Ty Burr
July 29, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates, Crispin Glover, Juliette Lewis, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen
director
Lasse Hallstrom

We gave it a B+

This lazy Iowa shaggy-Depp story plays more cozily on the home screen; in fact, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is like having the family across the street over for Doritos and beer. True, the family across the street may not have a retarded son who likes to climb water towers (Leonardo DiCaprio, in a sweetly detailed, Oscar-nominated performance) or a 500-pound mom who never leaves the house (the astounding Darlene Cates). As a footloose son held fast by duty, Johnny Depp’s the calm center here, exuding a withdrawn charisma as the movie’s many bright flakes dance around him. B

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