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Director Alan Parker tackles this adapation of William Wharton's novel, which retains much of the source material's texture and complexity. Matthew Modine is Birdy, who comes back from Vietnam mentally shattered and deludes himself into thinking that he is a bird, an animal that has obsessed him since childhood. Birdy is confined to a military hospital, where he spends his time sitting naked in his room, not acknowleding anyone, moving and acting like a parakeet. His best friend Al (Nicolas Cage), also a wounded Vietnam vet, visits Birdy every day, determined to bring him back to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Belying the lightheartedness of its title, Birdy is a heavy adult drama about best friends and the after-effects of war, but it takes too long to live up to its ambitious premise."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Most of Birdy is enchanting."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A haunting and unpredictable film that more people need to discover."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Striking Alan Parker film too often overlooked."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"A haunting film with fine performances and a great Peter Gabriel score."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"A trifle self-indulgent -- well, it is directed by Alan Parker -- but never boring"
‑ , Time Out
"Though largely confined to a military hospital, this post-Vietnam drama is powerfully acted by Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Movies don't get more emo. But don't hold that against it."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"One of those rare movies that successfully brings a psychological novel to the screen without sacrificing its saliency or complexity."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Quiet, thoughtful, and really quite touching. Cage and Modine do some great work together. And that Peter Gabriel score!"
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"A very strange and beautiful movie."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Raising issues about the nature of madness and what constitutes true freedom, this is a curiously arty film from Parker, a frequently unsubtle director, usually so dismissive of any kind of pretension, but a gripping one, nonetheless."
‑ , Film4
"There's something truly beautiful about this friendship story, the adaptation is wonderful, the music brilliant, and the ending sublime."
‑ Gregory Weinkauf, ▄berCinÚ
"An audacious movie about friendship and survival in a world of varied violations to the human spirit."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Birdy on Rotten Tomatoes