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2,270 Ratings

Drugstore Cowboy

Directed by Gus Van Sant
United States, 1989
Drama, Crime


A ‘70s road movie about a drug addict, his ’family’, and their inevitable decline into crime.

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Drugstore Cowboy Directed by Gus Van Sant

Critics reviews

Van Sant at this early stage avoids the visual punchlines that he would sprinkle throughout To Die For, but the humor is not nonexistent — only delicately woven into the melancholic fabric.
June 27, 2018
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It’s simply, yet quite profoundly, an honest portrayal of drug culture free of moralism and sensationalism. William S. Burroughs, Van Sant’s early muse and the film’s presiding deity (he has a cameo toward the end), considered Drugstore Cowboy’s presiding message to be, "Say no to drug hysteria, or any other kind of hysteria, for that matter.
March 09, 2015
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Second viewing, first in >20 years, no change in rating. Sympathetic-junkie angle no longer startling (was it ever?), there’s contrivance in the way it plays for laughs then purposely shows its teeth – e.g. Nadine’s blubbering at not being allowed to get high as a prelude to [spoiler], or e.g. Bob’s trick on the cops followed by the cops turning violent and the smile freezing on our faces – but it’s effective as a blend of arty effects and mainstream pleasures.
July 19, 2014
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