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Secret Window Reviews

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Lady D

Super Reviewer

July 7, 2007
Based on a short story of Stephen King's, this is a mind twister of a film with the kind of performance that Johnny Depp can pull off. Watching this now, it does seem much more predictable than when it was released, perhaps because a lot of similar themed films have been made since, easy watching though! My favourite role of John Turturro's.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2006
Based on a novella by Stephen King, this is a fun little story about a writer (big surprise) named Mort Rainey who, while trying to work at his secluded lakeside cabin, is menaced by a mysterious stranger named John Shooter who claims that Mort palgiarized his work, and has no problems with resorting to psychotic behavior in order to see that he gets justice.

You may or may not have guessed this, but this film has a twist ending. And while the twist isn't bad, I think the film could have been far more interesting had there been no twist. For that to work though, other parts of the story would have to be rewritten and that sort of thing, but what I'm getting at is that, while the film isn't that bad, it's not really all that great either, and it doesn't really hold up to much scrutiny or repeat viewings.

As a single watch though, it's passable. I enjoyed seeing the stakes get raised between Mort and John, and the film does have a good sense of mood, tone, and atmosphere, and a pretty decent pace. It just gets to me because many films that contain twists are usually full of holes, and I get the feeling that the novella probably doesn't have these sort of problems, mostly because of the medium and whatnot.

All in all though, I give this film a lot of credit because, even though the story is nothing fresh and it isn't infallible, it is quite fun, watchble, and entertaining. Philip Glass provides a pretty nice score, and Koepp seems to be having fun as the helmer. Plus, there's a good cast here, even though it would be better seeing them here with some stronger material.

Still though, Depp is good as this sort of thing, and his character is rather likeable (mostly), and Turturro, though maybe phoning it in, is also good at this sort of thing as well. I just wish that Dutton had more screentime and stuff to do, and that more could have been done with Hutton and Bello. What time these three do have is okay, but Hutton probably has the shortest end of the stick (they probably could have gotten a lesser known and it would have been better). Hutton isn't bad, but he feels unnecessary.

Honestly, I should dock this one a half star, but I can't really bring myself to do it because the good outweigh the bad.
murphmann93
murphmann93

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
Unexpected twists and turns. Johnny Depp is fantatsic!
Jason C

Super Reviewer

May 2, 2011
Johnny Depp's portrayal of Mort Rainey and his descent into madness is outstanding. It's almost enough to climb out of the plot holes. In fact, he so good in his role, you could almost get confused and think this was a good movie. It isn't. The story is paper thin and despite it's best efforts, it's actually quite predictable. Worth checking out for Depp's performance, otherwise avoid.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2011
Secret Window is a very interesting Horror Thriller. Starring Johnny Depp, the film is about a writer who gets accused of plagiarism by a strange man, whom he has never seen before in his life. Johnny Depp gives a very interesting performance, and quite frankly one of his best too. Depp is a master at playing various roles, and he is able to pull off anything marvelously well. Secret Window is proof of that. Secret Window blends elements of Thriller and Horror film into one package. One moment you're jumping out of your seat, the next you're wondering what will happen next. This is a film that got unfair reviews, and in my opinion; it shouldn't have. Yes the film has flaws, but for the most part, Secret Window is a well crafted horror thriller film that has terrific psychological elements to make you think twice about what really going on. I found that John Turturro gave a great performance as well. He really does diversity in his role as John Shooter. Secret Window is a fine little film to waste your time, it's a well acted film with a good enough story to keep you entertained. Secret Window will please fans of Thriller and Horror films that are looking for a film with good enough suspense building. Secret Window is that film. It's not a perfect film, but it's a fairly good one.
BEACHBUNNI
BEACHBUNNI

Super Reviewer

October 15, 2007
This movie is based on a Stephen King novel and stars Johnny Depp (a fave actor of mine) and John Turturro. if you're a writer or a would be writer, this movie will have an added bonus. Johnny Depp's character, Mort Rainey, is a successful writer struggling with a divorce, when a sociopathic stranger, John Shooter, shows up claiming that Rainey stole his story. Shooter demands credit, and has no issue killing anyone in his way until he gets everything he wants.Real edge of the seat stuff i loved it~! This story has a fantastic surprise ending, great acting, and a real creepiness~!!!!!!!!
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2010
B
Conner R

Super Reviewer

November 16, 2009
It's actually one of the best Stephen King stories in the fact that it's actually different than his other typical works. He writes way better stories when they're one person centric, you just get more of a connection with the character and don't feel so jerked around. Johnny Depp obviously did a great job like always with his role and was able to handle the hysteria quite well. It's literally this story of someone going more and more insane, finally realizing that he's his own worst enemy. I also loved the ending, it was different from the original story, but worked better because it was so ruthless.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2009
I loved the King book that it was taken from but unfortunately this is a weak adaptation.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2009
I have always wanted to see Secret Window; when a movie has such varied and mixed reviews it is always intriguing to see the movie itself and find out which side of the line you sit on. I recently viewed Secret Window with a friend from the safety of my own home. It's only a short movie, which in itself has appeal, and if it were any longer the suspense element would have most definitely fizzled away. The first hour or so nothing much happens, the story line just plods along and you wait and watch to look for anything you have missed and wonder whether the story is going to go anywhere. The first portion of the movie is not a complete failure, however, as Johnny Depp once again shines in his role and keeps the viewer somewhat interested. Once the twist kicks in, the movie takes the viewer to a whole new level. My friend and I were simply intrigued in horror. It simply is brilliant and I would recommend this to anyone who loves being taken on a journey through their imagination.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

July 5, 2009
A very weird twisted film but been in a weird movie is not the first or last for Johnny Depp at all.

Mort Rainey, a successful author, is passing through a hard period in his life. After catching his wife sleeping with another man, they separate and he moves away from the city to somewhere in the country. One day a man appears at his door, presenting himself as John Shooter, and accuses Mort of copying a story from him. Although Mort believes things can be solved once he shows Shooter the original version, which had appeared two years before Shooter's version, written in 1997, while Rainey's was published in early 1995. He can't seem to be able to get an original copy in the time limit set by Shooter. Strange things then start happening that prevent him from receiving the needed original, and Mort tries to find out who Shooter really is and if he is responsible for the things that have been happening.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2009
the #1 most stolen ending that ive seen. does that mean Stephen King is a genius? probably
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2007
From Stephen King's short story, Secret Window was a surprisingly enjoyable movie - I'm not sure if it was "good" or not, though. Personally, I readily connect with the frustrated writer figure, and the film's early-going was just more than enough to keep me interested. Then it slipped into bad horror movie for a while, but the twist ending very much redeemed it and made me glad to have sat through the excessive television commercials. One that's good to zone out to and features another enigmatic and maybe genius performance from Johnny Depp (not to mention a well-employed and steady John Turturro), it will make you think - but not too hard. Such a perfect balance... maybe THAT's why I wound up liking it...
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

December 22, 2008
"The most important part of a story is the ending."

From writer/director David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) comes this filmed adaptation of Stephen King's novella Secret Window, Secret Garden, one of four stories in the collection Four Past Midnight. Johnny Depp stars as Mort Rainey, a recently divorced author who decides to take some time off at his cottage. Unfortunately for Rainey, John Shooter (John Turturro), an unbalanced wannabe writer, tracks him down, claiming that Rainey plagiarized his work. Also starring Maria Bello, Charles S. Dutton, and Timothy Hutton, Secret Window is the second story from Four Past Midnight to be adapted as a film, the first being 1995's made-for-television The Langoliers.

Review
"Based on a book by Stephen King" can be a blessing or a curse. In this case it's actually neither. There are good performances by the actors and Johnny Depp is fabulous as always, portraying a writer struggling with writer's block after he caught his wife cheating on him. Now he's being threatened by a mysterious hick who claims his story was stolen by Depp's character Morton Rainey. The tension is good in the first half of the film. The thing is, I figured the plot out quite soon, staying a step ahead every time. The film just wasn't fast enough. Depp's performance carries the whole film and without him, this would be another failed King adaption. Now it's just a well-acted thriller, but not top-drawer.
Red L

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2008
I wasn't expecting this ending. Johnny Depp plays a writer with severe writer's block. Some help in unblocking him suddenly presents itself.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

March 3, 2008
Pretty decent. Some will enjoy the ending, while others will cry fowl.
Eric S

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2008
Johnny Depp is brilliant in this psychological thriller about a mystery writer after a bitter separation from his wife. Things begin to spiral out of control as he continues to write at his remote lake house.
Al S

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2007
Not very impressive or shocking just an conclusion leading towards lonely men who are crazy. Depp isnt that great either, but could of been so much better
ajaymuthecooldevils
ajaymuthecooldevils

Super Reviewer

March 6, 2007
Great.... Johnny Depp plays brilliantly in this movie...
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2007
A menacing stranger appears on a writer's front doorstep and accuses him of plagiarizing his work, and things soon take a sinister turn in yet another adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Just what the world needs. Actually the ever watchable Depp heads a good cast and there are some nice directorial touches. Unsurprisingly all the flaws lie in the source material; anyone who has seen Angel Heart or Fight Club (ie virtually everybody) will see the twist coming a mile off, but it is executed with some style. Not bad.
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