Mask (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes


Mask (1985)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This is the true story of Rocky Dennis (Eric Stoltz), a personable young man suffering from "lionitis," a fatal disease which causes hideous facial disfigurement. The son of freewheeling biker Rusty Dennis (Cher), Rocky is accepted without question by his mom's boyfriends and cycle buddies, but treated with pity, condescension, and disgust by much of the outside world. The local high school principal tries to get Rocky classified as brain-damaged so he won't have to enroll the boy in his school, but Rusty fights for her son's rights with the ferocity of a mother lioness. Rocky makes friends easily both at school and at summer camp. He also falls in love with Diana (Laura Dern), a blind girl who cannot see his deformed countenance and is entranced by the boy's kindness and compassion. Now that he's got his own life in order, Rocky sets about to wean his chronically depressed mother from her drug habit. Mask is the sort of story that might have ending up wallowing in its own pathos had the acting, direction and scriptwriting (by Anna Hamilton Phelan) been anything less than very good. The film proved a much-needed financial success for director Peter Bogdanovich, though unfortunately it didn't come soon enough to stave off his declaring personal bankruptcy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Eric Stoltz
as Rocky Dennis
as Rusty Dennis
Ben Piazza
as Mr. Simms
Joe Unger
as Boy Friend
Todd Allen
as Canuck
Jeannie Dimter Barton
as Junior High Secretary
Steve V. James
as Hospital Intern
Cathy Arden
as Hospital Doctor
Andrew Robinson
as Dr. Vinton
Ivan Jorge Rado
as Dr. Rudinsky
Wayne Grace
as Drug Dealer
Jo-El Sonnier
as Sunshine
Paige Matthews
as Stickman's Girl
Patricia Pelham
as Canuck's Girl
Gale Ricketts
as Sunshine's Girl
Stan Ross
as Drunken Biker
Scott Willardsen
as Junior High Teacher
Marsha Warfield
as Homeroom Teacher
Allison Roth
as Nancy Lawrence
David Scott Milton
as History Teacher
Creed Bratton
as Carnival Ticket Taker
Rummel Mor
as Track Runner
Marilyn Hamilton
as Mr. Kaplan's Aide
Anna Thea
as Woman Counselor
Louis Waldon
as Camp Cook
Toni Sawyer
as Mrs. Adams
Chris Rydell
as Senior High STudent
Lou Felder
as Mr. Adams
Christopher Rydell
as High School Student
Beth McKinley
as High School Student
Jill Whitlow
as Annie Marie
Steve James
as Hospital Intern
View All

Critic Reviews for Mask

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7)

Directed with great sensitivity by Peter Bogdanovich, Cher portrays Rusty with an almost sweet vulnerability.

October 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Complex, moving story most appropriate for teens.

December 26, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The film's undeniable impact comes from Bogdanovich's willingness to go too far with practically every emotional moment, while maintaining a distant, classical visual style that gives the film a surface dignity and reserve.

July 18, 2007 | Full Review…

Bogdanovich invests the story with warmth, generosity and considerable power.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Movies don't often grab us as quickly as Mask does... This isn't the story of a disease, but the story of some people.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

One of those movies that try so hard to get their supposedly universal message across that they are likely to put your teeth on edge more often than they bring one little, lonely teardrop to the eye.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Mask


A movie with a lot a heart. But sadly nobody wants to watch such a sad story ever again.

Jim Careter
Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

Unlike the tale of the handsome prince who exists inside a toad, ''Mask'' is a movie whose ugly exterior hides not a beautiful soul but a sentimental one...

 ♥Robyn  M♥
♥Robyn M♥

Super Reviewer


I remember watching this movie when I was younger wondering when the rig was going to drive out and turn into the command center like it does on the cartoon. When I finally figured out that this movie and the cartoon M.A.S.K. were not the same thing I found that it was a pretty good story with good acting.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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