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The 'Burbs (1989)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Mystery  |  17 February 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 48,500 users  
Reviews: 256 user | 70 critic

An overstressed suburbanite and his paramilitaric neighbor struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family in town is a front for a cannibalistic cult.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brother Theodore ...
Joe, Garbageman #2
Cory Danziger ...
Detective #1
Detective #2


This story takes place in a typical American neighborhood, when some new neighbors come to live in the house next to Ray Peterson. These new people are really strange; nobody has ever seen them, their house is a real mess, and during the night you can hear weird noises from their basement. The only thing they know is their name: Klopeks. One day Walter (an old man of the neighborhood) suddenly disappears and everyone starts to suspect the Klopeks... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's a stranger in an even stranger land... Suburbia See more »


Comedy | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs  »

Box Office


$36,602,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movies that Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) sees are playing on television whilst lying down were Race with the Devil (1975), The Exorcist (1973), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). See more »


During Ray's dream, Ruben Klopek yells 'Mind your own business' in his foreign accent. Ray has never even met him before so would therefore have no idea at all what his voice sounds like. See more »


Ricky Butler: Hey, Mr. Rumsfield. You guys managed to knock out the power on the entire block. Maybe the whole south end of town.
Mark Rumsfield: Ricky, SHUT UP.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the Universal logo, the camera zooms into Earth and to where the film takes place. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Saturday the 14th (2013) See more »


Se Sei Qualcuno è Colpa Mia
Written by Ennio Morricone
Arranged by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ducommun Delivers In One Of My All-Time Favorites
6 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sometimes a bizarre comedy just hits the right notes with me and, despite none of my friends liking it, I love it. This is a premier example of such: one of my favorites in that category. The fact others don't share that opinion doesn't bother me, but I am glad to see reviewers on this site who appreciated this black, very underrated gem.

I always get a big kick out of this film, no matter how many times I see it.I credit a little-known actor for making this so entertaining to me: Rick Ducommun. I think he steals the show from well-known stars Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher and Corey Feldman.

Actually, I think this film is panned a lot because they didn't expect Hanks to be in something this goofy. Too bad, but I bet he had a lot fun making it, along with the rest of the cast.

Ducommun and Dern are the hilarious wackos who try to help straight-laced Hanks find out about the really-strange neighbors he has next door. Are these people some demented killers or just the figment of these nosy neighbors' imagination? Fisher is Hanks' always-complaining wife and Feldman is the teen across the street who watches all the lunacy from his porch, getting his getting nightly entertainment from these crazy adults.

Director Joe Dante, of "Gremlins" fame, does a good job entertaining us in here, too, and providing some fun camera-work. Dante also used music to great advantage, mostly for humor.

This is one of those "not for all tastes" films, so chances are you won't like it and think it's stupid. For a number of reasons, I love it.

60 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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