Cape Fear

1991, Mystery & thriller, 2h 8m

54 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Smart and stylish, Cape Fear is a gleefully mainstream shocker from Martin Scorsese, with a terrifying Robert De Niro peformance. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

When attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) knowingly withholds evidence that would acquit violent sex offender Max Cady (Robert De Niro) of rape charges, Max spends 14 years in prison. But after Max's release, knowing about Sam's deceit, he devotes his life to stalking and destroying the Bowden family. When practical attempts to stop Max fail, Sam realizes that he must act outside the law to protect his wife and daughter in Martin Scorsese's remake of the classic 1962 thriller.

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Critic Reviews for Cape Fear

Audience Reviews for Cape Fear

  • Jul 10, 2016
    Cape Fear was a great suspense/horror film that stands the test of time. De Niro provides a very creepy performance that leaves you feeling dreadful whenever he is on screen. This is assisted by the magnificent score that really adds to the tension. Nolty gives a solid performance as well as the "Leave it to Beaver" esque role he is portraying. My only negative for the movie is the run time. The final act seems to really drag on about twenty minutes too long. All of the tension of the movie has boiled up to a big dramatic ending, and this ending starts to really take care of things, but does meander a bit. Excellent choice for fans of suspenseful movies.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    DeNiro plays a convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a 14 year sentence, and stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him (Nolte). DeNiro definitely earned his Oscar nomination for this one and if Silence of the Lambs hadn't been released the same year, he would have won. He turns in a haunting performance as Max Cady and definitely pushes the film along. Great film and very effective suspense all around.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    I have no idea why people like this film so much. It's absolutely terrible, and De Niro does some of the most unconvincing acting of his career in this film.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2015
    Skin crawlingly creepy, De Niro's Max Cady is the only part that truly stands out in Scorsese's '91 remake of Cape Fear. But he stands out *so much* that it alone makes it worth watching. The couple of innovative stalking moments and supporting cast members Juliette Lewis and Jessica Lange didn't blow me away, but were still enough to kick it up another level.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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