Rain Man is a 1988 American comedy-drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of abrasive, selfish young wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an autistic savant, of whose existence Charlie was unaware. Charlie is left with only his father's beloved vintage car and rosebushes.
When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where he discovers that he has an autistic older brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) and that his father's $3 million fortune is being left to the mental institution in which Raymond lives. Motivated by his father's money, Charlie checks Raymond out of the facility in order to return with him to Los Angeles. The brothers' cross-country trip ends up changing both their lives.
Why It Rocks
- Its depiction of autism and savant syndrome is handled great and is well executed. It doesn't take the easy way where they demonize mental institutions. It actually talks about the disorder more.
- It also allowed autism to be brought into awareness due to how successful it was.
- Any autistic person is able to relate to the characters in this movie.
- Raymond is an iconic and well-written character, and due to him being a savant, he's shown to be a heavy genius. He's also able to look past Charlie's negativity and find the love and support of him by the end of the film.
- Every actor has a really great performance, especially Dustin Hoffman as Raymond, whose performance perfectly portrays a man with autism, totally unable to comprehend the real world around him.
- Charlie, Raymond's younger brother, goes through a lot of character development, going from not understanding Raymond a lot and insulting him at times to forming a bond with him.
- There are many laughs in this movie, such as when Raymond and Charlie have an argument on where they buy underwear.
- A really beautiful score by Hans Zimmer, along with really good cinematography.
- Because it was pop culture's first main exposure to autism it lead to stereotyping and stigmas.
The film has an approval rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 7.97/10, based on 77 reviews. The website's critical consensus states: "This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson's direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal." Metacritic gave the film a score of 65 out of 100 based on 18 critical reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".