The Grifters


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 24586


Uploaded By: OTTO
September 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM



Martin Scorsese as Opening Voice-over
John Cusack as Roy Dillon
Steve Buscemi as Kaggs
Anjelica Huston as Lilly Dillon
814.36 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S 1 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Rockwell_Cronenberg 7 / 10

From another era.

Man, talk about a slow-burn. Going into The Grifters I was expecting a slick and quick-paced con thriller, but what I got was something much darker and much more absorbing. Director Stephen Frears, working off a script by Donald Westlake (adapted from the Jim Thompson novel) lets these characters get established before they start to bring us into the tangled web they are all weaving.

Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a con man pulling small jobs every day to slowly build up his savings, while his girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening) is doing anything she can to get by and his mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) is working on a long play of her own. The tagline of "Who's conning who?" always makes me roll my eyes, but it's actually an accurate portrayal here, as these three play each other back and forth, while the film itself is pulling the veil over the audience.

The Grifters is a brooding noir that throws back a lot to the '40s and it's Hitchcock roots, including some direct homages that feel appropriate for the story rather than cheap rip-offs. The film delves into some potentially melodramatic moments at times, but Frears is able to keep things in tune with it's seething roots as opposed to letting things get too theatrical.

All three actors are working at top form here; Cusack was just starting to break out and this role should really be considered more among the best of his career, Huston steals the show in every scene and Bening (someone I've always despised) is seductive and very compelling. I thought that Bening was phoning it in a bit at first, but as more is revealed about the character you realize that she's conning herself as much as she is everyone else. Frears crafts this one with a great tone that the actors play into very well, with some powerful sexual undertones and a dynamite finale.

Reviewed by snow0r 8 / 10

Enjoyable but imperfect

The Grifters sees John Cusack play Roy Dillon, a grifter whose loyalties are split between his con-artist girlfriend (Annette Bening) and his estranged mother (Anjelica Huston) in a tangled web of deceit with bloody consequences.

Cusack puts in a good performance as the grifter, playing the short con, making money from people wherever he can, whilst trying to avoid being seduced into the long con by Myra (Bening), while also trying to resolve a bizarre, almost Oedipal relationship with his estranged mother Lilly (Huston). The slightly neurotic anti-hero with a humorous cool streak is the kind of role he can play in his sleep, and from what i hear is similar to his role in Ice Harvest (2005).

Bening is different. She's more lively than Cusack and certainly sleazier. Her pretty face, slimline figure, and cheerful willingness to strip off hide the vicious deceiver that lies underneath, and you can't help but feel concerned for Cusack as she tries to reel him into her scam.

Huston's performance is however the best of all, and Lilly remains the most complex character in The Grifters. From the moment she's introduced in Cusack's somewhat sparse apartment you can see there's more to this relationship than they let on; there's an obvious sexual tension sustained between the two until the film's climax. The darker side of her comes to light in the film's final third. Threatened on all sides, she becomes an animal fighting for survival, and shows that she will go to any length to get what she needs. Her killing Roy sums this up; while her initial reaction is one of maternal grief, she soon switches back into survival mode and quickly gets out.

The cinematography is fantastic. The Grifters really achieves the noir look thanks to some clever camera work, effective lighting, and somewhat austere scenery. The characters, especially Lilly and Myra, look the part, and you can clearly see the influences here. The score, while not used much, also contributes effectively to create a tense and sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere, but isn't afraid to be loud and dramatic when needs be.

However, The Grifters is not perfect. Despite solid performances, a decent script, and visual effectiveness, it seems to be missing something, and is unfortunately flawed as all good noir characters are. Perhaps it's a little too long, or the script isn't quite good enough, or the tempo is a tad too low...I couldn't put my finger on it.

These small factors don't detract too much from what is otherwise a very good film. Definitely worth watching.

Reviewed by Sherparsa 3 / 10

good ... but ...

This is certainly a good movie ... but nominated for 4 Oscars and quite a number of other wins and awards and stuff? really? surely not the only not-so-Oscar-worthy movie i've ever seen that has been nominated for so many of such a highly praised prize ... but well ... dunno ... maybe 1990 was a special year for unlikely nominations after all ...

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