Witness (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes


Witness (1985)



Critic Consensus: A wonderfully entertaining thriller within an unusual setting, with Harrison Ford delivering a surprisingly emotive and sympathetic performance.

Witness Photos

Movie Info

In Peter Weir's thriller Witness, Samuel (Lukas Haas), a young Amish boy, witnesses a murder in the restroom of a Philadelphia bus station. Harrison Ford stars as John Book, the police detective investigating the murder. When Book discovers that the crime was part of a conspiracy involving several officials in his department, he flees Philadelphia to the Amish community where Samuel lives with his widowed mother, Rachel (Kelly McGillis). Slowly assimilating himself into the Amish community, Book eventually finds himself falling in love with Rachel in the midst of his investigation. Eventually, the corrupt police track Book down, and he is forced to confront them, while also trying to protect Rachel and Samuel. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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Harrison Ford
as John Book
Lukas Haas
as Samuel
Josef Sommer
as Schaeffer
Frederick Rolf
as Stoltzfus
Viggo Mortensen
as Moses Hochleitner
John Garson
as Bishop Tchantz
Beverly W. May
as Mrs. Yoder
Ed Crowley
as Sheriff
Sylvia Kauders
as Tourist Lady
Marian Swan
as Mrs. Schaeffer
Maria Bradley
as Schaeffer's Daughter
Paul Goss
as Amish
Tom Kennedy
as Ticket Seller
Ardyth Kaiser
as Couple in Garage
Thomas Quinn
as Couple in Garage
Eugene Dooley
as Detective
Richard Chaves
as Detective
Tim Moyer
as Detective
Nino del Buono
as Detective
James Clark
as Detective
Joseph Kelly
as Detective
Norman Carter
as Detective
Craig Clement
as Detective
Bernie Styles
as Counterman
Blossom Terry
as Mother in Station
Jennifer Mancuso
as Little Girl
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News & Interviews for Witness

Critic Reviews for Witness

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (10)

... striking thriller.

April 6, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What saves "Witness" is its cast, and Weir's artistry in orchestrating and modulating their performances.

January 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Weir, an Australian filming in this country for the first time, has succumbed to blandness.

January 14, 2013 | Full Review…

A moderately effective, highly affected thriller.

January 14, 2013 | Full Review…

Witness warms up as the attraction builds between Ford, McGillis and Haas -- all performing excellently through this portion.

July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

Playing John Book allowed viewers the opportunity to see Ford the actor instead of Ford the action/adventure icon. It is one of the few times he has been given the opportunity to play in a straight drama.

June 10, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Witness


Even if it feels like the plot drags for too long in an effort to build a bucolic romance in its second act, this is a engaging thriller that offers a very respectful look at a secluded community, with a suspenseful climax and Harrison Ford in one of his finest performances.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

I am sure that it impressed when it was released, however today Witness feels very dated, slow, and a bit underwhelming. Nonetheless, one can appreciate the film for its unique storyline, even if the quality of the film doesn't do it justice. I was expecting more. Harrison Ford does impress, as he always does, but no real surprises here.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


While the script eventually steamrolls over the finer details of a very different culture, "Witness" is nonetheless a very unique 80s thriller that succeeds thanks to Harrison Ford's charming performance and some resonant thematic moments about how people deal with the similarities and differences between cultures.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

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