Vanilla Sky (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vanilla Sky (2001)



Critic Consensus: An ambitious mix of genres, Vanilla Sky collapses into an incoherent jumble. Cruise's performance lacks depth, and it's hard to feel sympathy for his narcissistic character.

Movie Info

A remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (1997), this thriller from director Cameron Crowe bears one of several discarded titles for his previous, Oscar-winning film Almost Famous (2000). Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death. Vanilla Sky (2001) bears the expected Crowe trademark of an obsession with recent pop culture and particularly rock music, a more important element of the remake than the original film. That project's writer/director, Alejandro Amenabar, crafted his own supernatural hit the same year with The Others (2001), starring Nicole Kidman, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Cruise. ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: R (for sexuality and strong language)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Alejandro Amenábar, Cameron Crowe, Mateo Gil
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 21, 2002
Box Office: $100.5M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


Tom Cruise
as David Aames
Penelope Cruz
as Sofia Serrano
Cameron Diaz
as Julie Gianni
Kurt Russell
as Dr. Curtis McCabe
Jason Lee
as Brian Shelby
Noah Taylor
as Edmund Ventura
Timothy Spall
as Thomas Tipp
Tilda Swinton
as Rebecca Dearborn
Oona Hart
as Lynette
Delaina Mitchell
as David's Assistant
Johnny Galecki
as Peter Brown
Jhaemi Willens
as Jamie Berliner
Armand Schultz
as Dr. Pomeranz
Cameron Watson
as Other Doctor
Robertson Dean
as Third Doctor
Ray Proscia
as Doctor from Berlin
Tim Hopper
as Man in Blue Coat
Ken Leung
as Art Editor
Carolyn Byrne
as Beatrice
Mark Pinter
as Carlton Kaller
Jeff Weiss
as Raymond Tooley
Jim Murtaugh
as Benny's Owner
Mark Kozelek
as Dude, Fix Your Face...
John Fedevich
as Silent Ed Vallencour...
Bobby Walsh
as Young David
Fred Shruers
as Cryo Man
Jessica Siemens
as Sofia's Friend
Holly Raye
as Dancer
Marty Collins
as Martini Waiter
Jack Hall
as Bashful
Laurel Wiley
as Dr. Jennifer Ash
Nicole Taylor Hart
as Party Videographer
Alice Marie Crowe
as Lucid Dreamer
Mel Thompson
as Frozen Pediatric Car...
Tommy Lee
as Frozen Vintage Car M...
Ana Maria Quintana
as Frozen Theologist
Paul Haggar
as Frozen Risk Taker
Randy Woodside
as Frozen Dad
Jane Pratt
as Herself
Cindy Crowe
as Herself
John Sypolt
as Himself
Steven Spielberg
as Party Guest (uncredi...
Danielle R. Wolf
as Coat Check Girl
Scotch Ellis Loring
as L.E. Building Guard
Brent Sexton
as Security Guard
Curt Skaggs
as Security Guard
Lori Lezama
as Skyscraper Girl
Todd Harrison
as Skyscraper Guy
Laura Fraser
as The Future
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Vanilla Sky

Critic Reviews for Vanilla Sky

All Critics (181) | Top Critics (38)

This isn't a typically dumbed-down rehash and, as such, it dissatisfied the rank and file of multiplex moviegoers but earned the appreciation of adventurous film fans.

Full Review… | July 22, 2015
Creative Loafing

Crowe asks the viewer to absorb this more viscerally than intellectually; how much one enjoys (or even accepts) the experience will likely depend on the extent to which one is willing to do so.

Full Review… | October 25, 2011
Reverse Shot

Some surface appeal, but ultimately vacant.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Common Sense Media

Cameron Crowe's vinyl-collector version of "Jacob's Ladder" is a daring gamble paying off even when ambition exceeds his grasp. The subconscious can boil over with too much pop culture poured in. Keep that in mind, and it will have you at "What the hell?"

Full Review… | November 22, 2010

Two and a half hours I'll never get back...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

It just makes things easier to believe that good-looking rich folks are just as miserable and unhappy as the rest of us . . .

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Audience Reviews for Vanilla Sky

Being a massive fan of Cameron Crowe's work, "Vanilla Sky" has always been one of his pieces that I have never had the urge to watch. After mustering up the time to view it, I can truthfully say that even though I liked it, I really do not have a clue if it is a good or bad film. Tom Cruise plays David, a self-obsessed man who falls in love a few times, before getting into a car accident, but really not. The film begins to branch off of that ideal about forty-five minutes in, and actually becomes confused within itself, demanding your full attention in order to fully comprehend where it decides to go in the conclusion. It is one of those films where you either you believe in it or you will hate it. For me, I do not believe in what happened in the end, but I appreciate the thought that went into it. Overall, this complex "love story" had me from the beginning, but then began to drag me around until the ending explained it all. It is a very odd story to put on film to begin with, so I think Crowe did the best he could with it. It is a very well-made, yet flawed picture that I believe is good. "Vanilla Sky" is enjoyable fluff.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Good movie. Saw it years ago, couldn't remember the plot, so second watch was still a surprise. Won't post any spoilers, but it does make sense at the end, which is a plus in this type of movie.
I have to say, I am really not a Tom Cruise fan at all, but he does a good job here. As do Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz.
My favourite scene is the one early on when he goes down the deserted street in New York City. Very effective and actually I like the way the whole film was shot.
It is a long movie which doesn't feel long or wear out it's welcome.
I must add I have not seen the original movie, so my review only speaks for this remake.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


A bad, bad misfire concerning a narcissistic playboy (Tom Cruise) who has trouble differentiating reality from dreams, as well as how he became horribly disfigured. What could have been a "screw with your mind" thriller in the Kubrick vein is instead a bad melodrama featuring Tom Cruise walking around in love with himself, only the audience could not care less about his miserable, soul-less character. If his character was someone we could pull for, or atleast sympathize with, it would have made this movie potentially worthwhile. Instead it is a plodding, 140 minute slugfest of pop culture and a poorly chosen soundtrack that elects for breezy and light instead of the more appropriate darkness and bleakness. I really like Cameron Crowe (especially his taste in music, except for how he did in in this film), but this is a bad movie that aims to be bigger than it should be, where coherence, as well as a likable character to root for, are not given any light of day for whatever reason.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Vanilla Sky Quotes

– Submitted by Jacob M (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Bryan O (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Alejandro d (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Alejandro d (3 years ago)

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