A Perfect World

Released 1993


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Movie Summary

Clint Eastwood

A Perfect World is a dramatic film directed by Clint Eastwood that centers on the relationship of an escaped convict and a young boy when he kidnaps him and embarking on a road trip across Texas. Eight-year-old Phillip Perry (T.J Lowther) has been in his house's kitchen when two escaped convicts, Robert "Butch" Haynes (Kevin Costner) and Terry Pugh (Keith Szarabajka), break in looking for a hostage. Grabbing Phillip, they take him with them on the run from the authorities across the Texas highway. When Butch catches Terry trying to molest the little boy, he shoots him and exposes him to a not so black and white world when bad things happen for good reasons. Raised by a devout religious mother, Phillip begins to experience an odd sense of freedom in his captivity as Butch exposes him to Halloween costumes, parties, and what entails Christmas, all things he had been forbidden by his mother. As the two continue their journey, they are followed by a Texas Ranger Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood), a criminologist Sally Gerber (Laura Dern) and FBI sharpshooter Bobby Lee (Bradley Whitford) in order to take Butch back into custody and Phillip back to his family.



Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is a movie that surprises you. The setup is such familiar material that you think the story is going to be flat and fast. But the screenplay by John Lee Hancock goes deep. And...

  • 88

    Rolling Stone

    Eastwood grabs the reins and draws Costner's scrappiest performance since Bull Durham. In going beyond chase-yarn duty, Eastwood and Costner do themselves proud.

  • 88

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A Perfect World proves again, if it needs proving, that Eastwood's directorial signature is among the strongest and surest in American movies. [24 Nov 1993, p.1C]

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Crime, Thrillers