Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: After being fired, an alcoholic screenwriter (Cage) takes his final paycheck to Las Vegas where he plans to drink himself to death. He comes in contact with a prostitute (Shue) who needs to be needed.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    Cage and Shue make these cliches into unforgettable people.
  2. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    The film pulls no punches, takes no prisoners and flies in the face of feel-good pictures.
  3. 90
    A uniquely hypnotic and haunting love story sparked by Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue at their career best.
  4. I don't see how you can get away from calling Cage’s performance a great one. [10 November 1995, Friday, p.C]
  5. What keeps the film (adapted from the late John O'Brien's harrowing semi-autobiographical book) from being completely unbearable are the extraordinary performances.
  6. An amazing, bracing, funny, audacious, tender, and sobering piece of filmmaking. Few movies have ever dared to be this remorseless in their portraits of addiction.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    A movie that may be just a bit too pleased with its own artful bleakness.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Nov 15, 2012
    It's deep, surreal, and offers a kind of operatic ecstasy that is both wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue also deliver flawless performances. Expand
  2. Jan 23, 2012
    This movie cannot be taken at face value otherwise you will entirely miss the point. This move DOES have phenomenal philosophical value and depth. I can see how watching this movie without any guidance will lead you to believe it is possibly the most terrible movie ever made but I was asked to watch this for a Philosophy course called The Meaning of Life and looking at the film through that lens made all the difference. Watch this movie, pretend to be super philosophical and deep, and see what you can get out of it. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews


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