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Based on 22 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 50
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Involves two mysteries -- one it gives away and the other featuring such badly drawn characters that its outcome hardly matters. But the picture looks great. show more

  • 50
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Shows glimmers of great drama, but jettisons too much essential cargo (character development, relationships, plot, common sense) in an effort to be lean and clean. show more

  • 50
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    The book has been altered in mostly reasonable ways to suit the needs of the screen, but what it loses in the translation is invaluable in comprehending what led someone to pick up an ax and wipe out two-thirds of an island's population. show more

  • 75
    Loren King Chicago Tribune

    Despite the deftness with which Bigelow handles the transitions, the modern story never attains the intrigue and tension of the period tale. show more

  • 63
    Janice Page Boston Globe

    Though it never rises to its full potential as a film, still offers a great deal of insight into the female condition and the timeless danger of emotions repressed. show more

  • 50
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The actors are splendid, especially Sarah Polley and Sean Penn, but we never feel confident that these two plots fit together, belong together, or work together. show more

  • 50
    Megan Lehmann New York Post

    All the elements are in place for an entertaining murder mystery, but as Bigelow meanders aimlessly back and forth through time, the plot becomes increasingly water-logged. show more

  • 50
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Contains multiple ax murders, lesbianism, incest, a hanging, and a storm at sea -- yet, despite all of this seemingly enticing material, it's a bore. show more

  • 40
    Maitland McDonagh TV Guide

    Penn, in particular, is so subdued he's hardly there, while Hurley's seductive, hyper-articulate Adaline is actually ludicrous, sucking suggestively on ice cubes and reciting poetry like a phone-sex operator pretending to be a book-reading babe. show more

  • 20
    Ross Williams Film Threat

    Dreadful. show more

similar movies

  • The Oxford Murders (2008)

  • Insomnia (2002)

  • The Usual Suspects (1995)

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

  • The Notebook (2004)

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