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Adapted from James Dickey's popular novel, John Boorman's 1972 movie recounts the grueling psychological and physical journey taken by four city slickers down a river in the backwoods of Georgia. At the behest of Iron John-esque Lewis (Burt Reynolds), the less adventuresome Ed (Jon Voight), Bobby (Ned Beatty), and Drew (Ronny Cox) agree to canoe down an uncharted section of the river before a dam project ruins the region. After warnings from the grimy, impoverished locals, and Drew's tuneful yet ominous "Dueling Banjos" encounter with a mute inbred boy, the four men… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Each of the four lead performances is exceptional, none more so than Burt Reynolds' beefy, supercilious Lewis."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"It's a haunting, nightmarish vision."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Boorman's film still speaks to us in profound ways, as if to indicate hidden wisdom has long rested in frames glossed up by a once-shocking philosophy."
‑ David Keyes,
"A sad, brilliant reminder that sometimes people are the most threatening monsters of all."
‑ , Film4
"No movie in the history of American cinema has struck fear in the hearts of men as Deliverance."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"John Boorman's 1972 film of the James Dickey novel has a beautiful visual style that balances the film's machismo message."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"A fantasy about violence, not a realistic consideration of it."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This powerful adaptation of James Dickey's best-selling novel finds director John Boorman establishing a sense of menace almost from the start, and the "squeal like a pig" sequence continues to haunt viewers even decades after the fact."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"This is the most shocking and disturbing mainstream American horror film of the 1970s."
‑ Keith H. Brown, Eye for Film
"Morose, shockingly violent yet strangely beautiful."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It's the stuff of which slapdash oaters and crime programmers are made but the obvious ambitions of Deliverance are supposed to be on a higher plane."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"So many of Dickey's lumpy narrative ideas remain in his screenplay that John Boorman's screen version becomes a lot less interesting than it has any right to be."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Boorman's interpretation of the material resulted in an American cinematic classic built not only on shock and awe, but emotional subtlety. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"As coffin nails for the sixties go, this negation of all ideological idealism is a pretty final one."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"This ultra-violent powerful adventure, which deals with serious, metaphysical issues of survival and civilization vs. wilderness, boasts eerie images and awesome sounds."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Deliverance on Rotten Tomatoes

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