• River's Edge (1991)

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River's Edge

Release Date: February 27th, 1991

DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2001

R |1 hr 38 min

Plot Summary

Teenage burnout Samson (Daniel Roebuck) has murdered his girlfriend and left her naked body lying on the bank of a river just outside their small California town. He not only doesn't run away, he brings his friends to gawk at her dead body. Speed freak Layne (Crispin Glover) tries to force the teens' silence to protect their friend, but conscience is gnawing at the others -- particularly Matt (Keanu Reeves) and Clarissa (Ione Skye Leitch), who want to go to the police.

Cast: Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Ione Skye, Roxana Zal, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Bower, Constance Forslund

Director: Tim Hunter

Genres: Drama , Crime drama

Production Co: Hemdale Film Corporation [us]

Keywords: Investigation , Gritty , Small town , 1980s , Girlfriend , Murder , Transformation , Fall , Brother , Growing up , Friendship

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    River's Edge is not a film I will forget very soon. Its portrait of these adolescents is an exercise in despair. show more

  • 88
    Bill CosfordMiami Herald

    What Hunter does is to re-create, starting from the moments after the crime has been committed, the milieu in which its horrifying aftermath might plausibly have taken place. Without violence or suspense, River's Edge is horrifying. [29 May 1987, p.D5]

  • 88
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune

    Based on a true story, the movie has a hypnotic, documentary like appeal despite outlandish performances by Crispin Glover as the ringleader of the kids and Dennis Hopper as a wacked-out former hippie who offers them shelter. River's Edge is challenging to watch if only because it doesn't lecture. It simply presents these young people as wandering, stoned souls; shows a few of them grappling with moral responsibility, and allows the rest to fail. As we leave the theater, we can't help but wonder how common their behavior may be. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com