A River Runs Through It
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A River Runs Through It
Robert Redford's lyrical direction sets the tone for this evocative adaptation of author Norman MacLean's memoir of his idyllic Montana youth. The MacLean family is presided over by the strict but encouraging Rev. MacLean (Tom Skerritt) and his loving wife (Brenda Blethyn). Craig Sheffer stars as the young Norman, the older son in his family, who takes his school work and writing a bit too seriously for Paul (Brad Pitt), the impetuous younger son, to take much stock in. Paul would rather have a good time, drink and play cards than get involved with academic study. Where Norman wants to… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A skilled, careful adaptation of a much-admired story."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Here are two things I never thought I'd say: I like a movie about fly fishing, and Robert Redford has directed one of the most ambitious, accomplished films of the year."
‑ Caryn James, New York Times
"Moving, powerful movie of two brothers."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Although heart-throb Pitt steals the film to some extent, veteran actor Skerritt scores highly with his outstanding and heartfelt portrait of the watchful father."
‑ , Film4
"A specialist in bringing books to life as movies, Redford has a knack for finding what matters in the text and making sure it ends up on screen."
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"This may work for you if you settle at the outset for a nostalgic, all-American mood piece."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Redford's movie is too little show and too much tell."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Sherritt has been in a lot of movies, but the role of Rev. Maclean seems like one he was born to play. He owns it, the way that Pitt and Sheffer own theirs, and as a result it takes no time at all to believe this group as a family and become involved."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"Even set against the Sierra Club beauty of Redford's Montana, it's hard to get excited by fisherman casting their lines into the water."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Brad Pitt's breakthrough...a nostalgic, fine telling."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Leave your preconceptions about fishing at the door: you'll be caught hook, line and sinker."
‑ , Time Out
"In its determination to emphasize character and thoughtful content over formulas and facile sensationalism, it's a movie that's proudly out of step with Hollywood trends."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"There is too much taste, discretion and detachment in Redford's rendition of MacLean's sprawling family saga, but the scenery and Brad Pitt are nice to look at due to Philippe Rousselot's gorgeous Oscar-winning cinematography."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A great movie to watch with the family at Christmas."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Nice to look at but rather dull"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
More reviews for A River Runs Through It on Rotten Tomatoes