Freeway (1996) Poster

(1996)

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That's not all I did to grandma.
Andy (film-critic)4 October 2004
While watching this film I was disgusted, disturbed, and horrified while all the while LOVING THIS FILM. Living in a house where fairy tale literature is commonplace (my wife studies Children's Literature), I was surprised by this film. Seeing it in the value bin at most video stores, I expected poor production, horrible direction, and a pathetic cast. We have all seen these films that boast big names, but somehow never fully follow through. Freeway is nothing of the kind. It is a carefully written and delivered retelling of one of our most beloved fairy tales with a extremely dark twist.

Reece Witherspoon (pre-Legally Blonde) gives a performance that surprised me. I did not realize that she was so capable of bringing this character to life. Her counterpart, the illustrious 'Wolf', played by 80s child Keifer Sutherland, is yet another powerful force in this film. The two of them nearly carry this film on their shoulders. This is one of those perfect examples of a film that did not have much publicity after its release, but has since then obtained 'cult' status through avid viewer's word of mouth. This is definitely a film for all movie critics, film buffs, and fanatics to gaze at just once. I know there were some poor reviews when it was first released, but I am sure that a second viewing would bring this gem back to life.

I would also like to add that director Matthew Bright is a film genius. He successfully took a very wholesome and good natured story (or that we think) and transforms it into the fearsome dark story that it should be. Our society has the consistency of taking dark elements and transforming them into stories for our children. A wolf eats a grandmother in this story … how happy and uplifting is that? I applaud Bright for taking this story and transforming it into a modern day fairy tale. It is gripping, fascinating, and downright beautiful.

If you enjoyed Natural Born Killers and was hoping for a nicer twist, this film is your answer. I also suggest that if you couldn't get enough of Freeway that you try to get your hands on the very rare Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby. See how Bright delicately transforms yet another dark fairy tale (Hansel and Gretel) into a modern masterpiece.

Grade: ***** out of *****
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9/10
I was lucky to find this one! Thanks IMDB.
mgarland22 February 2004
I remembered Kiefer Sutherland played a psychotic killer....and IMDB lead me right to this one. I had seen bits and pieces of this movie on cable and couldn't believe how good it was, but back in those days we didn't have "channel info". This movie is wickedly funny, and Reese Witherspoon plays the most hilarious, bad-girl, tough trailer trash role I've ever seen and plays it fantastically. The slutty makeup and outfits she wears as well as the endless stream of profanity she swears are definitely a lot different than her "modern day" good girl roles she seems stuck in now. This movie is funnier than you can possibly imagine, as things keep happening that just blow you away or shock the pants off you and no main character is what they seem to be at first. Definitely unpredictable, this dark comedy is a rare lost gem I was glad to find again.
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8/10
Look who got beat with the ugly stick!
GroovyDoom19 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Deeply entrenched in the subversive world of cult films, "Freeway" could be one of the most engrossing movies I've ever seen. Reminiscent of the films of John Waters, it's a satire of such unfunny things as serial killings, drug abuse, prostitution, sexual abuse of underage children, prison life, random acts of violence, and suicide. Like the best Waters, Matthew Bright finds the pathos in all of these things, shaping the movie into a nihilistic comedy.

Reese Witherspoon is absolutely marvelous as her character, Vanessa Lutz, a sharp-witted "white trash" girl who makes the best out of every situation she finds herself in. Her mother is a drug-addled prostitute. Her stepfather is a jobless, sexually abusive moron who also hits the pipe. Vanessa herself has a history of being in trouble with the law and has trouble reading, but she's far from stupid. We never once doubt that she will prevail, no matter how desperate her situation becomes.

Vanessa is forced to make a move one day when her parents are arrested and a social worker plans on sending Vanessa to another foster home. Unable to face that prospect, she gives her social worker the slip and hits the road to search for her grandmother, who she has never met and who is not even aware of Vanessa's existence. Vanessa's life takes a detour when her car breaks down and she is picked up by Kiefer Sutherland. She does not know that he is the "I-5 Killer", a pathetic but cunning serial murderer who preys on young women he plucks from the freeway. Unfortunately for him, he comes up against the wrong victim when he targets Vanessa.

The rest of the story is best left unsaid, although Roger Ebert gave away most of the plot in his review of the film from 1996 (don't ya just love when he does that?). Bright actually references John Waters several times, first by inserting a brief passage that features the opening theme from "Pink Flamingos" and also by making a plot point out of the fact that Vanessa, who is white, has a thing for black guys (much like Penny Pingleton in "Hairspray"). The dialogue is often outrageous, too. But unlike Waters' early films, "Freeway" is technically well-made and structurally better. It also features a number of terrific cameos and roles, including Brooke Shields as Sutherland's snooty, blissfully ignorant wife.

Fans of offbeat movies in general might really love "Freeway", while others should probably approach it with a strong stomach.
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How did I ever miss this movie before
tigoe31 December 2002
Although it started out slow, it really picked up the pace when Vanessa gets into Bob's SUV type vehicle. As the movie went on, it easily turned out to be one of the best movies I've seen in years. Dark, gory and still full of laughs in a twisted way. How Reese Witherspoon didn't win an Academy Award for this is a mystery. I have found new respect for Reese and glad to know she isn't all about fluff movies catering to woman (i.e., "Sweet Home Alabama"). I hope Reese digs into the grittier side of life again and does another movie of the "Freeway" caliber and leave her mantle of "the next Meg Ryan" at home!

Way to go Reese, this movie is definitely worth owning!
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9/10
A Funny and Poignant Story Under a Gritty Exterior
lotus4931 October 1998
This film is somewhat deceptive, in that the characters seem so outwardly stereotypical of the kind of the sub class of the under-educated, drug or sex addled teenagers and the people who prey on them, which makers of slasher films have doled out in the last couple of decades. But Witherspoon brings a fighting charm to the lead character, Venessa Lutz, who has just about everything bad thrown at her that a young person can have thrown at them while growing up. She survives and prevails with grittiness, will and humor. As far from an angel as you can get she becomes vigilante and enforcer of her own brand of justice to a particularly malevolent form of evil visited on by Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland) and an uncaring and unbelieving law enforcement system. It's really a small classic and should be viewed without any predjudice of youth crime. It then becomes an eloquent statement for better and more rational treatment of young offenders.
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9/10
Extreme but fascinating
preppy-329 May 2003
Teenaged Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) is illiterate and has a VIOLENT temper. Her prostitute mother has just been jailed so she tries to get to her grandmother. She's picked up by Bob Wolveton (Kiefer Sutherland) who might be a mass murderer...

Film begins and ends like a very perverse version of "Little Red Riding Hood". The middle has Witherspoon trying to get to her grandmothers. The film is VERY VERY violent with virtual non-stop swearing and plenty of sexual talk thrown in. How it got by with an R rating is beyond me. Still, I love it. What the point of this is I don't know, but it's unlike any other film I've ever seen. It's not afraid to push over the limit of good taste and is never dull. Also the acting is just great. Witherspoon attacks her role full force and is just astounding. Sutherland is equally good as the wolf (Wolveton--get it?) and the supporting cast is full of talented actors (Amanda Plummer, Michael T. Weiss, Dan Hedaya) all doing great.

An undiscovered little gem. But be warned--the violence and language is more than a little extreme. NOT for the squeamish.
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10/10
Stunning!
yossarian10011 February 2004
Move over, Pulp Fiction. Freeway is totally outrageous, over the top hilarious, yet it all somehow has the ring of either truth or understanding or both. The performance delivered by Reese Witherspoon was not only great, it was startlingly great and the best thing I've seen her do. Each turn in the story hit me like a slap in the face, each new character was like a gift, but Reese Witherspoon playing the queen of trailer park trash was done like a symphony. Fantastic!
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8/10
Fascinating celluloid stew of sleaze
fertilecelluloid15 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A brilliant, deliciously creative title sequence, backed by a manic Danny Elfman score, sets the trashy, perverted tone of this "adult" version of "Little Red Riding Hood".

After her parents (Amanda Plummer and Michael T. Weiss) are arrested for prostitution and a parole violation, Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon) hits the road for Granny's house.

Along the way she meets rapist/kiddie porn-loving psychologist Bob Wolverton (Keifer Sutherland) and pumps some bullets into him for his inevitable transgression.

The narrative here is deliberately nuts and the perverted tone is not to be taken seriously. Trash-loving director Mathew Bright, who also helmed the gloriously exploitive BUNDY, blends elements from slasher movies, courtroom dramas, women-in-prison (WIP) epics, horror flicks and soft core porn flicks into this fascinating celluloid stew.

Bright, like Larry Clark, appears to be cinematic ally obsessed with women's crotches and panties and sexually promiscuous girls of the under aged or barely legal variety (this is not a criticism, merely an observation). In one zipper-busting scene, a semi-crippled hottie stands up into frame to give us a front seat view of her crotch. During a fight amongst prison inmates, dresses are ripped asunder and, as expected, lesbian love finds a home in Vanessa's jail cell.

The festering air of sleaze and shameless exploitation makes FREEWAY a refreshing little number. You can only admire Bright's affectionate approach to the trashy material and be grateful that the once-great John Waters did not get a crack at it.

The resolution at Granny's house is too predictable to carry any weight, but the trip itself is never boring.

Witherspoon is a ball of angry talent in her first major starring role and has done nothing this interesting since.
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Extremely twisted black comedy
lilpab139 October 2002
Reese Witherspoon has never made a better movie than Freeway...Although I respect her for wanting to do more romantic/family oriented movies because of her daughter, I don't think even she realizes how amazing she was playing this role...She was completely foul mouthed and hot tempered, but her timing and attitude was fantastic..I recently realized how this movie is and has been potential for cult classic....Reese Witherspoon never mentions this movie in any interviews and I wish she would because I would like to hear her thoughts on playing Vanessa Julia Lutz...
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10/10
A Cig and a Laugh
shan3st3r29 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the funniest films I've ever seen. Reese Witherspoon can do no wrong after the performance she gives here - brilliant. She is the Tony Montana of teenage girls! And lets not forget Brook Shields as the uknowing wife of the serial killer standing by her man through the trial.

The best scene is the shoot-out where Reese and the cops walk away smoking cigarettes and laughing as if the whole thing had been a big joke.

Great stuff! Puts "Natural Born Killers" to shame!
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8/10
Witherspoon Starshine
Euphorbia29 September 2002
In other hands this story might have become just another cheesy teen exploitation flick. But in Matthew Bright's "Freeway" we have a solid script, confident direction, an excellent supporting cast, and a gleefully twisted world view, all backing up a boldly brilliant star-turn performance by Reese Witherspoon. Her Vanessa Lutz is brazen, coarse, violent, manipulative, and seemingly doomed no matter which way she turns. But at the end of the day, of every day, she remains her own person, and nothing can intimidate or stop her. Witherspoon seems to live and breathe this demanding role, with never a hint of 'acting a part' -- which is to say she is doing some very fine acting indeed. Vanessa Lutz is a role like Forrest Gump, though even more challenging, where one tiny step out of character would spoil the whole thing. But Miss Witherspoon never misses.

Plus, it was great to see Kiefer Sutherland play a smarmy, goody-two-shoes psychopathic villain. Much more fun than his trained chipmunk limp-wrist tendentiousness in "24." I have seen no evidence that this man can actually act, but he really does not need to here. When he first appeared on screen I thought, 'Oh no, this movie's over.' But soon I discovered, to my delight, that he he had been cast precisely for his pathetic loser quality.

For some reason IMDB classifies Freeway as a 'crime/drama,' which mostly misses the point. It is a diabolical black comedy with lots of violent action, some of it realistic, but most of it wonderfully absurd. All in all it earns a solid 8/10 for being funny and satisfying, a movie which I would happily watch again.
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7/10
I don't think this is how The Brothers Grimm envisioned Little Red Riding Hood...
The_Void31 May 2006
Based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale, Little Red Riding Hood; Freeway is the disjointed and frankly weird odyssey following a young girl on the way to her grandmother's home. The film begins much like any other hitchhiking film, with a young girl being picked up by a slightly sinister driver. However, you won't be able to predict where it's going to go from there, as Freeway continually puts its characters in absurd situations and delivers the unexpected. The plot doesn't exactly adhere to the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and after the basics have been laid down, it's basically anyone's game right down to the gripping and hilarious climax. The film sees Reese Witherspoon's juvenile delinquent being picked up by Kiefer Sutherland's child psychologist after fleeing from her home when her mother and step father are arrested. After telling the psychologist of her relationship with her step father, she soon realises that he's enjoying what she's saying a little too much; and it's not long before she asks him if he's the infamous I-5 killer, and he doesn't do anything to convince her he's not...

Freeway doesn't introduce any characters that are particularly likable, and all are guilty to a degree. Most audience members will be on the side of Witherspoon's character, as although she certainly has personality problems, she's great fun to watch and her twisted logic isn't usually far from being spot on! Witherspoon got one of her best roles in this film, and really does carry it despite her young age. Kiefer Sutherland stars alongside her, and it's rather odd seeing him in the psycho role after getting so used to him being Jack Bauer in 24. He does do it great, however. Perhaps the best thing about this film is the pitch black humour that goes hand in hand brilliantly with the absurdity of the piece. The plot is really freewheeling, and the film jumps from road thriller to prison drama to the court room in the blink of an eye, and this helps to ensure that the audience is always kept on their toes. This film won't appeal to people that don't like their movies to be pitch black and unpleasant, but anyone who enjoys a good does of absurdity shouldn't hesitate to track this film down!
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8/10
Dark, disgusting and utterly wonderful.
Spikeopath11 November 2010
Freeway is written and directed by Matthew Bright. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Dan Hedaya, Wolfgang Bodison, Brooke Shields & Brittany Murphy. Plot is darkly based around the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale and sees young runaway Vanessa Lutz (Witherspoon) hit the road after her parents are arrested. Setting off to visit her grandmother she agrees to a lift from the kind and well spoken Bob Wolverton (Sutherland), only to find that he's not as nice as she first thought. He in turn is in for a big surprise himself since Vanessa is more than capable of looking after herself.

Twisted and richly humorous, Matthew Bright's movie oozes originality and quite frankly deserves to be better appreciated: never mind better known! Going into it for a first time completely oblivious to its structure will arguably aid the experience. Suffice to say that the less known about it prior to viewing it the better. All I have to say is that it's violent, sweary and contains very sexually explicit dialogue, so if those things are likely to offend then perhaps stay away from it. But what if I offer up that those things are dealt with a satirical bent? That the tough scenes, and some of them are very tough, are basis to a caustic narrative about social hypocrisy and the often stupidity of the law? Interested? You should be, because once viewed you're unlikely to forget it. It's no surprise to see Oliver Stone's name etched onto the production credits, since this very much feels like a dirty second cousin to his Natural Born Killers. I'd argue that here we have the better acted film with Witherspoon and Sutherland giving virtuoso performances: with admirable support coming from the likes of Bodison, Shields and Murphy.

One of the most undervalued film's of the 90s? You bet it is! 8.5/10
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8/10
Fairy-tale exploitation!
Coventry29 May 2006
The directorial debut of the obviously multi-talented Matthew Bright turned out one of the coolest movies of the entire 90's decade, a witty and sometimes truly original Indie-film with some genuine 70's exploitation trademarks. The story is a very personal and dared interpretation of the famous Little Red Riding Hood fairy-tale, transposed from the woods to present day California and featuring more appropriate menaces like prostitution, serial killers, drug addiction and child abuse. In her most fabulous performance ever (her recent brilliant portrayal of June Carter in "Walk the Line" not included), Reese Witherspoon stars as an illiterate and very unlucky teenager stuck in the lowest social class with a street-walking mother and a sex-hungry stepfather. When welfare officers once again try to put her in a foster family, she hopes to flee to her grandmother but ends even deeper in hell. She's offered a ride by a seemly caring psychologist who turns out a sadistic murderer that is difficult to beat! "Freeway" works as a disturbing thriller, but also as a tongue-in-cheek black comedy that illustrates human decay from a teenager's perspective. There are quite a lot of (major) plot holes in the script and some sequences – especially in the second half of the film – are a bit redundant, but Matthew Bright keeps it all very interesting with a fast pace and stylish art direction. Apart from Witherspoon and the always adequate Kiefer Sutherland, great acting talents can be found in the supportive cast, like Dan Hedaya, Amanda Plummer, Michael T. Weiss and Brittany Murphy. Even Brooke Shields is amazing in the last role you'd ever expect her to play! Danny Elfman's unique and quite petrifying musical score also contributes in making "Freeway" one of the most sensational post-"Pulp Fiction" thrillers and definitely a future classic.
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7/10
Reese Witherspoon did well here.
Lee Eisenberg28 July 2005
"Freeway" was one of those movies that we happened to come across, and it turned out to be fairly interesting. We had seen Reese Witherspoon in "A Far Off Place" a few years earlier, but "Freeway" was the movie that really introduced us to her. She plays Vanessa Lutz, a teenage girl who runs away from home and gets picked up by a man named Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland), only to find out something very unpleasant that leads to a most unusual series of events.

For the most part, you might call this one of those quirky movies that pops up every once in a while. If it has any greater meaning, I guess that it's sort of saying that no matter where we go, there are some things that we just can't escape.
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A future classic!
Infofreak23 December 2001
Matthew Bright stuns with his outrageous directorial debut 'Freeway', one of the most original and subversive movies to emerge from Hollywood in years. Bright wrote the utterly bizarre 'Forbidden Zone' over twenty years ago (once seen, never forgotten!), but 'Freeway' shows he is a major talent. His only real competition in the hyper-real pop art black comedy stakes is Gregg Araki, whose 'Doom Generation' and 'Nowhere' display a similar kick ass sensibility.

Reese Witherspoon is dynamite as the white trash lethal Lolita Vanessa Lutz. Along with 'Election' her best role to date. Kiefer Sutherland gets his most interesting part in years as her nemesis, the slimy Bob. And the supporting cast is equally strong, especially dependable character actor Dan Hedaya ('Blood Simple', 'The Usual Suspects'), the cute Brittany Murphy ('Clueless') who oozes sex appeal, and Amanda Plummer ('Pulp Fiction') and Michael T. Weiss (er... 'Howling IV') as the parents from hell. I also got a real kick out of the cameo by veteran Sydney Lassick ('..Cuckoo's Nest', 'Sonny Boy'). Pity we don't get to see much of him here, or anywhere for that matter!

Witherspoon has gone on to well deserved stardom, but this remains one of her finest accomplishments. Bright faltered with the largely disappointing 'Freeway 2', but my money is on him. Anyone who can create a movie this fresh and cool deserves to be remembered!
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10/10
Brilliant take on Little Red Riding Hood! That's extremely well made, with fantastic storytelling, and an incredible one of a kind performance from Reese Witherspoon!
callanvass9 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a brilliant take on Little Red Riding Hood that's extremely well made, with fantastic story telling, and an incredible one of a kind performance from Reese Witherspoon!. All the characters are wonderful, and Kiefer Sutherland is superb as the crazy villain, plus Reese Witherspoon is simply incredible in this!. It really is often bizarre at times, but in a very good way, and it's really unpredictable throughout, plus the finale is especially great!. The ending is quite funny, and quite clever, and I felt it had some great dark humor in it as well, plus Amanda Plummer did very well as Vanessa's mother the junkie!. I loved the wolf&girl animation thing at the opening credits, and this is brilliantly written as well!, plus I still can't get over Reese's incredible performance,I mean I love her she's my favorite actress but I had no clue she could could do that tough girl stuff and pull it of so perfectly!. The conversation with Bob (Kiefer Sutherland) and Vanessa (Reese) in the van is really disturbing and a bit uncomfortable, but very engaging, and the score while weird is very good, plus I feel this movie is way way too underrated!.

A lot of people complained this was too violent and sadistic, I have to disagree, and while it is extremely violent and sadistic at times, it also has a fantastic story and your able to feel sympathy for Vanessa, plus I just loved how Reese kicked people's asses throughout the movie!. This movie really proves Reese's incredible versatility!, and Kiefer Sutherland had some fantastic make up as he was horribly disfigured! plus it's often very suspenseful and funny at times as well.One of the funniest moments in the film for me is when Reese kicks this black detective's ass for calling her a whore, and the dialog was excellent, plus Dan Hedaya surprised me here by giving a really good performance. This movie is definitely an acquired taste, as it won't sit well with some viewers, and I feel this movie is going to become a classic in the future!, plus all the characters are extremely likable (except Brooke Shields).

I couldn't stand Shield's character she grated the hell out of me, and I feel this should be higher then 6.6, plus there are plenty of shocking and disturbing moments, especially the one involving Reese and Brittany Murphy in the prison!. I also never knew Reese could be this vicious and fight like that, and it's a shame that this didn't make much money, because great films like these are not getting the credit they deserve instead it's always Lord of the rings, or Harry Potter, etc etc,plus it was creepy how Kifer Sutherland's change in character happened just like that!. Another one of my favorite moments is when Reese gives this guy hell and locks him in the trunk since he was only going to pay 5$!, and it would be cool if they made an actual official sequel for this, plus it also had two cool fight scenes one in the prison, the other at the end. This is a brilliant take on Little Red Riding Hodd that's extremely well made, with fantastic storytelling, and incredible one of a kind performance from Reese Witherspoon, and if you haven't seen it do so immediately you shouldn't regret it!.

The Direction is fabulous!. Matthew Bright does a fabulous! job here, with wonderful camera work, awesome angles, and lots of other great shots as well, plus he kept the film at an extremely fast pace.

The Acting is incredible. Reese Witherspoon is incredibly gorgeous, and is amazing as always, she gives one of a kind performance, here as she is hilarious, wonderfully sadistic, feisty, tough, and i'm with a lot of people on this one, this is one of her absolute best performances!, and I just loved the way she handled herself in situations, she was incredible!, and really shocked me overall that she could play this type of character (Reese Rules!!!!!!!!!!). Kiefer Sutherland is outstanding and wonderfully twisted, as the disfigured sicko, he often gave me the creeps, and played one of the sickest villains ever, I was extremely impressed!. Wolfgang Bodison and Dan Hedaya are great as the two detectives I liked them. Amanda Plummer is excellent as the Junkie mother, and was just utterly convincing. Brooke Shields is great as the bitch,as I couldn't stand her, she did her job extremely well. Brittany Murphy has a really weird but fascinating character I really liked her. Rest of the cast do fine.

Overall if you haven't seen it please do so immediately you shouldn't regret it!. ***** out of 5
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6/10
this movie is lame
corona-57 January 2005
I know everyone loves Reese Witherspoon but she is by far the most interesting thing about this film, which is dull, violent and uninventive, and even her one trick pony gets old after a while. I don't mind being made uncomfortable by a film but I expect something, anything, in return. This film is a complete cliché, and I've seen Kiefer Sutherland play a crazed rapist one too many times now. I love cult movies but this is the lamest and most contrived excuse for a cult film I have seen in a while. Go rent a John Waters movie.

I was satisfied with the brevity of this comment, but unfortunately it was not long enough. Now it is.

If only the movie makers had had the same discipline.
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1/10
Dreadfully Bad!
peacham13 May 2002
I saw this film late at night on HBO. This was one of the most dreadful films I have seen! Even for a so-called parody this film is terrible. Extremely poor performances,a script as improbable and tactless as they come, and violence with no reason.Reese Witherspoon is so laughably bad,the accent,the mannerisims and her lack of emotin when a certain relative turns up dead all contributed to my annoyance. Sutherland,Plummer and Hedaya all give the worst performances of their careers as well. Skip this film and have a labotomy instead!
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2/10
Camp? This is just horrible farce!
tangerinesky12 July 2006
Okay, I was ready to buy into an updated Little Red Riding Hood, even after they arrested her Mom for prostitution just outside their "home" and hauled away her step dad for sexually abusing her. So you would think Red this would be streetwise and clever because of this, not a stark raving lunatic who nearly kills a prison mate. Sure the scenes with Kiefer in the car are humorous, but that's all ruined when they turned him into a cartoon figure as well. They're excessive anger was needless and spoiled what should have been a clever movie. And what was up with the black detective getting turned on by Red's criminal past, and why was she now okay because she dated a brother from the 'hood???? I suggest follow the detour signs and avoid this piece of crap at all costs.
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10/10
Only 6.8???? Really? Underrated is an Understatement!
down-emily26 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe this is the score for this movie. It's sheer brilliance. This film is a masterpiece thriller, full of amazing performances. For its time, it is a HUGE eye-opener and an outstanding attempt to recreate the fairy tale in a suburban fashion. It is simply riveting and very satisfying in terms of plot, action and character.

I have never seen Reese Witherspoon kick so much ass ever. I don't understand why she didn't get any Oscar buzz for this one. This performance completely tops her part in Walk the Line. She is more than amazing in this film. You really don't wanna mess with her. She is capable of almost anything after what's been done to her. We still sympathize with her though because she's still compassionate and cares for what is right. She has a set of principles that she won't let anyone tread on. Being more of a Punisher, she is that strong heroine that uses her sense of justice to subdue those who wrong her, but at the same time, she's all about instinct and guts, she isn't your Lara Croft or your fancy Black Widow. She just acts on pure instinct of what is right and she understands that most of the time, reality is screwed up and doesn't care for what is wrong or right.

I was left speechless at the sheer simplicity with which she conveys so much pain, anger and most of all strength. At the same time, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what she could do. At the beginning of the movie, you can't picture her as that tough. But by the end of it, even those cops were smiling at her, thinking 'Okay, let's never upset this one or we'll get our asses whooped!'

As for Sutherland, wow, he can play a real creep when he wants to and be good at it too. His facial expressions and his gestures tell everything you need to know about him as a killer. And at the beginning, when he's playing the good guy, he's so believable you know right away he's sure to be off his bonkers. I have to admit though, he's a tad underplayed. There's not enough focus on him. Also, I was expecting a little bit more from him, but Reese made up for whatever was missing.

As a side note, Brittany Murphy is another nice touch to this movie. I have seen this kind of performance before, but I think she made it personal, as in she made you believe that she was the one going through all of that. I just wish she could have played more parts like this one, but I guess we'll never see that happening now...

I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see Reese Witherspoon show her acting props. I really miss this side of her. Now she's more into sweet, sugary indie movies which aren't all bad, they just don't give her much to work with and waste some of her huge potential. Oh and that accent of hers needs to take front stage right now, it's adorable!

Go watch this movie and you won't regret it!
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10/10
This movie has it all. Comedy, Suspense, Great Story Line and Great Acting.
gerryggoerlich30 October 2006
This was a very exciting movie with many twists and turns. It is for sure on my personal top 50 favorite movies of all times. I fell in love with Reese Witherspoon as an actress and she deserved a lot more credit than she received for this role. She is still one of my favorite actresses and I think this role was just as demanding as "Walk the Line". The acting was also good from the other stars.Kiefer Sutherland plays an excellent Villain. You really wonder how unfair it is when it is happening to her. The Way the movie unravels is a masterpiece and you are constantly feeling the hopefulness of her situation.The ending was what you go to the movies for in the first place. I think this movie is worth renting or buying.
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9/10
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good as Reese Witherspoon
Woodyanders23 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A wickedly nasty and subversive contemporary road movie thriller spin on the classic fairytale "Little Red Riding Hood," with a phenomenally brassy'n'sassy performance by Reese Witherspoon as a tough, scrappy, not-so-innocent California teenage runaway hitch-hiker who runs afoul of a pernicious roadside serial killer (excellently played by Kiefer Sutherland) who's on a self-appointed moralistic mission to rid the world of "garbage people." Witherspoon narrowly avoids being killed by Sutherland, seriously hurting him in the process and winding up in jail on a trumped-up assault charge. However, Witherspoon manages to escape so she and Sutherland can have a ferocious climactic showdown at her grandmother's house, which in this brilliantly twisted picture turns out to be a grimy mobile home located in a seedy whitetrash trailer park.

Writer/director Matthew Bright relates this blithely amoral and energetic exploitation trash pip with a gut-bustingly savage and unmerciful sense of no-holds-barred caustic black-as-midnight humor, thus giving this deliciously demented doozy a frantically hoppin' electric charge and breezy irreverence that's impossible to either resist or dislike. Popping up in super supporting parts are Brooke Shields as Sutherland's snobby, unsuspecting wife, Amanda Plummer as Witherspoon's pathetic junkie hooker mom, Michael T. Weiss as Witherspoon's skeevy abusive stepdad, Brittany Murphy as a cheery lesbian, and Sydney Lassick as a jolly trailer park manager. Great barn-storming opening theme by Danny Elfman, too. And Witherspoon is a terrifically tart, brash and foul-mouthed revelation in what remains her best-ever starring role to date.
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Unashamedly Twisted
vivaboheme20 November 2002
I love this movie. It makes no apologies for being completely twisted, and it defines the black comedy genre. Reese Witherspoon is wonderful, and I particularly love watching her mock Bob in the courtroom scene. It is sharp satire, picking on the legal system, the class system, racism, perversion and child exploitation.
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10/10
Little Red Riding Lutz
Patrick1 September 1999
Imagine a fairy-tale of the 90's told by someone with a severe acid flashback from the 70's and you're bang into the mood of this clever little movie.

You get all the elements of the original tale: The little girl on the way to her grandmother, the red basket full of goodies and the bad bad wolf. These elements are woven into a dense plot and you're never quite sure who's the victim and who's the offender.

Troubled teenager Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) gets picked up on the Freeway by Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland) after her car has broken down. We soon find out that the esteemed psychologist Wolverton has some sick problems of his own, as during the drive he performs a brilliantly acted session of "mental sex" on the frightened teenager, pretending this to be a new sort of therapy form. As Vanessa snaps under the mental strain, we get the first reversal of roles, as she brutally strikes back on Bob.

What follows is a story of dark comic horror with exquisite details that made me chuckle, despite the gruesome events. "Kiefer" for example is a German word meaning "jawbone" and, let me tell you, there are some very BAD things happening to Bob Wolverton's jawbone in the course of events. This was most probably unintentional, but I thought that to be funny anyway. The story then depicts the trial of Vanessa, her time in the women's prison and her evasion back onto the road to find her grandmother.

The story cumulates in a trailer park where Girl, Grandmother, Wolf and Hunters meet for the final climax, which is a real heart-stopper.

If you're looking for action, black humor, psychological terror and gore, this is the movie to watch, because it treats you with subtle doses of all of it.

If you ever wanted to know how Brooke Shields' brain looks on white tiling, go get the movie!
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