One Hour Photo (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

One Hour Photo (2002)



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

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 dotes on the Yorkins and their son whenever they drop off film to be processed -- something they've been doing quite often ever since Jake was born -- and Nina and Will are indulgent of Sy's attentions, regarding his as a harmless eccentric. What the Yorkins don't know is Sy is a desperately lonely man with no real life of his own, and he's been obsessively making copies of their photos, for years, imagining himself to be "Uncle Sy," a member of the family. Sy's tenuous hold on reality begins to collapse when he develops a roll of film brought in by a new customer that suggests Will has been unfaithful to Nina; the notion that his ideal family may be falling apart is troubling enough for Sy, and when he loses his job, Sy reaches the breaking point. One Hour Photo was screened in competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (for sexual content and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Romanek
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 18, 2003
Box Office: $31.5M
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


Robin Williams
as Sy Parrish
Connie Nielsen
as Nina Yorkin
Michael Vartan
as Will Yorkin
Dylan Smith
as Jakob Yorkin
Erin Daniels
as Maya Burson
Paul H. Krim
as Yoshi Araki
Gary Cole
as Bill Owens
Eriq La Salle
as Det. James Van Der Z...
Paul H. Kim
as Yoshi Araki
Marion Calvert
as Mrs. Von Unwerth
David Moreland
as Mr. Siskind
Shaun P. O'Hagan
as Young Father
Jim Rash
as Amateur Porn Guy
Nick Searcy
as Repairman
Dave Engfer
as Sav-Mart Clerk
Jimmy Shubert
as Soccer Coach
Clark Gregg
as Det. Paul Outerbridg...
Andrew A Rolfes
as Officer Lyon
Carmen Mormino
as Officer Bravo
Izrel Katz
as Superintendent
Peter Mackenzie
as Hotel Desk Manager
Robert Clotworthy
as Eye Surgeon
Wayne Wilderson
as Booking Clerk
Megan Corletto
as Risa Owens
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for One Hour Photo

Critic Reviews for One Hour Photo

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (40)

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...

Full Review… | March 27, 2009
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 13, 2014
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.

Full Review… | May 10, 2013
Movie Metropolis

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

Full Review… | June 17, 2011

Intensely scary thriller; not for every teen.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

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.

Nicki Marie

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.

Albert Kim
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.

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

One Hour Photo Quotes

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 . (2 years ago)
Seymour "Sy" Parrish: No one takes photographs of things they want to forget.
– Submitted by Tigress . (2 years ago)
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 . (2 years ago)
Seymour "Sy" Parrish: No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget.
– Submitted by Peter N (3 years ago)

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