Frailty (2002)



Critic Consensus: Creepy and disturbing, Frailty is well-crafted, low-key horror.

Movie Info

Actor Bill Paxton made his directorial debut with Frailty. The bulk of the story is told through flashbacks, as a mysterious man (Matthew McConaughey) tells a terrible tale to an FBI agent (Powers Boothe) investigating the "God's Hand" serial killer case. The man grew up in a small town in Texas, where he and his brother lived a bucolic life with their kindhearted widower father (Paxton). One night, the father awakens the two boys, Fenton (Matthew O'Leary) and Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), and tells … More

Rating: R (for violence and some language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Brent Hanley
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 17, 2002
Box Office: $13.1M
Lions Gate Films - Official Site


as Fenton Meiks

as Young Fenton

as Young Adam

as Agent Wesley Doyle

as Adam Meiks

as Sheriff Smalls

as Agent Griffin Hull

as Brad White

as Cynthia Harbridge

as Edward March

as FBI Agent No. 2

as Operator

as Janitor

as Teenage Demon

as FBI Agent No. 1

as FBI Agent No. 2

as FBI Agent No. 3

as FBI Agent No. 4

as Teacher's Aid

as Doyle's Mother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Frailty

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Critic Reviews for Frailty

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (37)

Paxton steals the show. And O'Leary more than holds his own again here. Too bad it's in a movie that fails to live up to its potential.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic

A resoundingly old-fashioned and well crafted study of evil infecting an American family, "Frailty" moves from strength to strength on its deceptive narrative course.

Full Review… | November 21, 2008
Top Critic

Paxton's first movie as director is better than you might expect. It has a first rate cast, and Bill Butler's camerawork and some deft editing help to crank up the tension.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Frailty is disturbing, all right, but then so is sticking needles in your eyes. And I wouldn't recommend either.

Full Review… | February 8, 2014
Georgia Straight

...a solid thriller from a promising first-time director.

Full Review… | December 18, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

Violent and ultimately uneven and unsatisfying.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Frailty


A man walks into the offices of the FBI and declares that he knows the identity of a high profile serial killer, and sets about convincing the sceptical agent in charge by recounting the events of his life. Until Matthew McConaghey's recent catharsis as to the quality of the projects he becomes involved with, his career was littered with turds but this is far from the worst offender. It's a supernatural thriller in which the childhood victim of a murderous religious zealot tells of how the life of his younger brother and he were turned upside down by their father's "holy mission" which sets the scene for an intriguing story. McConaghey makes a suitably intense and enigmatic lead and his verbal sparring with disbelieving Powers Boothe works well. Unfortunately Bill Paxton's inexperience behind the lens means the pacing is long-winded rather than atmospheric and there are a few instances where the film looks plain amateurish. But the biggest problem is its reliance on the proverbial and extremely obvious "twist ending" which totally undermines what could've been a powerful statement on how blind faith could cause a good man to commit evil deeds, instead making for a hokey X-File. Still, it's far from Matthew's worst moment and is worth a look if you're looking for an off-beat thriller with a supernatural flavour.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Sloppy B-movie trying to pass as sophisticated horror. Even though its script is seriously bad and repetitive, Frailty does manage to hold your attention. Actor/director Bill Paxton offers a lackluster performance, but Matt O'Leary, Jeremy Sumpter and Matthew McConaughey make up for that. The film also features some outstanding camerawork and editing, but ultimately fails due to awful writing.

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