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      Down by Law

      1986, Comedy, 1h 46m

      32 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

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

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      Down by Law  Photos

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      Movie Info

      A disc jockey (Tom Waits), a pimp (John Lurie) and an Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) escape from jail in New Orleans.

      • Rating: R

      • Genre: Comedy

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Jim Jarmusch

      • Producer: Alan Kleinberg

      • Writer: Jim Jarmusch

      • Release Date (Theaters):  original

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $106.5K

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Criterion Collection

      • Production Co: Island Pictures

      Cast & Crew

      Critic Reviews for Down by Law

      Audience Reviews for Down by Law

      • Sep 30, 2015

        Down By Law is another great Jim Jarmusch film. Like the others, you are either going to feel the vibe or you won't. I find myself agreeing with many of the negative reviews -- sometimes the acting feels ad-libbed, sometimes it does feel like it has a student film quality to it, sometimes it does not end up so cool as it wants to be. But then again, so what? The film has an authenticity to it and many great little moments that would probably not be in it if the cast and crew were not going for it. Down By Law is an all-time great comedy adventure.

        Super Reviewer
      • Aug 31, 2012

        Odd tale with gorgeous cinematography. Benigni steals the show.

        Super Reviewer
      • Nov 29, 2011

        Jim Jarmusch is the king of cinematic understatement. His films -- at least, his early ones -- are always composed of long takes, nuanced characters and rambling dialogue, and they never really seem to be headed anywhere. "Down by Law" is in glorious black-and-white (courtesy of cinematographer Robby Muller) and features understated humor at its finest. John Lurie, Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni are great as Jack, Zack and Bob and give us one of the best movie trios of all time. Basically, the film itself is nothing more than these the lives of these characters before, during and after their time in prison, and it's just as enjoyable as Jarmusch's previous effort, "Stranger Than Paradise."

        Super Reviewer
      • Oct 27, 2011

        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) and beautiful black and white shots of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.

        Super Reviewer

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