Rain Man ranks among the most popular films of the late 1980s, owing to a fine screenplay by Ron Bass and a spectacular performance by Dustin Hoffman in the title role. The film combines two of Hollywood's most successful formulas -- the "fish-out-of-water" story and the "unlikely buddies" picture, and there's even a touch of the old "rotten guy learns to be unselfish" twist added for texture. While such a film could have been typical big studio product, director Barry Levinson managed to find depth in the developing relationship between Hoffman's autistic adult character and the selfish, greedy character played by co-star Tom Cruise. Hoffman, Levinson, and Bass took home Oscars for Rain Man, as did the film itself for Best Picture.
by Richard Gilliam review