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The River Wild

4.5 out of 5 stars 708 customer reviews

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(Dec 09, 1997)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hang on tight for a suspense-filled action-thriller starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in a stunning performance that will take your breath away! Streep portrays a former river guide who arranges a white-water rafting trip to celebrate her son's birthday and salvage her shaky marriage. Her skills and courage are soon put to the test when three mysterious strangers threaten to turn their vacation into a living hell. Also starring Kevin Bacon and David Strathairn, this "pulse-pounding thrill ride" (Rolling Stone Magazine) explodes with action, suspense and unforgettable storytelling from the director of L.A. Confidential.

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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

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, Stephanie Sawyer, Joseph Mazzello
    • Directors: Curtis Hanson
    • Writers: Denis O'Neill
    • Producers: David Foster, Lawrence Turman
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      PG-13
      Parents Strongly Cautioned
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: December 9, 1997
    • Run Time: 112 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (708 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783222149
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,648 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The River Wild" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Peggy Vincent on December 17, 2003
    Format: DVD
    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. And Meryle Streep, trying her hand here in an action film, NEVER seems to be acting - she's always stellar, completely immersed in her character. In The River Wild, Streep plays a suburban mom and former white-water rafting guide who is taking her family on a raft trip for summer vacation. She's a bit on the outs with her husband, who is, at the last minute, too busy to go along - so she and her son go it alone - and quickly run afoul of some killers on the lam. Bacon and a buddy, of course. They coerce Streep to take them down a terrifyingly dangerous stretch of river rapids to escape from the pursuing cops.
    Marvelous. And Streep did all the river scenes without the use of a stunt double - which, if you've ever been white-water rafting on a Class 4 or 5 river, is utterly amazing.
    3 Comments 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    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 develops you may feel bit uncomfortable.
    Meryl Streep is outstanding as usual, however I feel Kevin Bacon is even better as the deceptive, yet charming 'bad guy'. There is also some excellent acting by David Straithairn (who portrays Meryl Streep's husband) even though his character is annoyingly pathetic.
    The nature cinematography is spectacular and the high intensity musical score only adds excitement to the journey.
    I highly recommend watching this one on a home theater system with wide screen and DTS sound decoding.
    Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Here is an action flix that belongs is everyone's DTD DVD collection. Loaded with action, great acting on all parts, the DTS sound was awe inspiring to say the least. GET IT, YOU"LL LOVE IT!
    Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    The opening scenes of THE RIVER WILD show a very buff Meryl Streep rowing in Boston's Charles River accompanied by stirring theme music by Jerry Goldsmith. This promise of quality is fulfilled throughout the suspenseful albeit rather predictable movie after the setting switches to the western wilderness. Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon are among Hollywood's most talented and versatile actors and in this outing Streep believably plays a mom who meets extreme physical and emotional challenges (while piloting a white river raft no less) after she encounters Bacon a cunning criminal psychopath. The river scenes are beautiful and I've read that Streep actually did her own stunts for the most part. There are a couple of surprises along the way to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. A good movie for anyone but especially a family with older kids who want a little bit but not too much edge to their viewing experience.
    1 Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Meryl Streep is certainly an amazing performer. Few actresses can enliven such a formulaic movie as "The River Wild." And yet, Streep's portrayal of Gail is as always brilliant. Meryl uses her exquisite face, and exhibits her continued range of performances in her first (and probably only) "action" role. She is truly the best of our generation's many fine actresses. Kevin Bacon is effectively chilling; Joseph Massello shows a good range for such a young actor; David Straitharn is at first too wooden, but as his character grows, so does his performance; John C. Reilly, as always, is efficiently supportive.
    The vistas are beautiful and the final rafting scenes breathtaking. A good if not great film.
    Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    This movie started out to be a routine outdoor vacation trip but not far into the family adventure, things start going south for this not real close-knit husband/wife team with a young son along for the ride. Kevin Bacon's character suddenly changes from friendly to demonic as he takes control of the family's rafting trip down the raging white water river. The scenery is awesome. Meryl Streep is superb as the mom who gives new meaning to a protective mother as she tries to do whatever it takes to save her family from certain death at the hands of ruthless killers. If you like fast action adventure thrillers, I think you will enjoy this movie. I don't want to be a spoiler with too many details but I was surprised at the realistic performances on display in this movie.
    Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    I just now saw this incredible movie. I saw part of it at my mother's house and decided to see the whole thing and it only got better. Edge of my seat constantly. All the actors did a marvelous job at making it believable. Bravo!
    Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    I have been a fan of Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon for many years. So I expected a great movie. I wasn't disappointed, in fact it went beyond anything I could hope for in a river adventure film. Streep was amazingly vulnerable and courageous, and Bacon was cold and psychologically manipulative. This by far one of the best movies either has done and certainly one of my favorites. I love this type of movie anyway and I saw great directing, outstanding acting by Streep, Bacon, and the rest the cast, amazing locations, incredible camera work, and jaw dropping stunts. I highly recommend this movie. If you enjoyed this be sure to see Deliverance (1972).

    CA Luster
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