The ‘Burbs (1989) – When secretive new neighbors move in next door, suburbanite Ray Peterson and his friends let their paranoia get the best of them as they start to suspect the newcomers of evildoings and commence an investigation. But it’s hardly how Ray, who much prefers drinking beer, reading his newspaper and watching a ball game on the tube expected to spend his vacation.

Director: Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Piranha)

Writer: Dana Olsen (The ‘Burbs, Explorers)

Release Date: March 17, 1989

Domestic Box Office: $34.1 million

The 'Burbs (1989)

The Good

  • The film is a clever satire of suburban life and the fear of the unknown.
  • The cast is all-star, with Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, and Carrie Fisher giving memorable performances.
  • The film is full of quotable lines and memorable moments.
  • The direction by Joe Dante is top-notch, and he creates a darkly comic atmosphere that is both funny and suspenseful.

The Bad

  • The film can be slow at times, and the pacing can be uneven.
  • Some of the jokes don’t land as well as they could, and the film can be a bit too silly at times.

Top 5 Cast

  • Tom Hanks as Ray Peterson
  • Bruce Dern as Art Weingartner
  • Carrie Fisher as Carol Peterson
  • Rick Ducommun as Mark Rumsfield
  • Corey Feldman as Ricky Butler

“It’s a jungle out there.” – Art Weingartner


  • Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, calling it “a funny, scary, and ultimately satisfying comedy.”
  • Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, calling it “a witty, suspenseful, and ultimately satisfying comedy.”
  • Janet Maslin of The New York Times called the film “a darkly funny satire of suburban life.”
  • Variety called the film “a well-crafted and suspenseful comedy.”
  • Time Out London called the film “a darkly comic suburban thriller.”

Cinematic Importance: The ‘Burbs (1989) is a cult classic that has been praised for its humor, suspense, and satire. The film has been cited as an influence on other films, such as the television series The Simpsons and the film Scream. The ‘Burbs is a well-made and entertaining film that is sure to please fans of dark comedies and suburban satires.

Podcasts Movies PopCultureGeeky Gifts Technology TV Video Games  Comedy Specials