The Cure (1995)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  21 April 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,073 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 19 critic

Eric, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.



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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aeryk Egan ...
Delphine French ...
Tyler's Girlfriend
Mona Powell ...
Tyler's Girlfriend
Andrew Broder ...
Tyler's Buddy
Tyler's Buddy #2
Rosemary Corman ...
Elderly Woman in Street
T. Mychael Rambo ...
Garbageman #1
Garbageman #2
Delia Jurek ...
Angry Woman
Fran Korba ...
Elderly Women in Market
Skipper #1 (as John Lynch)


Dexter, age 11, who has AIDS, and his next door neighbor Eric, a little older and much bigger, become best friends. Eric also becomes closer to Dexter's mother than to his own, who is neglectful and bigoted and violently forbids their friendship upon learning of it. When they read that a doctor in distant New Orleans claims to have found a cure for AIDS, the boys leave home on their own, planning to float down the Mississippi river and find him. Written by Paul Emmons <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two boys found a way to make one summer last a lifetime.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic elements, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cura  »

Box Office


$2,568,429 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Legendary actress and acting coach Nina Foch was a consultant to director Peter Horton (credited) and an uncredited acting coach on this film. See more »


When Erik and Dexter arrive back home in Minnesota via bus, the city and state listed above the bus terminal says "River Falls, Minnesota." There is no such city or town called River Falls, Minnesota. However, there is a River Falls, Wisconsin which is only a 45 minute drive from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area. See more »


Erik: [Erik and Dexter were placed on an island, roasting hot dogs] This sucks.
[His hot dog falls into the fire]
Erik: Dammit! This isn't fair!
Pony: What?
Erik: I said THIS SUCKS!
Pony: Ooh! "This sucks". "Gross, Man".
See more »

Crazy Credits

Renée Humphrey's character was named 'Angel', although her tattoo was misspelled as 'Angle', so she's credited as the latter instead of 'Angel'. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


My Great Escape
Written and Performed by Marc Cohn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A tale of friendship and hope
29 December 2005 | by (Klagenfurt, Austria) – See all my reviews

The Cure is an outstanding real-life drama that deals with a very sensitive subject. It is the story of the profound and dear friendship between two boys, Eric and Dexter. The latter has acquired AIDS from a blood transfusion. Thus he and his mom (Annabella Sciorra) have become outcasts, shunned by the public and labeled as dangerous company, basically due to a common lack of public knowledge of the disease.

When Eric (Brad Renfro, known from 'The Client' and 'Apt Pupil') and his mom move into the house next to them, he has to deal with public insults and the fear of catching AIDS himself. However, Eric overcomes his fear and risks everything. At first he starts talking to Dexter, but eventually he climbs over the fence and joins the witty boy (played by Jurassic Park's Joseph Mazzello) and his games. Very quickly he develops a real friendship with Dexter, who is delicately built and frail due to his condition.

The central theme of the movie – the theme which makes it pervasively authentic and tragic at the same time – is how Eric and Dexter try to find the ultimate cure. At first they experiment with all kinds of plants and leaves – which is very naive, but also genuine at the same time, as it shows how young kids deal with such heinous diseases and how strongly they still believe in the magic of the world. When they hear about an alleged cure which has been developed in the South, they do not hesitate and take off for an adventure that will bring them even closer together and symbolizes the ultimate quest for hope.

So they board a raft and head southwards on the Mississippi River. What starts as a real adventure becomes a dangerous undertaking, which is emotionally intriguing and instructive at the same time. The scene when Dexter reveals his fears and talks about the end of the universe, where everything is dark and cold, Eric hands him his sneaker, a symbol that wherever the boy may have to go, Eric is and will always be with him; he will never have to be alone. This sequence, which is one of the most compelling ones of the movie, features a very convincing interaction between the two actors, who manage to avoid awkward and corny dialogs and deliver a very genuine performance that is eventually smashing in its tenderness and honesty.

I will not go any further in outlining the plot, as I do not intend to give away too much information. The ending however is emotionally tough and makes the audience so much a part of the tragedy that everyone who watches the movie will feel personally affected. This aspect makes this movie so strong, so outstanding and so convincing. The emotional burden on every character is so real and so thrashing that even the tougher members of the audience might need some hankies.

A 10 is doing justice to this movie and is not too high a rating. There is hardly any other movie I have seen in my life so far that handles such an emotional issue with so much wit and sensibility. It is the story of how two boys make each other's life richer and how they teach each other lessons of life. Thus Dexter overcomes his isolation and sadness, and Eric learns what really counts in life; and both of them realize how much of a gift real friendship is when it comes to the hardest moments of life.

This movie is tragic – but its message is sheer inspiration.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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