The Deep End - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Deep End Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2016
Despite the riveting plot summary, the only things that rescue "The Deep End" from being bland are Tilda Swinton's strong performance as a terrified, desperate mother and a somewhat interesting music score. Otherwise, it's dime-a-dozen weekend afternoon TV fare.
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2009
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!
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2006
[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]
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2013
The Deep End is a well-executed all around noir, one that features yet another powerhouse performance from Tilda Swinton. The story, revolving around a housewife caught in the midst of a blackmail scheme involving her son, is told in way that creates constant tension, being truly suspenseful. The end result is a film that is smart, engaging, well acted, and often compelling.
What catapults Deep End over typical noir films is, without question, Tilda Swinton. Swinton's acting range has long been lauded, and here she completely inhibits her character, conveying a powerful sense of desperation, while also employing a smart cunning. She is surrounded by other strong performances, the most impressive of which being Goran Visnijic, with whom she held a great deal of chemistry.
The script for Deep End is also smart. It gives us scenarios that are grounded in reality, characters with motivations and actions that we can identify with. We understand why they act the way they act, and are therefore invested in both the decisions they make, and the situations they find themselves in. This smart script is complemented by tight direction, which creates a magnificent atmospheric yet intense tone, in the vein of other great noir films, such as In the Bedroom.
While offering us the intrigue of a good noir film, Deep End never forgets to keep the emphasis on the characters and their plights. This emphasis on character dynamics serves the film well, and makes it an overall strong noir piece.
4/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2008
Reminds you that Tilda Swinton wasn't always well known for playing a witch. Not memorable for Goran whatshisname but definitely for Tilda. Wow!
Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2011
A pleasant surprise. A thriller with more than one twists. Tilda Swinton is a delight to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2008
My favorite of Tilda Swinton's roles. It's dark but she's strong and I prefer it when she plays regular people.
½ April 9, 2016
There's 90 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Save yourself and don't waste your time on this one.
September 15, 2012
Tilda Swinton is awesome, as always, which is why I watched it. I thought the story was kind of ridiculous, however. I could have lived without watching this, but Goran Visnjic is hot, so I guess it wasn't so bad. I thought the actors deserved a better movie, perhaps one that involved Goran taking his shirt off instead.
May 13, 2012
For the most part ... the filmmakers and performers invest a high level of intelligence and sympathy into The Deep End.
½ November 12, 2011
As a thriller, it isn't that great. But as a sheer character study and an acting showcase, "The Deep End" is good stuff. Swinton gives a gripping performance as a mother trying to do what she can to keep her family together. This would include hiding the dead body of a man she suspects was killed by her eldest son. This is where a lot of the suspense lies. McGehee and Siegel don't do a whole lot with it in terms of plot twists, but it does set up for a nice relationship between Swinton and Visnijic. Their interaction keeps the movie interesting even if the plot slowly loses its edge. "The Deep End" works thanks to its compelling characters. It just would have been nice if the storyline was better developed.
July 3, 2011
It was worth 2 stars only because someone took the time to make it. But do yourself a favor? Don't take the time to watch it. You're not missing anything.
March 16, 2007
The "Deep End" is set in Lake Tahoe but the area gets no credit except for the back of a child's baseball jersey.

This is a movie about the extent a mother will go to save her teenage son from an adult. She gets in deep monetary trouble trying to satisfy ransom demands. The actress is superb. Blackmale is the game.

There is about 10 seconds of video tape which we can all live without, so wait for it to be shown and then fast forward a minute! We can live without seeing the gross depiction in the video she is blackmailed with. It is very shocking and graphic, so watch it at your peril.

This woman goes to extreme lengths to get protect her son and herself, because the pressure ratchets up from the weird adult to gangsters.

I had some credibility issues with this film in places, but I remember being impressed at the end. Well worth your time. I give it two index fingers up!
July 20, 2010
The Deep End was a good, but predictable, movie. Tilda Swinton was pretty amazing, though. And I swear to Bob, the film's score (background music) was used in 'Atonement' .. I swear it.
July 11, 2010
It was an interesting choice for the director to give the protagonist a gay son instead of a daughter like in the book, and it works, adding another dimension to the story, but the rest of it is pretty standard. I don't have any serious complaints about this movie, it's just that there's not much I can praise about it either, except maybe the cinematography, and of course Tilda Swinton, whom I've never seen give a bad performance. There were also some good tense moments, but none of them amount to much. As for the plot, there were parts of it I didn't buy for a second, but I suppose most mysteries have to rely on coincidence and suspension of disbelief at least a little bit.
November 1, 2009
A good blend of a thriller and romance. If you enjoy blackmail movies, then this would be a good addition.
½ August 12, 2009
"Vintage film noir?" Calling this a noir is kind of a stretch. Anyway, other than that, this film is neither cinematically interesting or well-acted (Tilda Swinton is the exception, but she does not redeem the others). The plot is kind of terrible and the film isn't written well, so it makes me wonder if the book the movie is based on is just as bad.
January 24, 2009
A waste of 100 minutes. I don't think this movie has anything thrilling about it! The acting really wasn't that great. Seemed kind of cheesy to me. Just wish I could get the minutes back. It is odd the fact that the mother would do what she did and not ever really talk about it with her son first or ever through out the movie. I watched this movie cuz the rating from RottonTomatoes was so high and I really don't see what people were seeing. No wonder it only made 8 million! If you can watch something else please do because you will not enjoy this one.
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