The River Wild

The River Wild

Curtis Hanson (1994)

12 Certificate


Our Score
In this excellent adventure thriller, Meryl Streep takes her family white-water rafting to try to revive their disintegrating relationships. But what promises to be an enjoyable break soon turns into a nightmare when armed robbers Kevin Bacon and John C Reilly hitch a ride on their raft with $250,000 of stolen loot. Directed by Curtis Hanson, this is a terrific rollercoaster ride filled with hair-raising action scenes and some equally tense moments on the river bank. In a dramatic break from her usual roles, Streep is utterly convincing as the strong-willed wife and mother, taking charge as husband David Strathairn wimps out, and struggling to keep her head above water as the sinister Bacon and the wounded Reilly become distinctly unpleasant. Streep performed many of her own stunts (at one point she was thrown overboard and resurfaced 500 yards downstream where she was rescued by a kayak crew) and put in a lot of training for the role. Her muscles are as pumped-up as the plot - which is little more than a thrill machine with added nuggets of political correctness about the family unit and sexual equality - but the incredible action and Streep's performance more than compensate for any shortcomings.


A headstrong white-water rafting expert embarks on a holiday with her family, but their fun comes to an abrupt end when two killers show up. The fugitives' only escape route from the law is down a raging river, so they take the woman and her son hostage to act as guides. Meanwhile, her husband desperately tries to keep track from the riverbank, waiting for his opportunity to launch a rescue attempt. Action thriller directed by the late Curtis Hanson, with Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn and Joseph Mazzello.

Cast & Crew

Gail Hartman Meryl Streep
Roarke Hartman Joseph Mazzello
Tom Hartman David Strathairn
Wade Kevin Bacon
Terry John C Reilly
Frank William Lucking
Ranger Johnny Benjamin Bratt
Willa Stephanie Sawyer
Gail's mother Elizabeth Hoffman
Gail's father Victor H Galloway
Director Curtis Hanson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Violence, swearing, nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray