Cape Fear - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cape Fear Reviews

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October 15, 2016
Cape Fear may be best remembered for the Simpsons' clever parody, but the 1991 remake took psychological terror, creepiness and brutality to new levels. It won't be an easy movie for many people to watch. Robert DeNiro's Max Cady is a performance for the ages, walking the line between kindly southern gentleman and evil sadism with unpredictable shifts.
September 28, 2016
December 2009
September 2016
September 27, 2016
One of Robert De Niro's best performances. Martin Scorsese provides a sense of dread that no other director could have done; a masterpiece.
September 21, 2016
"Counselor....counselor....come out, come out where ever you are..." As much as I love Scorsese and believe it is impossible for him to do a bad movie, the real credit goes to DeNiro in this film as he gives without a doubt one of the creepiest, disturbing, and moving performances of his career; he's is the reason the movie is as good as it is. Nick Nolte, one of my favs definitley lives up to DeNiro as well as the part originally played by Gregory Peck, and DeNiro playing the role eventually played by the great Robert Mitchum, but until recently I never saw the original and truthfully I like Scorsese's version better. Not because it's Scorsese and DeNiro, but because I have watched this movie for as long as I can remember that after getting so use to this movie, that the original was kind of.....ok. But I understand that the original is going to be different, but I just couldn't get into it the way I could with the remake, but I do understand why the original is a classic. But it the Scorsese/DeNiro version that really sticks out among the original and that is because of DeNiro, the way he's dressed, his hair, the tattoos, everything. Watching DeNiro in movies like this, "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas of course, "Taxi Driver", and so forth and so on make me realize why DeNiro is still one of my favorite actors of all time even though he hasn't done a good movie since I think "Meet the Parents," but I understand every actor has their bump in the road in their career. Juliette Lewis always reminds of how surprisingly good she is as well in this movie as Nick Nolte's daughter, cause when I think of the movie I generally think of Nolte and DeNiro in a Scorsese film, but Juliette Lewis come through as well in this film. My aunt's girlfriend told me when we watched this movie during Christmas break that the scene between Lewis and DeNiro in the theater class downstairs alone, and the way DeNiro talks to her and then starts kissing her is worse than him having sex with them in this film, and you know something she is right, but hey...that's good acting.
September 9, 2016
Scorsese's mastery in the art of film is not on display in his remake of "Cape Fear," but this absurd psychological horror film doesn't go without it's thrills and features a great performance from Robert De Niro.
½ September 1, 2016
this movie was beyond awful. the simple act of watching it was painful but I forced myself through the whole thing. most of it was unrealistic, especially not explaining how Max managed to get to the family every time. i honestly don't understand what most people find so amazing about this movie. maybe it's just me. terrible
August 27, 2016
Despite the flaws, it's hard not to Atleast like for Deniro's unsettling performance
½ August 24, 2016
Martin and Robert nail it again big time with Cape Fear!
½ August 22, 2016
Cape Fear is surprisingly mediocre and is typical genre fare, even for Scorcese. It is ridiculous compared to the original, and the cameos of the original cast aren't enough to save this movie; it is extremely different from the 1962 version, and the plotting is less than perfect. Nolte and De Niro keep it watchable, but it still suffers greatly.
August 21, 2016
A spine-tingling Bernard Hermann score. An opening credits sequence designed by Saul Bass. Crazy camera angles. Out of context, all of these things are the staples of one legendary director: Alfred Hitchcock. With Cape Fear, these attributes are applied as an homage to Hitchcock via another legendary director: Martin Scorsese.

The film, a remake of the 1962 film, which itself drew many inspirations from Hitchcock, takes Scorsese into horror/thriller territory, a genre he has rarely covered, to mostly impressive success. The real reason the film is so unsettling is due to the Oscar nominated performance from Robert De Niro in his seventh collaboration with Scorsese. The way De Niro jumps back and forth from seemingly innocent to absolute psychopath as he manipulates his way into the Bowden family is absolutely creepy, and is handled as well as you'd expect from someone like De Niro. The rest of the performers here, including fellow Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis, Nick Nolte, and Jessica Lange, are all solid too, but there's no stealing the show from De Niro.

Cape Fear isn't without its problems though. As the story progresses, this story makes a sharp turn from a somewhat grounded one to one that is borderline comedic in presentation, which creates a huge tonal inconsistency. If it was intentional, as a kind of gesture to how absurd these kinds of stories can be, it's not a bad decision, but the fact that it's hard to tell isn't a good sign. And while it comes with the story and the themes Scorsese is conveying here, Nolte's Sam Bowden is sometimes hard to relate to, and lacks the kind of characterization that makes you want to root for him.

As a whole, it's not Scorsese's most refined work, but is a thrilling time with lots of tense moments and an expectedly great turn from De Niro to cap it all off.
August 8, 2016
Cape Fear paints a portrait of a picturesque, upperclass family and then takes great joy in having a ruthless villain unearth the ugly truths lurking beneath the surface and tear apart their perfect little world. It is an incredibly intense film, filled with aggression and fear. Max beats and bleeds and slashes his way through Sam's life and we discover that Sam is almost no better than Max. It's thrilling story of retribution is underlined by a chilling score and fueled with its colorful characters. Max is the most vibrant character in the film and it's a very odd role for Robert De Niro. He is crude and relentlessly vicious, but smart and cautious. He's also very animated with his obnoxious Texas accent and random acts of violence. It's a really unsettling performance.

One of the most interesting parts of the film was to watch how this happy, super American family unravels to become desperate and morally bankrupt. The protagonists appear to be good, but then the sins of their past are revealed and they take actions to stop Max that almost convince you that they've switched roles and become the villains. The film is paced very quickly, the story moves fast and we spend a good part of the film trapped in Sam's house, waiting for the something to happen, which adds a lot of tension. The narrative is sharp and deliberate, where Max takes out one part of Sam's life at a time (the mistress, the dog, the Maid), but leaves his daughter alone. It is definitely odd, but it has enough style and thrills to be a satisfying film.
½ July 31, 2016
Classic films never call for remakes, but when they do, nobody does it better than Marty. Cape Fear is one of his greats. Even after entering a new era in his career following GoodFellas, Cape Fear harkens back to the days of Taxi Driver, in an equally bone-chilling and psychotic performance by Robert DeNiro. It's a near perfect, old Hollywood style psycho-thriller. Other than DeNiro, it is the cinematography, the editing and the music that makes the picture come alive. It has all the grit and cynicism of a Scorsese picture, with the big production values of a Spielberg picture.
July 15, 2016
A tense, chaotic thriller that's disturbing in imagery, subtext and symbolism.A shout out to the incredible cast: Nick Nolte's commanding performance is commendable, Jessica Lange knocks it out of the park as a repressed wife and mother, Juliette Lewis is incredible as a growing teen, Joe Don Baker brings the. heat and charisma as a P.I., and DeNiro terrifies you in every way. However though, mostly shot masterfully and creatively, the tricks expressed can be exhausting and confusing from the next frame that you'll be scratching head wondering if something was either cut or misheard, even when it's serving that exact purpose. Still, this is a Marty Scorsese flick. His mastery of filmmaking is crafted like a new human being that lives and breathes. His attention to using old school camera tricks with his amazing editing partner, Thelma Schoonmaker, and the late cinematographer Freddie Francis, create a new - old style.
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2016
A stylish neo-noir from Martin Scorsese, more mainstream than the rest of his work but still with his personal touch. It is a smart and anguishing thriller that takes a good time to build tension and boasts a terrifying performance by De Niro as the psychopath Max Cady.
Super Reviewer
July 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.
July 8, 2016
I love this show. The character's are just awesome.
July 3, 2016
Typical De Niro over-the-top performance. No subtlety, no range. Robert Mitchem's performance was far scarier and made you feel the depth of the character's derangement far more than De Niro ever could.
Super Reviewer
June 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.
June 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.
June 19, 2016
Preposterous and perfectly insane, especially at the end. De Niro's Max Cady is frightening because of how he uses religion and legal jargon to his advantage-Mitchum's Cady was mainly just a force unable to be physically subdued.
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