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Spider (2002)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 111 | Rotten: 19

Ralph Fiennes is brilliant in this accomplished and haunting David Cronenberg film.


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 4

Ralph Fiennes is brilliant in this accomplished and haunting David Cronenberg film.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 20,466

My Rating

Movie Info

Ralph Fiennes plays a grown man haunted by his childhood in David Cronenberg's stylized psychological drama Spider. Upon his release from a mental institution, Spider (Fiennes) takes up residence in a halfway house. Paranoid, quiet, and forever making notes, Spider spends much of the film remembering scenes from his youth, specifically a horrific event from his childhood that occurred after he came to believe that his father (Gabriel Byrne) was having an affair on his mother (Miranda

Jul 29, 2003


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All Critics (146) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (19) | DVD (22)

This is one of the director's most accomplished films.

April 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a pleasure to watch such an understated treatment of potentially sensational subject matter.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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Although languid to a fault, Spider offers some payoff for those with enough patience to stick it out.

April 11, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Definitely a trip into unexplored territory.

April 10, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
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Spider isn't nearly as disturbing as it is intriguing, despite its subject matter.

April 4, 2003
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Claustrophobic and profoundly creepy, Spider isn't a pleasant viewing experience, and that's the point.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spider deserves much more than it'll probably get, it's a fine and enjoyable film from a cinematic master.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

... the film's slow, toilsome journey does not lead to any particularly shocking or interesting revelations.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

What Cronenberg achieves ultimately in his latest mind bender is the full-scale distraction of his audience.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source:

Cronenberg pieces together a compelling portrait of madness, but one which lacks the poignancy to be a rich, moving character study.

September 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Alternative

Fails to connect with its audience and concludes in a contradictory and jumbled fashion.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregon Herald | Comment (1)

Cronenberg remains remarkably faithful to McGrath's vision. His success lies in his willingness to give himself over to the effect and atmosphere of the novel.

April 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

This sorta over-ripe Freudianism is, like, so-o-o-o yesterday.

January 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinemania | Comments (3)

Ainda que o filme (refletindo o estado mental de seu protagonista) impeça um maior envolvimento do espectador, é impossível deixar de admirar a bela estrutura da narrativa e a ótima atuação de Miranda Richardson.

September 26, 2003
Cinema em Cena

It isn't a film; it's a nightmare.

August 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

It may be Cronenberg's most depressingly bleak film, yet it is essential viewing for all admirers of the director.

June 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

An unforgettable masterpiece.

May 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Beginning with the Rorschach-like images of the opening credits, Cronenberg invites us to intuit our own meanings from his weblike design...

May 9, 2003
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

A bleak, beautifully crafted, intelligent tale of paranoia - a typical subject for Cronenberg. It's a pity most audiences will, ironically, go mad trying to decipher it.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia)
Sunday Times (Australia)

A product of inestimable patience, the elegant and controlled Spider requires and rewards the same. It is a story of re-entry, following the downward fluttering trajectory of an ordinary, pitiable monster ...

May 5, 2003 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

a deeply moving portrait of the fragility of human sanity, leaving us with open-ended questions about the nature of truth and the unreliability of our own memories

May 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Even with a marvelous cast that includes Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne and Lynn Redgrave, it's tough to identify with the characters.

May 2, 2003

It's not a film for every taste, but if you're intrigued by the weblike puzzles that emerge from the darker corners of the mind, Spider fascinates.

May 1, 2003
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

There are two groups of people who are bound to be pleased by Spider -- those who have read the source material and those who have been waiting for David Cronenberg to make a substantive film again.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

As Fiennes -- in a performance of well-modulated madness -- rattles around his memories, the movie reveals the layers of Cleg's comforting self-delusion and shattering self-discovery.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Audience Reviews for Spider

I can Sum This one up in 3 Letters WTF, A complete wasted of my time, I would have rather stick needles in my eyes. 1/2 star 9-10-13
September 12, 2013
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Im in the middle of watcing it right now, and while it is interesting it is slow and RALPH FIENNES! :( I love your vioce and you murmer throughout the whole movie, I mean I understand its his charcter but it is unfortunate. Still his performance as always is great. I curious as to how this movie will end.
January 8, 2011
Morgan Salem

Super Reviewer

I love Spider's bleakness, I love it's simplicity. It's never in your face which highlights certain important scenes brilliantly and more importantly, disturbs more convincingly. The performances were very good, Byrne in particular does a great job. Its not a typical Cronenberg film, it's not his usual style and you'd be forgiven for not realising it was his work. It is however, as beautiful as his other work, as suspenseful and as well edited. It's quite a strange one though because, as you can see, on paper I really like it but in reality, I just couldn't get into it - a rarity then, where a masterful film just doesn't seem to entertain and It looks like I'm not the only one!
December 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

Spider is an incredibly subdued and well-paced drama of psychological horror and detached self-examination. The interesting thing about Spider is the uncertainty of the entire picture. From the opening, it's clear that director David Cronenberg knows exactly the kind of movie he wants to make, and does so effectively. For all Cronenberg's steadiness, the audience has much less an idea what's going on than Spider Cleg does. Is Cleg insane at all?

Either way, Spider is an expressionist film and doesn't try to explain by labeling this or that as "paranoid schizophrenia" which detaches the viewer from the main character, but instead may have you relate to him and question how accurately you remember your childhood.
September 22, 2010
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

    1. Terrence: It is a loud world and this is an island, but an island ruled by a tyrant queen.
    – Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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