• R, 1 hr. 49 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:    Scott Derrickson
  • In Theaters:    Oct 12, 2012 Wide
  • On DVD:    Feb 19, 2013
  • Lionsgate Films

Sinister Reviews

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
October 13, 2012

More stupid than scary, Sinister can't even figure out who its real demon is.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
October 12, 2012

It comes together with a gruesome though excellent ending that some will find difficult to shake.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
October 12, 2012

A mixed bag of old-school and contemporary horror tricks that occasionally raises a hair prickle of intrigue.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
October 12, 2012

Despite some effective bumps and frights, and at least one memorable jolt from a full-throated D'Addario, "Sinister" is mainly just a series of snuff-reels with sick-joke titles ...

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Sara Stewart
New York Post
Top Critic
October 12, 2012

C'mon, Ethan Hawke, you're better than this. Isn't there a "Before Sunset" sequel that needs your attention?

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
October 12, 2012

The hero of "Sinister" is almost unaccountably dumb. So, unfortunately, is the movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

As the best horror stories so often do, "Sinister" makes clear that we are our own boogeymen, the worst monsters of all.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Miriam Bale
New York Daily News
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

In its plot and even its title, the movie feels like a grab bag of every popular horror trope of the last 30 years.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

As much as "Sinister" wants to tell a story, there isn't much of a story to be told.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Scott Bowles
USA Today
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

Relies more on "gotcha" moments than storytelling.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

Now this is a scary movie. And, given that it's a horror film, that means it's a good one.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

[Director Scott Derrickson finds] new ways to frame the same rooms from one scene to the next and providing comic relief whenever the action threatens to turn monotonously grim.

Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

The movie is full of feints, shocks and scenes of particularly perverse violence, but nothing about it is fresh enough to haunt you in the night. It's predictable.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

In true horror movie tradition, characters do things that are head-scratchingly dumb. Once you accept those logic-defying moments, the movie works with diabolical effectiveness.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

Sinister' may make you jump at predictable intervals, but it never rattles your existential certainties the way truly subversive horror does.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

There's something smarter, and truly creepy-crawly, about the way this movie sneaks up on your ears.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

That title is off the mark. Here's a better one: "Stupid."

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

An occult thriller that scares with an absolute relentlessness.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
October 11, 2012

"Sinister" is an undeniably scary movie, with performances adding enough human interest to give depth to the basic building blocks of horror.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
October 10, 2012

I knew perfectly well, after a while, what Sinister was going to scare me with. But I got scared anyway.

Full Review | Original Score: B
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
October 10, 2012

Enjoyably edgy fright flick meshes serial-killer and haunted house ingredients.

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
October 10, 2012

Sinister is a joyless ride, and its frights are too contrived to be surprising, yet somewhere, stashed in the attic, is a much less foolish film with Hawke at its heart.

Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
Top Critic
October 9, 2012

A proficient, rattling horror story.

Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic
October 2, 2012

This so-so, occasionally effective horror film combines found-footage creepiness and haunted-house scares - but is stronger on mood than story.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
Top Critic
March 13, 2012

Your pants. Do you like having them scared off you? Then you and your pants will enjoy Sinister.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
March 12, 2012

The scares are not just intense but unyielding in this compelling horror yarn from The Exorcism of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson.