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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Rain Man (1988)



Reviews and Comments

The artistic success of Barry Levinson's Rain Man hinged almost entirely on Dustin Hoffman's performance as an autistic genius. His co-star is Tom Cruise, another A-list name, yet Cruise's purpose seems, at times, solely to be a backboard for both Hoffman's performance and character. It's awe-inspiring and won him an Academy Award.

Cruise plays a con-artist thrown in, by circumstance, with Hoffman, a brother he never knew he had. The two take to the road -- this is a road picture, by the way -- and learn to understand each other en route. Although Rain Man's basic plot is formula, its smart execution -- particularly the screenplay -- set it above its peers.