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Eye of the Beholder (2000)



Average Rating: 3/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 21

Improbable and muddled.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 10,407

My Rating

Movie Info

Part high-tech spy thriller and part psychological study, Eye of the Beholder was Ewan McGregor's first feature film following his mainstream breakthrough performance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The Eye (Ewan McGregor) is an agent of the British Secret Service, equipped with the latest in high-tech crime fighting gadgetry and assisted by his indefatigable collegue, Hilary (k.d. lang). The Eye's latest assignment is a surveillance project; the son of a well-known politician has


Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense


Stephan Elliott

May 23, 2000

Desintation Film Dist. Corp.

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Latest News on Eye of the Beholder

July 5, 2005:
In Other News...Roman Polanski, Ewan McGregor, and An Ally for Brooke Shields
Controversial director Roman Polanski will make an appearance in court this month -- not to continue...


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All Critics (93) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (78) | DVD (16)

As misogynistic as anything I've seen in ages, it's tricked up with enough fancy cinematography (by Guy Dufaux) to guarantee it sub-Hitchcockian credentials of the sort that some reviewers eagerly hand out to Brian De Palma.

March 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is compellingly bonkers.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Remove the directorial flash and filigree, and its narrative would be easier to track.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's late January, winter is entrenched, and in the lull between the bounty of Christmas and the renewal of spring, the big screen can sometimes seem barren -- a movable famine.

April 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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In trying to both inflame and indict our morbid curiosity, Elliott fails to make the needed connection between the audience and a peeper who has lost his moral balance.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eye of the Beholder is yet another example of how bad movies can happen to good people.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You're unlikely to see a scene as weird as the one where McGregor beats up Judd's blind fiancée, as a way to warn him that she'll kill him. That seems counter-intuitive, but nothing in Eye of the Beholder reeks of anything near the notion of intuition.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source:

It's not good when you check your watch every 20 minutes during a 107-minute movie. It's bad when you think, "Yeaahh, rrright" almost as often.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

During one scene, some characters take a break by watching a video of Roger Corman's great 1960 The Wasp Woman. I suggest you do the same.

June 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

On the bright side, I only lost an hour and half of my life watching this piece of [expletive deleted], unlike those involved in the making of it, who lost months.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source:

As if to make up for the disjointed quality of the story, director Elliott has incorporated various themes into the film, such as the repetitive use of snow globes, angel statues, and astrology... Unfortunately, these things only pretty up a bad picture.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

McGregor's and Judd's attentive, focused performances never allow their characters to become lost in Elliott's fractured, virtual America.

December 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Unfortunately, Elliott's latest effort contained too many blanks for me to fill in.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

If you took five different jigsaw puzzles, threw the pieces together on a table top and spent two hours trying to make a cohesive picture, you might end up with something along the lines of this.

June 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Eye of the Holder makes you wonder how bad are the scripts that Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor turn down.

June 20, 2002 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

The film maintains its story perfectly from the beginning, creating a gorgeous atmosphere and layering the story with hints of thriller, mystery, romance and psychological drama.

December 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A disappointing flick.

October 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Moving at the pace of blood through the veins, "Beholder" has the power to alter time, making an hour forty-five seem like three.

September 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

I can't elevate this above Rental level, because it was creepy, worth seeing, but kind of dumb.

June 15, 2001 Full Review

a clumsy mix of film noir and the serial killer genre, with some surveillance paranoia and Freudian psychology thrown in for good measure

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

A bewildering and frustrating experience.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Eye of the Beholder

Directed by Stephen Elliott, Destination Films, 1999, Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin, k.d. Lang and Genevieve Bujold.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller.

Question: Can a man fall in love with a woman that he's never met, spoken to or doesn't even know her real name? Well, in the Eye of the Beholder, they try and answer that question.

A friend who knows I adore Ewan McGregor told me about this movie. I hadn't heard of it before and was curious to see it. Alright, I see everything he is in, you all know that by now, right? Anyway, I put it on my Netflix queue a few weeks ago and it arrived on Tuesday. I didn't get a chance to see it that night - although I really, really wanted to. So today before I had to pick up the kids from camp I popped it in.

This is a story about redemption, a thriller, and a love story but not necessarily in that order. Yes, I know what it says above but this is what I saw in this film (Eye of the Beholder, people). I saw a man and a woman who are both so alone, scared and with thoughts of such tremendous loss that they might be a little insane. Okay, one might be more insane than the other. But as the story unfolds I don't think either are really crazy - just lonely and trying to gain some stability in their lives.

When people see themselves in someone else who has experienced similar tragedies/heartaches/loss it can be a very powerful attraction. Is that love? Perhaps. Or is it something else completely? And can it have a happy ending? Well, I am not going to answer that - you'll just have to see for yourself.

I really don't want to give anything away about this movie because it was lovely to see a film that I knew nothing about. But I have to entice you guys, right? Ewan looks cute, of course, and Ashley Judd is quite attractive but what impressed me the most were their performances. How does one portray such sadness, desperation to find something secure or recapture what they lost especially when there isn't a tremendous amount of dialogue? Well, both of the actors did - and did it quite well.

Another reason to see this film is that it is untainted with a typical Hollywood ending. That alone would make me see any movie.

Lastly, to me, Eye of the Beholder said something about real life - not so much what the characters said but they way they behaved. Behavior is thought to be a reaction of or to something. In acting reaction is the essence of the medium but can be written totally out of whack of real life. They say: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And for the two characters, played by Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd, the force between them, even though they hardly shared many moments together, evoked that law of physics stunningly.

There was one song that played when they first met, so to speak, that gave me goosebumps - It is sung by Chrissie Hynde. "I Wish You Love" - and that pretty much sums it all up for me. Here is the song and a really, really good way to do a trailer!

Favorite thing: Don't be shocked by this - Ashley Judd. Yes, I still thought he was good!

My least favorite thing: In some scenes the costumes for the extras looked like it was supposed to be 1972 not present day.

Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10
June 7, 2012
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

Curious tale, a cross-country Rear Window if you can imagine that, about a surveillance agent who obsesses about a woman he's tailing. It's s weird but also somehow mesmerizing.
July 23, 2011

Super Reviewer

Superb... dark and disturbing... beautiful and entertaining... chilling, emotional and thrill-packed between Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd on their journeys around USA. Stephen Elliott's considerable skills as a filmmaker ensuring that this very classy thriller is not only exciting visually but also bold and original.
February 8, 2009
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Boring. The only thing that redeeming about it was some of the clever camera work otherwise I would have given it a zero. I think it was trying to be too many things at once. It was horribly slow and I had to start doing something else just to stay awake. It was made in 2000 but it plays like some trashy 90s film, it looks a lot older than it is.
February 5, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Lucy: Don't tell on her. She's just a little girl.
    – Submitted by Frances H (6 months ago)
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