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River Wild, The [Blu-ray]

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Meryl Streep tried her hand at action films with this Curtis Hanson film and proved herself quite credible, bringing emotion as well as the willingness to kick butt. She plays a suburban mom and former white-water rafting guide who is taking her family on a raft trip for summer vacation. But overworked Dad (David Strathairn) can't make the trip, so she and her son leave without him--and walk right into trouble. Killers on the run (Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly) abduct them and force Streep to take them down the most dangerous stretch of river to elude the cops. Hanson understands how to pace and construct this kind of action fodder, but it's strictly formula stuff, enlivened only by the depth of Streep's portrayal and the viciousness of Bacon's character. --Marshall Fine

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious for its gender content Nov. 22 2003
By Sokste
I liked this movie because it explores:
1) that women can by physically and psychologically strong
2) that women can face challenges such as whether to possibly mistakenly kill a threatening person
3) that men can be strong around women who are strong
4) that the human spirit is resilient and can overcome extreme challenges
Plus the nature is great, the acting is excellent and the journey is interesting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep is a goddess May 3 2002
By A Customer
And that is about the only reason to recommend this slightly above-average action drama unless you are obsessed with rafting or care to see Kevin Bacon before he began to parade his genitalia before the viewing public. There is some nice river canyon footage (Oregon and Montana), and who knows, maybe this will inspire you to become a river guide. It had that effect upon me. Meryl Streep's performance is noteworthy, as you would expect, and she looks fit and healthy in a rugged kind of way, but the family dynamics are corny and rather unpleasant, and the plot is fueled by a bunch of tired formulas about bad men and wholesome families toughing it out. This is probably a good film to rent at your video store, if you're looking for a popcorn movie that won't require too many demands upon the viewer. In fact, this is a great film for those tiresome Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners when you want to zone out from your annoying family, but you won't feel cheated if you miss some of it, since you can pretty much secondguess every development. Supporting roles are filled by Benjamin Bratt, John C. Reilly and that little kid that was in Jurassic Park. The director went on to make L.A. Confidential, which is a truly awesome film if you're in the mood for the hard stuff.
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Let me make this clear right from the start. The only thing that saves this film from getting just one star is the wonderful acting of Meryl Streep. She does a fantastic job of believably playing a gritty former river guide and a loving mom. The rest of this movie doesn't fare nearly as well.
"The River Wild" is about a mother, father, son and dog who go on an adventure whitewater rafting down a river. They encounter some shady characters who are rafting down the same river. I typically break down the plot of the movie in my reviews but it is rather pointless here. Everything is completely obvious from a mile away and I do mean EVERYTHING. There are also several completely ridiculous parts of this film. For one, there is a portion of the movie where the father has to follow along the river on foot through treacherous terrain. At the same time, his river guide wife is rolling down the river in a raft. Guess who makes it downstream faster? That's right...the father. Give me a break! There are too many more moronic things like this for me to waste my time going over them. In short, if you fancy whitewater rafting and Meryl Streep then check this one out. If you like movies with actual suspense and action then watch something else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A trip that is worth taking Feb. 26 2001
By jao
Format:VHS Tape
"The River Wild" was one of my favorite movies of 1994. Gail (Meryl Streep), her husband, and her son decide to take a white-water rafting trip. They already have their problems because Gail's husband pays too much attention to his job and he doesn't pay enough attention to his family. However, before they know it, they'll have more deadly problems to deal with. Gail is an experienced and knowledgeable white-water rafter, and soon she and her family meet two mysterious strangers, one of which is Wade (Kevin Bacon). Wade asks for help to get to a certain place and Gail agrees to help, but little does she know that soon she, her husband, and her son, will be fighting for their lives.
"The River Wild" is a better movie than a lot of critics and other reviewers have said that it is. It has exciting white-water rafting sequences, especially when Gail and the others try to live through 'The Gauntlet,' and it features a great performance by Meryl Streep. If you like exciting movies or anything to do with white-water rafting, I definitely recommend getting "The River Wild."
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2.0 out of 5 stars "The Islanders" Jan. 16 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"The River Wild" is an uninvolved, confused drama that intertwines a violent legend of a river with two know-it-all's who believe that they can walk on water. The basic script of "The River Wild" has extra additions that are pointless to the movie. The father of the group initially takes a rain check to the supposedly peaceful vacation, claiming that his work was more significant at the time. What this does is add family problems to their vacation, which will make a negative difference further on in the movie. As their journey begins, they greet their deaf relatives and observe ancient markings, making this a "Discovery Channel" sort of motion picture. Minutes prior to push off, they meet three friends, who are also planning to row their boat gently down the stream merrily. For no reason, the family has to become best friends with the three men and then proceed to monitor their every move. Out of the blue, the family suspects foul play since one of the three men is not with them anymore. Because of this, they put together a simple, "never gonna work" plan for leaving the two civilians behind and it turns out that they are a little hostile. Looking for a way to punish them, they decide to force the family to take a boat down the fabled river, "The Gauntlet", which no one gets through safely. The father is able to run off temporarily, along with his dog, trying to request a help signal to an aircraft that obviously doesn't exist. As mentioned before, the father not wanting to attend this trip makes it that much more cheesy: two murderers' hold an unattractive, bickering family hostage so that they can go down a river. The ending isn't very believable, and how nice it is to see such a happy ending with the family back together. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but Goodie
Nobody can beat Meryl Streep when it comes to movies like that. Put in Kevin Bacon as the bad guy and WOW what a exciting sit on the edge of your seat movie. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lee Soullier
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning setting and scenery on blu-ray
The River Wild is absolutely gorgeous on blu-ray, and it's enjoyable watching this fresh version of the 1994 film. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cheryl
4.0 out of 5 stars Could you survive a river this wild?
The River Wild(released Sept/94) has been a TV fave for years and did deservedly well at ye olde box office. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Robert Badgley
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild Ride
I saw this movie years ago, and one day I was trying to think of good movies from the 80's and 90's that I would like to get a copy of, and this popped into my head. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2012 by RHP
5.0 out of 5 stars The River Wild
I have enjoyed this movie since the release. I find the music and the scenery just wonderful. The action is great and without all of the flash of the movies today. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by "earthling789"
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh boy
Kevin Bacon can so beautifully play a sadist, a charming and vicious creep, a bad guy that it's almost like he's not acting. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2003 by Peggy Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WATER IS WIDE
Meryl Streep is certainly an amazing performer. Few actresses can enliven such a formulaic movie as "The River Wild. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Michael Butts
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Ride
An entertaining journey down a beautiful whitewater river with an age old theme of good vs evil. This is a good movie to just sit back and enjoy the ride even though as the plot... Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2003 by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars great!
I never heard of this movie until I saw it on t.v. I was a cool movie it has action, adventure, family moments.I bought it not long ago.if you like action, adventure buy it!
Published on March 8 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars a reviewer from india
the river wild is a very good movie, the actors in the movie are of right choice, the whole movie is about a family who get stuck with two guys when they go for a river ride on... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2003 by Mike
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