My Cousin Vinny (1992) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(all-purpose SPOILER ALERT there may be some in this review)

acting 9

directing 9

effects 7

editing 8

writing 10


4.5 out of 5 🐙


Marisa Tomei is an ageless burst of brilliant, talented, gorgeous energy that’s just briefly visiting us mortals until she decides to move on to captivate millions of others in galaxies far, far away. She was pretty much perfect in this movie. She overshadowed Joe Pesci who was, in his own right, magnificent. I realize “My Cousin Vinny and his Fiance Mona Lisa Vito (what a name, by the way, what a name)” would have been a bit unwieldy but she really did deserve equal billing in the movie title. But Joe Pesci was amazing.

The movie was one of the earlier examples of dramady. Both Tomei and Pesci are stunning comic actors but the story is literally about life or death, considering the penalty for murder in the deep south. They danced between drama and comedy and Jonathan Lynn kept the beat moving quickly and steadily. It’s a movie I will watch any time. It’s kind of sad that just randomly catching a movie on while you’re flipping channels isn’t a thing anymore. The era of streaming television and a website for every network has dried the oceans and channel surfing just isn’t around anymore. It makes me nostalgic. But if we still lived in a world where a movie could just come on, this is one I wouldn’t flip past. It’s just so completely and utterly satisfying.

I do want to single out Fred Gwynne for his fantastic supporting performance as the judge of the central trial. His deadpan deliveries produced some of the biggest belly laughs in a film full of them. His facial expressions alone were a masterclass in physical acting. He is a treasure and I hope he is raising his impervious eyebrows wherever he may be.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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