed a young woman when he was about their age - while others try to find out who told the police. While some may want revenge against "the snitch", the actions of the collective demonstrate how detached they continue to be about their friend Jamie's death.

    - Written by Huggo
  • 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.

    - Written by jgp3553@yahoo.com


The movie opens with a boy, Tim (Joshua Miller) playing on a bridge. He hears a yell, and sees Samson/John (Daniel Roebuck) sitting on the shore...

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