This is a powerful drama about a young woman who stumbles into a nightmare land of hijacking and humiliation while driving cross-country from California to New York.
The movie is exciting and involving all the way. What really makes it work is the interplay between the two leads, as highly unlikely outlaw Dinah gets to know Coley and care for him no matter how little time they actually spend together. The sequence where they have some down time before the climactic action kicks in is sweet and subtle, and is definitely the best.
But trash lovers will still be reasonably satisfied with the level of female skin displayed and entertained with the standard unflattering depiction of the rural types / antagonists. The downbeat, violent ending is right in keeping with the ethos of the entire decade, with beautiful, melancholy music to follow it and play along with the end credits. Good fun overall.
Selected by Quentin Tarantino for the First Quentin Tarantino Film Fest in Austin, Texas, 1996.