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The Secret Lives of Dentists (2003)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 4

A witty and honest look at marriage in decay.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 2,947

My Rating

Movie Info

A gentle man suddenly finds himself at a loss for what to do when he suspects his wife has been unfaithful in this comedy drama from director Alan Rudolph. David and Dana Hurst (Campbell Scott and Hope Davis) are a married couple with three children who also happen to be dentists who share an office. David is a quiet and reserved sort, while Dana has been quietly but obviously unhappy with things recently. Backstage at a community theater production, David sees Dana in the arms of another man


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

David Newman, Alan Rudolph

Jan 27, 2004


Manhattan Pictures International - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (106) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (14) | DVD (10)

Rudolph's fondness for angular, oblique characterization is ideally suited to the movie's incidental story of sublimated feelings and contradictory impulses.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Domestic scenes with the kids are drawn with letter-perfect naturalism.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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There are movies that have a way of hitting you at a certain time in your life, and this study of being married with young children speaks in satisfying ways.

September 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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It's funny, honest enough to make you squirm and a film that may make you feel a little bit of the pain on the other side of that shrieking drill.

September 5, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
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Rudolph's past work has been spotty, but his stress here on familial sovereignty is moving, as is his direction of the three children.

September 3, 2003
The New Republic
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A faultlessly constructed, artistic look at love, loss and truths we can't ignore.

August 28, 2003
Arizona Republic
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Retrata com sensibilidade o cotidiano de uma família em crise e representa mais uma prova dos talentos de Scott e Davis.

January 30, 2004
Cinema em Cena

One of those quietly brilliant indies, so small in scope that it takes a little extra attention to appreciate how deeply it plunges into its characters.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

The Secret Lives of Dentists is a provocative title, promising much more than this domestic melodrama is able to deliver.

January 1, 2004 Full Review

...[T]he potency is abrogated by Rudolph's indulgent pretension of including Scott's personified conscience in the form of an obstreperous patient...

December 31, 2003 Full Review Source:

Funny but not a comedy, slow but not plodding, narrow in scope but not uninteresting.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

For me (unlike some critics who have embraced this film), Leary becomes so persistent, so grating and so bloody irritating that I want to scream: Stop the madness! End the pain!

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Refuses to chuck us under our chins and tell us everything is OK.

September 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

[Campbell Scott gives] a brilliant performance, with hints of humor, rage and agony all lurking around the edges.

September 14, 2003 Full Review Source:

The sly, little irony of The Secret Lives of Dentists is that their lives are pretty much the same as your typical accountant, electrician or secretary. And most likely, your life as well.

September 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

It's often been said that we don't really know people, that we don't know what goes on in other people's marriages, no matter how intimate we may be with them. With this film, Rudolph sneaks us a peak.

September 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

The material is just thoughtful enough and the performances just effective enough for the whole thing to work.

September 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Davis ... quietly enriches any movie lucky enough to have her.

August 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Campbell Scott is fantastic as a wobbly man being torn asunder by the spectre of infidelity.

August 29, 2003
Arizona Daily Star

Deeply felt.

August 28, 2003
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Audience Reviews for The Secret Lives of Dentists

Not too popular on the fan metre but I actually enjoyed this film.There is a nice natural feel to the characters brimming with honesty.
September 25, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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