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White Noise (2005)

tomatometer

8

Average Rating: 3.5/10
Reviews Counted: 147
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 135

While there are some built-in scares, the movie is muddled and unsatisfying.

8

Average Rating: 3.4/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 33

While there are some built-in scares, the movie is muddled and unsatisfying.

audience

31

liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 187,847

My Rating

Movie Info

Divorced architect Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) seems to lead a pretty good life with partial custody of his young son and a happy second marriage to Anna (Chandra West), a best-selling author. Things take an ugly turn when Anna disappears during a thunderstorm, apparently the victim of a freak accident. Eventually, her body is found, and Jonathan sinks into despair. Then he meets Raymond (Ian McNeice), who claims that Anna has contacted him through EVP, or electronic voice phenomena.

PG-13,

Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense

Niall Johnson

May 17, 2005

$55.9M

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (150) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (135) | DVD (37)

Though I'm well disposed toward elliptical spook stories that depend on the audience's imagination for their jolts and effects, it takes art as well as craft to put them across, and Geoffrey Sax's direction of a Niall Johnson script has neither.

February 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

White noise is intended to help you fall asleep. White Noise would never let you do that, though. It's far too interested in a cacophony of cheap scares.

February 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thrill-free thriller.

January 20, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no horror to speak of.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if its dorky climax throws you out of the mood again, there are staticky bits of White Noise that still manage to cling.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too silly to describe, much less analyze.

January 13, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dumb would-be thriller -- save your money.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This is one big missed opportunity.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A messy cheesecake of supernatural horror without scaring the pants off its audience, nor making any real sense.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Something evil this way comes without much nerve-jangling fanfare (most of the screams came from the soundtrack rather than the audience) or conviction (portal schmortal).

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Is the movie scary? Only if this is your first scary movie.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

The paranormal phenomenon surely has its millions of converts, but White Noise is so silly, it just may turn many into non-believers.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Some of its filmic devices seem a little hokey for a movie that is apparently trying to persuade us that EVP is a real phenomenon.

November 17, 2006
Christianity Today

White Noise is little more than an old-fashioned ghost story with a newfangled twist.

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

The only problem is that there's just not that much of a reason to sit up and check out what all of the noise is about.

July 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Dread Central

The soundtrack and crackling static, contorting into mysterious moans, create a chilling mood, but the characters are so thin.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A dopey, totally disposable grade B thriller.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

...quickly devolves into ludicrous plotting and cheap shock effects.

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

White Noise is a lifeless affair that strives to take our money while aggravating and annoying us, a niche already filled by the Rainforest Café.

June 28, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

An effective ad campaign for a colossal mess.

June 16, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

Scenes went unenlightened, plot points left unanswered, cheap thrills went unimproved.

May 17, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

It's a typical case of the kind of movie which gets launched these days on the strength of a one-sentence pitch. Having got all dressed up, it finds that it has absolutely nowhere to go.

May 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Through it all Keaton furrows his brow with impressive intensity. But his efforts are hampered by a script which requires him to do the exact opposite of what any right-minded individual would do in his circumstances.

May 10, 2005 Full Review Source: BBC

'Mejor hay que esperar hasta que salga en DVD. Por lo menos los extras deben traer algo más interesante'

April 4, 2005

Audience Reviews for White Noise

Sort of an interesting premise (a deeply grieving husband is contacted by his recently deceased wife) but like a lot of supernatural thrillers its creepy set-up is ultimately better than its delivery. The cast and crew does well but the script has little for them to finish with.
April 2, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

It boasts a very interesting premise and it does have its own scares and thrills. Backed up by convincing acting it's not as bad as its put out to be. The problem with White Noise however is its muzzled plotline that can sometimes be a bit of distraction from listening.
November 13, 2011
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

White Noise is a decent psychological horror film that has a good premise, but the plots at times doesn't really work. However the film is held together by a good cast that includes Michael Keaton and Deborah Kara Unger. The film has enough momentum to entertain you, and the plot is quite interesting. However, it's clear that the film could have been done much better, and the film could have something really great. Instead the end result is a mixed bag. The film is entertaining, but it leaves you wanting more. The ideas on-screen work, but only to a certain degree. Then the films sort of falls apart. I think it's a real shame, because the film had so much potential at being a better film than it is. White Noise is not a terrible film, neither is it a missed opportunity, however it could have been something terrific, but director Geoffrey Sax doesn't know where to go at times with his story, like he's almost not interested in telling an effective, and creepy story. For the most part, White Noise does have good chills and effective tension, however halfway through the middle things get kind of shaky and the story falls apart. After a while the plot becomes boring, and the story lumbers around to a somewhat lacking ending. What was a strong beginning is a disappointing ending to a decent film. The film had the potential of being an effective horror film, but in the end, it's a decent film that has an anticlimactic ending. Entertaining, but flawed, White Noise is good, but suffers from a poor second half.
October 10, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

We don't see Michael Keaton in a lot of movies these days. Seems his career is about as dead as the deceased souls he communicates with in this one. At any rate, as far as horror stories go, this is sadly nothing special. I do have a wide interest in the subject matter - especially as I have personal experience of contact with the no longer living - but it wasn't quite enough to break it out of the clutches of mediocracy. Fairly intriguing up until the end, where things are regrettably concluded on a very low and unsatisfying note.
September 4, 2011
CloudStrife84
Mike S

Super Reviewer

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Our "White Noise 2" set coverage continues with RT's conversation with director Patrick...
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