In the Bedroom (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Bedroom (2001)

In the Bedroom (2001)

In the Bedroom



Critic Consensus: Expertly crafted and performed, In the Bedroom is a quietly wrenching portrayal of grief.

In the Bedroom Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Character actor and noted photographer Todd Field made his directorial debut with this emotionally powerful drama, which earned enthusiastic reviews at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Frank Fowler (Nick Stahl) is a handsome and amiable young man who has recently graduated from high school and is spending the summer working as a lobster fisherman before heading off to college in the fall. Frank is also involved with Natalie (Marisa Tomei), an attractive woman ten years his senior who is separated from her husband Richard (William Mapother), though their divorce has not yet been finalized. Frank's parents, Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) wonder if it's wise for their son to be pursuing a romance that he won't be able to continue in a few months; Matt trusts Frank and leaves him to make his own decisions, while Ruth quietly but firmly registers her objections. One day, Richard snaps, and breaks into Natalie's home; when he discovers Frank is there, he viciously kills him. The wheels of justice turn in an unexpected direction, and Richard is released on bail, free to go his own way as he awaits his trial. Matt and Ruth are both deeply traumatized by the event; while Matt tries to deal with his hurt by retreating into his work and avoiding his feelings, Ruth instead becomes increasingly withdrawn, losing interest in her job as a music teacher and spending her nights chain smoking in front of the television. In the Bedroom was adapted from the short story Killings by Andre Dubus. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for some violence and language)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Rob Festinger, Todd Field
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 13, 2002
Box Office: $35.7M
Miramax Films - Official Site


Sissy Spacek
as Ruth Fowler
Tom Wilkinson
as Matt Fowler
Nick Stahl
as Frank Fowler
Marisa Tomei
as Natalie Strout
William Mapother
as Richard Strout
William Wise
as Willis Grinnel
Celia Weston
as Katie Grinnel
Karen Allen
as Marla Keyes
Ron Russell
as Rockland T-ball
Jonathan Walsh
as Father McCasslin
Diane E. Hamlin
as Davis' Assistant
Samuel Johnson
as Rockland T-ball
Christopher Adams
as Duncan Strout
Henry Field
as Young Frank
Harriet Dawkins
as Alma Adamson
Bill Dawkins
as Elwyn Adamson
Kevin Chapman
as Tim's Friend
Harold Withee
as Grocery Clerk
David Blair
as Marlboro Man
Elisabeth McClure
as Elderly Woman
Alida P. Field
as Young Gymnast
Andrea Walker
as Waitress
Veronica Cartwright
as Minister on televisi...
Coomenic Cuccinello ...
as Rockland T-ball
Daran Norris
as Red sox replay
Don Lewis
as Bridge Operator
Doug Rich
as Fork lift Operator
Robin Wimbiscus
as Performace Coordinat...
Lisa Carlton
as Rockland T-ball
Rebecca Benner
as Rockland T-ball
Francis Mazzeo
as Rockland T-ball
Tyler Shane Smith-Ca...
as Rockland T-ball
Brian Hagley
as Rockland T-ball
Sam Cousins
as Rockland T-ball
Jackie Hagley
as Rockland T-ball
Comenic Cuccinello I...
as Rockland T-Ball
Ronald Russell
as Rockland T-Ball
Rachel Freeman
as Rockland T-ball
Kenney Dale Johnson
as Rockland T-ball
Daniel Hendricks
as Rockland T-ball
Parker Spear
as Rockland T-ball
Sam Johnson
as Rockland T-Ball
Matthew Maxwell
as Rockland T-ball
Shyann Gauthier
as Rockland T-ball
Joshua Mills
as Rockland T-ball
Bethany Berry
as Rockland T-ball
Eric Rahkonen
as Rockland T-ball
Hope Berry
as Rockland T-ball
Natalie Russell
as Rockland T-ball
Chelsea Peasley
as Rockland T-ball
Misty Seekins
as Rockland T-ball
Daniel Baxter-Leahy
as Rockland T-ball
Philip Spearing
as Rockland T-ball
Brandon Carleton
as Rockland T-ball
Mackenzie Tucker
as Rockland T-ball
Owen Thompson
as Rockland T-ball
Ben Staples
as Rockland T-ball
Ryan Ecker
as Rockland T-ball
Jared Mekin
as Rockland T-ball
Ron Russell
as Rockland T-ball
Samuel Johnson
as Rockland T-ball
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for In the Bedroom

Critic Reviews for In the Bedroom

All Critics (164) | Top Critics (40)

Goes the distance to avoid banalizing the dilemma of a reasonable couple unhinged by unreasonable events.

Full Review… | August 12, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Much of the film's unsettling nature is comprised of sheer silence which is often the most dangerous element...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

It's tempting to compare this film to Ordinary People, since both deal with the reaction of upper-middle class family to the accidental death of their son, though new movie is more immediate, emotional and ambiguous.

Full Review… | October 25, 2006

The real story is in how the marriage is strengthened or harmed by the way each spouse responds to what's happening.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

As top-drawer as the acting is, I simply can't buy the laboriously plotted revenge ending, which seems to have crawled out of Perry Mason's attic.

Full Review… | September 23, 2004 of those rare films that so vividly paints a picture of a community, that afterwards you feel as though you've been there...

Full Review… | June 27, 2004
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for In the Bedroom

Analogous title for a flm that deals with this state in various ways. Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, and Marisa Tomei shine in this dismal tale of devastation in a Maine lobster town.
First-time director Todd Field did a brilliant job portraying the loss, rage, and desire for revenge with the help of exceptional acting performances, and the observation of the taciturn anguish so readily available in our everyday lives.

Eric S

Super Reviewer


An expertly crafted film concerning a family dealing with grief. Tom Wilkinson impresses yet again, in his most accomplished performance yet as a respected man of a small town in Maine who feels he must avenge the terrible act committed against his son. The performances are all top-notch, capped off with an arresting last thirty minutes of the movie that prove to be extremely well written and plotted. Although at times it appears to be a little too slow-moving, if you concentrate on the setting, characters, and how the story is told, you should be captivated.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

This film is nigh perfect until 1/3 of the way through, when it starts trying too hard to portray the subtlety of a grieving family. The fights - while magnificently acted - are completely unmotivated. Ruth claims Matt never wanted to talk about the incident, but it's not as if she ever tried talking either. It's a cop-out to say that she is confused with grief and doesn't know what she's saying. Even so, the film would need more development to come to that realization. THEN the climax. Come on! Matt is not the killing kind, and the plan is full of holes! This film attempts a conscionable killing ala Woody Allen, but they neglect to properly build the motives, the atmosphere, and the aftermath.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

In the Bedroom Quotes

Richard Strout: Where are the boys?
Natalie Strout: ...It's none of your business.
Richard Strout: Oh, I see. They're my boys, but they're none of my business.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Ruth Fowler: He needs in school, not in her.
Matt Fowler: So to speak.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Willis Grinell: Ever notice that even the worst bastards have friends?
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Natalie Strout: You know what defines a father? It's what he does, not what he promises.
– Submitted by Chad E (4 years ago)

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