Red Rock West
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John Dahl directed and co-wrote (along with his brother Rick Dahl) this quirky and energetic film noir that, after a well-received screening at the Toronto Film Festival, was consigned to oblivion before resurfacing on cable television. When the owner of a San Francisco movie theater, who was a big fan of the film, arranged for a theatrical release, the film clicked and toured the country as an art house hit. The film concerns eternal loser Michael (Nicolas Cage), down to his last five dollars and looking for work. He finds himself at a bar in the town of Red Rock. The bartender, Wayne (J.T.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's well worth tracking down, wherever you can find it. For it has the kind of tension and energy -- maybe even a touch of delirium -- that is only a memory in most of today's big studio movies."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"[A] well-played, highly entertaining and playfully ingenious thriller."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The cast is terrific, with Walsh at his most deliciously amoral."
‑ , Film4
"It's a brilliant noir movie that seems to understand the inner workings of film noir, rather than just paying tribute to it."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"With J.T. Walsh, Dennis Hopper, and Lara Flynn Boyle in your desert thriller, it's hard to go wrong, and in his riveting sophomore feature, John Dahl rarely gets tripped up."
‑ Christopher Null,
"A wry thriller with a keen edge."
‑ Leonard Klady, Variety
"It should never have fallen through the cracks. This clever little film is a real find."
‑ Caryn James, New York Times
"One of the most successful entries in the crowded ranks of early '90s neo-noir thrillers."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A forceful, witty film noir played almost straight."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"A great, twisty noir that plants a Jim Thompson plot in the American Southwest."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"A rather ho-hum if watchable neo-noir, though it's been treated in some quarters as something special."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"It is a treasure waiting to be discovered."
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"Great fun."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"John Dahl's second feature is a quirky, low-budget "Western noir," baosting a fresh narrative angle and a quintessentially indie cast, including Nicolas Cage (before he became a star), J.T. Walsh, and the ubiquitous enfant terrible Dennis Hopper"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A great example of western film noir from director John Dahl, a modern day master of these types of films."
‑ Blake Davis, KFOR Channel 4 News
More reviews for Red Rock West on Rotten Tomatoes