Rear Window - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rear Window Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 4, 2014
Masterful Hitchcock motion picture; filled with mystery, humor, suspense and a fluid direction. Rear Window is a classic film led by James Stewart and comprised of plenty of homages to American cinema in the mid-1900s. 4/5
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2014
Alfred Hitchcock is a cinematic tour de force when it comes to crafting some of the most memorable and exhilarating suspense thrillers ever to grace the screen. Rear Window belongs among the directors finest works, this is a film that steadily builds up the tension, and what makes this such a unique film is the fact that Hitchcock uses a simple concept to tell a broader story. In turn, the suspense is much more solid and delivers a solid two hours of thrills. Jimmy Stewart delivers a great performance here, and he has great on-screen chemistry with Grace Kelly. This ranks among Hitchcock's best works, and the simplistic plot leaves so much to the imagination, which in turn makes for a truly memorable and taut filmgoing experience. Fans of suspense films will surely enjoy this film, and thought it's a slow film, it works well because the best films take its time to unfold, and that's the case with Rear Window. In terms of a classic thriller, Rear Window is one of the finest genre films to ever grave the screen, and it proved once again that Alfred Hitchcock was one of the finest directors to tackle the genre, and it cemented his stature as the master of suspense even further. Rear Window mixes different elements very well, with a detective aspect to the story, which adds more depth to the simple storyline. What makes the film great is that most of the action happens in one room, and to that effect, Hitchcock uses every trick he's got to create something that will entertain you from start to finish. Rear Window is a classic thriller, one that ranks among the finest ever filmed and it only is elevated by some magnetic performances from its cast that just make this picture standout even more. The film ranks among Alfred Hitchcock's finest works.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2012
Hitchcock A.K.A. "The Master of Suspense". I came into this film thinking, "Let's see if he lives up to his title." Oh, he proved it to me, alright. What a craftsman.

Unfortunately, a lot of thrillers and horror films fall victim to audience's expectations: "When're the scares coming?"; "When's it gonna get exciting?". I feel bad for the directors; directors want to render an engaging film with character-building and narrative producing sequences, but because of these expectations, their films are quickly dismissed and concluded to be another failure. "Rear Window" is a blatant exception; this is a taut, near perfect film. Everything's directed with such finesse and precision from the intentional gradual build-up until the heart-pumping, tea kettle hissing, finale. Though it is a mystery and suspense film at heart, Hitchcock also delivers a character-driven, narrative-engaging thriller due to its ridiculously witty and razor sharp script. And because of its writing, no matter what may be happening in a scene, the film has a buttery-smooth flow that never dips. And once the climax hits, the tensions hitting all cylinders to bring an extremely immersive/claustrophobic experience. In other words, "Rear Window" is a love letter to suspense genre nerds.

All the way through, "Rear Window" is an engaging masterpiece that's filled with symbolism, an engaging narrative, precise editing, beautiful cinematography, and tension-brimming scenes. There's no doubt in my mind that Hitchcock has earned his title as "The Master of Suspense" due to movies like this. Almost hitting 60 years old, "Rear Window" is the perfect example of how a well-crafted narrative never shows its age.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2012
'Rear Window'. The master of suspense in perfect control of his craft, focusing the lens on a subject that has been taken to the extreme today, and will only go further; voyeurism.

"We've become a race of Peeping Toms" - Readers Digest, April 1939.

Watching people when they feel they're safe, alone, in the comforts of their home, where they can be themselves. It's a perverted concept. It's also a darn intriguing one. "Mind your own business" doesn't really work too well against the curiosity of human nature, especially when the concept has essentially been flipped on its head in today's world of oversharing every little aspect of your life. Imagine someone looking at a Facebook feed for hours on end every day. Oh, wait...

One scene later in the film when Ms. Lonely Heart enters her apartment with a new man, and Stewart and Kelly look on cheerfully, happy for the company she's received after her nights alone. She draws the blinds, a thought that occurred to her *just* in case someone might see the naughty direction the night was going on. They keep watching, and their happiness is shattered when the young man turns aggressive and is kicked out, leading to an even sadder Ms. LH. They take a moment to ponder what right they have to peer into the private moments of people, and are even considering laying off the case until we [oh yes, we're all part of it] hear that blood-curdling scream, sucked back in.

Compare all this to the external, public perception Grace Kelly's Lisa puts forward to win over Jeffries, all the way to what becomes an extremely sad end in my eyes; Lisa pretending to read a book on foreign travel, believing that Jeffries is awake, and switching over to Bazaar when she sees him dosing off. My mind went instantly to the public face everyone puts on every day, for increasing minutes, to appease the social networks that consume us.

All this and I haven't even talked about the utter charm of Jimmy Stewart, beauty of Grace Kelly, and mentioned once again the pace and direction of Hitchcock. We're all instantly part of the lives of everyone in that apartment facing the rear window, as the camera swoops and pans, giving us a snapshot across the day.

I enjoyed the little stories I was seeing, grew suspicious as Jeffries did, and had my hand covering my mouth, reeling back in my chair, cursing Jeffries for putting Lisa, Stella and ultimately himself in that situation.

Lucky we don't need to look outside a window when we're bored now. We have a million to look into from what you're reading this on.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2007
A photo-journalist laid up with a broken leg entertains himself by watching the daily coming and goings of his neighbours but mounting circumstantial evidence leads him to suspect that one of them has committed a grisly murder. Hitchcock was always the consummate voyeur and in Rear Window he draws us into the realm of the peeping Tom as he teases and titillates with the smallest of clues and half-overheard conversations as helpless hero James Stewart pieces together a potential crime that could just as easily be an innocent misunderstanding. It's quite interesting how Stewart is immobile during the entire film and as such can be seen as one of the most "impotent" heroes you'll ever see. In fact he could be accused of emotionally blackmailing his would-be fiancee into taking all the risks on his behalf because of his stated inability to respect anyone incapable of withstanding hardship and danger. It's a fascinating snapshot of the America of the past as we see the everyday lives of ordinary folk as well as a taut and suspenseful thriller in which Hitchcock expertly cranks up the tension to breaking point. Classic film-making and yet another example showing how a great story expertly told never ages.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2011
Hitchcock is most certainly a master of his art. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and despite the fact that I have seen the loose remake Disturbia, I was completely involved in the story and couldn't always guess what was going to happen. Fantastic performances from everyone and I really love the set. There's so much atmosphere in that first shot looking around all the flats and it tells so much. I believe that everyone creeps at some point in their lives, but this is exciting and fully rounded off. There's so much I love about this film and it is most certainly one of my favourites of Hitchcock.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2012
A masterpiece in cinema. I loved every frame and the auteurism shown by Hitchcock will make any film maker jealous. Amazing piece of film!
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2008
I love Alfred Hitchcock he is a great director and makes really good movies, although this isnt my most favourite Hitchcock movie, it is still iconic and very uniquely impressive!
Its suspenseful and seat gripping! A fan of Hitchcock then you'll love this movie!
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2006
Classic Hitchcock thriller about a man with too much time on his hands, peeping at the neighborhood through his rear window. The film cleverly makes the audience his accomplice, sticking mostly to his point of view, with the adorable backyard making a very limited but special setting. The film takes its time introducing the protagonist, his views on marriage and the world and the people he is looking at. But once things get more interesting the movie defines the excitement of having to witness something without being able to interfere. It's fun to see how the film plays with the audience's suspicions, expectations and the peeping tom in all of us. For its time that was an outstanding and unique film, that feels dated now but still has its perks.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2011
As close to "a perfect film" as you can get. In Hitchcock's greatest effort, everything comes together. Spectacular set design, amazing performances and ofcourse Hitchcock's trademark pitch perfect suspense.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2011
A suspenseful yet very fun masterpiece. James Stewart gives a very charismatic performance.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2011
If you are a person who won't view an "old" movie, think again! Trust me this movie is just as exciting as anything made today. Hitchcock is truly a genius, no joke.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2007
Classic Alfred Hitchcock. A housebound photographer suspects his neighbour of murdering his neighbour's wife. Stars James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It reminds me of What Lies Beneath and Disturbia.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2010
For my first Hitchcock film ever, I was very pleased. A classic film that upholds its reputation as one of the best. It's such a great thriller, not only through the main story, but also the small stories of all the neighbors as well. I love all the characters and their development. Brilliant! I also loved the romance, very memorable, it gives more depth to the film. James Stewart gives a very layed back performance. He's very real, and believable. Grace Kelly is simply stunning and beautiful!
Great film! So glad I finally got to watch it.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Another fantastic thriller from Hitchcock. It's really a must see movie whether or not you're a fan of his. If you like thrillers you need to see this movie.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2010
One of the best suspense/thriller films ever made. This is Hitchcock at the height of his power, as he expertly develops his two crucial characters and making us become closely involved with what they are inspecting across the yard. The ending is chalked with suspense, and you could make a case for the James Stewart - Grace Kelly relationship to be one of the most magnetic seen in film. Although obviously dated, it remains a classic thanks to sound direction, tremendous acting, and an unforgettable conclusion.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
Keeping in mind that I'm normally not into older movies (by that I refer to those made before the decade I was born), this one was a little better than I had hoped it to be. A fun fact is that this film also became the inspiration and source material for one of the best episodes of The Simpsons to date. And I can see why, because the story in this one was really one of a kind. I must say it's quite overrated though, as it hardly lives up to it's 8.7 rating on IMDB. Even so, it's a good oldie of superior craftmanship. On another, unrelated note, it also made the mark as the 1500th film that I've seen in my life (that I can recall that is). And I'm sure there'll be plenty more in the years to come ;-)
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2008
I love a good suspense-thriller, and Rear Window is one of the best classic examples of the genre. It's excellently paced, and balances tension and levity. There's no doubt that it holds up well 50+ years after its creation.

Grace Kelly is my favorite of Alfred's leading ladies (and perhaps my favorite classic actress, period), and her pairing with Jimmy Stewart really pushes Rear Window over top. For a movie with so few main characters, it was absolutely essential that the two leads have chemistry and be capable actors, and their were few other people at that time who satisfied both those requirements more than these two.

Limiting the story to what the protagonists can see from their apartment window was an intentional creative constraint that helped to fully develop the themes of the movie. I never knew that such a singular point of view could offer such a riveting and interesting experience. For all these reasons, Rear Window edges out Psycho as my favorite Hitchcock movie, so far.
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