32 user 16 critic

The Boost (1988)

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »


Harold Becker


Ben Stein (book) (as Benjamin Stein), Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Lenny Brown
Sean Young ... Linda Brown
John Kapelos ... Joel Miller
Steven Hill ... Max Sherman
Kelle Kerr Kelle Kerr ... Rochelle
John Rothman ... Ned
Amanda Blake ... Barbara
Grace Zabriskie ... Sheryl
Marc Poppel ... Mark
Fred McCarren ... Tom
Suzanne Kent ... Helen
Libby Boone Libby Boone ... Delores
Greg Deason Greg Deason ... Michael
David Preston ... Surfer
June Chandler June Chandler ... Secretary


Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to turn. His friend, Joel, introduces him to cocaine to give Lenny that needed "boost". What ensues next is a descent into drug addiction and insanity as Lenny tries to regain control of his life, all the while needing that extra "boost". Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How far would you go to keep your edge? See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film's title is a slang term for both cocaine abuse and shoplifting. See more »


When Lenny and Linda are in the pool, we see Linda from behind, and her wet hair is completely swept back behind her right ear, but as the camera angle changes to a front view, her right ear is now half-covered with wet hair. See more »


Max: I live where the money is. You don't think this NYC crowd would have anything to do with me unless I could move millions of bucks around, do you...? Does your wife work?
Lenny: Yeah, she has a great job.
Max: Lucky for you.
Lenny: I do all right. Everything I do is just a lot chancier, that's all.
Max: You just probably haven't found the right products yet, the right territory.
See more »


Referenced in The Fall of Harvey Weinstein (2017) See more »

User Reviews

2 June 2020 | by Richie-67-485852See all my reviews

First you get James Woods so sit back and relax and enjoy as he does his job of entertaining you. Before I go on, read the book which is highly entertaining and so real and down to earth and you will be thoroughly entertained through and through with the combo. What we have here is stark reality of how drugs do what they do and what happens to humans while the drug does its thing. Anyone who has taken drugs or consumed too much food or alcohol can easily see the abuse of what they are doing take hold and redirect their true life as they do it. You see there is a Universal Law (rule) that states: Whatever you get into gets into you. This rule is non-negotiable. Here in this movie you see it up close and it has no mercy on whom it grabs on to. Mind you, everyone first believes the "lie" of this won't hurt, I won't get into it, I can get out of it, it is only temporary and many other variations. Then, at some point, the demon hook is set! Vividly constructed and acted out in both the book and the movie. Drugs and any excess are like lying, cheating and stealing. It works! It is getting caught or paying the price that no one likes. We are also introduced into another Universal Law: Every new high leads to a new low. Thus the low compels one to seek the high and a cycle of hell is born. Rational thought, reason and patience are the first to go followed by the darkness getting its turn and submitting its own dynamics some counterfeit, imitative and of course all substitute for the real life. Remember the famous: You can check in but you cannot check out statement? That's here too. Drugs? Addictions? Lies? Pray GOD it doesn't befall you and if it does, pray GOD to deliver you.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

23 December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boost See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed