Rumble Fish
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One of two S.E. Hinton novels Francis Ford Coppola directed in 1983, Rumble Fish is a stylized black-and-white film about the death of gang culture in a rough-and-tumble town full of stunted youths. The central character is the strutting Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a foul-mouthed lunkhead clad in sweaty tank tops, who passes his time at the billiards hall waiting for "something" to happen in his life. That something might be the return of his brother, known only as the Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), from exile in California. Charismatic and intelligent, the Motorcycle Boy once led… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If Rumble Fish fails as a traditional movie about real people, it is beguiling as an exercise in hallucinatory style."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"This is a movie you are likely to hate, unless you can love it for its crazy, feverish charm."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Rumble Fish is like a unisex Sweet 16 gift for children whose favorite hangouts are the pool hall, the Cinématheque Française, and the rings of Saturn."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"A bit too over-stylized to allow for any great involvement, the most interesting part of this is spotting the young actors before they became stars -- most notably nephew-of-the-director Nicolas Cage."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Art for adolscents, tricked out in quasi-seriousness. Once hip, now amusing."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"Overwrought and overthought."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A number of the images in Rumble Fish are more memorable than the film is as a whole, sometimes for the wrong reasons."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Teen-gang saga is more intense, violent than the book."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"An offbeat experiment that, while certainly not a brilliant movie, flies far more than it fails."
‑ Scott Weinberg, DVD Clinic
"Give it a try. It might change your life."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Coppola's recent viewing seems to have been German silent films of the '20s, so he has decided to coat the whole enterprise in a startling Expressionist style, which is very arresting but hardly appropriate to the matter in hand."
‑ , Time Out
"The action is clotted and murky, and Coppola obviously hasn't bothered to clarify it for the members of his cast, who wander through the film with expressions of winsome, honest befuddlement."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Beautiful."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Visually stunning but dramatically inert coming-of-age tale"
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"An iconic outsider of 1980s teen cinema, Rumble Fish remains an intriguing anomaly on Coppola's chequered CV."
‑ Matt Glasby, Film4
More reviews for Rumble Fish on Rotten Tomatoes

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