Box art for A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It


Academy Award®-winner Robert Redford (Best Director, Ordinary People, 1980) captures the majesty ofthe Montana wilderness and the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean's classic memoir.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
1 out of 5

Moving, powerful movie of two brothers.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with issues between adult brothers, drinking, and gambling.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how you can love someone without being able to understand or save them. Like Norman, Jessie has a brother who is self-destructive, though his part of the story is played more for comedy. In today's terms, Jessie's mother would be considered an enabler because she does not impose any limits on her son, and does not insist that he recognize the consequences of his behavior. If you were Norman, what would you have said to Paul? When? Why didn't Norman say those things? If you were Jessie, what would you say to Neal? Why was it important to have Neal's story in the movie? What does Norman mean when he says that his father saw no difference between religion and flyfishing?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Here are two things I never thought I'd say: I like a movie about fly fishing, and Robert Redford has directed one of the most ambitious, accomplished films of the year.

- Caryn James, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Fresh: A great movie to watch with the family at Christmas.

- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- David Ansen, Newsweek, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

I can't see whats not to like about this film. Sure, we've seen it a million times but "A River Runs Through It" works like no other. The beatiful direction and visual of Montana in the early 1900's is done wonderfully. The acting, in my own opinon, was very well-done. Once again I am surprised to say that another movie starring Brad Pitt has entered the list of my favorite films. I've never really noticed it before, but about 75 percent of my favorite movies star Pitt. But, does that make him my favorite actor? I'm quite unsure. I mean, "Fight Club" is my third most favorite film out there. "Se7en", I believe is number six. "Sleepers" is at number ten altough I may push it up to the late teens]. "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" is up there and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Burn After Reading" are in there too. I believe theres more that aren't coming to mind. Brad Pitt is just one fine actor. I've never noticed before how many of his movies were favorites of mine. Well, in this movie he plays Paul, the younger brother of Norman. Paul is the younger brother of Norman. Paul is the brother who likes to live life like no tommorow. He the type of character who isn't afraid to die. Hes a character who just doesn't give a fuck what people think. There is one scene in this movie where Paul brings an Asian girl into a bar where she is not allowed----takes place during WW1]. Paul is the cool character. Brad Pitt does one great job in the supporting role. The movie pretty much just tells the tale of two close brothers whose lives change over the course of time. The movie has beatiful shots of rivers as the characters in the movie fly-fish. To me, I loved this movie. Some find it boring, but me, no. I found this to be a beatifully told tale of the true story of the two Maclean brothers. Great acting, great direction, great visual photography. Thats enough for me to give this movie a solid five stars.

- Screeny, Sunday, July 18, 2010

3 stars

It was a mildly interesting movie that had about one decent performance. Brad Pitt made a great effort and seemed to be the only one that tried. Other than that, it has no personality or proper direction. I feel that if the script was a bit better then it would've been more interesting.

- ythelastman89, Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 stars

Brad Pitt pretty much plays the same exact character in every movie. And in just about every movie he is "the wild spirit who goes out with a bang", and such follows suit in this film. Still, it is very likable.

- puffchunk, Sunday, February 8, 2009