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      Cutter's Way

      R Released Sep 12, 1981 1 hr. 45 min. Mystery & Thriller Crime Drama List
      92% 24 Reviews Tomatometer 71% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Best friends Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) and Alex Cutter (John Heard) are two middle-class guys living in an upper-class town. The Santa Barbara buddies get dragged into a murder mystery when Richard accidentally spots a man ditching a body into a trash can. Alex, an embittered Vietnam veteran who lost an eye and leg in the war, thinks what Richard saw is worth something, especially when it comes out that the potential murderer is a wealthy and powerful man in the community. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Oct 17 Buy Now

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      Cutter's Way

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      Critics Consensus

      A suitably cynical neo-noir that echoes the disillusionment of its era, Cutter's Way relies on character-driven drama further elevated by the work of an outstanding cast.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Serge L A complete masterpiece. Up there with "Chinatown" in my opinion. John Heard is mesmerizing. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 04/22/24 Full Review Scott M An odd angry movie about a guy who wants his best friend to stand up to the bad guys. However, for me, the entire notion of being a hero is more about improving yourself. And these 3 characters are drunks, womanizers, and kind of losers. Heard's performance is impressive. So is Lisa Eichhorn. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/19/24 Full Review george S By both attracting and repulsing the viewer through the presentation of the initial crime and subsequent twists in the central mystery of the film as drawn out by the four principal characters, this film manages to magnificently disguise it's ultimate path to a resolution. That's just the third reason to see this film The second reason is the hypnotic film score by Jack Nitzsche - which perfectly drapes the film in resonating opaqueness and discord while still conveying beauty. But the primary reason to see this film is simply the performances of John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, and Jeff Bridges. The various juxtapositions in the narrative centered on the 'haves' and the have-nots' - power, money, influence and it's lack, the users and the used, addiction, alcohol, pain killers and the eternal quest for numbness against those who have no need to dull their experience - serve to launch the interactions of the principals in myriad dances unchoreographed and unschooled. Add to this noir journey the Santa Barbara location, great cinematography and dialogue. Kudos to Director Ivan Passer and the author for the source novel, Newton Thornburg. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/01/24 Full Review Audience Member More overtly Marxist and slightly less tragic than The Parallax View. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Audience Member The setup to 'Cutter's Way' appears to promise a murder mystery, but it soon becomes clear that it will not follow this path. It instead chooses to focus on a theory that the titular character - Alex Cutter - develops about the case, and follows his growing obsession with confronting the man he thinks is responsible. Meanwhile, small dramas play out between the people around him, all of whom are affected by, but also inevitably drawn to Cutter's...way. The movie uses the situation as an entry point to explore Cutter's deadly combination of intelligence, self-loathing, contempt and paranoia - all of which John Heard portrays brilliantly in an intensely charismatic performance. (I always thought this was a Jeff Bridges movie, but he almost becomes an afterthought once Heard enters the picture) The film culminates in a beguiling if somewhat abrupt ending, that left me with a rare feeling that this is a movie that should have been longer. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member The finest neo-noir film to be made in the last 40 years. This gem from 1981 is an absolute masterpiece. All three leads, especially Lisa Eichhorn, are mesmerizing. It's a must-see classic. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      94% 88% Blood Simple 94% 77% Manhunter 77% 64% Frantic 53% 46% 52 Pick-Up 79% 90% Mississippi Burning Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Critics Reviews

      View All (24) Critics Reviews
      Derek Malcolm London Evening Standard Almost as impressive as Polanski's Chinatown and an extraordinary change of gear from one of the fine Czech New Wave's most notable alumni. Rated: 4/5 Jun 24, 2011 Full Review Antonia Quirke Financial Times [Heard] is one of America's great lost actors. Rated: 3/5 Jun 24, 2011 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian The film moves with an easy uncoerced swing: moment by moment, scene by scene, we are unsure what to think or where we are going. It is a fascinating, organically grown drama. Rated: 4/5 Jun 23, 2011 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Cutter’s Way is at once an American film of its time and for all ensuing times, an ugly-truth endeavor examining a nation in which the rich and powerful literally get away with murder while the poor and pitiful barely exist at all. Rated: 3.5/4 Feb 15, 2023 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...an exceedingly (and sometimes excessively) deliberate drama that benefits from its stellar performances and raft of appealing, eye-catching attributes... Rated: 3/4 May 14, 2022 Full Review Karen Krebsbach Sojourner Richly compelling. Aug 16, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Best friends Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) and Alex Cutter (John Heard) are two middle-class guys living in an upper-class town. The Santa Barbara buddies get dragged into a murder mystery when Richard accidentally spots a man ditching a body into a trash can. Alex, an embittered Vietnam veteran who lost an eye and leg in the war, thinks what Richard saw is worth something, especially when it comes out that the potential murderer is a wealthy and powerful man in the community.
      Director
      Ivan Passer
      Screenwriter
      Jeffrey Fiskin, Newton Thornburg
      Distributor
      United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Production Co
      Gurian Entertainment
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller, Crime, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Sep 12, 1981, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 16, 2008
      Sound Mix
      Stereo
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm, Flat (1.85:1)
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