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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

tomatometer

54

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 46,729

My Rating

Movie Info

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is director Curtis Hanson's suburban horror story of a demented nanny bent on revenge for past wrongs. Peyton (Rebecca De Mornay) was once a happily married woman, but when her doctor husband is accused of assaulting a patient and he commits suicide, her world falls apart and she plots revenge. Claire (Annabella Sciorra), the woman who made the accusation, hires Peyton as a nanny, not knowing of their past involvement. Peyton then proceeds to terrorize the family,

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Amanda Silver

Aug 28, 2001

Disney

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (18) | DVD (1)

This is De Mornay's film and she's a wicked treat, looking daggers at her enemy one moment and then glazing over with sweetness the next.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is unusually gripping.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The careful structure of THTRTC guarantees that the movie will generate a fair amount of suspense throughout. But the single-mindedness of the movie is a genuine limitation, and, watching it, you begin to feel spoon-fed.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With its banal, docile household threatened by an enemy within, the film is like The Stepfather without wit or irony.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At its best, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a bright, nasty psychological thriller with a joker up its sleeve.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unpretentious and efficient.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is that rare thing, a realistic thriller wise enough not to sell short any of its characters. Just be prepared to become very, very scared when you see it.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This is pure unbridled hokum, of course, but extremely effective until the last 30 minutes, when the plot rapidly self-destructs.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

All of the best parts here go to women -- Sciorra, De Mornay and Julianne Moore in a funny supporting bit as Claire's cynical, suspicious friend.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, though it positions itself as chilling suspense, is not even mildly scary; it's just offensive.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Exploitation of child abuse and baby-stealing make this one a particularly nasty business.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Things go about the way you expect them to, but Curtis Hanson, who directed, manages to make it work.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Five years before adapting and directing the modern masterpiece L.A. Confidential, Curtis Hanson helmed this sizable box office hit that, like 1987's Fatal Attraction, used home invasion as a crafty commercial hook.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

De Mornay seems to have found her true vocation playing the nanny from hell, but while the ensuing thrills may well be enjoyed by many, anyone with offspring of their own would be wise to stay away.

April 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

This jovially sinister, middle-class morality tale-cum-horror show is predictable, implausible and fiendishly entertaining.

April 14, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Scary premise of mad sitter vs mother and child...effective.

February 6, 2007
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

Touted as Fatal Attraction for the 1990s, this well-directed thrille (by Curtis Hanson) also features a blonde sociopath, except that the terror in of the family in this yarn is from within.

October 10, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Fucking stupid movie that my local tv channel used to run almost daily.
June 4, 2010
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Not a great thriller. It was really overhyped at the time!
September 24, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Peyton Flanders: Don't fuck with me retard.
    – Submitted by russell b (6 months ago)
    1. Marlene: Poison!
    2. Peyton Flanders: Excuse me?!
    – Submitted by Serene S (20 months ago)
    1. Marlene: If don't like this movie,then you don't enjoy good suspenseful movies. A lot of movies put you to sleep, not this one, entertaining.
    – Submitted by Pat M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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