The Sugarland Express
The Sugarland Express (1974)

In a desperate attempt to keep her baby from being taken away by state authorities, a young wife helps her husband escape from jail. This drama follows the couple as they take a police officer hostage and set off across the country, pursued… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1974
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Its plot may ape the countercultural road movies of its era, but Steven Spielberg's feature debut displays many of the crowd-pleasing elements he'd refine in subsequent films.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The pace falters near the end, but overall this is a brilliantly calculated audience pleaser.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

If the movie finally doesn't succeed, that's because Spielberg has paid too much attention to all those police cars (and all the crashes they get into), and not enough to the personalities of his characters.

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Tony Sloman
Radio Times

The set pieces are beautifully handled, grizzled veteran Ben Johnson is watchable as the head cop on their tail, and, looking back, it's clear that Spielberg already held all the aces and knew how to deal them.

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Variety Staff

Unfortunately, the film degenerates in final reels to heavy-handed social polemic and sound-and-fury shootout.

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Nora Sayre
New York Times

The movie has a casual craziness that seems especially native.

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Duncan Fallowell
The Spectator

A tragi-comedy in which our modern beasts of burden ultimately exact revenge with horrific panache.

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Chris Petit
Time Out

A beautifully put together, assured film.

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TV Guide

With this role, Hawn further proves she was an actress of some talent and not just an attractive woman to be taken lightly.

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Christopher Lloyd
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The Sugarland Express is not terribly original - Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands and The Getaway are indelibly marked in its DNA - but shows an already dazzling young filmmaker honing his skills and vision.

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More reviews for The Sugarland Express

Flixster Audience Score: 66% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
While not his first film ever, this was the feature length theatrical debut of a nice guy named Steven Spielberg. Based on actual events, this film tells the… More
Dean McKenna
I was surprised to find out this Steven Spielberg adventure-crime-drama film is based on a true story the couple plan to kidnap their own child, who was placed… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"Every cop in the state was after her. Everybody else was behind her."</i> Lou-Jean, a blonde woman, tells her husband, who is… More
Jon Lantz
I?m not sure what is was about this film, maybe the time frame or the lower budget film tactics, but there was something incredibly attractive about this film.… More
James Alvarez
This movie should not have the word Express in it.
Luke Eberhardt
This is an Underated classic as Steven's first "Theatrical" feature. Its an interesting story about how criminals can become folk heroes. Its… More