Street Smart (1987)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Release Date - Mar 20, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Karl Williams

The annoying, artificial theatricality of star Christopher Reeve, his stage roots clearly showing through a cinematic performance, is sufficiently counterbalanced by a tight script and two powerhouse acting turns from Morgan Freeman and Kathy Baker. Based on a script from David Freeman, who knowingly mines his days as a New York magazine writer, this is a sharply observed treatise on the dark sides of journalism, the law, and street life. In fact, all three endeavors are clearly and cleverly demonstrated to be not too far removed from each other and their practitioners' cynicism and avarice. It's only in the film's routine, predictable, and far too pat finale, as well as a few hard-to-swallow scenes involving the character played by Reeve, that the film strains the veracity it works so hard to duplicate elsewhere. If nothing else, Street Smart (1987) has proven to be the breakout performance of Freeman, and that alone makes the film a wholly worthwhile affair.