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The General's Daughter (1999)



Average Rating: 4.3/10
Reviews Counted: 89
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 69

Contrived performances and over-the-top sequences offer little real drama.


Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 20

Contrived performances and over-the-top sequences offer little real drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 52,485

My Rating

Movie Info

A murder on a military base unearths a netherworld of corruption in this thriller based on the novel by Nelson DeMille. General Joe Campbell (James Cromwell) is a respected military leader with a flawless reputation; he's due to retire from the Army soon and is headed for a Vice-Presidential nomination. However, Campbell finds himself in both a personal and political crisis when his daughter is brutally murdered. Captain Elizabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson) was beautiful, intelligent,


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Christopher Bertolini

Dec 14, 1999

Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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December 23, 2005:
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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (69) | DVD (20)

No doubt about it, to divulge the plot would spoil the experience -- you'll be shocked to discover, and maybe even surprised to learn, just how lame the damn thing really is.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In terms of tone, the film is all over the map.

November 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A lurid mess, a Southern gumbo simmering in Gothic cliche.

May 11, 2001 | Comment (1)
Rolling Stone
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A middling, so-so thriller.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A self-destructive movie.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The General's Daughter is a well-made thriller with a lot of good acting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Do the filmmakers think we're morons? We're certainly treated as such, right from the beginning.

February 13, 2008 Full Review Source:

Compelling viewing because of the tight-lipped, bull-headed performance by John Travolta in a starring role.

March 9, 2004
Jam! Movies

Effective enough as a thriller and an indictment of sexism in its most brutal form.

March 9, 2004
Jam! Movies

an absurd, frequently offensive exploitation piece that's likely to take a place on many Ten Worst of 1999 lists.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Travolta is trying a little too hard here, and it shows.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

This may be the most gratuitous film I've seen this year.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

You know that thin line between disturbing and morbid? The General's Daughter tramples it into dust.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Despite moments of mounting suspense, the film suffers from stilted unevenness.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Not a single scene or character rings true, and shame on anyone who can't pick out the murderer in the first reel.

April 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This salacious whodunit requires very little action, but an endless parade of dialogue scenes in which assorted suspects tell the investigating duo what happened, cueing thunderous flashbacks.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

To betray a loved one or a friend is a grievous breech of trust. It is a form of murder, brutalizing the tenderness and intimacy of the soul.

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

...the plot is too shifty, the conspiracy too exaggerated, and the ending too pat for sustained credibility.

June 2, 2001
Movie Metropolis

Travolta wins hands down with his accent in a pleasingly intense performance that helps propel the story along.

April 17, 2001 Full Review Source:

Good, quippy dialogue can't make up for a fundamentally flawed script, even with Simon West's well paced direction to keep things moving along.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

The General's Daughter is a blandly acted, dully written, gratuitously grisly, coincidence-filled potboiler that takes the obvious road whenever it has a choice.

January 1, 2000
Charlotte Observer

Audience Reviews for The General's Daughter

The Generals Daughter is a great mystery thriller and one of my favourite John Travolta movies. The movie is loaded with great talent that produce really good performances. Travolta and Stowe have great chemistry in this. The story was a great mystery. The secrets revealed in this story is sickening and really broke my heart for Elisabeth Campbell. To have her father brush away what happened to her and tell her to forget had me fuming. It is not something one could forget and brush off. It was disturbing and gut wrenching watching what happened to her. The movie is one of the better mystery thrillers I have ever seen. A must see in my opinion.
March 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

The General's Daughter is an interesting Thriller, but ends up being a fairly average one at best. The film has a decent enough cast starring in it. Overall the film is an average piece of cinema that delivers decent thrills as the main character played by John Travolta seeks to uncover the truth about the murder of a C. at West Point. He uncovers many cover ups and soon discovers that the C.O's daughter wasn't all that she seemed to be. Though a good film, I thought that The General's Daughter could have used a bit more story to the subject matter because here you have a story that is almost flat at times. However theres some good twists and good thrills to be had watching this film. The film is good, but it's nothing terrific. The acting is fairly well delivered, James Cromwell and James Woods are terrific and even John Travolta is good here, but his performance is at times uneven. The film is nothing spectacular in terms of a Thriller, but it has many good things going for it that will surely entertain the viewer. The General's Daughter is an average Thriller with above average acting, it has the potential to be a great Thriller, but it doesn't quit get there. However the film is bound to give you a few thrills as you follow Paul Brenner uncover the truth of the murder in the film. An entertain film that could have been better.
May 13, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This film condemns the U.S. army's stance of superiority, Independence, secrecy and the overall idea that they are above the law, and in some respects films that support that notion and fly under the notion of patriotism - so it's quite confusing that visually, it's got all the same styling and same tricks as those films, but I digress. The story is compelling to a point but it soon delivers the disturbing message that basically, every man is a potential rapist/murder and all round asshole - It's not exactly respectful to women either, even though it's supposed to be supportive. Insulting to say the least!
November 11, 2010

Super Reviewer

A film that warmed up nicely into an ok military Thriller. Particularly liked James Woods in this, who does occasionally show a glimpse of brilliance.

Although a very different storyline, there were, I felt, reminders of ?A few good Men? in the theme.

An interesting film that?s worthy of a watch and one of Travolta?s better films.
November 13, 2009

Super Reviewer

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