THE HITCHER is simply one of the most amazing and effective films I've ever witnessed, and just about everything in the movie is spectacular in my opinion. It is my THIRD favorite film of all time, and is a masterpiece on all fronts! I have always viewed the film in the way that John Ryder might not be a normal human, and we don't know exactly what he is. This is why him shooting down a helicopter doesn't bother me in the slightest. There are several other people who feel this way as well, as I've seen some reviews on the IMDB mention it. Also, Hauer is just so absolutely perfect in this role, managing to be extremely creepy, convincingly psychotic and sadistic, and also very myterious. Quite simply, I think it is easily his greatest performance to date. The film's score is also very moody and effective, and it compliments the film perfectly. It douses the film in a sense of dread, as well as a sense of the unkown. It is one of my favorite scores in any film. When I first saw this film many years ago, I was simply in awe as each scene unfolded, and I honestly think every single scene in this film is either downright spectacular, compelling, terrifying, suspensful, disturbing, or even saddening. Every scene also unfolds perfectly, and the film just effects me like no other has. My favorite scene in the film (which is saying something, as every scene is pure gold to me) is definitely the disturbing, yet very saddening scene where the poor police dog is sadly licking his dead master. That little scene is just so very powerful for me. Also, the Texas desert setting is perfectly desolate and lonely, and it is the perfect background for the horror that takes place. The desert is practically a character itself in this film. Anyhow, as I said, this my third favorite film of all time, and I could easily watch it every day without getting the least bit bored. On a scale of * to *****, this gem easily gets a perfect ***** from me!