Critic Reviews



Based on 21 critic reviews provided by
A skilled, careful adaptation of a much-admired story, A River Runs Through It is a convincing trip back in time to a virtually vanished American West, as well as a nicely observed family study.
Redford and his writer, Richard Friedenberg, understand that most of the events in any life are accidential or arbitrary, especially the crucial ones, and we can exercise little conscious control over our destinies.
This is a beautifully-shot film, and director Robert Redford (who also provides the voice-over narration) has paid painstaking attention to detail.
A pure cinematic distillation of Maclean's words, it is by turns austere and vibrant, disconsolate and joyful.
It is a serious and, at times, moving film, and it deserves serious analysis.
The words - taken directly from the book - are beautifully cast, but they encapsulate the emotions too conveniently.
Chicago Reader
An admirable if frequently soporific 1992 adaptation of Norman Maclean's account of life in Missoula, Montana.
From Phillippe Rousselot’s exquisite cinematography, with the stunning scenery of Montana as a backdrop, to Redford’s assured direction, this is utterly alluring, and manages to make fly-fishing seem not just romantic, but thrilling.
It works better as a nature and historical study than as a drama, though.
Rolling Stone
In relying on narration, Redford's movie is too little show and too much tell.

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