Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Genres - Fantasy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 7, 1990 (USA)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Matthew Doberman

The misunderstood outcast is one of the most cherished of Hollywood heroes, and in Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton shows us why. The story is a touching fable, an old-fashioned parable of love and intolerance -- but with a distinctly Burton-esque spin. The film is proof of just how different the director's visual style is: the fairy-tale suburbia he creates is a perfect example of his astonishing, uniquely Gothic look. What's more, the performers who populate this world do it proud. Johnny Depp is perfect as the gentle, emotionally fragile title character who just wants to be accepted, and Dianne Wiest's saccharine, Avon-lady mom is delightfully loopy. This was Vincent Price's last feature film, and the melancholy mix of conventional horror movie, social satire, and quirky comedy seems appropriate, as does his part as the mad (if kindly) scientist who creates Edward. Ultimately, Burton chooses to end the film with a fitting Frankenstein homage, as the community casts out the monster it never learned to accept -- an ending which may not sit well with viewers hoping for a more uplifting conclusion. Edward Scissorhands is a charming tale, beautifully realized, and, like its protagonist, nothing if not unique.