Rivers Edge

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Product Overview

A high school slacker kills his girlfriend and shows off her dead body to their friends. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.


Studio MGM
SKU 40146087
UPC 027616857712
UPC 14 00027616857712
Format DVD
Release Date 11/3/2011
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note Based on a real life incident, this disturbing drama serves as a seminal study of disillusioned and alienated youth. Set in a small rural town, the local clique of slacker teens is pulled apart when Samson (Daniel Roebuck) kills his girlfriend on the banks of the river and then callously shows off the dead body to his friends. The teens are so numb and ambivalent to the reality of their situation that they remain relatively unphased by the murder of one of their own. Crispin Glover is brilliant as the drugged out paranoid, Layne, who sympathizes with the killer, and plots to hide him at the house of an eccentric recluse (Dennis Hopper), who is rumored to have comitted a similar crime in the 1960s. Keanu Reeves and Ione Skye co-star as Matt and Clarissa, two friends who are drawn together in their realization that something is horribly wrong. In this startling portrait of a morally void society, director Tim Hunter creates a remarkable world of dysfunction and dead-end lives that is haunting in its accuracy.
Plot Summary
Summary A chilling and visually arresting drama that centers on a close-knit group of slacker teenagers who discover that one of their own has killed his girlfriend. Emotionally unprepared and ambivalent, they must struggle between friendship and responsibility before deciding to report the murder. Based on a real-life incident, this darkly disturbing portrait of amoral teens lost in a small town with no escape became an instant cult-classic. The excellent ensemble cast features Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper, Ione Skye, and Keanu Reeves.
New York Times "...Hunter has an extraordinarily clear understanding of teenage characters....Acted with utter conviction by a fine and largely unknown young cast..." 05/08/1987 p.C28
Variety "...Technically, [the film] is first-rate starting with the well-designed credit titles and continuing via the superior photography...[With a] fine music score..." 09/03/1986
Los Angeles Times "...When it's great -- as in Dennis Hopper's scenes -- passion boils over the edges....There's a lot of low-key poetry and nicely casual tension in Hunter's direction and in Frederick Elmes' cinematography..." 05/08/1987 p.C20
USA Today "...Keanu Reeves is excellent....The movie has some of the creepy feel of Hopper's BLUE VELVET..." 01/26/2001 p.6E
Uncut "[D]isconcertingly entertaining?.The unsettling discordance is what keeps the film so strangely alive." 11/01/2004 p.160
Tim Hunter
Keanu Reeves
Dennis Hopper
Crispin Glover
Cast & Crew
Crispin Glover - Actor
Dennis Hopper - Actor
Ione Skye - Actor
Keanu Reeves - Actor
Tim Hunter - Director
Frederick Elmes - Director of Photography
Jurgen Knieper - Musical Score
John Daly, et al. - Producer
Neal Jimenez - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1987
Catalog ID 10011451
UPC 00027616857712
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 99 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Aspect Ratio
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review This is the best analytical film about a crime since In Cold Blood... [it] is not a film I will forget very soon. Its portrait of these adolescents is an exercise in despair.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Austin Chronicle
Review River's Edge is a great movie... Director Hunter is a whiz at pacing and keeps the plot rolling while he further muddies the waters with his intriguing montages... Keanu Reeves... gives a solid performance, proving once again that he plays burns-outs very, very well.
Reviewer Adrienne Martini
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, French, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Gripping...absorbing...disturbing and thought-provoking.
Rolling Stone The best and boldest American movie so far this year.
Siskel & Ebert A very great film. Two Thumbs up!

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