Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Reviews

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John Hartl
Seattle Times
September 16, 2014
In a world in which eight nearly identical Friday the 13th movies offer the adventures of Jason the ax-murderer as entertainment for teen-agers, maybe we do need this sobering alternative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
August 12, 2013
The film is an honest and disturbing attempt to come to grips with the sort of modern horror that we must -- more urgently every day -- try to understand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 12, 2013
The difference between John McNaughton's incredibly chilling film and the usual serving of screen carnage is the difference between the mind of a murderer and the cynical and manipulative depiction of mindless murder.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
August 12, 2013
Sure, it's compelling; the nature of the material guarantees that. But it doesn't seem to be telling us much more than that the world is a scary place and murder is ugly. We knew those things. This is tabloid chic.
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Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
August 12, 2013
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is as fine a film as it is a brutally disturbing one.
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Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
August 12, 2013
McNaughton's direction combines a strict social realism with a cool, Fritz Langian sense of pre-determination, while his work with actors has the improvisational freshness of a John Cassavetes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 20, 2008
Certainly not for everyone, but if slasher movies are your cup of tea this is a lot better than most, and the use of Chicago locations is especially effective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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April 16, 2007
[T]his is a movie that will anger and frighten audiences... Many will also find this one of the most impressive film debuts of the '80s.
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Nigel Floyd
Time Out
June 24, 2006
McNaughton's compelling study of a blithe sociopath makes the flesh crawl and the mind reel.
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Caryn James
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Mr. McNaughton's observations are so chilling and precise that they gain some artistic stature even when they cross the line that makes the audience voyeurs and accomplices.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
This film gives off a dark chill that follows you all the way home.
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Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
The emptiness in Henry seems like an artistic convenience or, worse, an evasion. What we suspect, finally, is that the deficiencies belong more to the artist than to his subject.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
A low-budget tour de force that provides an unforgettable portrait of the pathology of a man for whom killing is not a crime but simply a way of passing time and relieving boredom.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 24, 1986
The fact that Henry is affectless on the surface but commits exploitation-movie mayhem on the side is, by now, less an unsettling revelation than a rote banality.
Full Review | Original Score: B