Rafael Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
On 1983, Francis Ford Coppola's iconic stint was coming to an end. Gone were the days of The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation and the days of a series of complete failures, some rightfully so, and two of them in my mind, were almost ahead of its time. This is one of them.
Here's an amalganation of many generations, many styles and many themes to complete one cohisive coming-of-age story. There's this almost 50s American Graffiti-esque vibe, in a town that seems to come out of Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" and Martin Ritt's "Hud", while everyone seems to come out of "The Warriors."
All performances are really good, with a series of who's who young talents that aren't still at the top of their game, but does show their great skills. Cage was decent. Dillon was great. Rourke was fantastic (and still handsome). Dennis Hopper was Dennis Hopper. Diane Lane looked a hell lot like Linda Blair for some reason. Sofia Coppola was better than on The Godfather III. But seriously, the chemistry between Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke is great and serving as the heart of the movie, they are so effective that it makes the ending so heartwrenching.
Coppola's direction was really good. The way he and his DP play with the lights, the shadows, the way he moves the camera and frames every shot is incredible. You can still see the man has it.
All in all, while the 80s were a serious dark time for Coppola, this coming of age is still one that everyone needs to watch, a bleaker take of youth from those later made by John Hughes and one Joel Schumacher.