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Don't Look Now

Don't Look Now (1973)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 2

Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.

90

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

Don't Look Now patiently builds suspense with haunting imagery and a chilling score -- causing viewers to feel Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's grief deep within.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 17,191

My Rating

Movie Info

A married couple is haunted by a series of mysterious occurrences after the death of their young daughter in this enigmatic chiller. Based on a story by Daphne du Maurier, whose works inspired Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and The Birds, the film centers on Laura and John Baxter (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie), who have recently relocated to Venice so that John can oversee the architectural restoration of an old church. Both hope that the change of environment will allow them to forget the

R,

Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

Chris Bryant, Allan Scott

Sep 3, 2002

Paramount Pictures

Watch It Now

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Latest News on Don't Look Now

January 9, 2009:
Five Favourite Films with Golden Globe-Winner Danny Boyle
After sweeping the Critics' Choice Awards this week, visionary and eclectic director Danny Boyle...
June 28, 2005:
Mark Gordon to Produce a Remake of "Don't Look Now"
The Hollywood Reporter brings news of yet another remake that's on the way. Producer Mark Gordon...

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (2) | DVD (18)

[Don't Look Now] takes the viewer on a winding, unpredictable trip that starts as a meditation on grief and ends as a supernatural thriller.

February 17, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don't Look Now uses the occult and the inexplicable as Henry James did: to penetrate the subconscious, to materialize phantoms from the psyche.

October 15, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A frightening and consistently inventive horror story.

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This British-Italian suspenser, in which the horror gets to one almost subliminally, as in Rosemary's Baby, is superior stuff.

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That dwarf in a red raincoat will fry your nerves.

August 14, 2007 | Comments (11)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A superbly chilling essay in the supernatural.

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

Superbly acted, stunningly photographed, and edited with a rhythmic pungency that makes it irresistibly watchable even when the plot turns dark and scary.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

It is a messy examination of entropy: things fall and fall apart and we try to restore what can't be repaired and recover what has already been irretrievably lost.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

It's a ghost story; it's a meditation on time, memory and the poignancy of married love. And it's a masterpiece.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

This is director Nicolas Roeg's masterpiece -- the fear-drenched mood of alienation is sustained right up until the unforgettable climax.

August 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

it was maverick British filmmaker Nicolas Roeg's destiny to transform du Maurier's strange psychological thriller into an emphatically mysterious tale of second sight and looming death in 1973.

August 18, 2013 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

One of the most dynamic and radical British films ever made.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Roeg's purposely disjointed vision keeps you in near-constant dread.

September 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Like some manic slasher on the loose, Nic Roeg cuts compulsively, severing the natural arteries between cause and effect to expose a more irrational kind of narrative continuum...a true classic, worth looking at not just now but long into the future.

June 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Arguably the subtlest giallo ever made, it's a film to heighten the senses

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

The most adult horror picture I've ever encountered, or indeed can even imagine.

November 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Don't Look Now brilliantly portrays the loves and losses we all experience, our here and now dictated by the fallibility of human nature and the cruelties of time.

October 15, 2008 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

A natureza onírica e labiríntica do filme é bem representada por Veneza, criando um clima de constante inquietação, mas a direção soa datada e o roteiro não consegue fugir das convenções do gênero, desperdiçando a ótima dinâmica do casal principal.

July 22, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Many of the subtle, jarring thrills come in the editing, which renders the notion of foresight explicit but still mysterious.

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Don't Look Now

A chilling thriller that parallels climactic highs with psychedelic horror, this film uses its understated source material to drive the tension forward superbly, and remains artfully directed and shot the entire way through. Using an original short story from the queen of literary gothic horror, Daphne du Maurier, we meet a family in a British country home, the father working on church restorations. Tragically their daughter drowns while trying to retrieve a ball in the creek behind their home, their son unharmed. The couple are obviously devastated, but the husband, John (Sutherland) feels the burden even more because he had a psychic vision of the incident before it happened. John keeps having these unfortunate visions even as he and his wife, Laura (Christie) escape to Venice while he reconstructs yet another church. While in the city the couple experience the strange and abundantly weird aura of the city, clandestine circumstances seemingly surround them starting with their introduction to a couple of sisters, one being blind and psychic. The psychic tries to reconnect their daughter to them via trances and seances, and Laura believes every word, whether it's true or not. John is hesitant to believe, and in that disbelief he becomes disenchanted, following around a small red caped figure who looks, from behind, like his deceased daughter. John goes on to see other strange things, almost dies during a work accident, and chases down the caped figure and his wife, possibly brainwashed, around Venice. The circumstances of the thriller are very chilly, because not only does John constantly experience chances at seeing who he believes to be his daughter, but he and his wife are also trying to reconnect to each other after her death. Neither believes the other is completely sane, and that lends to a distrust between the couple, us the audience, and everyone else within the film. The mood is set as being distrustful and surreptitiously haunted, using distinct cinematography and a disconnect in language that occurs with the setting. The couple's own connection to one another is well established thanks to a very explicit and very passionate love scene, and the twist ending ties together so many miscellaneous odds and ends that it is not only strange but also brilliant. Moody and dark, this film embodies so many genre characteristics and yet remains intact as its own entity, making it one of the best horror films, and beyond genre films, perhaps ever made.
May 14, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

A married couple mourning their child go to Venice where they meet a pair of creepy old ladies who claim to speak for their dead daughter.
A thoroughly uninspired thriller, this film fails to chill or excite. The quick cuts - I call them "flash edits" - do nothing to enhance the film's suspense; rather, they just distract attention from the film's action and induce an epileptic fit. The dramatic question is supposed to be how the prognosticators' predictions will come true, but it didn't work for me. And the ending comes out of nowhere; whereas a film like Momento made me marvel at the clever way the film's inevitable outcome came to pass, Don't Look Now just pulled some crazy shit out of its ass.
The performances by Julie Christie, who is especially beautiful, and Donald Sutherland, who isn't but show it all anyway, are unremarkable, neither good nor bad.
Overall, the writer of this film did Rebecca, one of Hitchcock's finest, but there's nothing touching the genius in her other work in this film.
October 13, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Roeg makes Venice's waterways and scenery truly freaky in this classic.
October 25, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

In England, John (Donald Sutherland) and Laura Baxter (Julie Christie) lose their beloved daughter. Christine (Sharon Williams) drowned in a lake at their home. They move to Venice and leave their son John (Nicholas Salter) in a boarding school. While working in the restoration of a church, John has lunch with Laura that is not fully recovered of her loss and she helps an old lady in the restaurant with a speck of dust in her left eye. Her blind sister that claims to be psychic advises Laura that she can see her daughter happy and close to them; and that John who is also psychic must leave Venice since he is in danger. Laura feels happy with the revelation but the skeptic John does not believe in the elderly sisters. Meanwhile a serial-killer is killing people in Venice. When Laura and John are called during the night by the director of the boarding school telling that John had had a minor accident, Laura travels in the morning to London to see their son. Meanwhile John has an accident in the scaffold in the church and while going back to the hotel, he sees Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola. Further he glances somebody wearing the red clock with hood that Christine wore when she died. John decides to investigate whether the sisters have abducted his wife and to follow the person with the red cloak with tragic discoveries.

"Don't Look Now" is one of the most beautiful and stylish films I have ever seen. In the 70's, the former cinematographer Nicolas Roeg was in the beginning and the also in the top of his career. This outstanding cult-movie is impressive, with a fragmented narrative and a stunning cinematography. Julie Christie is extremely beautiful and Donald Sutherland is perfect as usual in the role of a couple traumatized by the loss of their beloved daughter, great performances from both here. The screenplay discloses locations that show the decay of Venice, giving sadness to the story. I highly recommend this film but I do understand it might not be to everyones taste. Its a slower paced film by todays standards so if you have a short attention span this might not be for you.
April 18, 2011
cancercapricorn2002
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

    1. Heather: Fetch him back, let him not go.
    – Submitted by Pete H (2 years ago)
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