A Perfect World

Laura Dern

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
November 24, 1993

Clint Eastwood, as Texas Ranger Red Garnett, teams up with Kevin Costner, as escaped convict Butch Haynes, for a gripping manhunt circa 1963. Though both stars have won Oscars for directing, Eastwood grabs the reins and draws Costner's scrappiest performance since Bull Durham. Butch takes a hostage in fatherless, 7-year-old Phillip (T.J. Lowther) and shows him stuff to fry the nerves of his mother, a Jehovah's Witness. How do guns and grand theft qualify as fun? Butch, also from a broken home, makes a charming and dangerous teacher.

Red, who sent Butch away as a juvenile, pursues his man in a trailer where he can trade insults with his deputies and a sexy criminologist (Laura Dern). Eastwood is in rare form, but it's his keen directorial eye that stops the John Lee Hancock script from slipping into TV formula. Eastwood keeps the action raucous, the humor sharp edged and the focus on the lost boy in Butch, whose attack on a black family spins the film into a shattering climax that indicts the legal system for helping to make career criminals of kids. In going beyond chase-yarn duty, Eastwood and Costner do themselves proud.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »