The Grifters
The Grifters (1990)

Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 14, 1990
DVD Release Date: June 30, 1998
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

Best to savor The Grifters for its handsome design -- the picture looks as clean as a Hockney landscape -- and its juicy performances.

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out

Donald Westlake's excellent screenplay does some justice to the starkness of Jim Thompson's novel; and Frears' direction never fails to grab the attention.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO] Although the movie recalls films by the Coen Brothers or the Dahl Brothers, "The Grifters" retains its source material's voice in a thoroughly original way. Here's a neo-noir you can never see too many times.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

A mannerist thriller that doesn't begin to work despite the number of talented hands involved.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

The Grifters is so good that one leaves the theater on a spellbound high.

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A darkly cynical and uncompromising gem.

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Variety Staff

Cusack underplays Roy, making him an unbelievable wiseguy, a colorless cipher too akin to the saps he loves to fleece.

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Hal Hinson
Washington Post

It seduces you into believing it's merely a cheeky trifle, and then, when you least expect it, lowers the boom.

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Steve Crum

Clever writing and fine cast make this tale of thieves among us fun to watch.

More reviews for The Grifters

Flixster Audience Score: 70% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A first-rate neo-noir that benefits from superb performances (especially Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening); an excellent, dark script; a fantastic score by… More
Jennifer Xu
This is my semi-strange parallel: I see this film as a depraved, con man version of My Cousin Vinny. It's regional, it's tricky, and it's female… More
Kevin M. Williams
A young con artist learns the hard way that relationship problems cannot be solved with money. And there's a crapload of money here on display. Every time… More
♥Robyn M♥
ok first of all..for those who don't know what a grifter is, its when a person manipulates another individual to give them money leaving you high and dry.… More
Daniel Perry
A forgettable outing from one of my favourite directors, unfortunately. Annette Bening is a sparkplug, Angelica Huston is electric, and the final act is a… More
Pierluigi Puccini
Unjustifiably forgotten new classic. A striking and quirky neo noir with a superb triad of criminals blinded by greed. Terrific score by Elmer Bernstein.