Down by Law
Down by Law (1986)

Jim Jarmusch follows his groundbreaking Stranger Than Paradise with another rambling, character-driven film with a twisted sense of humor. Set in a seedy New Orleans summer, Down By Law details the meeting of three unlikely convicts and… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 1, 1986
DVD Release Date: October 22, 2002
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Funny, original, and thoroughly cinematic, Down by Law represents writer-director Jim Jarmusch at his most ingratiating and evocative.

Variety Staff

The Jim Jarmusch penchant for off-the-wall characters and odd situations is very much in evidence.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

The excitement (of Down by Law) comes from the realization that we are seeing a true film maker at work, using film to create a narrative that couldn't exist on the stage or the printed page of a novel.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

Jim Jarmusch's uneven but stylish comédie noire is an astute mixture of prison picture, road movie and downbeat screwball.

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Pat Graham
Chicago Reader

On the whole I've had more fun in Cleveland.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

A true original that kind of grows on you.

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Vadim Rizov
Little White Lies

Down By Law is oddly heart-warming, magnifying moments of unexpected camaraderie between kindred spirits who don't immediately ID each other as such.

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Time Out

After the initial establishment of character and atmosphere, the laughs come thick and fast, most notably from the marvellous [Roberto] Benigni.

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Rita Kempley
Washington Post

Pure pleasure for comedy connoisseurs.

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Martin Chilton
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Down by Law is a delight, right down to the unexpected last scene.

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More reviews for Down by Law

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
This is a prison break film, in a sense yes, but, since it's by Jim Jarmusch, it's rambling, free-wheeling, unconventional, and does it's own… More
Jennifer D
Had to watch it for a film class. Semi-interesting.
Graham Jones
Jarmusch's greatest film in my opinion, it features great performances from the three lead roles (especially Tom Waits who is one of my favorite artists)… More
Elvira B
<p>Down by Law is a comedy about three "innocent" men breaking out of prison. The important thing is not the escape, it's the trail of… More
Aj V
Yes, I did only see the beginning of this movie, but I was so bored with the beginning that I couldn't watch the rest of it.
Bruce Bruce
Want to see what New Orleans used to look like, Great shots, of NO in the Sixties. Really enjoyed seeing gas prices 32 cents. Facial expressions in prison… More