7.1/10
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117 user 46 critic

River's Edge (1986)

R | | Crime, Drama | 8 May 1987 (USA)
A high school slacker commits a shocking act and proceeds to let his friends in on the secret. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.

Director:

Tim Hunter

Writer:

Neal Jimenez

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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Crispin Glover ... Layne
Keanu Reeves ... Matt
Ione Skye ... Clarissa (as Ione Skye Leitch)
Daniel Roebuck ... Samson
Dennis Hopper ... Feck
Joshua John Miller ... Tim (as Joshua Miller)
Roxana Zal ... Maggie
Josh Richman Josh Richman ... Tony
Phillip Brock ... Mike
Tom Bower ... Bennett
Constance Forslund ... Madeleine
Leo Rossi ... Jim
Jim Metzler ... Mr. Burkewaite
Tammy Smith Tammy Smith ... Kim
Danyi Deats ... Jamie
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Storyline

A group of high school friends must come to terms with the fact that one of them, Samson, killed another, Jamie. Reactions vary, as Layne is intent on protecting Samson and smuggling him out of the state, while others think it's best to go to the police. Matt's tough little brother also finds out about the body and no one knows quite how the police will learn about the murder or who will be blamed for it. Written by Christine Sai-Halasz <sai@mit.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most controversial film you will see this year.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

River's Edge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale,Island See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Black and White (opening sequence)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper starred in Speed (1994). See more »

Goofs

When Layne and Samson are driving in the car together at night, the shadow of the rear-view mirror is visible on Samson's face. In the long shots, the shadow appears to have a cross hanging from it, but on the close-ups of Samson's face, there is no cross. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Checker: [points at legal age sign]
Samson: That's a real nice sign, how much.
Checker: I have to see ID.
Samson: I left it at home. How much?
Checker: I'm not going to sell you this unless you show me ID.
See more »

Connections

References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Evil Has No Boundaries
Written by Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King
Performed by Slayer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Teenage apathy at its extreme. (spoilers)
9 December 2004 | by Pepper AnneSee all my reviews

Less Than Zero could have been the 80s movie that reveals teenage apathy in its most extreme form had they actually stuck to the damn book. But, where they hadn't, this movie presents does the job, and leaves you with the creepiest feeling when its all over in ways not done until the late nineties with Larry Clark's movies 'Kids' and 'Bully.'

Societal outcast teens are faced with a rather curious dilemma (they don't treat it much like one) when their estranged friend (Daniel Roebuck) boasts to them that he killed a teenage girl near the river's edge in their suburban town. Keanu Reeves may be the only civilized character among the bunch, the only one willing to exhibit any sort of conscience, anyway, while the others either don't do anything about the girl's death or want to help their friend hide the body.

I don't know who is more sick in this film--Crispin Glover--who becomes nearly obsessed and quite paternal in trying to protect the friend and hide the crime by smuggling him out of the state. Dennis Hopper, an on-edge drug dealer (who clings to a female blowup doll) that befriends the teens (as a dealer, of course) and suddenly becomes involved in the events. Or, Josh Miller, who plays Reeve's little brother, Tim. He appears to be the most apathetic of them all, at least until his emotional breakdown at the end. It is definitely not peppy 80s teen fare, obviously. And certainly makes the point strikingly clear about the serious detachment these kids deal with (despite a bizarre series of events) thanks to many great performances all around (even Reeves proved some acting capability).

Help yourself to a comedy to recover if it rocks you too hard.


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