I feel like I've grown up with John Cusack. He's just a few years older than me, and I saw him for the first time (playing a high schooler), when I was in high school. Absurdist fare like Better Off Dead and The Sure Thing appealed to my sense of humor and were given gravity by Cusack's deadpan delivery and undeniable screen presence. He was THE geeky but smart, funny and above all decent representative of my generation on the big screen. All the more disturbing then, to watch The Grifters and see him play completely against type as an emotionally stunted lowlife with an Oedipus complex – and do it so well. Cusack's range has been proven to be wide, and he has a promising future ahead of him. I just hope he avoids more dreck like Con Air and America's Sweethearts, which I assume he took on for the money to support his work in more experimental movies like Max.
A note on my notes: I've avoided complicating things with a number or star scale. My "Good" and "Not So Good" ratings simply indicate whether I recommend a film or not, based on my individual tastes in acting, direction, cinematography, etc. My notes explain why. These evaluations are not set in stone. I may change my mind about some of them. But this is what I think as of now.
Because I haven't seen them yet, the following movies aren't on this page:
The Sure Thing
Better Off Dead
Stand By Me
I recently watched this movie again, and to tell you the truth didn't even notice Cusack in it (though his sister Joan Cusack has a small but memorable role). This is just a great movie.
The Thin Red
Being John Malkovich
One Crazy Summer
All the stupidity of Better Off Dead, but none of the humor. This is a LAME movie.
Eight Men Out
Action movie schlock that fails to amuse.
Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil
How can it be so bad when it has so many of my favorite actors in it? I still struggle to understand.
Provides a few laughs on the way to a totally crap ending that ruins the whole film.
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