Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  October 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 24,211 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 80 user | 40 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.


(as Gus Van Sant Jr.)


(novel), (screenplay) (as Gus Van Sant Jr.) , 2 more credits »
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11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Hull ...
John Kelly ...
Bob's Mother
George Catalano ...
Janet Baumhover ...
Neighbor Lady
Ted D'Arms ...
Neighbor Man
Neal Thomas ...
Stephen Rutledge ...
Motel Manager
Drug Counselor


A group of drug users in the 1970's help finance their habit by robbing drug stores. Matt Dillon's character is very superstitious and eventually his luck runs out. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A gyógyszertári cowboy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)


$4,729,352 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the "100 Movies That Shook the World" in the October 1998 issue. The list ranked the most "daring movies ever made." See more »


Bobby's gloves disappear when prising open the metal locker in the hospital. See more »


[first lines]
Bob: I was once a shameless full-time dope fiend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Home-video-style footage of the characters plays during almost the entire end credits. See more »


Featured in Wanderlust (2006) See more »


Piu Amore Romantico Per Anna
Composed & Produced by Jeff Levi
Published by Laughing Cloud Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent look at a subculture. This film grows in stature over time.
24 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Drugstore Cowboy takes a look an element of the drug/crime subculture without glamorising, sensationalising or demonising it. I honestly can't think of another film on a similar subject that has managed to pull off this balance so successfully.

We care about the characters, but are completely aware of their (many) flaws. We are shown that drugs are pleasurable, but given a realistic portrayal of the great damage they can do. The crime scenes are exciting but we never lose sight of how risky and sometimes pathetic the crimes are.

This film is moral without moralising and humane without romanticising or sentimentalising the subject. Drugstore Cowboy may lack the visceral punch of a film like Trainspotting, but has a subtlety, depth and heart missing from other more voyeuristic cinematic treatments of drug use.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
100 Things I Learned From Drugstore Cowboy... NiKoDay
Was it really that easy to rob drugstores back in the day? sparrowtrece
Drugstore Cowboy vs. My Own Private Idaho LatteBoy13
Ambiguous ending jay-line
Hat on the bed.. stytown
Drugstore Sequel In The Works.... jakephall
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