Pssst, want to check out Down by Law in our new look?
See all comments
The best buddie movie ever.
Its truly amazing feeling to watch such an old movie in cinema - it gives you extra emotions.
I loved the film so much! It's so delicate, funny, musical.
R. Benigni made me laugh all the time.
Tom Waits was extraordinary and crazy so much.
To sum up: one of the greatest comedies i've ever seen.
Best compliments to J. Jarmusch once again.
Jim Jarmusch is the king of offbeat decisions, and Down by Law is a good example - the characters, the pacing, the choice of what to look at, everything takes a left when another movie would take a right. Indeed, bifurcation is one of the themes. Three men make a wrong decision and find themselves in a Louisiana parish jail (mostly on bum raps), Robert Frost is evoked, and the film ends on a fork in the road (and the third choice of not moving at all). And no closure. In a final twist, the audience is left to its own devices and asked to decide which path is the better one. A jazzy atmosphere pervades, a music of many paths. I'm not entirely convinced by the free-form plot, but the cinematography often makes up for the film's listlessness - clever lighting cues, wonderful bayou shots in nitrate silver... I think my main problem is probably with Roberto Benigni, who I don't find that funny, or for the most part, intelligible (though I love his dance at the end), but his energy is a good contrast to Tom Waits' and John Lurie's, who are, first and foremost, musicians (who, in fact, collaborated on the score). Their stillness makes them the better actors here.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!
In 9 official lists
View all lists this movie is in
This movie ranks #30 in iCheckMovies's 1980s Top 100
This movie ranks #186 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #231 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #266 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #269 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #389 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #656 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #744 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #793 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema