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Best acting performance I have ever seen
SmileysWorld28 December 2001
Dustin Hoffman's performance as Raymond Babbitt is,bar none,the best acting performance I have ever seen.I have never seen an actor get so deeply immersed in a character than Hoffman does in this film.He is excellent here,and he deserved nothing less than the Oscar he won for it.As for Tom Cruise,his performance as Raymond's childish and hotheaded brother is also worthy of note.To watch his character slowly shed his ignorance throughout the course of the film was indeed a delight.If you have not seen it,don't deprive yourself any longer.Buy it.It's a keeper.
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My favorite
Jules1628 January 1999
I have seen this movie probably 7 or 8 times in the past three years, wrote a paper about it for my college film class last semester, and basically regard it as my favorite movie of all time. Where to begin with the praise for this movie? Let's start with the acting. Dustin Hoffman is my favorite actor, and has been for a while. I'd watch him in any role. I was amazed at the way he was able to pull off this role. I've never seen a more deserved Oscar win. The vacant stare, the monotone voice, the screaming, it was unbelievable. Each time I watch it I am floored by his talent. Tom Cruise is also good, the villain of the story who undergoes such a subtle change that it's almost not visible until nearly the end. He is, however, perfectly suited for the flashy, egotistical character of Charlie, and I think he did a great job. The directing was unobtrusive and beautiful, for the most part just letting the action unfold, which is exactly the way it should have been done. It's a feel-good movie that does that and more, and I think nothing I've seen in the movies is as touching as the scene in the motel where Charlie discovers who "Rain Man" really is. I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. Absolutely wonderful.
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A movie that makes you smile and cry, simultaneously
nagsaptarshi24 May 2009
Well, it took me 21 years to watch this movie.Literally, the first time when I saw this movie was when it was released and I was back then a kid of 9 years who barely could understand the delicacy of human characters portrayed in the movie.And finally when I watched the movie again, I was 30 and boy oh boy,I was blown over.What a performance by Dustin Hoffman!!!Is it his best so far?Well, may not be, coz he is such a fine actor and he has so many good movies in his kitty.But truly it was one of his most memorable ones.And Tom Cruise, oh man, this bloke can act.I have always been so much skeptic about his acting skills.But I am happy that I have been proved wrong.He can act, thats for sure and this movie is a documentary proof of it.The best thing about this movie is of course the chemistry between them, a spoilt brat and an autistic person.The director handles such an issue with such panache that you are compelled to emote with the protagonists.Valeria Golino did an excellent job in her small role.She really sparkled in the elevator scene.The rest of the cast did a fine job, too.Overall, it is a memorable movie backed by power house performances.Don't ever take the risk of missing it.
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My main man Charlie Babbitt.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
It is something of a great cinematic achievement that Rain Man became the great film it clearly is because the story surrounding it is interestingly Hollywood in itself.

Four directors, six screenwriters, two cinematographers, eight producers, writers strikes, crew change, and a studio fighting for its life.

All of the above are common knowledge but it doesn't hurt to remember these facts when viewing the award wining triumph of a movie that stands the test of time today. The film is so simple in structure it really needed something special to pull it out of the prospective banality of being "just another road movie about finding oneself", Rain Man achieves something special by tackling its subjects with very sensitive hands and splicing a believable human concept into the story via the incredible shows from its two leading men.

Dustin Hoffman gives a magical moving performance as the Autistic Savant Raymond, the ultimate complement I can pay the performance is that it really is believable, both moving and clever rolled into one artistic result. Tom Cruise is equally as great in a role that called for drastic layer changes, a role that demanded much conviction from the actor taking it on, and Cruise gives the role much depth as he goes from shallow bastard to a very emotive and feeling human being, it's a great show that stands up to reevaluation these days. A performance that seems to have sadly been forgotten in light of Hoffman's film stealing show. With a film such as this you pray that the ending can do it justice, and I'm glad to say that there is no pandering here, it's an ending that says so much because it doesn't cop out, I thank god for those rewrites because the endings to the original scripts would of had me booting the TV set out of the window.

Essential cinema. 10/10
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Why has it become "cool" to hate this film?
MovieAddict201623 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Barry Levinson is one of the great screen directors of our time. He's most notable for being able to evoke subtly comedic discussions amongst his leading characters, save the rare occasion when his strained efforts backfire ("Toys" comes to mind). "Rain Man" (1988) is his crowning effort, his best achievement I can think of off-hand. It's considered a drama but it's also a true odd couple comedy, about two opposites who learn they have one common bond: their kinship.

The Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a wealthy car dealer living the high life in California. He's just gotten in a shipment of Ferraris and he's going to make a killing on an upcoming deal for all of them, when his entire background comes back to haunt him in a single unfortunate moment during his newly acquired and quite happy life.

Charlie's father has just died, leaving him an old sports car and rose bushes. But more painful than the fact that his father has died or that he was left simply with a car and some prize-winning rosebushes is the fact that Charlie had tried to put his ill-fated past behind him, and now it has caught up with him again. He has to face the reality of his father once again.

This isn't really evident the first time you watch the movie. Charlie is angered at the fact that he got nothing more than some bushes and a vehicle, sure, but he admits he expected nothing more. What really angers him is that he has to face his father, dead or alive, once more; either through faded memories or by the realization that he is now dead and their friendship was never repaired.

When Charlie finds out that his father's entire estate has been left to a single trustee, he schemes around and unmasks who the trustee really is -- his older brother he never knew he had, Raymond Babbitt (Hoffman), who lives in a homey mental institute and quotes the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello "Who's on first?" charade when he gets nervous.

Charlie confronts his brother, who seems as though he doesn't recognize him. And in a moment of weakness, Charlie kidnaps his brother from his home, drives him back to California, and attempts to squeeze the money out of Raymond, who has no holding on the concept of money at all.

Despite his lack of understanding regarding monetary value, Raymond is an idiot savant, and Charlie takes advantage of Raymond's mathematical skills by taking him to Las Vegas to count cards. After achieving a fortune they are thrown out of the casinos and left to face charges of kidnapping. The problem is, by the time it's all over, Charlie has formed an odd sort of bond with his brother. Long after the laughs settle the emotional impact of the story sinks in.

The ending is the sort of rare conclusion that brings tears to the eyes. Throughout the film, Charlie is an arrogant, ignorant, greedy businessman who cares of no one but himself. By the end, however, he has learned more than he has in his entire lifetime from the brother he never had. And unlike a lot of the buddy films out there, we get to see the bonding between Charlie and his big brother, Raymond, form on a daily basis, until it is brought to a standstill.

Dustin Hoffman gives his best performance in "Rain Man," one of such unmatched strength and brilliance that we often feel that we are really watching an autistic man on screen. Raymond Babbitt is one of the most memorable characters you will ever encounter as a viewer, and though Dustin Hoffman isn't necessarily a favorite actor of mine, I place his performance in "Rain Man" as one of the most convincing and touching performances of all time.

Trying to put the reason that "Rain Man" is so great into words is simply impossible. It's got everything. And as humorous as Raymond Babbitt becomes, he never seems unreal or obnoxious. As I watch him every time I watch the movie, I completely forget Dustin Hoffman is playing him until I mentally remark on how well he is doing so. This is movie magic, folks.

Hollywood has a fascination with characters like Forrest Gump and Raymond Babbitt, but -- even more so than Gump -- Raymond is never annoying. (That's not saying that Gump is, but...Raymond is even more touching and realistic.) Raymond is a fair bit more impaired than Forrest, and we feel for him even more (though which is the better film I could never say).

By all means, see this movie. Drop whatever you're doing and rent it, buy it, watch it over and over. It's amazing. I don't care if I sound like a mainstream critic trying to get my quotes on the new Special Edition box of the DVD (yes, please!), I love this movie and I can't say enough good things about it.
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One of the best films of the 80's, Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise are a perfect duo
OriginalMovieBuff219 March 2006
Rain Man is a moving story about two brothers, one a selfish yuppie named Charlie Babbitt who cares only about the importance of money and the other named Raymond who is a autistic and doesn't know anything about the importance of money. Charlie realizes that his father left three million dollars to Raymond and little to him, as he also realizes Raymomd is his brother! Charlie kidnaps Raymond from his residential home and begins a long journey and discovery that will forever change both their lives. Rain Man is a completely moving, emotional, funny, and unforgettable movie. Dustin Hoffman is one of my favorite actors and plays his most memorable role as well as Tom Cruise, who gives a great performance that helped a lot in launching most of his career. The direction by Barry Levinson is stunning and of course, his best yet. Overall, the film is a timeless classic that moves me in every way. This is definitely one of the best films of the 80's and one of my all time favorites. Yea, definitely, definitely, recommend it!

Hedeen's Outlook: 10/10 **** A+
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A timeless classic
bulleetz372352 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is an excellent film. Rain Man incorporates moving drama, timeless scenery and unbelievable performances from Dustin Hoffman and even Tom Cruise who up to this point in film history was known for typical chick flicks or films in which his potential was not shown, even the color of money couldn't make him look like any kind of decent actor. Yet in Rain Man he isn't bad, but I suppose it is very clear and easy to say that Dustin acts him off the screen. The screen is a simple tale of brotherly love. Dustin plays Raymond "The Rain Man" Babbitt, the long lost, supposedly autistic brother of Charlie Babbitt (Cruise). As Charlie finds out he has a brother never revealed to him by his father he feels let down and betrayed, and even more so that now his father is dead and leaving his estate, to the value of $3.000.000 to his brother, and not to himself. So Charlie in his situation decides to take Raymond away from the medical institution he was left in, and goes on a huge road trip, not willing to give his brother up, unless the institutes settles his share of his father's assets. But as this slow but intriguing film goes on, the bonds get stronger, and you can see the devotion settling in around them as they establish some common ground. And so when the end of the film comes and the brothers are ripped apart, even though really you know they should be allowed to unite it is extremely saddening. The end scene is particularly good, and very emotional, and the fact Barry Levinson has made characters the audience can genuinely care for, it means that the overall effect on the viewers is elevated to a whole new and amazing degree. It is brilliant. Don't deny this film it's worth because of technicalities and the fact it doesn't relay the correct message, and praise the quality of its creation. Which is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best and most touching film productions to ever grace the screen.
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Shows the way forward for issue driven movies.
eagle_owl22 February 2005
Tom Cruise stars as a used car salesman, who is angry when his father's inheritance is left to his older autistic brother (Dustin Hoffman), whose existence had not been revealed to him.

The film is built around its two assured central performances. Hoffman gives an excellent portrayal of a man with autism, totally unable to comprehend the real world around him. Cruise is no less impressive. While he is essentially playing to type, his character's attitude changes so gradually throughout the film that you barely notice, and without Cruise's subtle performance this transformation would be much less credible.

This is a highly commendable film, which, despite tackling a tricky subject, refuses to succumb to sentimentality. In giving autism such publicity, the film has hopefully helped to lessen the stigma brought on by ignorance of this condition.

Rain Man's great success is that it shows the way forward for issue driven movies in Hollywood. Its success at the box office demonstrates that taking a risk can pay off in spades, provided that the film is good enough.
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A movie that will make even the most macho man cry
Kristine25 July 2004
I have to say that this is Tom and Dustin's best performances by far. They are such a wonderful duo together. I love seeing how Tom reacts to Dustin's character. Two brothers, one being successful and the other mentally challenged, are finally reunited. They both learn how to live with each other and eventually learn to love each other. As for a best picture, I wasn't too sure. But the actors will impress you. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It has wonderful characters and some great laughs. But also some very touching moments. You really have to like this movie. It's too memorable to miss.

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Here's a rarity: a film that gets a mental disability RIGHT
wolverinesforever9 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am one of the few people who can personally relate to Raymond Babbit's condition. I was diagnosed with autism a long time ago. Because of this, I have tougher standards when it comes to movies that deal with mental or physical disabilities. Too often, I see films patronize these people as saints, even when they do almost nothing for themselves throughout the film. In my view, when it comes to dealing with "disadvantaged" people, I feel these figures should honestly overcome the odds despite or even because of their disabilities, or be recognized for whom they are (in a supporting light) for both their good and not so good traits ("Rain Man" takes the latter approach). I have no qualms when I say that I was not inspired by the "based on true events" stories of "The Elephant Man," "Radio," and "The Blind Side," because I felt these movies patronized disadvantaged people whom I felt had little agency for themselves.

But, "Rain Man," on the other hand, gets it right. Almost EXACTLY right. And it gets a rare 10/10 from me too.

Let's start with the treatment of the Raymond Babbit character. He has mid-functioning autism, and he will be like that for the rest of his life. Though he's quick with math and card counting, he will never understand the concept of money or be able to function on his own. And the film wisely does not set him up as a figure to be hailed. Admired? Perhaps. All the same though, while Raymond does grow a little in that he allows a little more flexibility into his daily schedule and begins to share a bond with brother Charlie, he's still a mostly static character has some very positive (math and memorization) and very frustrating (takes things too literally, obsessive fears of the unknown world) characteristics.

The real hero of the film, is his brother Charlie. And Charlie undergoes a REAL transformation. You actually watch him grow and change as he forces himself to take care of his brother. By the time he was trying to make a case to become his brother's guardian, I honestly believed his words and felt he had undergone a dramatic, yet subtle, change. The film handles his arc very delicately here; lots of small moments lead to the progression of his character.

As almost everyone has stated before, the acting is superb in this picture. Dustin Hoffman is perfect as Raymond, absolutely perfect. His facial ticks, his refusal to look into eyes, his meltdown when he hears the smoke detector, it's all there. He truly sets a golden standard when it comes to playing autistic characters, or any character with a mental disability, for that matter. And Tom Cruise is perfectly cast as the yuppie brother Charlie. Admittedly, this does play right into his 1980's persona. But the way he transforms from being so immature and ignorant to becoming a caring person is so honest, so well done. I know it's easy to bash Tom Cruise these days, but when I watch this movie, I can't help but hold very high admiration for him.

"Rain Man" has held up well since it's 1988 release (my year of birth, in fact). Even today, though we know far more about autism, "Rain Man" still remains a smart insight into the condition. "Rain Man" gets both its story, and the issue of autism, RIGHT. And that is why it will continue to be appreciated by generations of film viewers for years to come.

(Oh, and did I mention that Hans Zimmer's film score, his first to be nominated for an Oscar, is awesome as well?)
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brilliant when you think about it
arvid_gerge6 June 2004
I was thinking of the way different movies seem to be good. Some have lots of action, others a bunch of special-effects. But then it strikes you, that what represents real depth, real quality is when a movie can be good without those features. When it's the dialogue, the story and the acting that strikes you. This film has really only two characters, all others play only minor roles (Cruise's girlfriend has some importance though). Two characters basically, and one dialogue - that's all you need when you've got a script as good as this, and two such great actors. Only that is brilliant. But this film also has such fine, very true episodes, small stories in the larger film. One example is when Ray watches court TV with the working class woman and her many children out in the countryside...it's such a fine picture, just outstanding. ALL IN ALL A GREAT FILM!
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A good drama that gives an idea of what living with an autistic person must be like
Philip Van der Veken13 July 2005
It's not very difficult to see why this movie won four Oscars and was nominated for four more. The academy loves movies about people with difficult lives or with a handicap. Sometimes it almost feels like they are desperate to show that they too have a heart and so a director who hasn't won anything so far just has to make a movie with such a subject and he can be sure that he will hit the jackpot. Does that also mean that those movies are always excellent? No, although I wish they were. But it has to be said, not all of those movies are bad either, take for instance this "Rain Man". That's certainly a movie that deserves a closer watch.

When the selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt hears that his father has left behind a fortune after his death, but that he won't get it, he is furious. He has never had a good relationship with his father, who threw him out as a teenager, but he sure hoped for more than a now antique convertible. And to make things worse for Charlie, he hears that all the money goes to Raymond, an autistic man who he has never seen before in his life, but who appears to be his brother. And if that shock isn't yet big enough, the man also appears to be able to calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head with great speed and accuracy, but doesn't even understand what money can be used for. Enraged by all this 'injustice', Charlie kidnaps Raymond from his residential home, but then finds out how difficult it is to live with a man who only can live with his fixed routines...

This wouldn't have been a typical eighties movie if there hadn't been a selfish yuppie in it of course, but I must say that it didn't bother me this time. The main reason for that is because it accentuates the contrast between the two men even more. Charlie has nothing else but money on his mind, while Raymond doesn't even know what money is. That's without any doubt a very smart idea which makes this movie work. And that's not the only good thing about this movie. The acting for instance is also very good. Especially Dustin Hoffman is excellent, but that has of course much to do with the role that he is playing. Still, his performance is very believable and remarkable. And even though I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan, I must say that he was really very good in this movie. The role he was playing seemed to be written for him.

All in all this is a very good movie that sure deserves to be seen. The acting and the story are far above average and give a good idea of what it must be like to live with an autistic person. I'm convinced that this movie certainly doesn't deserve a rating lower than 7.5/10.
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One of my all-time faves; Levinson's masterpiece; superlative Hoffman & Cruise
george.schmidt21 April 2003
RAIN MAN (1988) **** Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golina, Bonnie Hunt. My all time favorite contemporary film.

Brilliant Oscar-winning Best Picture film about quick-tempered exotic car salesman Charlie Babbitt (superlatively played by Cruise) who finds himself bilked out of his estranged father's inheritance and discovering an older brother, Raymond, (Hoffman flawlessly brilliant, Best Actor), an institutionalized autistic savant, and 'kidnaps' him in their dad's Buick Roadmaster for a cross-country odyssey of self-reflection and genuine sibling bonding. Poignant, funny, and moving character study with expert direction by Barry Levinson (Best Director and appears as a mental health envoy). Ethereally Oscar nominated haunting score by Hans Zimmer. Best scene: Cruise learning why Hoffman was "sent away." Life-affirming.
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Unforgettable movie
Dong Nguyen11 April 2009
Rain man is one of the best movies of the 1980s', and it has without doubt, one of the best performances ever seen on film. Dustin Hoffman was amazing as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic man, whose younger brother, Charlie, played quite well by Tom Cruise, abducts him from the institution he is in order to get his share of inheritance money. The character of Charlie is very selfish and greedy, but as the film goes on, he changes for the better. He takes Raymond clear across the country by car because Raymond won't fly. Watching this film again made me realize that it is really one of the greatest films I've seen. It's a bittersweet story of brotherly love, dramatic at times, but has a great deal of comedy blended in. This is a film to be cherished for generations. I highly recommend Rain Man. The performances by both Dustin Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor (very well deserved!), and Tom Cruise are outstanding. I believe this to be one of the first films that Cruise had a real substantial character with depth to him. It's no surprise that Rain Man won Academy Awards for it is a very touching story. Great from beginning to end, brilliantly written, Rain Man will always remain one of the best movies of all times.
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To paraphrase Raymond, Rain Man is mediocre. Definitely mediocre.
hotair12 October 1998
Warning: Spoilers
This might be just a lot of hot air, but I think the movie and Hoffman's award-winning performance are over-rated. I'll admit that, typically, I'm too cynical to buy a feel-good movie, and ultimately that's what Rain Man wants to be. I'm especially suspicious of movies that use mentally slow characters and their supposed child-like innocence to convey difficult themes like what's right and wrong in the world (see Forrest Gump and Sling Blade). To me, these characters are too often the result of lazy screenwriters. The characters have moments of genius that never ring true, moments that appear far beyond their mental capabilities. These moments are always used to covey some deep truth about us or society. Then, during the rest of the movie, they can barely get dressed or tie their own shoes. I don't buy it.

It doesn't help that screenwriter Ron Bass draws his characters so poorly. While Tom Cruise does an adequate job of revealing Charlie as a crying-on-the-inside jerk, Bass never really develops the character. Charlie is shown to be a selfish jerk at the beginning of the film and stays that way throughout. Sure, he lightens up a little at the end, and why not? He just paid off a debt incurred through shady business dealings and won $100,000 at blackjack. Not a bad day. I'd feel a lot better, too.

As for Hoffman, well, to paraphrase Pauline Kael, a collection of ticks and weird behavior do not make a great performance. As excellent screenwriter William Goldman says in Premiere magazine, there is nothing special about Hoffman's acting, which he describes as being in the "drunks and retards" category. "Actors kill for those parts," he says. "They love to slur and stagger and drool." These Scent of a Rain Man roles, as another writer in Premiere coins them, pass for great acting. In fact, eight of the last 10 Best Actor awards belong in this category. (Including two for Tom Hanks, who, ironically, actually deserved the Oscar for his work in Big the year Hoffman won for Rain Man.)

Rain Man boils down to a fish-out-of-water buddy road movie. Cliches are abundant and the formula is familiar. Of course, this shouldn't be surprising given Bass' lukewarm track record. His filmography proves he has all his cliches covered: drunks (When a Man Loves a Woman), retards (Gardens of Stone), psychos (Sleeping With the Enemy) and the always crowd pleasing triumph over adversity (Dangerous Ground, which was originally titled the laughably putrid My Posse Don't Do Homework). Don't even get me started on My Best Friend's Wedding or the super sappy How Stella Got Her Groove Back and What Dreams May Come. That none of these films, on the whole, have received even better than average reviews is telling. Perhaps if Rain Man hadn't been helped by high-priced actors and director Barry Levinson, it, too, would have been seen for what it is: Mediocre.
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Surprised by all the praise, even if it's a decent movie
i7731011 July 2009
I watched this movie without knowing whatever the story is about except that Dustin Hoffman is in it and so expect this film to be of some standard after seeing many other Dustin's films: Marathon Man, The Graduate, Papillon.

It's also because the DVD was on sale at S$9.95 so I just bought it out of curiosity after seeing other people buying it.

Dustin does not disappoint; his acting is amazing. He plays the autistic older brother very well, funny and charming. But the story is only average.

You can only put so much humor between 2 people as they start a journey of self-discovery. I watched it only once and that is enough. I'd have to put this film aside for a while before I can watch it again and find it interesting.

The conversation between the brothers get boring after a while. The film is too long- over 2 hours. I'm tired of Tom Cruise's grumbling after a while and Dustin, playing autistic, can only say those few lines and interesting as they are, it's once too many times.

I can't believe it's rated so high at 8.0/10. I'd rate it only 3/5. Good rental, but not worth keeping.
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Good but the key is in the detail!!!
MildInconvenienceMan10 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This was a good film that really helped the audience to understand autism and how much of an impact it can have in peoples lives, what I liked about it is it didn't dwell on this and instead had a great storyline that involved autism, rather than completely revolving around it like some kind of unique selling point.

Hoffman's acting was superb and it was really hard to imagine him as anything else but autistic, he really got into the character and there were no obvious moments when he clearly was not in his autistic character, which really helped the flow of the film. On the other hand Cruise is an actor who I have always disliked, and this film was no different, he played his same old cool guy character, always wearing ruddy sunglasses, so frustrating. However even for him his realisation at the end of the film was sufficient enough to carry the end of the film even though in my own eyes the film ended fairly poorly.

The ending just showed that life would carry on just as it had done before they had even met, and the most frustrating thing is that Cruise's money problems were never properly figured out, which was the whole reason he did this in the first place, yes he gambled but this never really explained the main storyline ending. As well as Cruise's reaction to his girlfriend having kissed his brother which was also unexpanded.

Other moments such as Hoffman just leaning on his brother lightly obviously showed that Cruise had made a connection, but still why could he not have done that earlier, for someone with autism that situation would have been no different to any other, as well as Hoffman telling jokes, so the story became more fantasy based than based on any kind of real fact.

It was this kind of flawed storyline which showed a lack of research while writing the film, which really showed especially towards the end of the film which prevented it from being a truly great movie. In spite of this it is still a very good movie that shows the expansion of Cruise's character although against his character type, it is still good to watch and enjoy, but lacks the realism of a film great.

Good but the key is in the detail and this film just didn't deliver in terms of realism, especially on such a sensitive and misunderstood subject.
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Somewhat overrated
mattrochman30 March 2007
Dustin Hoffman certainly gave a good performance. But I recall one Oscar host who said something like "your chances of winning an Oscar are high if you portray someone with a mental or physical illness" - reference to Rain Man, Philidelphia, Silence of the lambs, Shine..and the list goes on.

The interesting thing is that playing these sorts of characters may not be as difficult as many people think. That's why I have respect for actors such as Jodie Foster and Hillary Swank - they play relatively normal people, but with conviction and realism; and that makes it difficult to take your eyes of them. But I would have thought that playing a Raymond or a Forest Gump type character would be relatively elementary for these actors.

Take away Hoffman, and the often underrated Cruise, and you have a fairly mediocre, long winded and somewhat boring story. To some degree, this is because the film is a bit too pre-occupied with showcasing some of the inadvertent talents of a autistic savvant. But then again, somehow I feel that would have been fine, had the screen-writers ditched the backdrop of a film (Cruise in financial trouble and needs the inheritance money). Worse still, the backdrop made the final 30 minutes extremely predictable (money isn't everything... blood is thicker than water... blah blah blah).

Certainly watchable, but tends to drag on a bit and as mentioned previously too much a predictable background plot that required unnecessary servicing throughout the film.
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Hitting the road to Schmaltz-ville
Martin Bradley27 August 2007
Hollywood always believed that if a movie dealt with a serious theme in an entertaining manner it was somehow worthy of consideration which is why so many second-rate films like "Rain Man" ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. As 'Best Pictures' go "Rain Man" wasn't quite the worst of them but you can't help feeling it trivializes its subject which is played almost entirely for comedy or sentimental value. If it's enjoyable, and in its way it is, it is due entirely to the two principal performances of Dustin Hoffman, (an Oscar for best actor), and Tom Cruise, (no nomination, but thoroughly deserving of one).

They play estranged brothers reunited after the death of their father. Hoffman is an autistic-savant, (definitely qualifying as a handicap; definitely several rungs up the Oscar ladder), whose facility with numbers proves a definite plus when it comes to playing the tables in Las Vegas. (The journey from first meeting to final parting also qualifies this as a road-movie). Cruise is the initially venal younger brother who wants to use Hoffman's 'talents' for his own ends but, this being a Hollywood movie of the inspirational variety, it isn't too long before bonding takes place and at the time Cruise's persona was such that playing a bad guy wasn't really on the cards.

If anyone ever doubted in the early days that Cruise could act all they had to do was to look to this and "The Colour of Money" where he gave his Oscar-winning co-stars as good as he got. The film's director was Barry Levenson, formerly as script-writer who graduated to making his own films with the marvelous "Diner" and whose best films tended towards autobiographical pieces set in his native Baltimore. "Rain Man" represented his attempt at tackling a 'big' subject. It had all the ingredients for popular success and it gave him the Oscar but it's still a bland, formulaic film typical of what the big studios were churning out at the time.
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Hurting the very same people it proclaims to be about
mentalcritic7 May 2007
When I first saw Rain Man in 1989, I thought I was witnessing something very tragic and terrible. Overwhelmed with pity for Hoffman's character, I never gave the film's contents a second thought. Then, in 2004, I finally learned why I had been subjected to so much abuse during my childhood and adolescence by teachers and healthcare professionals that I can not sleep a wink at night. Yes, like hundreds of thousands of angry adults, I was diagnosed with a higher-functioning form of autism. And then my pity for Hoffman's character, or any semblance of respect for the man who wrote him, was replaced by something much, much worse. There is fear, there is anger, and then there is outright hatred. Among autistic individuals who grew up in the 1980s, Ronald Bass is easily one of the most hated men who has ever lived, and his attempt to backpedal to take into account the fact that autism is a spectrum rather than some crippling disease that simply must be cured has only made it worse for him.

Aside from being very badly written (real people with high-functioning autism do not scream, cry, and hit themselves just because a variation occurs in their plans), it is also plain ignorant. This is not only apparent in the words of the performers, it is also apparent in the words of its supporters. Dustin Hoffman once said that playing this role was very easy because his character was essentially in a cocoon, while one commenter here tells us that character is "totally unable to comprehend the real world around him". Both show such a ridiculous ignorance of autism that it would be funny if this matter were not so damned serious. Even today, as people try to tell us to our faces that we are not autistic because we do not scream and cry when someone breaks wind in our direction, we struggle to get our voices heard among so-called charities that are ostensibly set up for our benefit, yet do not allow our input. Supporters might call Rain Man the way forward for "issue films". I call it dehumanisation.

It also strikes me as flatly ironic that Tom Cruise, a man so ignorant that he makes creationists seem reasonable, does not like to emphasise his involvement in this film when autism has exploded into a burning issue on the world stage. That should honestly tell everyone who has not yet learned what real people with autism think of the matter all they need to know. The reason why Cruise does not point to Rain Man and claim this is evidence that he knows something about the suffering of the neurodivergent that he also helps contribute to is because a smart agent researched the issue properly and informed him that real organisations representing the autistic such as Aspies For Freedom would have his guts for garters. It also says a lot about a film, and none of it good, when he happens to be the most convincing performer involved. None of the other actors save Hoffman seem remotely convinced about the dialogue they are delivering, and in fact some of them look very concerned that they are coming across as ignorant. Rightly so.

It is not often when a singular problem so utterly destroys a film, but the bad writing in Rain Man just utterly takes the cake. In Philadelphia, a real blueprint for so-called issue films, one key piece of dialogue from Tom Hanks describes the stigma and isolation of being infected with an illness that is almost universally fatal. Philadelphia gets it right because it goes to great pains to emphasise that the illness itself is bad enough, but it is the attitude of the beholder that makes it as unbearable to live with as it is. And while Rain Man attempts to do the same, it fumbles the ball by not just displaying ignorance on the part of everyone around Hoffman, but by practically announcing that its makers were just as ignorant, if not more so. Now, with reliable testimonies to the effect that such directors as Tim Burton or Steven Spielberg are on the autistic spectrum, the silence about the erroneous nature of films like Rain Man is literally killing us.

You see, in the hysteria that films like Rain Man help to whip up, quacks are convincing parents to use unsound and unsafe medical therapies on their autistic children, with total disregard for the fact that such therapies can and already have resulted in fatalities. Autism cure charities attempt to block the autistic out of discussions of their own affairs, and attempt to negate our objections through exclusion. So when I tell you that Rain Man is not the Schindler's List or Philadelphia equivalent its defenders proclaim, but more akin to Triumph Des Willens, I want you to understand my full meaning here. Over a decade ago, I went to a museum in which products from eras gone by were exhibited. One exhibit, essentially a hall of shame, showed us ugly artifacts such as Darkie toothpaste or other such racially stereotypical adverts that would only be acceptable in a society where a social minority is legally subjected to second-class citizenry. And if we lived in a society that cared as much about the autistic as Ronald Bass would like us to believe he does, Rain Man would be part of a similar exhibit.

Rain Man is a two out of ten film. I wish it were possible to give negative scores, but c'est la vie. That people mistake it for a good film about autism is a mark of shame upon the entire human race.
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Not as good as I expected
snlfan33006 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Many people told me that Rain Man was a very good movie and that I should see it. I took their word for it, and after viewing it I've found that Rain Man was an average movie.

The Good: Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman were brilliant in this movie. They fit their characters very well and both put forth a superb effort. I also thought it was neat seeing their relationship grow throughout the movie.

The Bad: I found this movie to be quite boring many times throughout the movie. It got repetitive, and it really did not send a very strong message, in my opinion. The movie began as a story of jealousy, and ended without much emotion. After a very long and exaggerated middle, I was hoping and expecting the movie to end very dramatically. Instead, it ended abruptly and I did not feel much sympathy for any of the characters in the movie. I thought the movie was a good idea, but could have been written and directed a little bit better. Nonetheless, it was a nice movie, but I don't know if I'd recommend it to very many people.

Overall: 5/10
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Much Ado About Little
TheHG9 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
This movie never really affected me the way it has many people. I just could not relate to either of the lead characters in any way because the characterizations are too trite and the acting is not that impressive. Also, there have been similar movies made in the past that were much more effective and deeply touching. Two outstanding examples are... 1 - "Of Mice and Men" with Burgess Meredith, Lon Chaney Jr., and 2 - "Scarecrow" with Al Pacino, Gene Hackman.
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Paper-thin and predictable
recontramil18 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was very linear and you could see where it was going right from the start. The characters are very stereo-typed and not deep at all, and maybe it might be that this movie came out only a few years after my birth, but this was flat-out boring. Nothing really grasps your attention, you know that Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) is "magical" and that Charlie (Tom Cruise) underappreciates that. Charlie's impatient butthole personality gets really old and annoying right from the beginning, and it continues on for hours. This whole movie felt like a waste of my time, the only thing worth watching was Dustin Hoffman's acting. But honestly, retard movies just really bug me (The Other Sister was, to me, unbearably annoying). If you wanted to see it because you heard it's a classic (like me) don't waste your time. Trust me. This movie is as dry as they come, you can't juice anything out of this fruit. I give it a 3 out of 10.
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Cruise's Abrasive Character Ruins This For Me
ccthemovieman-113 November 2006
Once again, here's a film I liked a lot on the first viewing, but less and less on subsequent ones and finally calling it quits after the third look. By then, Tom Cruise's character "Charlie Babbitt" was too much to take. It wasn't entertainment to listen and see his profane, arrogant, mean-spirited character. Yeah, he comes around to some decency in the end but it's too little-too late for me.

Dustin Hoffman, of course, gained a lot of recognition for his idiot-savant role of Cruise's brother "Raymond Babbitt." It's tough to root against a mentally- disabled person, even if he's math wizard.

As interesting a story as this is, and as is Hoffman's acting and character, Cruise ruins this film for me. For others who wouldn't be offended, I highly recommend the movie as it's an involving story and Hoffman's performance alone is worth the rental.
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