The Shipping News (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shipping News (2001)

The Shipping News (2001)

The Shipping News



Critic Consensus: Though solidly made and acted, The Shipping News is rather heavy-handed and dull, especially given the nature of its protagonist.

The Shipping News Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A man makes a journey to self-discovery when he returns to his ancestral home on the coast of Newfoundland. After the death of his estranged wife, Quoyle's fortunes begin to change when his long lost Aunt Agnis convinces him to head north with his daughters. He relocates to the small coastal village of Killick-Claw. Now, in a place where life is as rough as the weather and secrets are as vast as the ocean, Quoyle lands a job as a reporter for the local newspaper. He reports on the shipping news as he simultaneously attempts to adjust to his new life and surroundings. In the course of his new career, he confronts private demons, discovers dark family mysteries and finds love with a lonely single mother who has a secret of her own.more
Rating: R (for some language, sexuality and disturbing images)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Nelson Jacobs
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 18, 2002
Box Office: $11.4M
Miramax Films - Official Site


Julianne Moore
as Wavey Prowse
Judi Dench
as Agnis Hamm
Cate Blanchett
as Petal Bear
Pete Postlethwaite
as Tert X. Card
Rhys Ifans
as Beufield Nutbeem
Gordon Pinsent
as Billy Pretty
Scott Glenn
as Jack Buggit
Jason Behr
as Dennis Buggit
Jeanetta Arnette
as Silver Melville
Larry Pine
as Bayonet Melville
Robert Joy
as EMS Officer
John Dunsworth
as Guy Quoyle
Anthony Cipriano
as Young Quoyle (age 7)
Kyle Smith
as Young Quoyle (age 12...
Ken James
as Newspaper Boss
Roman Podhora
as Muscular Man
Terry Daly
as Hunky Guy
Gary Levert
as Newspaper Employee
Stephen Morgan
as Bartender Dave
Katherine Moennig
as Grace Moosup
Daniel Kash
as Detective Danzig
Will MCallister
as Herry Prowse
Marc Lawrence
as Cousin Nolan
Kathryn Fraser
as Daycare Mom
Nancy Beatty
as Mavis Bangs
R.D. Reid
as Alvin Yark
Deborah Grover
as Edna Buggit
Nicole Underhay
as Betty Buggit
Jon Whalen
as Big Guy
Andrew Fowler
as Guy Quoyle (age 15)
John MacEachern
as Drunken Guy
Marc Lawrence
as Cousin Nolan
Kyle P. Smith
as Young Quoyle (age 12...
Marc Lawrence I
as Cousin Nolan
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Shipping News

Critic Reviews for The Shipping News

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (35)

I am baffled by all the negativity surrounding it, and I am prepared to designate it as the most underrated film of 2001.

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

The movie has a modest but true feeling for the ways in which people are formed by the ravages of their natural surroundings.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

You can envision the attractively packaged DVD or Blu-ray sell-through collection now: 'Lasse Hallstrom's Baldly Oscar-Baiting Literary Adaptations. Buy it today!'

Full Review… | May 15, 2012
Shared Darkness

Not really meant for kids and teens.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

What has happened to Lasse Hallstrom: This poor adaptation of an interesting novel is not only bland but also poorly acted and shapeless

Full Review… | January 11, 2007

...a problematic film redeemed by its steel gray palette and the actorly instincts of its chief players

Full Review… | January 29, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for The Shipping News

A congenital looser named Quoyle, after having dealt with multiple blows in life, moves with his daughter to his ancestral homeland, Newfoundland, at the urging of his long-lost Aunt, Agnis (Judi Dench). There he befriends a serene single mother, Wavey Prowse(Julianne Moore) and gradually finds himself accepted into that remote community.

Once the story makes the transition to the snowy coasts of Newfoundland, I found myself elevated to a whole another level of movie experience. Maybe it has to do something with the going-back-to-roots premise of the movie. Photographic grandeur of the breathtaking landscapes plays its part in that feeling too.

Movie features powerful performances from a clutch of well recognized talents. The simple story can basically be described as one about our search for a place in the world and about coming to grips with the past. Lass Hallstrom, who gave us "What's eating Gilbert Grape", leaves you with a similar experience when you're through with this movie.

Sajin P A

Super Reviewer


Not a Corvette this film but rather a stationwagon with room for many (and their assorted baggage) and not a film for everyone, this story of a family returning to it's small town roots I found hypnotic. It's my favorite Spacey film, instantly, Dench was solid as an oak, and Julianna Moore did not offend me for a change.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


An interesting family movie - with all sorts of A list stars. Kevin Spacey plays Quoyle, who starts his live over after he goes back to his ancestral home in Newfoundland. I liked the acting by Quoyle's daughter who is played by three sisters (at different ages I presume). I also liked the set - the stark Newfoundland seashore.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

The Shipping News Quotes

Quoyle: Deadly storm takes house. Leaves excellent view.
– Submitted by Carl P (21 months ago)
Jack Buggit: You don't have the sense God gave a donut, do you?
– Submitted by Frances H (3 years ago)
Agnis Hamm: Tea's a good drink. Keep you going.
– Submitted by Alan J (4 years ago)

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