To Die For (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The price of fame is murder -- or at least it is in the mind of one woman in New Hampshire. Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) has spent most of her life wanting to be famous; she's attractive, speaks well, and imagines herself to be intelligent ("imagines" is the key word here), so she has set her sights on becoming a TV anchorwoman. However, opportunities for female broadcasters are hard to come by in Little Hope, New Hampshire, and she's convinced that her husband, the once handsome but now flabby … More

Rating: R (for strong sexual content, and for language)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Buck Henry, Joyce Maynard
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 7, 2001
Columbia Pictures


as Suzanne Stone Marett...

as Larry Maretto

as Jimmy Emmett

as Russell Hines

as Janice Maretto

as Lydia Mertz

as Joe Maretto

as Ed Grant

as Earl Stone

as Carol Stone

as Faye Stone

as Angela Maretto

as Mike Warden

as Ben DeLuca

as Mr. H. Finlaysson

as Fisherman

as Sexy Woman

as Weaselly Guy

as Student

as Student

as Detective

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Man at Lake

as Skating Promoter

as Suzanne at Five

as Valerie Mertz

as Babe Hines

as June Hines

as Mary Emmett

as Band Member

as Band Member

as Girl at Bar

as Girl at Bar

as Girl at Bar
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for To Die For

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Critic Reviews for To Die For

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (14)

As Jimmy, the teen sap who falls hard for Suzanne, Joaquin Phoenix is dead-eyed yet touchingly vulnerable -- a mush-mouthed angel.

Full Review… | February 12, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

If, like me, you find things to admire in all of Gus Van Sant's early films, you may be especially gratified by what he's done with a satirical anti-TV script by Buck Henry.

Full Review… | February 12, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A smart and wicked delight

Full Review… | February 12, 2008
Top Critic

It's highly recommended.

Full Review… | February 12, 2008
Top Critic

If you've hitherto failed to respond to the laid-back oddball appeal of Van Sant's movies, fear not: this is a sharp, consistently funny blend of black comedy and satire on the deleterious effects of television.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An irresistible black comedy and a wicked delight.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for To Die For


This movie features what is by far the best performance that Nicole has given in her career. It's such a shame that she didn't get an Oscar for this. She is brilliant as the icy, determined, manipulative, intimidating, and sexy woman who will do anything to be famous. She's not likable, but there is some humor with her character, albeit very dark. The rest of the cast is also very awesome, especially a young Joaquin Phoenix, and a very snide Illeana Douglas. The script is very biting and witty, and satirical to the max. This film is extremely dark, yet extremely humorous at the same time. The subject matter is at times very uncomfortable, but there are still laughs...just very uncomfortable ones. As an added plus, the soundtrack is good, Van Sant's direction is well done, and David Cronenberg has a nice cameo. One of the best films of the 90's.

The above paragraph is my old review written in the summer of 2008. The previous sentence, this one, and all that follow are from summer 2013. I now realize that I forgot to mention the plot in my old review. Well, here it is: A New Hampshire housewife with delusions of grandeur dreams of making it famous as a TV news anchor. This type of job isn't all that easy to come by in her small, humble town, but she's determined to make it anyway. All that seems to be standing in her way is her going nowhere bum of a husband. Well, that's nothing a little murder can't take care of, right?

In all honesty, I can't remember all the details of my initial (and so far only) viewing of this movie. It's obvious I really liked it. I mean, I called it one of the best films of the 90s. That might be an overstatement. Maybe not. It's easily one of the most underrated films of that decade, that's for sure. Anyways, I do think that the film is wonderfully darkly comedic, and the performances are dynamite, so yeah, give it a watch.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


'To Die For'. Nicole Kidman exudes sexiness and manipulation in an unforgettable performance as she takes us through the fame-obsessed journey and mind of Suzanne Stone.

Joaquin Phoenix is wonderfully creepy, and Gus Van Sant's twisted look at fame, recognition and television still has relevance today.


Super Reviewer


"To Die For" is one of my favorite Gus Van Sant films. It's first and foremost a scathing television satire which is right up there with "Network." It's darkly hysterical and Van Sant injects an incredible energy into an already compelling story. But, "To Die For" wouldn't be what it is without the incredible, career best performance by Nicole Kidman. Yes, this is better than the role that won her the Oscar for "The Hours." I can't even put to words how perfect and daring she is here, it needs to be seen to be believed. I think "To Die For" is one of the great dark comedies of the 1990s and a great showcase for Kidman's talents and Van Sant at his most playful. (The only thing keeping it from total greatness is the ending is a small letdown, but that might be because the film actually ends ha)

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

To Die For Quotes

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– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)

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