Picks and Pans Review: Steal This Movie

UPDATED 08/28/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/28/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

Vincent D'Onofrio, Janeane Garofalo, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Here I'd gotten used to the notion that the ugly '70s were actually-stylish. Now the '60s, once so excitingly chic, are starting to seem ratty. Bummer. Or maybe it's just the cheap production values of this movie about the era's preeminent radical, Abbie Hoffman. The tie-dyed fashions look more tacky than psychedelic. The young dudes who were busy turning on, tuning in and dropping out apparently saved time by gluing on facial hair. We also hear an unusually bad, jowl-flapping impersonation of Nixon denouncing his enemies.

Steal This Movie—the title is a riff on Hoffman's Steal This Book from 1971—follows his career as a subversive rallying against Vietnam, getting arrested at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, then spending 1974 to 1980 underground after fleeing cocaine charges. (He died of a barbiturate overdose in 1989 at age 52.) As Hoffman, D'Onofrio looks like a very funky Donny Osmond. Garofalo (as his long-suffering wife) and Tripplehorn (his long-suffering lover in exile) are mere hippie handmaidens. (R)

Bottom Line: Hell no, you shouldn't go

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