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Wicker Park (2004)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 134
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 100

Implausible coincidences and an overly convoluted structure make the movie hard to follow or believe.

21

Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 31

Implausible coincidences and an overly convoluted structure make the movie hard to follow or believe.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 54,980

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Paul McGuigan, Wicker Park follows Chicago businessman Matthew's (Josh Hartnett) return to Windy City life after having dedicated two years of his life to mourning his long lost love Lisa (Diane Kruger), who'd mysteriously vanished from his life. Things are finally looking up again for Matthew; his career is in full swing, and he's thinking of becoming engaged -- that is, until he thinks he's spotted his former lover in a restaurant. Almost immediately, Matthew puts the brakes on his

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

Brandon Boyce

Dec 28, 2004

$12.8M

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (134) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (100) | DVD (20)

The four main characters are all odd, sad and lonely. No wonder they don't call each other on their cells to straighten things out -- they're all too depressed to dial.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wicker Park is one of those maddening movies in which the characters do incredibly stupid things simply for the sake of plot contrivance, and everyone's problems would be solved if they simply picked up their cell phones.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wicker Park is built on such a goofy premise that your average soap-opera scriptwriter would laugh it out of a story meeting.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are some striking visuals and Hartnett is a magnetic presence.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sadly, we never really get the sense that these individuals are at the mercy of their capricious desires, and the absence of that engagement leaves us rather too much time to ponder the plot holes.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Feel free to take a leisurely stroll out to the lobby for Swedish fish in the middle of Wicker Park. Missing 10 minutes won't affect your ability to follow this babel in the least.

October 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A quite extraordinarily boring psychological drama of obsession, impersonation and mistaken identity.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Wicker Park then doubles back on itself, layering flashback upon flashback, but instead of building toward a grand romantic climax, it just gets sillier before exploding into a torrent of unintended laughs.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Both bland and slightly daft.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Tortuously twisting in on itself, Wicker Park keeps you guessing as it keeps its central pair apart. But it's scuppered by a plodding obviousness that's underlined by a sledgehammer soundtrack.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Convoluted though this plot may seem, at least the inventive visuals from Gangster No 1 director Paul McGuigan keep you engrossed.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

These four characters bounce off each other, slowly revealing motivations and desires and deceptions, providing a mildly entertaining, but ultimately shallow, experience.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

This dopey thriller isn't worth your time.

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

A convoluted structure makes this story hard work, but like the French original, it engages with its dazzling zig zag of time frames and varied perspective.

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

Director Paul McGuigan keeps the story racing along, but it smacks of contrived manipulation rather than credibility.

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

The filmmakers cannot decide what sort of story they want to tell, and as a result, the story they tell isn't really worth the telling.

November 17, 2006
Christianity Today

McGuigan imbues Wicker Park with a disorienting atmosphere and visual style, using available window panes and deep focus techniques like a split-screen effect to show simultaneous actions and emotions upon which the narrative twists and turns.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Wicker Park frustrates to no end when a smidgen of common sense on anyone's behalf would clear up everything.

April 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

A nice example of what happens to a Hitchcock shrine when it's filtered through a slick punk sensibility.

February 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

That Wicker Park becomes as engrossing as it does is particularly shocking, given the almost interminable opening hour...

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Wicker Park

Have actually upped my rating to 4 stars from 3 1/2 - very unusual for that to happen - usually the other way round!! I can't really remember watching this the first time.... well, only vaguely... though I guess I must have as i have the dvd in my collection. Really enjoyed this the second time around, as I couldn't remember it too well at all, I had forgotten all the twists, so it was still a surprise rewatching it.
I found this very well done - the filming is quite stylish, the cast really good (maybe with the exception of Matthew Lilliard who I can never quite take seriously, but he plays a bit of a joker as usual anyhow, so I could wear this one). Josh Hartnett very convincing and works really well with Diane Kruger as Lisa - found them both really enthralling here. Quite an erotic film without being overly graphic. Rose Byrne I also found quite sympathetic - won't say too much about her character here!
Above average thriller, nice to look at, and never lags or gets dull. Enjoyed this a lot!
October 29, 2011
romy861

Super Reviewer

stretched, contrived, and overly stylized modern hitchcockian tale about obsessive love.
July 1, 2008
pier007

Super Reviewer

"Wicker Park" is a tale of obsession on many levels. It is told partly in flashback, so that you have to piece the events together and figure out how far back the action of the film began -- what is now and what was then. The director uses split-screen techniques that enhance the look and feel of the film, lifting it from the realm of the ordinary to the plane of art. A haunting theme weaves its way through this labyrinth of lies, leading to a satisfying (because inevitable) conclusion.

Wicker Park has to be one of the best Romance Dramas I?ve seen. It succeeds on a level. What I liked about it was that it wasn?t directed by an American director, we are seeing this through the perspective of Scottish director; Paul McGuigan, who recently used Hartnett in Lucky Number Slevin. For me he brings a whole different slant to the genre.
It was easy to tell what was flashback and what was here-and-now. But the story is complicated (not convoluted) and does require some sorting out. As for being cliched, I found the film quite the opposite. It could have gone in some trite, hackneyed directions but didn't. And while some people might think the ending is the cliché of all clichés, I thought that, emotionally, it was absolutely right and the only possible way to end the film

The film does indeed feature characters who possess unhealthy romantic obsessions, but these characters are not presented here as cartoonish psychopaths. Instead, they are presented as otherwise reasonable people compelled to do things that are less-than-reasonable, but understandable. Accordingly, the "action" here is not of the harpy-with-butcher-knife variety: "Wicker Park" builds excitement cumulatively, in the manner of a good mystery, as the complete picture coalesces through events revealed in a non-linear structure (reminiscent of several sequences from "The Rules of Attraction"). The acting appropriately lacks flashiness (with the exception of comic relief, Matthew Lillard), which grounds the film in a more believable reality. What was also brilliant was the intensity of the love we feel between Matthew and Lisa. the anguish they have felt the past two years from being unknowingly torn apart by a vindictive and crushed "friend" of Lisa's. These things said, one's enjoyment of "Wicker Park" may owe in great part to knowing to which genre this film belongs.

The camera-work is extremely well done, and, despite some comments by my friends on the site, the plot has no real holes. everything is revealed with perfect timing, and the songs absolutely heighten the emotion of each scene. the characters were eccentric and go to such great lengths for love. What I enjoyed was the fact. not only do we end up seeing that Alex has motive, we can almost relate to her....although we do not agree with her actions, she becomes more vulnerable and human to the audience.

Probably one of the most memorable scenes for me is the end scene. Some people might argue that it seems cliché?s and predictable but it just seems real. That emotion felt with the Coldplay song just makes you feel for these characters and really shed a tear-I most certainly did.

Overall, in my opinion Wicker Park has to be one of the most underated films of this decade. It is most certainly a recommendable film which I wish everybody would watch and see it for it?s beautiful score and direction. Ignore the comments on this site!
March 14, 2007
SarahG1988

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Wicker Park

    1. Matthew: I'm going to China tonight, I'm practically engaged-- do I need to remind you?
    2. Luke: The lies we tell ourselves.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
    1. Luke: So she had the same name, same perfume, same shoe size. That's so hot. Or, or maybe that's just creepy.
    2. Matthew: I think it's a little bit of both, actually.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
    1. Matthew: Things don't have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. Even the ordinary can be beautiful.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
    1. Alex: You want a cup of coffee?
    2. Matthew: Yeah, sure. Thanks.
    3. Alex: No. No. No. No.
    4. Alex: He broke all my cups.
    5. Matthew: That's original.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
    1. Matthew: I needed you to know.
    2. Rebecca: Know what? Know what, Matthew? That I'm not the girl who can break your heart?
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
    1. Lisa: Take my picture. I'm feeling beautiful tonight.
    – Submitted by Folashade K (12 months ago)
View all quotes (14)

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