Focus (2001)



Critic Consensus: Though full of good intentions, Focus somehow feels dated, and pounds away its points with a heavy hand.

Movie Info

In New York, during the height of World War II, an American community begins to unravel when a man and his wife become victims of mistaken identity. Lawrence Newman is an ordinary man who does not want to stand out in a dangerous world. Even when a woman is attacked outside his Brooklyn window, he remains quiet about what he saw, unwilling to make waves and so fearful, he even begins to question what he truly saw. But then unassuming Newman and his outspoken new wife, Gertrude, become caught up … More

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material, violence and some sexual content)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Kendrew Lascelles
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 19, 2002
Paramount Classics - Official Site


as Lawrence Newman

as Gertrude Hart

as Finkelstein

as Fred

as Mrs. Newman

as Mrs. Newman

as Father Crighton

as Mrs. Dewitt

as Willy Doyle

as Meeting Hall Man

as Cole Stevens

as Tough's Leader

as 1st Tough

as Rape Victim

as Mr. Lorring

as Sergeant

as Speaking Woman on Su...

as Mrs. Dewitt's Grandd...

as Elsie

as 2nd Woman on Subway

as Bodyguard

as MP Receptionist

as Green Grocer

as Waitress

as Truck Driver

as Photographer

as Man in Theater

as Woman No.1 in Theate...

as Woman No. 2 in Theat...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Focus

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (33)

It serves as a forceful reminder of how small a difference there can be between unity and bigotry.

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

No actor in the movies could have played this part better than Macy.

January 4, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Focus is well-meaning, but it's all looks with no substance.

Full Review… | November 16, 2001
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A powerful though overwrought study of bigotry and fear.

Full Review… | November 16, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Escrita em 1945, a história concebida por Arthur Miller continua tragicamente atual. Felizmente, o diretor estreante Neal Slavin consegue capturar toda a complexidade e inteligência do livro em um filme engrandecido por ótimas atuações.

October 9, 2003
Cinema em Cena

...exceptionally preachy...

Full Review… | November 12, 2002
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Focus


I think that they need to show this movie in every Sociology class. It's a perfect example of how, for example, Hitler's Germany was even possible. It shows how easily people can be manipulated and influenced by hateful thinking in society. It was an apalling thing to watch unfold, and intensify, but it was at the same time an amazing thing to watch. Scary, but amazing. ..On a side note, William H. Macy was fantastic, as usual.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

This movie was so true to the book that I felt like I had seen it before. The book was a little more detailed, so I have to say I liked that better. However the movie was very well acted and captured the right feel and emotion.

Sarah Prisbylla

Super Reviewer

Lags in a few places, but it's anchored well by a superb performance by the always great William H. Macy. Like other movies about anti-Semitism and racism, this one sometimes almost feels like an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" type of movie because while the protagonists try to live their normal lives, the bigots act more and more irrational, but act out in such a way that what they do seems clinical, cold, and logical in their own warped minds, making the protagonist have to "act out" and "cause problems". Meat Loaf also turns in a surprisingly strong performance as the next door neighbor, part Cro-Magnon, part backyard BBQ buddy, part pod person bigot. It takes a bit to start moving, but when Macy and Paymer (also doing a great job) start debating, the soul of the movie is really revealed. I didn't quite get the ending, but I'm going to be reading Miller's novel to get a more in-depth look at this well-done story.

J Dean

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