My Own Private Idaho
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A simultaneously heartbreaking and exhilarating road movie."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"This is a very rich, very sympathetic piece of work."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"Cracked and beautiful, stranger than strange, yet in some assuring way so pulsing with life that it embraces you as warmly as Father Knows Best."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"American indie god Gus Van Sant's most iconic moment was this giddily rich revisionist road movie-cum-western."
‑ , Total Film
"The movie weakens every time Mike's story is interrupted by the leaden allusions to Shakespeare."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Holding all these elements together is Van Sant's sensibility, such an elusive thing it instinctively squirms away from any attempt to pigeonhole it."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"[Van Sant] disdain[s] narrative. He got away with Drugstore Cowboy because its band of drugged-out dodoes were engaged in a petty crime spree that almost passed for a plot. But My Own Private Idaho is a different story. Or rather nonstory."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Van Sant proves again that he is masterful at charting the hearts and minds of young people adrift."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The two actors create vivid characters, but they're so unsympathetic and Van Sant drags them through so many tiresome, pretentious scenes that it begins to look as if Phoenix's narcolepsy isn't part of the plot."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"It's a very poetic film. That is, it includes images that may mean more to the director than the spectator, but the film is an interesting one."
‑ Lou Cedrone, Baltimore Sun
"Although River Phoenix has distinguished himself as an actor ever since his second film, Stand By Me, nothing he has ever done before prepares you for his performance in Private Idaho as the motherless, homeless, loveless piece of human driftwood."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"One of the most original cinematic talents at work in this country, Van Sant has a knack for pulling disparate elements together and twisting them into wildly funny lyrical odysseys of the mind and heart."
‑ Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
"Audacious, controversial, directional, important and totally unique, you'll either love it or hate it. But see it!"
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"Written and directed by Gus Van Sant, who mingles tremendous visual imagination with a leaning toward off-the-wall situations and sometimes raunchy images."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"...gets off to a gangbusters start. And then Shakespeare butts in."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
More reviews for My Own Private Idaho on Rotten Tomatoes