If you want a fast-paced philosophical drama with quite possibly the saddest ending to a movie you've ever seen, then this is the film for you... A Perfect World drains you emotionally and that's why this amazing film is worth watching once, and not over and over again.You can't go wrong with a movie directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the U.S. Marshal. Kevin Costner gives the greatest performance of his career except for maybe JFK and the little boy is played impressively by 7-year-old T.J Lowther. What makes A Perfect World so great is that it's got flaws, but still <more>
manages to hold you glued to your TV and make you not want to miss a thing. Be ready to laugh, cry and ponder upon what life would be if we lived in a perfect world.
A Perfect World; An Idealistic Movie (by LivingDog)
Excellent movies have everything right with them - from the scenery to the director. This movie has it all except the plot is too idealistic for my taste. Granted a story can have any plot the author decides, but this one plays on false stereotypes just like other Hollywood movies, e.g. the "noble" savage. There is no such thing - individuals may be noble, but not an entire nation. This is why "To Kill a Mocking Bird" is so powerful - the main noble character is surrounded by real people - at least as real as a movie will allow them to be. And so it doesn't go with <more>
"A Perfect World." The main character is surrounded by louts brutes and ignoramuses.However, was the movie entertaining? Was it well directed, cast, acted, and lit? You bet. One of Mr. Eastwood's best. 10/10.-Zafoid
Costner and Clint produce a sleeper (by jns-mcdonald)
Kevin Costner's best work. A small movie beautifully directed by Clint Eastwood a sign of things to come , "Perfect World" uses Costner's, easygoing charm to build a touching relationship with a child hostage. Unlike so many things Costner has done this movie was emotionally understated and was not afraid to move slowly to allow character development. T.J. Lowther as the young hostage does a wonderfully subtle job displaying a wide range of emotions. His excellent chemistry with Costner stole the movie. The scenes with the two "outlaws" were poignant, moving and <more>
surprisingly believable given the circumstances. Costner's "Butch Haynes" is far from two dimensional when his dark side is revealed near the end of the movie. This is clearly a disturbed man who for a brief time finds much needed reciprocal love before his inevitable self-destruction. No matter what happens both characters are better off having found one another, however briefly.
And certainly one of the most underrated pictures on IMDB. Why? Beats me, since this is one of the best performances from Costner & Eastwood. Not to mention the others.Maybe it's the movie a little bit slow at start, but soon we get too see a strong character development, what leads us to the grand finale, where we cheer for the outlaw and his little "partner" also very good performance by T.J. Lowther . The ending is undoubtedly one of the most touching in the history of cinema.All in all, Costner did great both as director and actor and he had a winning hand picking up <more>
co-actors and screen & music writers. Plus, he made this movie in the nineties era, one of the best, if not the best for Hollywood movies. That's for it's just pure classic. Just like the Texas landscape where it was taken.9 out of 10.
All you Kevin Costner haters out there, WATCH THIS MOVIE!!! (by MovieLuvaMatt)
Kevin Costner's career has been in a downward spiral to say the least over recent years. Now it seems like even people who admired him at first are suddenly forfeiting their compliments and jumping on the bandwagon, along with the rest of the Costner haters. Well, I'm not gonna jump on that bandwagon. This movie is sheer proof that Costner is a wonderful actor capable of playing characters of multiple dimensions. Here, he's given the challenge of playing a likable villain, without having us forget that he has criminal tendencies. I'm not condoning criminals, but do you <more>
honestly think every criminal in the world is a cold-blooded motherf***er with not a single scruple? They're human beings like everyone else, only they choose to live dishonest lives. In other words, the easy way out--at least that's what they think. Costner played a completely one-dimensional villain in "3,000 Miles to Graceland," but it was fitting to the tone of that film, which plays out like a comic book fantasy. His character of Butch is much more realistic, and his main scruple is treating children like dirt. He himself was treated like dirt as a child, and whenever he sees mothers or fathers do the same to their children, he goes nuts and sometimes homicidal. A very interesting character, which Costner plays to absolute perfection. I have a theory about movies. Whenever you have an adult story excluding children's and family-oriented material involving a child in a major role, the movie often turns out either good or great. This one turned out great. Good movies come more often than you think. Great movies don't come quite that often. A real motion picture experience is when you get lost in the story to the point where you feel you're right there with the characters, and not sitting on your couch watching these characters on a TV screen. This is one of those experiences. The film is totally character-driven, which also appeals to me. It took me a journey through the lives of Butch and the young boy. I felt a deep connection to each of them. The ending had me pouring with tears. I have to give it up for Clint Eastwood, who usually scores behind and in front of the camera. The film runs a little over 2 hours, but when you have solid characters like these the time flies by in a snap. Hell, "Corky Romano" was under 90 minutes long and I may as well as have been watching it for 10 hours. The most powerful scene, in my opinion, is when Butch and the boy stay over the home of the black slave. Butch sees the way the father physically abuses his son, and goes to the extent of tying him down to a couch. He then forces the father to say "I love you" to his son, like he really means it. "A Perfect World" is a film I'll never forget, and I'm so damn glad I spent my 14.99 to purchase the DVD. I have only one very minor complaint: the guy who plays Philip overacts like crazy in a cartoonish performance. My score: 9 out of 10
many spoilers!!!! I just saw this movie today, and was impressed. I know I should've seen it earlier, but I missed it every time it was on TV. "A Perfect World", with Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood tells the story of the fugitive convict Butch Haynes, who escapes with his partner Terry Pugh from the Huntsville prison in 1963. On their flight, they kidnap the young 8-year-old-boy Phillip Perry, and continue their race across Texas. As Pugh tries to abuse Phillip, Butch kills him. While Texas Ranger Chief Red Garnett Eastwood hunts them, the two discover similar bonds, and <more>
Butch really comes to like young Phillip. The boy himself overcomes his suspicion and accepts Butch as a kind of "older brother", or even stronger, as the compensation for his father, whom he never knew. As the hunt continues, Butch tells Phillip about his life, and his wish to find his own father on Alaska, where he would like to live in peace and dignity. They make certain stops, steal three different cars, and survive confrontations with the local cops. The movie deals not only with this flight of a criminal, but also strongly with the issues of fathers and sons. That's what put this movie for me above the usual road movie. It goes deep, deals with exhaustion, love, hopelessness, and pure human emotions. The climax of the movie is unexpected. Butch and Phillip stay on a farm, when the situation gets out of control. The farmer beats his young son, and Butch attacks him, even threatens to kill him. That's what causes Phillip to raise the gun against Butch, and even shoots him in the stomach.Garnett reaches the place. Butch stumbles out of the farm and follows Phillip, who sought for refuge on a big tree. Police forces surround them, snipers get into positions. But Phillip is not willing to leave Butch, though he would have let him go to his mom, who also arrived at the scenery. He runs back to the wounded Butch and hugs him. There you can see the love and sympathy the boy feels for the "criminal". I was caught in high attention, unable to move. How would the movie end? Criminologist Sally Gerber is with Garnett, and both of them know, really know Butch, Garnett even knows him from his childhood in Amarillo on. They try to solve the situation peacefully. But when Phillip and Butch move towards Garnett, hand in hand, Butch stumbles again, and tries to give the photograph of Alaska, which his father sent him, to Phillip. The sniper, an arrogant FBI agent, supposes Butch would draw a gun and fires a shot into the chest of the man. He dies, Phillip kneeing on his side, taking the photo and eventually, his mom draws him away from Butch. Garnett is angry. He wanted to save the guy, for he knew the good heart of Haynes. The dramatic ending is impressive. Eastwood made a perfect job both as actor and director, and T.J. Lowther's performance as young Phillip is simply great and convincing. One of Costner's best as well, a road movie with funny dialogues, a thrilling background story, moving emotions, brilliant acting performances, some brutal and unexpected scenes, a great setting in Texas around 1963, and an indeed amazing climax at the end, which makes the movie a dramatic masterpiece.Feel free to respond and to share your thoughts, you can write me if you want.Best greetings to all imdb.com users from Austria!
A Perfect World Is Perfectly Watchable! (by tarryrob)
Some aspects of this film work better than others, but overall A PERFECT WORLD is a highly watchable film. Kevin Costner delivers a fine performance as escaped convict Butch Haynes. The film primarily focuses on the relationship between Haynes and an innocent 8 year old boy named Phillip whom he kidnaps and befriends well played by TJ Lowther . Haynes has killed two people thus far and gives the impression of a being a loose cannon, but Eastwood evokes sympathy for the character as the audience learns about Haynes troubled childhood raised without a father by a prostitute mother - killed a <more>
man by the age of 8 and observe his genuine care and concern for the boy. Their relationship is reminiscent of Allan Ladd and the young boy in SHANE. As he slowly feeds us more information about Hayne's history, and lets the audience wrestle with its ambivalent feelings towards Costner's character, Eastwood keeps the film moving with lots of close brushes with the law, car chases and shoot'em ups.Where the film doesn't work quite is when Eastwood himself is in front of the camera, playing a minor role - Chief Red Garnett - a Texas Ranger who's in charge of Haynes' capture. The primary function of his character, and Laura Dern's who plays Sally Gerber - a criminologist the Governor forces upon the Chief in the script is to supply further information about Haynes' past. Unfortunately, Eastwood tries to flesh out the relationship between these characters through antagonistic chauvinist attitudes towards Gerber and creating a power struggle between the two which big surprise! over the course of the film, gradually leads to a mutual respect between them! Granted Eastwood and Dern have marquee value - especially Eastwood, are fine in their roles, and, of course, chauvinism was alive and well in 1960's Texas, but I mostly found these minor subplots annoying and unnecessary. It's the scenes and issues focusing on Costner's character that are the life blood of this picture. This criticism aside, Eastwood does a solid job directing, weaving action, suspense and thought provoking human drama into a well knit weave and Costner delivers one of the best acting performances of his career.7 1/2 out of 10
In 1952, Charles Crichton had produced a successful suspenseful movie with a derivative premise: a man an excellent Dirk Bogarde compelled to take a brat hostage with him because he was the witness of his murder and to flee with him across Britain to escape the police. This journey had brought the two runaways together and Bogarde eventually felt real love and care for his young hostage. Crichton I find it hard to believe that it's the same man who 36 years later will cook "a Fish Called Wanda", 1988! had construed his topic with a lot of reserve and sensitivity which <more>
bestowed his wonderful piece of work with pathos and tenderness.40 years later, Clint Eastwood, freshly showered with praise for his dusky "Unforgiven" 1992 takes back this formula for a flick which basically was to be directed by Steven Spielberg but the latter had a lot to do with "Schindler's List" 1994 , probably his finest moment. The amount was "a Perfect World" 1993 and it deserves better than the lukewarm reviews it received and stands as a winner in Eastwood's eclectic filmography. In spite of a few installments in its second part that one can deem as overlong, it has enough commendable stuff to grab the audience.First, Eastwood's vehicle is helped by the work of John Lee Hancock who 4 years later will pen the scenario for another Eastwood flick: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" 1997 . Because it eschews the formulaic ingredients of the movie genre, "a Perfect World" deals with and it encompasses various tones: from the droll moments Kevin Costner goes through with his young hostage to gripping scenes which incommodes the audience the scene when Costner holds the black family in their living room with a song he hadn't heard for years , the script takes the viewer by surprise. It's true that suspense takes a back seat during most of the viewing but Eastwood's flick has other stuff in store. In the favorable reviews, it has been said that the relationships between Costner and his young partner were highly interesting. From their first confrontation, Costner has an evident interest in the little boy, a nagging curiosity that will grow throughout his run. In this way, his attitude, at least in the outset of the film is quite different from Bogarde's. The latter realizing that he has no other choice to take his brat with him expresses at first hostility and scorn before starting to get interested in him. Not Costner who is clearly interested with his hostage from the outset and for whom he feels affection. In the two flicks, the little boys may see in Bogarde and Costner the father figures they never had. Their households are characterized by an absence of father. As for Costner, he unveils to his partner, scraps of his anterior life which might explain one of his attitudes towards him. Maybe, he tries to play his role of father and this way to get close to him: "we have a lot of things in common you and me: we love Coke, we never had father". He wants to make him discover a new life, a freer and more maverick one in which anything goes he asks him to write the things he craves to do .Nature plays a momentum role in "a Perfect World": it surrounds the characters and is of a vivacious green which symbolizes bliss and hope. In this perfect world, the two main protagonists try to search for support, friendship, bliss but impending danger waits around the corner.Eastwood's flick was also decried because the other sequences of the film in which Eastwood and his crew appear were rather weak. I don't think so. True the character of Laura Dern is a little formulaic but in one sequence the most important members offer their vision of a perfect world. And even if here he doesn't hold the main role, Clint Eastwood has a prime secondary part. The cast is a major asset of the film. The little boy is directed with care and respect and Eastwood gave Costner his last great hour, given the duds in which he acted afterward: the horrible "Waterworld" 1995 , a waste of money and time and the insipid "Postman" 1997 .Coming after a pinnacle in his career, "Unforgiven", I feel that Eastwood wasn't hampered by this critical and commercial triumph and broke new ground in the fugitive movie with this startling piece of work. Give this movie a chance. It deserves it. And if you have the chance to see "Hunted", don't think twice. Eastwood's flick compares favorably with its 40 year old model. And after the projection, try to ask yourself this question: what is a perfect world?
An average story made good by quality acting (by SinjinSB)
An average story made good by quality acting. Kevin Costner turned in one of his best performances. Just as his character would start to win you over because of his positive interactions with the boy, he'd do something awful and remind you that he's really a bad guy and that he'd taken the boy hostage. So even though he's a criminal, he's got a good side and obviously his bad upbringing took him down the wrong path in life. I though TJ Lowther was also excellent as the boy and was very believable. On the other side is Clint Eastwood as the tough law man who cares more <more>
about catching his criminal than making his bosses happy. And last, but not least, Laura Dern was also very good as Clint's cohort in catching the bad guy. While Clint relies on his years of experience, she comes from the psychological side and what she's read in books. They often disagree, but there is a mutual respect between them even if they don't show it. There are enough light moments to keep this otherwise serious movie from being a turn off. *** Out of 4