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The Only Coming-of-Age Story You Need to Watch, Stand By Me (1986) | #62 Review

Stand By Me is a beautiful coming of age story which sees a group of young boys, Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern who decide to hike to find the corpse of Ray Brower, a local teenager, who was hit by a train while plucking blueberries in the wild. Written by the incomparable Stephen King, this tale is one of humour, tragedy, heart ache and relatability. We see these children go on a true journey of self discovery and overcome issues within their lives. We see these four friends bond and blossom through the film and it is truly one of the best interpretations of a King novel to date.

Stand By Me is a cautionary tale, a story where we aren’t quite sure if the characters will make it. This film pulls at your heart strings and makes you feel warm inside, seeing some of the best and most commanding child acting to date from each boy but particularly, River Phoenix. Phoenix was only 14 when is portrayed Chris and this film is a living reminder of how truly talented he was. If you take anything away from this review, watch this for River Phoenix’s performance, a tragic depiction of a broken child who simply wants to be seen as good and honest by his peers.

This film is feel real, it’s raw and unapologetically slow. The film progresses with ease, it doesn’t try to overtly shock you or entice you, if you fall in love with the characters you will want to stay and watch, it is as simple as that. This is a character journey, a character based fill with real people at its core. This is the definition of a coming-of-age movie.


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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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