6.9/10
55,667
271 user 89 critic

The 'Burbs (1989)

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,154 ( 298)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Money Pit (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple struggles to repair a hopelessly dilapidated house.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson
Splash (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy
Dragnet (1987)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man's friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party.

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live.

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A local Pennsylvania band scores a one hit wonder in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as they can, with lots of help from its manager.

Director: Tom Hanks
Stars: Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A man picked randomly out of a crowd is made the target of CIA survelliance and pursuit.

Director: Stan Dragoti
Stars: Tom Hanks, Lori Singer, Dabney Coleman
Innerspace (1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A recently widowed man's son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger
Apollo 13 I (1995)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon
Punchline (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Detective
...
Detective
Edit

Storyline

In a Surburban Town, in a Less Gothic-like house lives the Klopeks, although they are strange neighbors, A man named Ray Peterson (who lives next door on right with Klopeks), and his buddies are figuring what are up too? But one day an Elderg Neighbor named Walter Selznick was gone, they thought the Klopeks killed him, Although Wlater just got back from the Hospital presumably Heart assues, during Ray was in ambulance, a figure crept in the ambulance, the figure was Dr. Werner Klopeks, he tells Ray that The Klopeks wanted to sell the Knapps's House, but they refused, then They killed them and Eat them (which Means Cannibalisim like eating the same species), but the Klopeks ended up getting arrested.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a man of peace in a savage land... Suburbia. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

AUD 19,467 (Australia) (17 June 1989)

Gross:

$36,602,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mayfield Place was portrayed by the Colonial Street backlot street set at Universal Studios, Hollywood, which had also been used for the earlier Tom Hanks movie Dragnet (1987). See more »

Goofs

After the explosion, the bandage around Ray's head moves up and down. See more »

Quotes

Hans Klopek: Sardine?
Bonnie Rumsfield: I'm trying to cut back.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the Universal Studios logo, the camera zooms into Earth and to where the film takes place. At the end of the film, the effect is played in reverse. See more »


Soundtracks

MAKE SOME NOISE
Written by Mickey Finn, Fernie Rod, Billy Rowe, Ron Tostenson & Sami Yaffa
Performed by Jetboy
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A deliciously black comedy...
17 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The world of black comedies has seen few truly classic entries in the past few years. It's a very specific sub genre of comedy that is extremely hard to do well as films like Very Bad Things frequently signify. Too many of Hollywood's more recent offerings feature truly tasteless gags that poke fun at subjects that should simply be left well enough alone. Well I have to say that Hollywood could learn a thing or two from its own past in this department. I recently rediscovered a childhood favourite of mine, The Burbs, and I have to admit that age has not in the least bit dulled the film's razor sharp wit and acid tongued dialogue

Tom Hanks plays Ray Peterson, an overstressed suburbanite who's decided to spend his vacation lounging around the house in a vain effort to relax. Of course he finds his efforts hindered by the constant presence of his somewhat excitable neighbors Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) and Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) who suspect the new family in the neighbourhood, the Klopeks, of being mass murderers. Together these three decide to look into the suspicious nature of their new neighbors and just what exactly it is they get up to at night, the time when the otherwise reclusive Klopeks seem to be at their most active.

The premise is basically the set up for another of Joe Dante's (who directed both Gremlins and its remake in all but name, Small Soldiers) bedlam filled romps through suburbs in which he casts a sideways glance at all things American dream.

Quite frankly, my nostalgia for this movie makes it hard to find fault with it. Hanks is as funny as ever, playing it relatively straight compared to his other performances of the period and bringing a lovely shade of deep seated unease to an otherwise grounded character. Bruce Dern fills his role wonderfully, as the military obsessed Rumsfield, a character surprisingly reminiscent of survivalist Burt Gummer from the Tremors movies in both his nature and ability to steal scenes. The only weak link in the leading trio is Ducommun, which is a shame as it is really Art that drives the story more than any other character in the movie. Sure, Art has to be slightly obnoxious and a little irritating but Ducommun overplays these aspects so much that I began to find it painful to watch him as the end of the movie approached. It's hardly a surprise when Hanks tries to kill him. I can't help but feel that perhaps the late John Candy would have fit the role slightly better, bringing some more human and likable qualities to the character.

At times however, The Burbs can feel a little uneasy in its pacing and sense of humour. Scenes like the screaming at the bone, although funny, seem out of place in what is otherwise a movie with a very dry sense of humour. Meanwhile the Klopeks are unveiled as characters perhaps a little too late in the story for the audience to truly develop any kind of opinions about them.

Despite some small problems however, The Burbs remains an extremely funny movie with some terrific dialogue and almost universally good performances from its cast. I defy anyone not to laugh at Rumsfield's fall from the roof of his house or every man Ray's furious rant at the movie's close. For fans of black comedies, The Burbs is a perfect antidote to the current glut of obnoxious Hollywood gross out comedies and the Farrelly Brothers increasingly desperate to offend pieces.


37 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?