Down By Law – Film Review

Down By Law - Film Review


Tom Waits stars in the re-released 1986 Jim Jarmusch prison odyssey

1986’s Down By Law came at an interesting time for both director and star. Jim Jarmusch was following up his slow and weird 1984 indie classic Stranger Than Paradise. Tom Waits was in the middle of his ‘Swordfishtrombones’, ‘Rain Dogs’ and ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ trilogy. They were men riding creative peaks. Waits is a far better musician than he is an actor, but here his permanent hangover shtick works in the role of Zach: an imprisoned DJ looking to flee jail. Fellow musician John Lurie and Italian actor Roberto Benigni play his cellmates Jack and Bob, and the trio do a fine job of playing people who suck up a mutual dislike to join forces and commit an imperfect crime.


Director: Jim Jarmusch
Release date: 12 Sep, 2014