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Secret Window Reviews

David Rooney
Variety
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July 7, 2008
Derek Adams
Time Out
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June 24, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Mr. Depp demonstrates once again that he never disappoints as an actor, even in something as fraudulent as Secret Window.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 1, 2004
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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The story is so basic that it makes a fine template for an exercise in style, and Koepp layers on the details with great relish.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 21, 2004
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Has no story, no ending and no redeeming value.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

March 18, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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March 16, 2004
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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The plot certainly has possibilities, but far too many of them are botched by writer-director David Koepp, who's a better writer than director.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 1/4

March 16, 2004
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
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Adapted from a Stephen King novella, the film lurches tiredly through the author's favorite masochistic-narcissistic fantasy, subjecting a woebegone writer to a gauntlet of abuse.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 16, 2004
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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[I]t's so refreshing to see a thriller that doesn't compromise itself with a pat Hollywood ending.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

March 15, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Despite Koepp's control of suspense and Depp's fully fleshed, if fragmented, hero, this Window ultimately feels like one most of us have climbed through before.

March 12, 2004
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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[Koepp's] up against an insurmountable problem -- lifeless source material.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 12, 2004
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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[Depp] turns Secret Window into a pleasantly show-offy showcase for his own charisma.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 12, 2004
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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An eerie, playful thriller and an all-around entertaining time at the movies.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 12, 2004
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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All the corn pone in Mississippi can't make this go down like anything but year-old grits.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2/5

March 12, 2004
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Koepp keeps the suspense going. And amazingly he does it with a minimum of violence and special effects, relying instead on such old-fashioned ideas as character, atmosphere and the occasional, time-honored, bump in the night.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

March 12, 2004
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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Works well as a showcase for Depp's idiosyncrasies.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

March 12, 2004
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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It's a slight story to begin with, and the movie teeters on camp with its jokey filler material.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

March 12, 2004
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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It wants to be surprising but merely grows foolish.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

March 12, 2004
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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To watch Johnny Depp act in anything is always a treat. But does it have to be the only treat going?

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 12, 2004
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Generates the kind of low-wattage creepiness that helps compensate for its lack of resonance.

| Original Score: B-

March 12, 2004
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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Not even Depp can quite save the relentless obviousness and preposterous turns.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 12, 2004
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Somewhere in the middle of [King's] range storywise, and toward the top in Depp's performance.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 12, 2004
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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A second helping would be hard to justify were it not for Depp, whose manic idea of comedy seems right for a Stephen King thriller.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

March 12, 2004
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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The rising dread is hobbled by a huge impediment: The story doesn't make a lick of sense.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/5

March 11, 2004
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
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This uneven psychological thriller has its share of chills, but Depp and Turturro are a hoot.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B

March 11, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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There is undeniable pleasure in watching Depp have fun with a role, turning a character in an inferior movie into something worth treasuring. Still, it would be even more rewarding watching him work his magic in a good film.

| Original Score: C

March 11, 2004
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A potent psychological thriller bolstered by strong performances and an offbeat sense of humor.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2004
John Anderson
Newsday
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There are contrivances of convenience in Secret Window, all of which keep the movie from ending too soon.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2/4

March 11, 2004
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
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Johnny Depp's performance as a trebly beset writer is the highlight of this underwhelming suspense thriller based on a Stephen King novella.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

March 11, 2004
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
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Pitched between horror and comedy, Secret Window turns out to be neither terribly scary nor especially funny.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 11, 2004
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Even if you do figure out what's ahead, the movie's stylish execution rewards you for your cunning.

| Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Depp putters around in one of his wife's old bathrobes, allowing clues to fall out of the pockets like crumpled used tissues, which is exactly what they and the movie most resemble.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

March 11, 2004
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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With Depp in the lead, Secret Window never quite slips into mediocrity, but it's not destined to be remembered among King's finest efforts, either.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

March 11, 2004
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Bloody, bone-chilling fun.

| Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2004
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Hitchcock would have loved it.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 11, 2004
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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The ultimate test of one's tolerance for King's self-aggrandizing postulations about writer's block, obsessive fans and the potentially frightening manifestations of the writer's id.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 11, 2004

AV Club
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March 11, 2004
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The standout is John Turturro, who makes Shooter a terrifying individual.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

March 11, 2004
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Telegraphs its intentions too early and relies too much on a single actor, Johnny Depp, to achieve its emotional force.

March 11, 2004
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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[Koepp] manages some compelling creepy-crawly moments and captures the wintry mood of Mr. King's small-town upstate New York setting.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

March 11, 2004
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
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This is Depp's film from beginning to end, and he's fascinating to watch.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

March 11, 2004
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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A clever, tense thriller that loses steam toward the end.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 11, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Secret Window, a hack job patched together from bits of Stephen King's earlier, better stories, is such a cheeseball it ultimately subverts even Depp's considerable charm and talent.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: C-

March 11, 2004
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The story roots around dutifully in by-now-familiar SK notions of real life being stranger than fiction.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

March 10, 2004
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