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Rain Man

Seeing the finished product, you can see why there was such a turnover of directors and writers. There is no story, no motor, and given the nature of the premise, nothing much can happen; so it's lucky that Levinson, a fine observer of human behaviour washing about, was signed to make this increasingly costly dramatic standoff look busy. Hoffman does a self-contained turn, Cruise does Handsome Classes, though people say he's getting better. Charlie Babbitt (Cruise), a two-bit hustler trading cars, learns that Raymond (Hoffman), the brother he's forgotten, is to inherit three million dollars, and zones in to chisel him out of it. Raymond is autistic and institutionalised, but in their time together on the road, Charlie learns Raymond's limitations and windfall gifts - he can memorise numbers - and discovers his own decency. Raymond is a fixed point for Charlie to develop against, and just to amplify that Charlie is a stranger in a strange land, even his girlfriend Susanne (Golino) exists more fully in another language. Basically, it is a two-hander in which one side is stalled and stays stalled, devoid of an overview which might illuminate. Hard to do, though.

Release details

Duration: 133 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Barry Levinson
Screenwriter: Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow
Cast: Dustin Hoffman
Tom Cruise
Valeria Golino
Jerry Molen
Jack Murdock
Michael D Roberts
Ralph Seymour
Lucinda Jenney

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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John

An unbelievably good acting performance by Dustin Hoffman elevates a decent movie into a very good one.