Down by Law Movie Information

Movie Information

Overall Rank: 1632

Average Rating: 2.9/4

# of Ratings: 55

Theatrical Release Date: 10/01/1986

Language: English

Genre: Comedy, Drama

MPAA Rating: NR

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Actors: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Ellen Barkin, Billie Neal

Plot: Three men in a Louisiana prison: DJ Zack, the pimp Jack and eccentric Italian Roberto, hatch an escape plan. -- Chris Kavan

Quick Movie Reviews

Rating of

Logan D. McCoy - wrote on 05/11/2023

"Down By Law" is a hard film to categorize, with its unconventional take on the crime genre and off kilter humor, but it's even harder not to love.

Rating of

Unknown - wrote on 03/08/2015

This is not the usual 'prison' film. The basic plot is very familiar, but the realism and well drawn characters are what set it apart from the crowd. Not as much time is spent in the prison as I expected. However, those are the best scenes. It's great at conveying the complete isolation and insufferable boredom that comes with prison time. This is done so by staying within the confines of the one cell. Waits and Lurie are great, but the standout is Benigni. He brings a lively atmosphere to the drab prison setting. All three make an unlikely trio of successful escaped convicts. The road to freedom doesn't feel like a victorious triumph. It's more of a way to redeem these 'wrongfully' incarcerated men and give them a second chance.

Rating of

Moviehead - wrote on 04/22/2012

Down by Law is best film by Jim Jarmusch. It is great comedy. It is drama that actually works (not over the top). Characters are very interesting and acting is great. Especially Benigni who i dont really like in his own films. Directing is great. Black and white is right choice. Lots of those moving shots are great, mesmerizing and the music that follows them is also very good. And intro song is great. Ending is another thing in this film that is great, realistic but still touching. Jarmusch is genious and this is his best work.

Full Movie Reviews

Daniel Corleone
Daniel Corleone
Movie God

Rating of

Down by Law review

Daniel Corleone - wrote on 03/19/2013

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.!!!" Probably one of the most enjoyable and realistic prison films associated with oddball figures. It starts off with an argument between Laurette and Zack (Tom Waits), a DJ. Jack (John Lurie), a pimp, gets framed by the police, so was Zack. Bob (Benigni) joins the mismatched pair in a single cell. Surprisingly funny and provocative with lines "You don't understand any kind of people. Maybe that's your problem." "It is a sad and beautiful world." "Very strange mother, my mother. But I love her." and "And now I have fallen in love, at last. I have finded my new home." The cast did a splendid job with the believable performances. If it had been three different leads, then the on-screen chemistry would have been off. The …

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