Spider - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spider Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 12, 2013
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
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2009
Ralph Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardsonm, Bradley Hall, Tara Ellis, Lynn Redgrave, John Neville

DIRECTED BY: David Cronenberg

Spider is set in the East End London in the 1960s and '80's. A deeply disturbed boy, Spider, 'sees' his father brutally murder his mother and replace her with a prostitute, Yvonne. Convinced they plan to murder him next, Spider hatches an insane plan, which he carries through to tragic effect. Years later, Spider is released into a halfway house, where he receives little care or attention from the landlady Mrs. Wilkinson. Unsupervised, Spider stops taking his medication and starts revisiting his childhood haunts. His attempts to sustain his delusional account of his past begin to unravel and Spider spirals into fresh madness.

This is a movie that you will have to pay close attention to and one that makes you think. So if you don't like movies in that area, move on now. If you do, then your in for a treat with this film. It is a slow movie and I believe it is made that way because if it was to move fast you wouldn't understand it and it would be just to difficult to follow through. I had to have patience with this movie and trying to understand some of the mumbling that Spider does. But in the end it was such a surprise, the turn it took and everything seem to make sense in the end. Ralph Fiennes is brilliant. He has really out done himself in this role. All the actors were great. Don't let the slowness of the movie turn you off. It is worth sitting all the way through. Well it was for me.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2009
Wow, this Movie is Brilliant. Ralphy Fiennes is Brilliant. Ralph Fiennes playing a paranoid-schizophrenic. At first I was tiny bit confused, but I was warned by a good friend long time ago when she recommended it to me so I was okay.
Super Reviewer
½ December 7, 2009
A really bizarre story that is incredibly Cronenberg in every way. Ralph Fiennes was completely perfect and gave an emotionally compassionate and gripping character. I loved the idea that the movie makes almost no linear sense until about the last 30min, it is such a great finale.
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2008
An intriguing film about a mentally ill man who moves into a halfway house for similarly disturbed people and sowly regains his sanity by revisiting his childhood firsthand and fnding out what happened to his mother. A serious twist at the end completely changes the movie, but this film was only decent overall. Gabriel Byrne was really good as his asshole father who murders his wife for a saloon whore. Not th best Cronenberg flick, but still decent. Ralph was incredibly believable in this role - one of his best.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2007
The best part was when I fell asleep. BOoooo
Super Reviewer
½ June 27, 2007
Narrated from the vertiginous perception of a mentally challenged young man, masterfully personified by Ralph Fiennes. A riveting story about obesessions, contempt, oedipus complex and search of identity, narrated with delicate and skillful approach by the ineffable David Cronenberg.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2007
They don't really make them like this anymore, do they? It's no wonder that this received such a limited release; I can't imagine going to see this in the theaters, let alone with friends. It is a work that demands intense personal attention. Watch it alone.

Cronenberg's always been a safe bet, but I would never have guessed that he was capable of something as powerful as this. Ralph Fiennes also deserves commendation for keeping his head above this one - I have a new respect for him as an actor. So tiny and yet so immense in force, Spider is trustful of its audience... something you rarely ever see in a movie like this. It lets you walk through Dennis's neuroses gently and carefully, while at the same time playing with your preconceptions. The film is constantly changing, and at the same time immutable in its psychological genius.

Genius seems like an awfully strong word to ascribe to a movie, but Spider honestly deserves it. You would be hard-pressed to find a more subtle, fascinating study of the psyche in this media.
August Seria
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2012
Spider has Ralph Fiennes' stelar performance ready to stick us viewers in it's web, but as the time flies, it has become all shallow bites and not strong enough poison for the final kill.
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2010
Spider is a powerful and haunting film from Canadian director David Cronenberg. It takes us on a journey through a disturbed man's psyche - a story in which we are uncertain to the end about what is truth and what is fiction. Dennis Clegg (Ralph Fiennes), who was nicknamed "Spider" by his mother because he had a hobby for making knots and tangles in his room whilst he was a kid, is released from psychiatric custody where he has been a schizophrenic patient for twenty years.

He takes up residence at a halfway house run by a rather strict woman in a bleak, run-down section of East End London, the same neighborhood where he grew up. As he wanders the shadowy streets, Spider begins to recall his fractured boyhood as the only child of an abusive plumber (Gabriel Byrne) and his doting wife (Miranda Richardson). He sees himself as a ten-year-old boy reliving the traumatic situations that led to his confinement more particularly his unhealthy, Oedipus-like affection towards his mother and the fear and envy towards his father.

Ralph Fiennes does an extraordinary job of carrying the film in an almost wordless role; he plays the role almost entirely with his body gestures and his dialogue is largely restricted to feverish, incoherent ramblings, but there's torment behind his every gesture and syllable; even his staggered gait is pitiful to watch. Reality in the film is represented by the objects that Spider weaves into his various mental states - the ropes, his journal, his cigarettes, his clothes, his parents while the events in the film are inseparable from Spider's sexual obsession and emotional withdrawal. Howard Shore's musical score conveys a sense of quiet tension throughout while Cronenberg ensures we can never be sure quite what is real or what may simply be in Spider's mind. The casting of Miranda Richardson in the dual roles of Spider's loving mother and his father's sluttish mistress only adds to our bewilderment.

The final conclusion is worth waiting for it's shocking, but also perfectly revealed in keeping with the wider construction of the film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 10, 2007
Yes, it wasn't very entrancig, but it was well acted, had a great direction, and it had a story that was well wrote!
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2009
Its a surprisingly intimate character study from Cronenberg. Its superbly well acted, this is one of Fiennes best performances, and Miranda Richardson is absolutely incredible in her "dual role".
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2009
Cronenberg's a gifted director, not a magician. This cripplingly slow study of a deeply troubled man isn't worth the time nor effort required. Ralph Fiennes does a creditable job while straining to sort through childhood memories told in flashback, but the end product is unrewarding.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2007
Brilliant Cronenberg drama with Ralph Fiennes as Spider, a man who's just got out of a mental institution and goes to live in a halfway house. He's always muttering to himself, he's paranoid and writes stuff down in a notebook he keeps hidden away. What Spider's actually doing is trying to find out about his past as Spider believes that his dad killed his mum so he could move a prostitute into their house. This is very well made as we see into Spiders mind and what he thinks happened all those years ago. Great performances from Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne and Miranda Richardson. Maybe a bit boring for some but i found this to be a fascinating study of one mans journey into his past.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2010
This movie was super creepy. It was pretty slow-moving and a little confusing at first, but I caught on as it went on. Fiennes was brilliant in his role - very convincing.
Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2010
This movie has the same feeling as The Machinist; you view of the movie is through the eyes of an emotionally disturbed person. And like the machinist it is not completely satisfying for different reasons. Unlike The Machinist, this movie is shot with a very slow pace and the real challenge is staying focused and remembering the small details. Better than The Machinist Fines and his younger self draw you into emotional state of a child who has gone through traumatic events, now an adult. The exposition of the movie involve Finis sitting in the corner Remembering / Watching the events from his teen years that ended up in his commitment to institution. Which of four things is going on? 1. He?s delusional in the present and this is a complete construction. 2. The events are accurate memories 3. His memory as a child are inaccurate. 4. It?s a combination of the 2 or more of the preceding. Cronenburg does an expert job of loading the deck and shifting perspective until the last 2 minutes of the film. Miranda Richardson does an expert job at dual roles which actually is a key plot element don?t cheat and IMDB it first. It is so convincing I was floored when the credits rolled.
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2007
I watched this due to the fact that Cronenberg is one of my favourite directors, but this is the first movie I've seen of his which I didn't really like.

Yes it is slow, but that's not why I don't like it. I don't like it because nothing ever happens. Which in some movies, is fine, but this was boring. The technological aspects (directing etc) were great and the acting was pretty good too, but the actual 'plot' was just really boring.
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