The review in "DVD Talk" is a rave:
... Hollywood just can't make films like Deliverance anymore; this type of recklessness is now reserved for independent filmmakers.
Rough and unflinching, Deliverance doesn't pull many punches and is still a fairly shocking story in retrospect. Dickey's imagination spawned this fictional tale of violation, murder and survival, but the visualization by Boorman and company raises the stakes even higher. The story starts off relaxed and deliberately paced, but the arc boils before the halfway point and refuses to let up for quite some time. It's as much about the aftermath of traumatic events as it is the events themselves, dragging our protagonists through the mud and watching their attempts to wash themselves clean. For these reasons and many more, Deliverance is much more than the sum of its parts: it's a taut, tense thriller that remains one of the decade's most visceral adventures.... (the full review)