Rain Man

A journey through understanding and fellowship.

134 min     7.8     1988     USA


Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.


John Chard wrote:
My main man Charlie Babbitt. It is something of a great cinematic achievement that Rain Man became the great film it clearly is because the story surrounding it is interestingly Hollywood in itself. Four directors, six screenwriters, two cinematographers, eight producers, writers strikes, crew change, and a studio fighting for its life. All of the above are common knowledge but it doesn't hurt to remember these facts when viewing the award wining triumph of a movie that stands the test of time today. The film is so simple in structure it really needed something special to pull it out of the prospective banality of being "just another road movie about finding oneself", Rain Man achieves something special by tackling its subjects with very sensitive hands and splicing a believable human concept into the story via the incredible shows from its two leading men. Dustin Hoffman gives a magical moving performance as the Autistic Savant Raymond, the ultimate complement I can pay the performance is that it really is believable, both moving and clever rolled into one artistic result. Tom Cruise is equally as great in a role that called for drastic layer changes, a role that demanded much conviction from the actor taking it on, and Cruise gives the role much depth as he goes from shallow bastard to a very emotive and feeling human being, it's a great show that stands up to reevaluation these days. A performance that seems to have sadly been forgotten in light of Hoffman's film stealing show. With a film such as this you pray that the ending can do it justice, and I'm glad to say that there is no pandering here, it's an ending that says so much because it doesn't cop out, I thank god for those rewrites because the endings to the original scripts would have had me booting the TV set out of the window. Essential cinema. 10/10
Peter McGinn wrote:
I am not going to pretend I have much substantive to say about this movie that will make readers gasp or slap their forwards and realize, yes, that is why I should love this film! But as this is one of my wife and my favorite movies ever, I thought I would share why. When this movie came out, we saw immediately the similarities between Raymond (Rain Man) and our daughter. No, she is not just like him. In addition to her autistic, obsessive behavior, she is deaf and developmentally delayed so that even though she knows sign language, she only answers questions with it and never uses complete sentences. But like Raymond, she has always exhibited weird special gifts. She solves math problems on her fingers that even sign language interpreters don't understand, she remembers exact dates of things that have happened years before, she can create beautiful rugs on a large floor loom. On the other hand, and she can't cross a street by herself, she throws a fit at times over the smallest change in her routine. For example, when she lived t home with us as a child, if we grabbed the TV guide from next to the tv to check out the schedule, she would stand over us and get more and more agitated and shake with frustration and anger. We finally had to start buying two TV guides, one that was "hers" and one that was "ours." But we couldn't buy two of everything. So anyway, what this all meant is that when we watched Rain Man back then when we were living in our daughter's wake, we found ourselves laughing at stuff that had previously driven us crazy with frustration. Needless to say, Dustin Hoffman gave a virtuoso performance, but I think Tom Cruise's efforts were underrated, perhaps because it seems like a natural role for him. I don't claim this is the best movie ever, just our very favorite, for personal reasons.