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Vanilla Sky (2001)


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 164
Fresh: 67
Rotten: 97

Critics 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.

Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 10
Rotten: 24

Critics 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.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 296,333


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 … More

R (for sexuality and strong language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Cameron Crowe , Alejandro Amenábar , Mateo Gil
In Theaters:
May 21, 2002
Box Office:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Vanilla Sky

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (97) | DVD (37)

A good example of what self-destructive cinematic havoc can be wrought by handing over millions of dollars to movie stars to produce their own ego trips.

Full Review… | December 19, 2001
New York Observer
Top Critic

[A] spectacular film!

Full Review… | December 18, 2001
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

If Crowe's eyes are open, he seems to have directed most of Vanilla Sky with his mind wide shut.

Full Review… | December 18, 2001
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

I have no idea why one of our most original film-makers would want to spend two years of his life translating someone else's movie from Spanish into English. And it wasn't such a good film in Spanish, either.

December 17, 2001
Top Critic

Who would have thought that Cameron Crowe had a movie as bad as Vanilla Sky in him?

Full Review… | December 15, 2001
Top Critic

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

This is a whole new palette for Crowe, and his excitement rubs off on us.

Full Review… | July 25, 2007

A classic case of what happens when a Hollywood studio and a star (Cruise) take a Spanish metaphysical thriller and turn it into a glossy, overproduced big-budget star vehicle that lacks distinct identity.

Full Review… | October 21, 2006

Vanilla Sky turns out to be a rousing, exhilarating entertainment, thanks mostly to Cruise's balls-to-the-wall performance.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

My suggestion is to avoid this film and instead rent Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) the film upon which Vanilla Sky was based.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005

Vanilla Sky is a long, complex, ambitious thriller that doesn't quite work.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Expect top notch work by Cruise, Crowe and Co.

Full Review… | October 30, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

The film is seamless, surprising and erotic, mixing the best elements of romance, sci fi and drama.

Full Review… | February 24, 2004

... A psychological thriller that will keep you guessing even after you've left the theater.

Full Review… | January 7, 2004
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Crowe had a huge budget, and he uses it gloriously.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

These Skies are not only Vanilla, but a bit too familiar . . . Tom Cruise once again plays himself playing a character

Full Review… | March 19, 2003

You mightn't see its like from mainstream Hollywood for some time.

Full Review… | March 13, 2003

...A seriously weird and intriguing psychological drama.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Perhaps the greatest mystery in Cruise-Crowe mindbender is why it doesn't quite work.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002

A great cast, a decent soundtrack and some memorable scenes make it ultimately worth watching. (But see the original if at all humanly possible.)

Full Review… | October 30, 2002

For all its shortcomings, Vanilla Sky exerts a hypnotic, otherwordly attraction.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

Audience Reviews for Vanilla Sky

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

This is a remake of a (probably, supposedly) superior Spanish film I've yet to seen. A lot of people have mixed feelings on this film, and while yes, it is uneven, I am mostly on the positive side of things.

This is the story of a womanizing playboy who gets disfigured and is forced to re-evaluate his life. In the process, there's the hope for redemption, but at the same time, he begins to realize that life and reality might not be actually what it seems, leading to him making some tough choices and realizations.

The cast is likable and notable, and they give some decent performances, especially Diaz and Cruz (reprising her role from the original film). The cinematography is really good, there's a nicely surreal and haunting atmosphere, and being a Crowe film, there's a great soundtrack to boot.

I think Cameron Crowe should really be praised for this. It was a bold step in a new direction for him, trying his hand at something he'd never done before, and, while the film is kinda messy, it's definitely a noble effort. It's odd, thought provoking, and confusing, but has some wonderful ideas, and is worth seeing at least once.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Vanilla Sky is a very interesting and somewhat bizarre film. I saw this when it first came out and thought it was a good film with some good performances. Tom Cruise is good here, and the rest of the cast are good as well. Cameron Crowe who directed Almost Famous and Elizabethtown directs this film, and though this isn't a perfect film, it definitely isn't a bad one. Cameron Crowe is an underrated director and Vanilla Sky is another good effort from him. Though not his best, Vanilla Sky is a very good film that is engaging, and like I said, pretty bizarre. If you enjoy Cameron Crowe, you'll most likely enjoy this. Vanilla Sky is different, but it's still has enough good things about it to make it a viewable film. I thought that Tom Cruise was pretty good in his role and most of the cast were good as well. Vanilla Sky is underrated, and though it's not a perfect film, it still has lots of interesting bits for the viewer to enjoy. I very much enjoyed this film, and thought that the bizarre story was good, and that Cameron Crowe delivered yet another good flick. I think Cameron Crowe is a very underrated director. Vanilla Sky is not the directors strongest effort, but for the most part, it's a film worth watching. The cast makes this a worthwhile film to watch, and though it's not a great film; this is a unique viewing experience.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Vanilla Sky Quotes

Sofia Serrano:
What is your nickname?
David Aames:
Citizen Dildo.
– Submitted by Jacob M (16 months ago)
David Aames:
There is no murder. There is no murder!
– Submitted by Bryan O (23 months ago)
Sofia Serrano:
I'll see you in another life, when we are both cats.
– Submitted by Alejandro d (2 years ago)
Edmund Ventura:
Even in the future, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour.
– Submitted by Alejandro d (2 years ago)
David Aames:
Look at us. I'm frozen and you're dead, and I love you. SofĂ­a: It's a problem. David: I lost you ...
– Submitted by Evan K (2 years ago)
Sofia Serrano:
I think she's the saddest girl to ever hold a martini.
– Submitted by cora d (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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