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Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 60 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A surreal, hyperactive farce in which a bumbling petty thief and the lady cop who keeps arresting him fall in love and decide to start a family. When they discover they can't have babies, they steal one from a furniture mogul who has just sired a set of quintuplets. The joys of parenthood are soon marred, however, by the difficulties of raising an infant on the run. The none-too-bright couple must flee across the southwestern desert in order to elude the villainous biker that has been hired to retrieve the tyke. (20th Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. 100
    It is a wacky, happy, daring, darkly comic tale of parenting outside the law. It celebrates the middle-of-the-road dreams of decidedly off-center folks. It's a bundle of joy.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    To their old fascination with Sunbelt pathology, to their side-winding Steadicam and pristine command of screen space, the Coens have added a robust humor, a plot that keeps outwitting expectations and a surprising dollop of sympathy for their forlorn kidnapers. [23 March 1987]
  3. 70
    Raising Arizona is no big deal, but it has a rambunctious charm. The sunsets look marvelously ultra-vivid, the pain doesn't seem to be dry – it's like opening day of a miniature golf course. [20 Apr 1987, p.81]
  4. Like "Blood Simple," it's full of technical expertise but has no life of its own... The direction is without decisive style. [11 Mar 1987, p.C24]
  5. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    50
    Quickly and fatally, the overlooked form peels away from the slight, frail content, and the film starts to look like an episode of "Hee Haw" directed by an amphetamine-crazed Orson Welles. [20 March 1987]
  6. [The Coen Brothers] sweat and strain to deliver more of the same cinematic ingenuity, but the result seems more nervous than inspired. Relax, fellas! [13 Mar 1987]
  7. The big trouble with Raising Arizona is that the Coens overdrew their wild and crazy yarn, and overdo almost every gag and gimmick. [20 Mar 1987]

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. AaronS.
    Jul 19, 2006
    10
    One of the five funniest movies of all time. That loud sound is the movie's brilliance zooming over the long-forgotten L.A. Times critic's head. But apparently she wasn't alone. Inexplicable. Expand
  2. AnneB.
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    Brilliant, even after about 100 viewings. Since seeing this all-time family favorite, I never miss a Coen brothers movie.
  3. JustinT
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    A strange funny film. Without a doubt my favorite non "Goof-Ball" comedy out there.
  4. JohnG.
    Jul 24, 2006
    9
    Close to a classic film. Critics tend to overthink the plot, the humor, and story to their own disenchantment. It's Arizona circa 1984 with a twist of Easy Rider, an atmosphere of lingering Goldwater & earthy individualism all marinated in original comedic advances. Enjoy it! Expand
  5. Jul 7, 2014
    7
    While Raising Arizona isn't a bad effort from the Coens, there's something about the movie that makes me think "they can do better." However, it still is quirky and sweet enough to be watchable. Expand
  6. Mar 4, 2011
    7
    Funny and I did laugh out loud once but overall it wasn't that great a movie. I only watched it once many years ago and I would probably watch it if friends wanted to. Expand
  7. JaredC
    Feb 5, 2008
    6
    It's a sweat film to start their directing career, the Coens did a profound job with Cages superb performance. Everything fine, just the visual never quite came to me and I was practically waited for something to happen but nothing did. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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