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The Shipping News

The Shipping News (2001)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 72 | Rotten: 58

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


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 14

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 20,486

My Rating

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


Drama, Romance

Robert Nelson Jacobs

Jun 18, 2002


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Shipping News

August 1, 2005:
Trailer Bulletin: An Unfinished Life
Finally earning a (limited) release after sitting on a Miramax shelf for about a year is Lasse...


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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (72) | Rotten (58) | DVD (16)

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

March 13, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Observer | Comment (1)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spacey brilliantly shows Quoyle's transformation from a passive clod to a curious journalist.

January 17, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I like good newspaper movies. Most of them get it completely wrong. In this case, it's exactly right.

January 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some novels need to be left alone. Hear that, Hollywood?

January 8, 2002
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where The Cider House Rules was one of the most exquisite examples of classical Hollywood filmmaking in years, Chocolat was no more than a trite, pleasant trifle. The Shipping News, well made as it is, isn't even up to that standard.

January 8, 2002 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop 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!'

May 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

Not really meant for kids and teens.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
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

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comment (1)

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

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore astound in touching, well-told tale of rebirth and redemption.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

Hallström ... has done a spectacular job with this odd story, and has created a memorable, if not perfect film.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Mr. Spacey and his estimable supporting cast bring skill and commitment to their roles; they respect their characters and demand as much from the audience.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

The ensemble work by the cast helps detract from the narrative's basic aimlessness.

September 1, 2002 Full Review

The book is better----Long awaited screen adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's "Shipping News" fails to transport the goods

July 15, 2002 Full Review
Pasadena Weekly

It seems there is almost no prized novel that director Lasse Hallstrom couldn't make duller and less purposeful.

June 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Another beautifully-made and serious-minded celebration of having nothing to say.

June 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Written Magazine
Film Written Magazine

Everyone has not only some catastrophe but some mystical experience to communicate until, finally, it all comes crashing down in well-timed, well-executed ennui.

June 14, 2002
Movie Metropolis

Nearly everyone we meet has a cute name (Billy Pretty, B.B. Nutbeem, etc.), an extensive backstory and his/her personal set of adorable eccentricities. It's enough to give folksy types a bad name.

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Queda un sentimiento de insatisfacción por haber perdido casi dos horas sentado y sin que se nos diga hacia donde van los eventos.

May 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Moviola

Begins so unsurely that it hardly has a chance at recovery

March 17, 2002

The story is played as a warm and fuzzy one, a fairy tale where children are revered and one's family roots are sacred.

March 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Titular: La vida anodina e insulsa te lleva a lo impredecible.

March 10, 2002

The Shipping News isn't much of a breaking story, but its byline is hungry enough to be in the right place despite its convoluted convictions.

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Eye
Movie Eye

The simple build of comedy and meticulous build of tragedy are missing and so, in effect, is the movie's heart.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Audience Reviews for The Shipping News

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.
August 30, 2011

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.
April 8, 2011

Super Reviewer

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Pete Postlethwaite, Scott Glenn, Rhys Ifans, Gordon Pinsent, Jason Behr, Larry Pine

Director: Lasse Hallström

Summary: Distraught after the disappearance of his estranged wife, Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) and his daughter move into their ancestral home with his long-lost aunt (Judi Dench) in Newfoundland, where life is rough and secrets are buried deep. When Quoyle lands a job as a reporter for the local newspaper, a past emerges, a mystery unfolds and life awakens. Lasse Hallström directs this drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by E. Annie Proulx.

My Thoughts: "Such a great story. Kevin Spacey delivers another flawless performance. He is a favorite of mine and he never disappoints in any film he does. His character Quoyle, in the beginning seemed very naive and to be honest, pathetic. Though his new life in Newfoundland brings with it a fresh start, and you slowly see his demeanor change. He becomes confident and strong in the sense of him finally finding himself. The story itself is a bit depressing in the beginning, but the mood changes throughout the film . The tale is sad, but the ending is satisfying. I liked the symbolism of the house. Just a great story with a great cast. Love Judi Dench. See it if you haven't."
August 5, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Quoyle: Deadly storm takes house. Leaves excellent view.
    – Submitted by Carl P (21 days ago)
    1. Jack Buggit: You don't have the sense God gave a donut, do you?
    – Submitted by Frances H (16 months ago)
    1. Agnis Hamm: Tea's a good drink. Keep you going.
    – Submitted by Alan J (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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