The Woodsman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Woodsman Reviews

Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
Top Critic

AV Club
September 26, 2005
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 8, 2005
A lean and unapologetic piece about a type of person too often rendered in simplistic 'monster' colors.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 27, 2005
[Ms. Kassell and Mr. Fechter] trick up Walter's character with so many conflicting moods and impulses and then place him within a post-prison society that is itself alternately oppressive and permissive.
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 23, 2005
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
January 21, 2005
An involving, intense but ultimately confused portrait.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
January 21, 2005
To watch this picture is to feel, and what you're feeling is an intense swirl of conflicting emotions -- disturbed, creeped-out, sorry, and, yes, even moved.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
January 21, 2005
A flawed film that's well worth seeing.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 21, 2005
It is both difficult to watch and compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 14, 2005
Kassell, a first-time feature filmmaker, shows confidence and some lovely instincts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
January 14, 2005
A compelling drama that pulls back the curtain on a problem of epidemic proportions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 14, 2005
Bacon deservedly has received most of the attention here, but Sedgwick, who doesn't work nearly enough, brings grit and hardscrabble realism to the role of a woman who has turned defiance into a protective shield.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 14, 2005
Walter isn't particularly likable. But to the film's credit, he becomes human.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 13, 2005
Bacon's portrait chills to the bone.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
January 13, 2005
A sometimes disturbing yet equally revealing film that examines the motivations of our worst societal outcasts and tries to make some sense of it all.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 13, 2005
Intense, intelligent and superbly acted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 13, 2005
This is a gutsy little film, intense and interestingly acted.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 7, 2005
This by turns unsettling and inspiring drama offers no easy answers, let alone identifiable heroes or villains.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 7, 2005
Bacon is a strong and subtle actor, something that is often said but insufficiently appreciated. Here he employs all of his art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 7, 2005
If the trappings feel stilted, the performances keep the film on track.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
January 6, 2005
Revealing moments and Ms. Kassell's solid direction redeem the film's perfunctory script and deliver a film that will make you shiver and also make you think. This one will stay with you.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 6, 2005
Bacon's subtle, assured performance keeps us with him every step of the way.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 6, 2005
It's Bacon who overcomes all obstacles. This underrated actor, who never got the props he deserved for Mystic River, has found the role of his career.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 6, 2005
This potentially shattering film becomes too comfortable and pat, lacking in menace.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 24, 2004
Tasteful but not compromised.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 24, 2004
The power of The Woodsman is that it's willing to point these men out -- and unwilling to either write them off as cardboard villains or excuse them as poor deprived victims.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 24, 2004
Given its genuinely disturbing subject matter, The Woodsman isn't what you would call a crowd pleaser, but it's definitely a work of art.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 24, 2004
If you're looking for a star of tomorrow, stop at Mos Def. The New York hip-hop artist gives a breakout performance as the morally indignant cop who keeps letting Walter know that he knows what he's doing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 23, 2004
Nicole Kassell's lean, disturbing first film stars Kevin Bacon as a child molester struggling to re-enter society after 12 years in prison.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 23, 2004
Bacon, displaying the commitment essential to taking this part on, has a powerful hold on the role and refuses to let go.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
December 23, 2004
If the key to such a film is making the man sympathetic while the crime remains unspeakable, Kassell, Bacon and co-writer Steven Fechter succeed triumphantly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 23, 2004
Offers a rare and uncommonly compassionate look at pedophilia, a psychological disorder most of us regard with horror and ignorance, and provides Kevin Bacon with the best role of his career.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 21, 2004
This is arguably the best performance in [Bacon's] career.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
December 21, 2004
An engrossing study of a protagonist who variously inspires pity, clinical interest, fondness, and revulsion -- sometimes all at once.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 20, 2004
This is dark material, this is depressing, but it's not depressing to see a film that in a very intelligent, thoughtful way examines difficult subjects.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 16, 2004
Overblown melodrama, as muddle-headed as it is palpably sincere.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2004
Bacon wraps this buttoned-up guilty man in a paranoid daze of angry silence, as if even the most casual conversation about who he is could incriminate him.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
June 1, 2004
A stunningly crafted work from first-time feature director Nicole Kassell.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
February 2, 2004
A stunning, difficult film.