Night on Earth (1991)

Admittedly I’m not a big Jim Marmusch fan, but I don’t quite see what everybody sees when it comes to this 1991 cult classic. The setup is intriguing, following five encounters between cab drivers and their passengers at the same time in five different cities, but once the novelty wears off, the threads that hold the movie together seem pretty bare. Mind you, the first-rate cast is fantastic, with Gena Rowlands and Rosie Perez making quite an impression (although Winona Ryder flounders in a distracting performance as a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking cab driver who dreams of becoming a mechanic), but the episodic nature of the movie neuters and neutralizes all. The recurring use of Tom Waits songs, not to mention great location shooting, make the whole movie worth sitting through, but that’s not exactly a glowing recommendation.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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