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The Mothman Prophecies (2002)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 137
Fresh: 72 | Rotten: 65

A creepy thriller that poses more questions than it answers.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 23

A creepy thriller that poses more questions than it answers.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 52,693

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a book by paranormal investigator John Keel, this spooky, X-Files-type supernatural thriller is purportedly based loosely on true events that occurred in the small town of Point Pleasant, WV, in 1966-1967. Richard Gere stars as journalist John Klein, an up-and-coming reporter devastated by the death of his beloved wife Mary (Debra Messing) following a car accident. Mary saw a mysterious vision immediately before the crash, a haunting image of a moth-like creature. Two years later, Klein

Jun 4, 2002


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All Critics (138) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (72) | Rotten (65) | DVD (31)

Pellington knows, as did the 1940s master of horror Val Lewton, that what you don't see can raise far more goose bumps than what you do.

September 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is the scariest movie I've ever seen.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Mark Pellington hardly lets a moment pass without suggesting some bad vibes creeping onto the edges of the screen, but he's let down by Richard Hatem's script.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are certainly strong moments and efficient set pieces here, too, but for all the claims that the film, adapted from a 1975 book by John Keel, is based on real events, Pellington fails to sustain credibility.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite hints that it aspires to be more, The Mothman Prophecies is a by-the-numbers sci-fi thriller.

November 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gaudy yet grim science-fiction horror movie of such surpassing silliness, humorless intensity and stylistic overkill that watching it may actually put you in a state of paranoia. Why are these moviemakers persecuting us?

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Faced with such an unlikely mishmash of unexplainable events, you've given up believing anything by the time the popcorn's gone.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

Psychological thriller may deeply upset some kids.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

The stylish bleakness keeps you off-balance with unreliable narration and an unforgettable conclusion. The more it accelerates rant-and-rave paranoia, the greater it gets - a campfire-ready chiller whose subconscious embers glow long after it's over.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source:

Messy but eerie.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The last reel or so is an embarrassment -- or entertainment at long last, depending on how you look at it.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

The Mothman Prophecies is the kind of solemn, credulous junk that Men in Black so cleverly sent up.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comment (1)
Observer [UK]

Gere does a great deal in solo scenes with no dialogue, suggesting that he might not be as alone in the dark as he seems.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comments (2)
Empire Magazine

In promoting its cliche-ridden sci-fi-horror, Sony is using the tage "based on true story," as if the "factulaity" of the text is a badge of honor, or necessary condition for taking the schlocky flick more seriously.

December 25, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comments (2)

A big disappointment.

September 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Few recent movies have such portentous and eerie nocturnal scenes ...Don't let this one fly away-it's a real wing-dinger.

September 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

It's bone-chillingly, back-crawlingly, heart-stoppingly scary!

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source:

Criando um clima de suspense e tensão eficaz, Pellington narra uma história intrigante e bem resolvida.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

The story is eerie and gets under the skin, but director Mark Pellington is unable to recreate the suspense found in the best supernatural thrillers.

May 30, 2003

Destined to enjoy a late night video audience for many years to come.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

You would probably be better off watching an episode of The X-Files instead . . .

April 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

An effective visual style and campfire-storytelling flair. The climax manages to effectively tie most of the ideas together with chilling resolution.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Mothman Prophecies

This incredibly drawn out film is not without potential, whilst it's weird, dark and unique, it somehow loses itself, which I feel is in the storytelling and just when you feel it's a little too dull the ending offers a little consolation for sticking with the film
November 23, 2010

Super Reviewer

As soon as I see Richard Gere's name in the credits of a film, I'm instantly put off. The man has made an absolute fortune without having any real ability and in this, he yet again proves he has a very limited range. Thankfully though, there is more to this film than Gere and his usual dull repetitive approach.
He plays John Klein a Washington journalist, who after the death of his wife in a car accident, is somehow drawn to Point Pleasant, a small town in West Virginia, where strange and unusual events are happening to the locals. They are all living in fear, having premonitions and reporting sightings of a large black winged figure around the area. This is also the same dark figure that Klein's late wife claimed to have seen before her death, causing further obvious interest from the journalist and also putting his own life in danger.
Supposedly based on actual events, this is a surprisingly tight and engaging little super-natural thriller. As mentioned earlier, Richard Gere is a plank of wood but the support from the always excellent Laura Linney and the wild eyed Will Patton are very welcome indeed. There is brilliant use of atmosphere and low-key music that raise this film above a particular standard and has many genuinely creepy moments. It doesn't try to be too fancy, wisely and effectively leaves a lot to the imagination and just gets on with telling an unsettling story. Which it does, to good and chilling effect.
July 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

Allegedly based on a true story, The Mothman Prophecies is the story of a journalist who finds himself in a small town where the inhabitants keep seeing a mysterious winged figure who tells them of catastrophes yet to occur. Well, for a start. "True story"...? Please. This is a mystery based very much on the formula of The X-Files, with a journalist and lady cop sidekick filling the shoes of everybody's favourite FBI agents while they investigate the mysterious happenings that seem to point to some alien force predicting the future. The approach is quite like that of The Omen and similar religious thrillers, Pellington unable to resist the urge to throw in plenty of spooky imagery and elaborate wipes to underline just how "doo-de-doo-doo, doo-de-doo-doo" Twilight Zone it all is. The engaging cast and intriguing premise keep the interest ticking over, all being very M. Night Shyamalan, and like most of his films the ending just does not live up to the build up. In the end, as clever as all this "hinting at the future through obscure clues and references" SEEMS to be, it is written by a script writer who KNOWS what is going to happen in the end! Dropping hints about something you've written yourself is NOT big OR clever! It is reasonably entertaining however, and if you're suffering from X-File withdrawal, this is an adequate fix.
July 28, 2010
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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