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This is an older movie and one of the first ones Keanu Reeves starred in. I don't know how this one has passed by me all of these years because this movie is a true gem. It is loosely based on a true event where a boy killed his girlfriend, shows no emotion or remorse, and even takes his friends to see the body. He isn't proud of what he's done - he's just completely ambivalent. Unfortunately, so are his friends when they see the body of their murdered friend. They are so numb and detached from reality the magnitude of what has happened doesn't touch them. Some of his friends, brilliantly played by Crispin Glover, try to come up with a way to "save" their friend from being caught. His friend doesn't really care about being saved, though, and none of the other kids really ever get on board. The dynamic between the teenage kids and their parents is truly sad and apathetic. Keanu Reeves' character has a sweet, close bond with his little sister and a very contentious relationship with his younger brother who is a truly frightening character. Dennis Hopper plays an eccentric recluse whom the kids use to get drugs from. He ends up playing a pivotal role in the movie and I think is the only character that truly realizes how dangerous the boy who killed his girlfriend is. The acting is superior, the plot is based on true events and the story is very well told. When the movie ended I had kind of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's not often a movie moves me the way this one did. It is definitely worth watching - at least once. I'm happy to have it as part of my movie collection. It's a well made film and a well told story.
River’s Edge is about a bunch of troubled heavy metal teenagers. One of the group, John (Daniel Roebuck) killed his girlfriend on a riverbank hence the title. John shows so little remorse he shows off the body to his two friends Layne (Crispin Glover) and Matt (Keanu Reeves), and then to everyone else. The movie is about how they deal with the death and how it divides the group. It turns out to be a moral question or lack thereof.
The group is all over the place about the murder. Layne wants to cover it up to protect John. Clarissa (Ione Skye) thinks John should pay but is afraid to do anything about it. Matt finds himself alienated from everyone else. It leads to divisions and recriminations. Their friend is a murderer and most of them just want to go on with their life.
Worse yet is Matt’s little brother Tim who is a sociopath. He throws away his baby sister’s doll at the start of the movie. Continues to pick on her, and then wants to get revenge upon Matt for hitting him.
The kids don’t seem to have any purpose. Most don’t mind that their friend John killed another one of their friends. No one even shows any emotions about it. Getting high was their biggest priority. Their dead end lives have robbed them of their ability to tell right from wrong. It’s just like another day.
Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2017
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It has everything in it........fond memories of the 80s, cute teenage girls, deplorable characters, dysfunctional teens, sick twisted humor, crime, can't say enough about this film other than it is a must see film. Most of the kids in this film are NOT likeable but that is mainly why I love it. The Blu Ray is so much better than the DVD in clarity.
A classic! For its time, it gave one of the more "honest" looks into the lives of a handful of teenage outcasts, barely emotionally equipped to handle the day to day troubles - let alone the chilling murder by the hands of one of their own. Misguided and often confused, we see how this tragic event is twisted into some romantic test of loyalty. Turning against each other and fighting for some direction in the moral ambiguity of their lives.
The budget might not have had much but the director and writer tell a great story, along with great performances by the cast, flush out this dark and all too real world. Great soundtrack. A great movie! Still holds up after all these years.
A difficult movie to watch, this film is even more difficult to rate. The cast of familiar stars is impressive, with each member providing quite a good performance in their own way. Crispen Glover in particular delivers a character that is unique and interesting, completely surreal, and oddly depraved. Keanu Reeves keeps his performance steady and targeted here compared to other performances that he gave us during the era this was filmed. Ione Skye plays it safe as a character much less mature than what we a used to. And, it's got freakin' Dennis Hopper. The plot and the style manage to survive underneath the weight of the talent, but just barely. It's kind of a Heathers meets Blue Velvet. The setting is grungy and cold and grey. I felt frustrated waiting for some sort of redemption, as the characters react to each other and their situation so unconventionally. Overall, this movie is oddly refreshing and interesting. And, it's got freakin' Dennis Hopper.
I don't want to give anything away or put out any spoilers, so I will be very general.
This is a great picture of disenfranchised, drug-addled, uncaring youth. The kids in this movie are, unfortunately, a pretty good representation of a good number of kids in society and the message remains powerful all these years later.
Dennis Hopper and Crispin Glover absolutely steal the show in this movie. Crispin Glover's speed-freak character is played with an absolutely perfect technique. He REALLY sells the character and disappears into the role. Dennis Hopper does his usual incredible job as Feck, the drugged-out, insane murderer who supplies the kids with "the Feck weed." His character actually manages to be sympathetic and full of sorrow. Keanu Reeves, who I normally find to be a terrible actor, does a really excellent job, and, like Crispin Glover, he just melts into the role. This is the role for him, as he was also enjoyable in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."
5.0 out of 5 starsA film that should be given a chance.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 7, 2013
When I first saw this film I thought it was going to be a typical american teenage angst movie but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was more.
River's Edge deals with a morale dilemma of either protecting a friend or betraying them because you believe its the right thing to do. The protagonist (Matt) played by Keanu Reeves, really struggles with this dilemma causing a rift with one of his friends, Layne (played by Glover) I found Keanu performance was believable unlike some other films he has appeared in. The late Dennis Hopper for me always gives a performance of such rawness and unpredictability, always worth watching; wether the film he appeared in was poor or good.
It is great to see this gem of a movie has been released on DVD.