Up 1,299 this week

Citizen Ruth (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  13 December 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,577 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 49 user | 41 critic | 18 from

An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 10 Sep 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 23 Aug 2013
a list of 42 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Citizen Ruth" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Citizen Ruth (1996)

Citizen Ruth (1996) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Citizen Ruth.
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Election (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Inside Out III (Video 1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Playboy does to softcore sex films what HBO's Tales from the Crypt did for horror. Contains the stories: "Dogs Playing Poker"; "The Branding"; "The Portal"; "The Perfect Woman"; "Within Ten... See full summary »

Directors: Nigel Dick, Alexander Payne, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Deke Anderson, Linden Ashby, Collin Bernsen
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Inside Out (Video 1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Playboy does to softcore sex films what HBO's Tales from the Crypt did for horror. Contains the stories: "Brush Strokes"; "Shrink Rap"; "Doubletalk"; "The Leda"; "My Secret Moments"; "Life ... See full summary »

Directors: Jeffrey Reiner, Lizzie Borden, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Varda Appleton, Gavin Atkins, Terrence Atkins
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Rambling Rose (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rose, is taken in by the Hillyer family to serve as a 1930s housemaid so that she can avoid falling into a life of prostitution. Rose's appearence and personality is such that all men fall ... See full summary »

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, Diane Ladd
Wild at Heart (1990)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Dark comedy where a married couple comes to the aid of a jailed uncle.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to support her ten children, Evelyn Ryan (Moore) enters a commercial jingle-writing contest. Based on a true story.

Director: Jane Anderson
Stars: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Charley Hayward, Lauren Tuerk, Lisa Zane
Carmen (1985)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The famous opera set in a gas station in the desert.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Steve Freedman, Khorshield MacHalle, Joe Marinelli


Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Siegler
Norm Stoney
Dr. Charlie Rollins
Judge Richter
Nurse Pat
Jessica Weiss
Lance Rome ...
Ricky, Ruth's Lover
Jim Kalal ...
Tony Stoops
Shea Degan ...
Arresting Officer
Vince Morelli ...
Dr. George


Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer - inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local "Babysavers" group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a "message" to others - and the situation escalates... Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Pro-Laugh comedy. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for substance abuse, strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meet Ruth Stoops  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,709 (USA) (13 December 1996)


$153,155 (USA) (10 January 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "ASK ME" pin worn by Kurtwood Smith in the hardware store shows up again in Alexander Payne's following film, Election (1999). See more »


When Ruth is going out to party with her host family's daughter, she takes a hit from a bong, but does so incorrectly, not clearing the smoke from the chamber. See more »


Rachel: It is always women like you who are most victimized by anti-choice: indigent women, third-world women, women of color.
Ruth: I'm not a colored woman!
See more »

Crazy Credits

About halfway through the credits, we hear the beginning of Tape 2, Side 1. See more »


Referenced in Election (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

6 July 2006 | by (Kansas) – See all my reviews

There is something about Citizen Ruth that keeps me coming back to it. I must have seen it 30 times and haven't tired of it yet. It is genuine and the people are so amazingly real. It's almost as if some of my neighbours seem just like the characters in the film. That says a lot in my opinion. The Mid-west is a land that holds a special place in the American psyche. I can literally count on my hands the number of films that truly capture its spirit. Citizen Ruth is one of those films. From scenes in the hardware store to large rear wheel drive Fords, everything fits perfectly. This film captures a place called Omaha which for better or worse Hollywood largely ignores. It also treats a controversial topic like abortion in a thoughtful manner. Excellent film. Highly recommended.

10 out of 10 stars.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did anyone else think Laura Dern was stellar? moonstarsrevvvv
I loved this movie but.. yowigginz
Good movie? brian20nj
DVD commentary powbiffbang
Ruth Stoops or Terry Schiavo bryanstampy
Professor Wheeler - Citizen Ruth Review kimvu_916
Discuss Citizen Ruth (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: