Parents' Guide to

True Romance

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent cult thriller has strong language, sex, drugs.

Movie R 1993 119 minutes
True Romance movie poster: Christian Slater points a gun with Patricia Arquette standing behind staring at him.

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This Quentin Tarantino-penned crime thriller rode the wave of its writer's rapid ascent in the early 1990s to attract an all-star crew and cast. Drawn to the rising star's ability to mix quotable dialogue with dazzlingly violent set pieces, action veteran Tony Scott expertly directs this gonzo tale, with enduring turns from Slater and Arquette as True Romance's lead roles. While there's more than a hint of adolescent wish-fulfillment in Slater's comic book nerd Clarence's wooing of Arquette's Alabama, a self-identifying "call girl" with a fierce spirit and a heart of gold, the film commits to its wild ride so unapologetically it's easy to see why its fans were so willing to be drawn into its pulpy, day-glo world.

Joining the party for brief but memorable cameos are all of Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, and Brad Pitt. These stars pooling their considerable talents only add to the dizzying pace of a movie that moves quickly across its two-hour runtime, heading full-steam to a chaotic but unforgettable finale. While it might not have garnered the same critical praise as the Tarantino-helmed Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, True Romance has a charm of its own, which makes it impossible not to love.

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