Drugstore Cowboy

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Released 1989

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Movie Summary

Director:
Gus Van Sant
Released:
1989
Rating:
R
Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 drama about a group of drug addicts who travel the country stealing drugs and money to sustain their habit. Bob (Matt Dillon) and Dianne (Kelly Lynch) have been a couple for some time. The thing that unites them most is their mutual love of drugs, both prescription pills and illegal substances like heroin. They team up with another couple, Rick (James Le Gros) and Nadine (Heather Graham), and together the four of them begin robbing pharmacies to steal prescription drugs. Things go well for awhile, but ultimately tragedy strikes. The youngest of the four, Nadine, overdoses one night and passes away. Unsure of what to do, they simply leave her body and make a run for it. Her death weighs on all of them, eventually driving Bob to quit both his life of crime and the drugs that fueled it. The lure of a quick high constantly tempts him, however, despite his best intentions to go straight.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Drugstore Cowboy is one of the best films in the long tradition of American outlaw road movies - a tradition that includes "Bonnie and Clyde," "Easy Rider," "Midnight Cowboy" and "...

  • 90

    Variety

    No previous drug-themed film has the honesty or originality of Gus Van Sant's drama Drugstore Cowboy.

  • 80

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Drugstore Cowboy, Gus Van Sant Jr.'s glum, absorbing film about a clan of heroin addicts who travel around the Pacific Northwest Looting pharmacies of their supplies the way Bonnie...

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    Themes

    Crime