New York Times - 12/21/1984
"...Birdy's intensity is so captivating...that [the] story becomes irresistibly involving....[The two lead] actors work miracles..."
Variety - 12/12/1984
"...[Modine] skillfully essays the offbeat troubled character....[Cage is] sensitive and strong....[The] supporting parts are excellently cast..."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/17/1994 Rating: B
Total Film - 02/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "Nicholas Cage is tops as Al...whilst Matthew Modine is superlative as Birdy....A truly beautiful movie."
In Alan Parker's adaptation of William Wharton's acclaimed novel, the title character is a Vietnam vet hospitalized for postwar trauma. Lying in a state of amentia, Birdy (Matthew Modine) fantasizes about birds in flight, an obsession that has haunted him since childhood. Now this fascination acts as a barrier to reality and the pain of his years in Vietnam. After doctors' efforts fail to cure him, his childhood friend Al (Nicolas Cage)--also a discharged soldier nursing wounds from the war--is brought in to try to coax Birdy out of his hallucinations.
BIRDY, told largely in stark, lyrical flashbacks from Al's point of view, is both a heartrending examination of the psychological consequences of war and an ode to the spiritually rejuvenating powers of friendship and imagination. The two young leads turn in powerful, humane performances. Parker (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) provides innovative direction, most notably in the film's stunning, controversial ending.
The childhood pal of a catatonic, war-scarred Vietnam veteran is recruited to assist doctors in bringing him out of his delusional haze.