River’s Edge

Director: Tim Hunter
Screenwriters: Neal Jimenez


River’s Edge is a critically acclaimed, disturbing account of life among a group of teenagers growing up in a small, working-class community. Estranged from their parents, alienated from society, the kids create a surrogate family dominated by the manipulative, deluded and high-strung Layne (Crispin Glover).

When one of the girls fails to show up at school one day, her boyfriend, Samson (Daniel Roebuck) off-handedly remarks that he’s killed her. To prove he’s telling the truth, Samson takes the group to the river and shows them her body. Confronted with the horrible reality of the murder,each of them faces a critical moral decision—whether to turn Samson in to the police or help him get away. Samson stays with Feck (Dennis Hopper in yet another memorable performance), and eccentric, crippled ex-biker who’s been hiding out from the police for a murder he too committed twenty years ago. A curious bond develops between the reclusive Feck and Samson as the film spirals toward its powerful conclusion at the river where it all began. River’s Edge is a haunting film from the director of Tex and the producers of Desperately Seeking Susan.

— Lawrence Smith

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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