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Stranger Than Paradise


Jim Jarmusch

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About the Movie

Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb. With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 21
  • Fresh: 20
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Its tale of two immigrant boys and a visiting Hungarian cousin tasting the trivia of freedom is clear-eyed, wistful and funny. – Quentin Curtis, Independent on Sunday, Dec 6, 2017

Fresh: Not a lot to it, certainly, but the acting and performances combine to produce an obliquely effective study of the effect of landscape upon emotion, and the wry, dry humour is often quite delicious. – Geoff Andrew, Time Out, Jan 21, 2009

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


One of my all time favorites!

Stranger Than Paradise

Great first film.

A Real “Killer” B Movie (one of 237!)

This review is an excerpt from my book “Killer B’s: The 237 Best Movies On Video You’ve (Probably) Never Seen,” which is available as an ebook on iBooks. If you enjoy this review, there are 236 more like it in the book (plus a whole lot more). Check it out!
STRANGER THAN PARADISE: Portraying boredom is a tricky thing to do without actually being boring, but Jarmusch, in his first feature film, managed to pull it off by elevating ennui into deadest-pan comedy. These people are the original and ultimate “slackers,” with no future, no hope, no direction—and no interest in any of the above, or much of anything else. They don’t communicate so much as posture, and it’s not just their silences that are awkward—every detail of their existence is awkward.
The film consists of a series of single scenes (67, to be precise) punctuated by blackouts; it sometimes feels as though we’re burgling a peek into someone else’s family photo album, or watching surveillance tapes rather than a movie. The stark black and white photography defines their existence and magnifies the squalor of New York and the wretched industrial countrysides through which they drive.
Willy prides himself on having cut his Old World ties, but from the look of the landscape, he appears, ironically, to be living in his own worst nightmare of the Eastern Block. Their listless existence becomes hypnotic: in some scenes, just waiting for one of them to move is quirkily comical. Viewed from this perspective, the film is a strange celebration of the absurdity and surreal strangeness of plain old everyday boring normality.

Stranger Than Paradise
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  • $19.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1984

Customer Ratings