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Keyhole (2012)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 419

My Rating

Movie Info

After a long absence, gangster and father Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) arrives home to a house haunted with memories, towing the body of a teenaged girl and a bound and gagged young man. His gang waits inside his house, having shot their way past police. There is friction in the ranks. Ulysses, however, is focused on one thing: journeying through the house, room by room, and reaching his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) in her bedroom upstairs. The equilibrium of the house has been disturbed

Jun 18, 2012


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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (11) | DVD (2)

Still too self-referential, too hermetic and too glacial to offer much enjoyment beyond the gorgeous monochrome visuals.

September 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Patric's performance is a deadpan treat. His can-do, take-charge character is in continual zany contrast to his surreal surroundings.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

'Keyhole" is the first Guy Maddin movie that feels as if it got only halfway out of the director's head and onto the screen.

May 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny enough to be disarming even when it's spinning its wheels thematically.

May 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Maddin film has a disturbing way of always seeming to exist in the present, like a dream. You know what happened and you even know what will happen, but you also see it all shifting and changing.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like Maddin's melancholic and relatively more conventional My Winnipeg, Keyhole is about a memory house, but one that is even more fragmented, mythical and elusive.

April 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bravura journey into a noirish nightmare world and a lock that even paid-up Maddinites won't be able to pick on a single viewing.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Strangled by its own nostalgic mad love.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Maddin has always been something of an acquired taste - and he seems to be doing his utmost to keep it that way.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

This rousing and tormented monochrome tale of a deadbeat gangster making an unusual odyssey through his haunted home is sordid, sinister and bafflingly brilliant.

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

While it's playfully inventive, it's also aggravatingly elusive

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Keyhole is an enchantment of chiaroscuro compositions which float across the screen like a dream; it's an acquired taste but pure cinema nevertheless.

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
The List

A peculiar film rich with varying tones and styles. It's not hard to see why Maddin has been deemed Canada's answer to David Lynch.

September 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Though self-referential to a fault, the deadpan humour, frayed logic and monochrome dazzle cast their own richly peculiar spell.

September 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Maddin bathes it in his usual weirdness.

July 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's an exhausting feature, richly made yet punishing and baffling in a manner that doesn't invite further discussion. I suppose Maddin fans wouldn't want it any other way.

June 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

The film is creepy, depraved and often funny and Maddin's most perverse outing since "Tales from the Gimli Hospital," but although it compels through most of its running time, it doesn't quite sustain through the home stretch.

May 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Characteristically full of some beautiful and evocative images, Maddin's latest film seems doggedly intent on achieving art status merely through obfuscation.

April 18, 2012 Full Review Source:

Think of "Keyhole" as an avant-garde melodrama to cleanse you palate of all of the insipid Hollywood crap you've ever seen over the years. You need it.

April 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Keyhole

Ok, so it's the Odyssey but in a house. And they're all dead. Right? Or at least Ulysses is dying? Isn't he? Ok, maybe he just died. Slowly. I don't know. There, I said it. Except I am right, it's all about Ulysses's life but more-so his regrets before dying. Probably. What do you mean you've never heard of Guy Maddin? No, me neither, but apparently he's a big deal. I feel I've been missing out. I like an odd film just as much as the next guy doesn't, so it was fine by me. It's a visual treat and the music was hauntingly beautiful. It lost me in the beginning, also a bit at the end and for quite a lot of the middle but it's art, I did art at University so I can say 'I get it'. I have credentials to prove it. Anyway, be gone with you, you cultureless swines, go watch a 'Blockbuster' or something and leave us clever people to our art.
January 22, 2014

Super Reviewer

A gangster ventures through his house searching for his wife, encountering tragic family memories along the way, in this surrealistic version of the Odyssey. Contains some cool ideas---Isabella Rosselini keeps her naked father chained to her bed in a sick psycho symbiosis---but it's even more confusing than Guy Maddin's usual offerings, without that spark of mysterious magic that animates his best films. Only for those who are already Maddin fans; this is not the place to start exploring his world.
August 22, 2012
Greg S

Super Reviewer

"Keyhole" starts with the police cornering a gang of criminals in a house on a rainy night. Taking charge, Big Ed(Daniel Enright) separates the dead from the living, sending the former out to be taken care of. When Ulysses(Jason Patric), the boss, finally puts in an appearance, he takes care to get warm clothes for Denny(Brooke Palsson). He is also wondering about the state of his wife Hyacinth(Isabella Rossellini). So, he takes Denny and a hostage upstairs with him.

If I was being unusually silly, I would say a lot of the anger at "The Artist" winning so many Academy Awards was due to the continual snubs of Guy Maddin's films. In any case, with his latest film, the partially successful "Keyhole," he moves things ahead by a couple of decades to incorporate every kind of genre popular in the 40's, short of musical, making the formerly implicit explicit in this psychosexual noir funhouse and actually manages to connect a good deal of the dots. And Maddin has the right lead actor in Jason Patric who not only has the requisite square jaw but also the ability to deal with every bit of weirdness thrown his way. That does not include the references to 'The Odyssey.'(Yes, there is a Cyclops. No, you do not want to know.) Now, if someone could just explain the naked old guy in chains.
June 15, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Maddeningly Maddin. It's too much and I'm going to call him on it. Can we have a film that isn't in painful black and white with sharp scene changes and distractions that don't add to the "plot"?
September 19, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

    1. Calypso/Camille: To the bog Big Ed! Buried at sea!
    – Submitted by Keith M (22 months ago)
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  • Ulysse, souviens-toi ! (FR)
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