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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Reviews

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Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 10, 2013
Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

July 10, 2013
Sue Heal
Radio Times

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

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 4/5

July 10, 2013
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The film is unusually gripping.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 10, 2013
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

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.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

July 10, 2013
Leah Rozen
People Magazine

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

Full Review Source: People Magazine

July 10, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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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.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/5

July 10, 2013
Michael Sragow
New Yorker
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With its banal, docile household threatened by an enemy within, the film is like The Stepfather without wit or irony.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

July 10, 2013
Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times
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At its best, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a bright, nasty psychological thriller with a joker up its sleeve.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 10, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

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

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

July 10, 2013
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
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Unpretentious and efficient.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 10, 2013
Lou Cedrone
Baltimore Sun

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

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun

July 10, 2013
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

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.

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 13, 2012
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The Hand That Rocks the Cradle keeps you watching, yet this oddly somber thriller is really just a transparent chain of contrivances; it's all stunts, all concept.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

September 7, 2011

Film4

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.

Full Review Source: Film4

April 14, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

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

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 14, 2008
Variety Staff
Variety
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A low-key thriller that will make baby boomers double-check the references of any prospective nanny.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 14, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Curtis Hanson's direction and Amanda Silver's screenplay are both models of no-flab craft and intelligence, and all the actors (who also include Ernie Hudson and Julianne Moore) are believable from the first frame to the last.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 14, 2008
Steve Crum
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

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

| Original Score: 4/5

February 6, 2007
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

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.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B-

October 10, 2006
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