Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.
Depending on your viewpoint, Deliverance is the first eco-thriller […], or a meditation on American machismo in its suburban, postwar variant. […] For all the furious excitement of its river-rafting sequences, and the harshness and humiliation of its explosive central rape scene, Deliverance is an elegiac movie, mourning the rural mountain culture soon to be inundated by a new hydro-electric dam. A people is displaced, churches are uprooted and coffins disinterred, so that Atlanta, home of our four suburbanites, can have power and light. Karma demands payment for that, and takes it, brutally.
— John Patterson (The Guardian)