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Careful (1993)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 431

My Rating

Movie Info

Careful takes place in the remote Alpine village of Tolzbad, where everyone speaks in whispers for fear of starting an avalanche. This self-inflicted noise control to the overall suppression of emotions and impulses. Entering this rarefied atmosphere is aspiring butler Brent Neale. Remaining as silent as his companions, Neale bears witness to all sorts of muted aberrations, from incest to surreptitious suicide. Director Guy Maddin stages Careful in the manner of an early German Expressionistic


Drama, Comedy, Special Interest

Guy Maddin, George Toles

Mar 24, 2009

Zeitgeist Films

Watch It Now



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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (2) | DVD (6)

In part a hilarious satire about Canadian timidity, it also comes across periodically as a formalist gem about nothing at all.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uniquely weird, subtly macabre, and utterly compelling.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Careful is one long and amusing pun on German Expressionistic film imagery, Freudian psychology and quasi-Wagnerian storytelling, all carried to absurdist lengths.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's something wonderfully unique about the project but the reasons for doing it remain buried.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Careful, the hilariously bizarre new film from Canadian director Guy Maddin, is like some lost masterpiece from a time-warped alternative dimension -- a strange artifact that time forgot.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... an utterly demented melodrama tale of the repressed residents of a small alpine village who live in virtual silence...

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

It's certainly an astounding film for its purely spectacular terms.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An acquired taste, Maddin is an unusually precise director who leaves little to chance. Whether one finds his approach too careful or just stunningly controlled will be up to individual cineastes.

May 8, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A weirdly amusing parable of sexual repression.

October 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Too strange for its own good, Careful is less interesting as a film than it is as a Canadian cinematic anomaly.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Careful

Repressed emotions erupt into suicide, betrayals and duels in a fairy tale Alpine village where everyone must whisper and watch their every move closely for fear of avalanches. This is Guy Maddin, so if features gorgeous stylized visuals based on German Expressionists (here, bizarre hand-tinting choices which lead to scenes performed in brilliant yellow and pink or extreme orange); but, although the setting here is pure fantastic Maddin, the quiet, melodrama-based plot takes too long to engage, making CAREFUL a movie that's more for established fans of this auteur than to newcomers.
May 10, 2012
Greg S

Super Reviewer

"Careful" is set in a mountain valley where the villagers are worried that the slightest sound could set off an avalanche, and are on guard constantly against any action no matter how small that can spell their doom. Living in such a place, brothers Johann(Brent Neale) and Grigorss(Kyle McCulloch) enter into training for the perfect occupation at the butler school.(Not affiliated with Butler University in any way.) This way, Johann will have an occupation once he and Klara(Sarah Neville) get married. But then he starts having these weird dreams about his mother(Gosia Dobrowolska).

"Careful" is another entertaining pastiche from Guy Maddin that tells its story in delirious fashion with tinted images. Madness along with incest are the central topics of discussion as the events, like an avalanche, are set off from the preceding one, each forming a worse catastrophe. This can only be expected in a village so repressed that any sounds of joy, anger or sadness must be contained. Or maybe the altitude finally got to everyone.
March 6, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The cinematography and art direction are superb. However, the action stays in a less than interesting middle ground that isn't quite comedy and never pushes hard enough to delve into a meaningful exploration of the Freudian issues it seems to be hinting at.
March 28, 2009
Brett Warren

Super Reviewer

Very strange. Very different. Makes a lasting impression.
July 3, 2008

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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