A Stranger Among Us

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

A Stranger Among Us (Hollywood Pictures Movie)

“A Stranger Among Us” is a crime drama film released in 1992, directed by Sidney Lumet. The film stars Melanie Griffith in the lead role as Emily Eden, a tough and street-smart New York City police detective.

The story follows Emily Eden as she goes undercover in the tight-knit Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn to investigate the murder of a diamond dealer. The case presents a challenge for Emily, as she must navigate the cultural and religious customs of the community while trying to uncover the truth behind the crime.

As Emily immerses herself in the community, she begins to form relationships with its members, including a young and devout Hasidic man named Ariel (played by Eric Thal). The interactions with Ariel lead Emily to question her own beliefs and values, challenging her preconceptions about the world.

“A Stranger Among Us” explores themes of culture clash, religious identity, and the search for personal and spiritual growth. The film delves into the complexities of human connections and the challenges of maintaining one’s individuality within a close-knit community.

Melanie Griffith’s performance as Emily Eden was praised by critics, showcasing her versatility as an actress. The film also features supporting performances from actors such as Jamey Sheridan, John Pankow, and Lee Richardson.

While “A Stranger Among Us” received mixed reviews from critics, it remains an intriguing and unique entry in Sidney Lumet’s filmography, known for his diverse body of work that includes acclaimed films like “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” and “Network.”

The film’s portrayal of the Hasidic community raised some controversy among some Jewish groups, who argued that it perpetuated stereotypes and misconceptions about their culture. Nevertheless, the film attempted to offer a nuanced depiction of the community, highlighting both its traditions and its internal conflicts.

Despite its mixed reception, “A Stranger Among Us” remains an interesting crime drama that combines elements of suspense, culture clash, and self-discovery. It serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience and the complexity of understanding and accepting different belief systems and worldviews.

Additional Details


  • Melanie Griffith — Emily Eden
  • Eric Thal — Ariel
  • Mia Sara — Leah
  • Tracy Pollan — Mara
  • John Pankow — Levine
  • Jamey Sheridan — Nick
  • James Gandolfini — Anthony Baldessari
  • Chris Latta — Christopher Baldessari
  • Jake Weber — Yaakov Klausman
  • David Margulies — Lt. Oliver
  • Rena Sofer — Shayna Singer


  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Producers: Steve Golin, Howard Rosenman, Sigurjón Sighvatsson
  • Writer: Robert Avrech

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.