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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Grifters (1990)



Reviews and Comments

The Grifters is quite a complex character study about three con artists, different, but each ruthlessly playing off the others. Alone, each character is only casually interesting; together, it's such a complicated mesh of passions, secrets, and double-crosses. But I'd better stop myself before I sound too much like the blurbs on the back of video boxes. Yet that's essentially what this is. Director Stephen Frears seems to take a certain pleasure at hinting at the dark things that lurk under the outward appearances of the characters, and when those dark things emerge into the open, it's not a pretty sight. More of a character study than a con game, this movie will please those who like to have something to think about -- and aren't afraid to face the shadier side of humanity.