The Deep End (2001)



Critic Consensus: A well-acted film noir with arresting visuals.

The Deep End Videos & Photos

Movie Info

A mother is drawn into a sinister web of blackmail while trying to protect her son in this drama. Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) is a wife and mother of three living in Lake Tahoe, whose husband is a Naval officer stationed in the Atlantic ocean. Margaret's oldest son, teenaged Beau (Jonathan Tucker), is gay and has become involved with Darby (Josh Lucas), a disreputable older man whom Margaret does not trust. Margaret confronts Darby and tells him to stay away from her son, but Darby isn't … More

Rating: R (for some violence and language, and for a strong sex scene)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 16, 2002
Box Office: $8.3M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


as Margaret Hall

as Alek Spera

as Beau Hall

as Jack Hall

as Carlie Nagel

as Darby Reese

as Paige Hall

as Sue Lloyd

as Loan Officer

as Deputy Sheriff

as Dylan Hall

as Barrish Brother

as Male Nurse

as Heavy-Set Officer

as Female Nurse

as Music Teacher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Deep End

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Critic Reviews for The Deep End

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (35)

Swinton ... is for once deglamorized into an ordinary woman enlarged by extraordinary circumstances, and the role animates her wonderfully.

Full Review… | November 18, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

For the most part ... the filmmakers and performers invest a high level of intelligence and sympathy into The Deep End.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The Deep End is an unconventional thriller with unconventional characters, unconventional actors and an unconventional pace. That serves the movie quite well.

Full Review… | May 20, 2014
7M Pictures

Woman-in-jeopardy thriller with a double twist.

Full Review… | January 13, 2011

Margaret doesn't throw punches, just rolls with them. Some of her actions can't be objectively condoned. But through a maternal prism, Tilda Swinton makes sure they're understood, with skill sly enough to register strongly in the most ordinary of roles.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Finely crafted but more than a little overrated.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Deep End


Tack up another winner for Tilda Swinton! She is an actress that never ceases to astound me. She is such a dominating force onscreen, but she never over acts or overdoes it. The story is really anything new, but amazingly enough its actually pretty confincing. The whole end with Goran Visnjic's character was a bit far-fetched, but everything else seem completely plausible. That is not something that happens very often in Thrillers. Its tense and desperate, Swinton's role almost reminded me of Mellisa Leo's in Frozen River. It pretty visual, and there are some noir touches. I would not say that "The Deep End" and extraordinary or amazing, but it is really good. I was held captive through just about the whole thing, and that does not happen all that often- even with movies I like.

Jake ....

Super Reviewer


Beautifully shot film.
A fairly predictable story, made interesting by a great cast and solid performances.
In an attempt to save her son from an "unsavory" relationship, Margaret (Swinton) unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events that slowly puts her entire family at risk. And perhaps more interestingly puts her in a positon to better understand how we are sometimes attracted to people who we know are bad for us.
Swinton is (as usual) amazing!

Robert C

Super Reviewer


[font=Arial][color=darkred]In the vast wasteland the summer has become of mediocrity and sub-mediocrity go to your local art house. There you may very well see ?The Deep End?, a dramatic thriller that burrows itself into the audience?s mind. The film is an absolute breath of fresh air in the stagnant summer finally winding down.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Tilda Swinton plays a normal mother living on the banks of Lake Tahoe. Her days usually consist of trying to ship her kids to school on time and handle the duties of the home in the long stretches her Naval officer husband is gone. She?s juggling responsibilities and chores when her first strike of maternal protection occurs. Her 17 year-old son is, to her great surprise, in a relationship with a sleazy man in his 30s. She discovered this when her son got into a serious car accident while this paramour was traveling with. The scene of the crash is replayed in flashbacks for Swinton as a motivational jump-start for her protection and love.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Swinton tells the man she doesn?t want him seeing her son any longer, but of course he refuses to desist? unless the price is right. This revelation sends her son to a late night confrontation at home that ends in the accidental death of the sleaze. Mom sees her son rush back into the house in the middle of the night and decides to go out and investigate. On her stroll to her horror she finds the dead body of her son?s lover. From that moment on something in her clicks and Swinton clumsily tries to hide the body and any evidence that could incriminate her own brood.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Just when Swinton believes her headaches are over a dark and handsome stranger (Goran Visnjic) visits her one day. He has within his possession a videotape of her son having explicit sex with the dead lover. He threatens to turn the tape into the police and thus destroy the peace Swinton has created. The video can be hers, but she must pay him and his unseen partner the sum of $50,000.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Swinton is best known as the gender-swapping title figure in ?Orlando? based upon Virginia?s Woolfe?s story. The Scottish actress has a wonderfully pallid face and soulful eyes that express every moment the determination and fear she wrestles with. Swinton gives a remarkable performance of pure emotion. She is a mother determined to protect her son and family at every cost, no matter the means. She is constantly in over her head but refuses to relent. Swinton?s portrayal is a woman running on maternal instinct and she herself is the very gravity that makes ?The Deep End? as great as it is.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Visnjic currently plays a Croatian doc on ?ER? but has a provocative presence in this flick. He?s got the smoldering good looks and his character opens up more and more as the tale progresses to strip away pretensions layer by layer.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]?The Deep End? is directed, writen, and produced by David Siegel and Scott McGehee, with only one other film to their credit all the way back in 1993. They inject their story with great moments of character and suspense but also have a terrific visual eye to create mood. The cinematography is lush and hypnotic with certain moments of exquisite beauty. Even the music adds to the feeling of the film unlike so many other accompanying scores. Every component of ?The Deep End? is just clicking.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]?The Deep End? is a luminously tight thriller with remarkable performances. They story has a few implausible moments but outweighs them with heapings of great dramatic depth. Swinton better be the first choice on everyone?s lips when the name of Oscar rolls about, because I doubt I?ll see a performance more elegant and wonderful as hers this year.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate?s Grade: A [/color][/font]

Nate Z.
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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