Monday, June 30, 2008

The Grifters

I'd never heard of this movie (released in 1990 ... I was 8), but Blockbuster recommended it to me; seeing how Sexy Beast was a great success, I decided to give it a try.

Starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Benning (the former two I enjoy), The Grifters had a little bit of star power (not to mention it was produced by Scorcese). I did not have outrageously high hopes, but I did have some hopes that it would be a decent movie. Additionally, it was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. And on a completely unrelated note, I wanted to like the movie because "grifter" is a term associated with the nineteenth-century American circus (it's sort of like a combination between "graft" and "drifter").

Wow, what a disappointing movie!!!

Cusack, Huston, and Benning are all grifters (con-persons) and they weave a tangled web that eventually destroys everything (and Scorcese's credibility as a producer). There's really odd sexual tension between Huston and Cusack (mother and son) which is seven kinds of vomit-inducing creepy. The plotline(s) are convoluted (the audience never really knows what's going on and if the characters' vague backstories are true) and there isn't a protagonist for which you can truly root.
I should've known it was going to suck since sunglasses are prominently featured on the movie poster and 83.7% of all movies with sunglasses on the posters are terrible.

Final Grade: F
Blurb: Do not watch this movie unless you want the cinematic equivalent of having your intestines pulled out through your mouth. If Siskel were still alive, I'd kick him right in the coccyx.


  1. I'm not certain we can continue to associate after this review.

  2. Since this came out in 1990, I'm sure you were in college and watched it under the influence, but seriously, watch this sober and tell me you don't get a little back-throat-bile when Huston tries to kiss Cusack.

    If you have to watch an early-90s film about a big criminal score, it should be Reservoir Dogs or Sneakers.