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movie reviews

Slacker

Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater, the Twenty-eight-year-old writer and director of this scrappy and shrewdly hilarious first film, is also the first person we see onscreen. He's just stepped off a bus in the college town of Austin, Texas. In a cab, he harangues the driver with a wacko monologue about Dorothy and the Scarecrow's decision to dance off in one direction when they come to a crossroads in The Wizard of Oz. "But," he says, "all those other directions, just because they thought about them... | More »

July 3, 1991

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

6

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Directed by: James Cameron

A kinder, gentler terminator. What an affront. In 1984, director-writer James Cameron gave Arnold Schwarzenegger the role of his career, as a killer cyborg sent from the future to murder Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she gives birth to a son who will lead a revolt against the ruling army of machines. "I'll be back," said Schwarzenegger. Now he is back, but reprogrammed as a goody-goody to protect Sarah's son, John Connor, played by fourteen-year-old Edward Furlong. The bad Te... | More »

June 28, 1991

The Reflecting Skin

Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper

Directed by: Philip Ridley

It's not your average vampire movie; this one's got aspirations. Philip Ridley, the British painter-illustrator-novelist who turned screenwriter with the mesmerizing 1990 gangster film The Krays, debuts as a director with a perversely alluring work he describes as "Blue Velvet with children." Ridley's script revolves around Seth Dove (a superb Jeremy Cooper), an eight-year-old growing up in the Fifties on the Idaho prairie (the film was shot in Canada). Seth's mother, Rut... | More »

June 21, 1991

The Rocketeer

Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin

Directed by: Joe Johnston

In Hollywood, the true test of muscle comes at the box office. The smart money says summer '91 will be a face-off between Kevin Costner's Robin Hood and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator. But Bill Campbell's Rocketeer has a tankful of upstart moxie to take on those two Goliaths. Campbell, a TV actor (Dynasty, Crime Story) who's never done a film before, is a definite long shot. But he's got Disney's special-effects wizards fueling his engines, and they'... | More »

June 7, 1991

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, John Getz

Directed by: Stephen Herek

Blame the smash of 'Home Alone' for the new herd of kids-on-the-loose movies. Let's hope none are dumber than this one. Christina Applegate, who plays Kelly Bundy with such slutty verve on Married ... With Children, stars as Sue Ellen "Swell" Crandell, the eldest of a brood of five (ages six to seventeen). Their divorced mom has left them for the summer with baby sitter Lil Sturak (Eda Reiss Merin), a gentle old biddy who turns into Rambo when Mom exits. "All right, you maggots... | More »

City Slickers

Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern

Directed by: Ron Underwood

This is low comedy of a high order, the rowdiest western jokefest since Blazing Saddles. Billy Crystal stars as Mitch Robbins, a Manhattan radio-ad salesman with a wife (Patricia Wettig), two kids and a ten-ton midlife crisis brought on by his fortieth birthday. To cheer up Mitch, his two best buddies – extroverted sporting-goods exec Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby) and timid grocer Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern) – take him on vacation to a working dude ranch. Mitch's pals have troubl... | More »

Jungle Fever

Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Spike Lee

Directed by: Spike Lee

Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) is a married black architect from Harlem. Angela Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) is an Italian secretary from Bensonhurst. And they've gotta have it. In Jungle Fever, Spike Lee is less interested in their affair than the environment in which it takes place. As Lee sees it, racial and class conflicts – intensified by sex, drugs, violence, politics, religion, music and myth – have turned urban America into a powder keg. Lee tips his hand by dedicating t... | More »

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Christina Applegate

Directed by: Stephen Herek

Blame the smash of 'Home Alone' for the new herd of kids-on-the-loose movies. Let's hope none are dumber than this one. Christina Applegate, who plays Kelly Bundy with such slutty verve on Married . . . With Children, stars as Sue Ellen "Swell" Crandell, the eldest of a brood of five (ages six to seventeen). Their divorced mom has left them for the summer with baby sitter Lil Sturak (Eda Reiss Merin), a gentle old biddy who turns into Rambo when Mom exits. "All right, you maggo... | More »

June 1, 1991

Dying Young

Julia Roberts

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Death gets the glamour treatment in this genderbending ripoff of Love Story. Victor Geddes, an impossible role well played by Campbell Scott, has money, intelligence, good looks and leukemia. To get through chemotherapy, he hires a private nurse. Well, not a nurse exactly. Hilary O'Neil, played by the pretty-woman incarnate, Julia Roberts, did want to be a nurse in high school. But it didn't pan out. No matter. Hilary's job interview, in spike heels and a red mini, more than co... | More »

May 31, 1991

Soapdish

Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr.

Directed by: Michael Hoffman

Daytime TV dramas can be a fertile field for satire. Though falling far short of the peerless Tootsie, Soapdish has moments of inspired lunacy. Directed by Michael Hoffman (Promised Land) from a script by Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and Andrew Bergman (The Freshman), this unbridled farce boasts a spirited cast of crazies, led by Sally Field as Celeste Talbert, the aging star of The Sun Also Sets. Accepting her umpteenth award, Talbert thanks her co-workers, who mutter beneath their fixed... | More »

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