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One Hour Photo (2002)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 194
Fresh: 157 | Rotten: 37

Robin Williams is very effective in this creepy, well-shot thriller.


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 10

Robin Williams is very effective in this creepy, well-shot thriller.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 176,396

My Rating

Movie Info

Funnyman Robin Williams steps out of character in this tense, low-key thriller that marked the feature-film directorial debut of music video veteran Mark Romanek. Semour "Sy" Parrish (Williams) runs the photo processing department at a large discount store; Sy is dedicated to his job, and takes great pride in his work. Sy's favorite customers are Nina and Will Yorkin (Connie Nielsen and Michael Vartan), an attractive and cheerful young couple with a nine-year-old boy, Jake (Dylan Smith). Sy


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Mark Romanek

Feb 18, 2003


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Latest News on One Hour Photo

August 13, 2014:
Robin Williams' 10 Best Movies
Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Robin Williams won five Grammys, four Golden...
December 3, 2008:
Mark Romanek to Direct Alex Garland's Never Let Me Go
Prolific commercial and music video director Mark Romanek, who most recently directed One Hour Photo...


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All Critics (196) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (157) | Rotten (37) | DVD (31)

This immaculately made first feature from noted musicvid and commercials director Mark Romanek provides Robin Williams with one of his creepiest, atypical roles, and the comic star responds with an unusually restrained performance...

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It has arresting things to say about how the family photo is used less to record than to project, and how far that projection can be from the truth.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sy's scary ordinariness is a species of acting stunt. There's no there there.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture | Comment (1)
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not entirely satisfying as either a creepfest or a character study.

September 12, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Romanek's themes are every bit as distinctive as his visuals. Beyond the cleverness, the weirdness and the pristine camerawork, One Hour Photo is a sobering meditation on why we take pictures.

August 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ranks among Willams' best screen work.

August 31, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film that over the years I've come to appreciate far more than my initial viewing due to the brilliant, unforgettable effort by Robin Williams who gives one of his most haunting performances.

August 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

Without Robin Williams, 'One Hour Photo' is just another predictable B movie thriller. He's like that slow train wreck, personified, that people can't seem to take their eyes off.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Robin Williams gets a chance to stretch as an actor in this semi-effective thriller.

June 17, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Intensely scary thriller; not for every teen.

December 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

this film shows that Williams can slither into the blacks and grays of the psyche

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Call it an exercise in threat management, free with the purchase of a photo album--or a movie ticket.

August 24, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

This is a brilliant, incredibly directed film with excellent performances all around from Nielsen, and Williams who deserves an Oscar nod.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

In a story so reliant on detail as the engine for character action, it's frustrating and annoying to see the film spiral down the gurgler because of a few (but crucial) lapses of attention to detail.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Robin Williams creates a character who earns our revulsion--and somehow also our sympathy.

August 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Sy is a complete character with a physicality, inner monologue and motivation that we haven't seen from Mr. Williams in a long time. And it's a pleasure to watch.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Robin Williams' good work in contained in an uneven film, whose first half is an intriguing chronicle of urban alienation, but second part deteriorates into a presposterous thriller with a subplot of stalking and revenge--not unlike Fatal Attraction

December 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Screendaily

This story begs for a harder focus, the kind of thing Stanley Kubrick was always good at, at least until he got a little too focused. What saves the film is Robin Williams in a very atypical role.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

This is not the Robin Williams you are used to seeing.

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

What brings the film to a level beyond is Williams's superb performance and, in turn, Romanek's carefully calibrated direction.

January 7, 2005 Full Review Source:

A music video is like espresso: a lot of visual power compressed into five minutes. A movie needs to know something of the rhythms of everyday life, or else the audience get dizzy and exhausted.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

This isn't the Williams of Mrs. Doubtfire or, thank heavens, Jack or What Dreams May Come.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Robin Williams has mastered the essence of the overlooked man. Quite simply, it is a fantastic move for his career.

February 1, 2004 Full Review Source:

Williams is at his very best ...

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Audience Reviews for One Hour Photo

I can't believe the relatively low rating - this is a great movie. Probably the best role I have seen Robin Williams in. Very sad movie, especially towards the end as you start to understand Sy a little better.
November 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

Plastic-y feel to the movie which fits the mood of the movie. Incredible performance by Robin Williams. A movie that disturbs and crawls under your skin. Something not done too well in many films these days. Cinematography is picture perfect... something you would expect in a movie about a one-hour photo guy. Great movie.
March 10, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Robin williams performs a role that should've deserved more praise. The story is meticulous about an overlooked art and gives us insight into the mind of a troubled man. Romanek's directing helped carry this thriller creepy all throughout the film until the last frame.
October 25, 2011
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

With arguably Robin Williams' best performance at the film's core, Mark Romanek's psychological thriller is creepy, riveting and intense throughout. It is also a very fascinating character study, as Williams' Sy is so complex and enters a land of madness by the film's conclusion. ''One Hour Photo'' is very underrated in my view and is extremely well-directed, shot and with an incredible performance by Williams.
September 19, 2011
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: I'm sure my customers never think about it, but their snapshots are their little stands against the flow of time. The shutters click, the flash goes off, and they've stopped time. Just for the blink of an eye.
    – Submitted by Tigress . (6 months ago)
    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: No one takes photographs of things they want to forget.
    – Submitted by Tigress . (6 months ago)
    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: Family photos depict smiling faces... births, weddings, holidays, children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence free of tragedy. No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget.
    – Submitted by Tigress . (6 months ago)
    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget.
    – Submitted by Peter N (15 months ago)
    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: And if these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it's this: I was here. I existed. I was young, I was happy, and someone cared enough about me in this world to take my picture.
    – Submitted by Andy H (2 years ago)
    1. Seymour "Sy" Parrish: [voice-over following opening interrogation room scene] Family photos depict smiling faces... births, weddings, holidays, children's birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence free of tragedy. No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget.
    – Submitted by Dennis D (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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