Fallen

1997

Fallen (1997)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Has an interesting premise. Unfortunately, it's just a recycling of old materials, and not all that thrilling.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear), Fallen is a blend of the police drama and supernatural thriller genres. Homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) narrates, taking the audience back to "the time I almost died." This sets a flashback in motion, beginning at the prison cell of serial killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas), who grabs Hobbes' hand and sings the Rolling Stones' "Time Is on My Side." After Reese is executed, Hobbes and his partner, Jonesy (John Goodman), find a seeming copycat killer, committing murders in a manner not unlike Reese. Hobbes is drawn into the occult after he meets theology professor Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz), the daughter of a dead police officer. Hobbes becomes a suspect himself, but he continues his search for the truth. Co-producer Dawn Steel died just as this film was due for release. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Cast

Denzel Washington
as John Hobbes
Donald Sutherland
as Lt. Stanton
Embeth Davidtz
as Gretta Milano
Elias Koteas
as Edgar Reese
Robert Joy
as Charles
Frank Medrano
as Charles' Killer
Chuck Jeffreys
as Transit Cop
Ronn Munro
as Mini Golf Owner
Cynthia Hayden
as Society Woman
Ray Xifo
as Society Man
Tara Carnes
as Teenage Girl
Jeff Tanner
as Lawrence
Jerry Walsh
as Fat Man
Bob Rumnock
as Schoolteacher
Ellen Sheppard
as Nun on Bus
Christian Aubert
as Professor Louders
Bill Clark
as Detective Bill Clark
Allelon Ruggiero
as Executioner
John Raphael Russell
as Distinguished Gentleman
Lynn Wanlass
as Complaining Woman
John Descano
as Cab Driver
Cress Williams
as Detective Joe
Rick Warner
as Governor
Brandon Zitin
as Muscle Builder
Rozwill Young
as Prison Guard
Frank Davis
as Prison Guard
Barry Shabaka Henley
as Uniformed Cop
Mike Cicchetti
as Mustache Man
Jason George
as College Kid
Anika Hawkins
as Girlfriend
Stan King
as Japanese Businessman
Sheila Bader
as Witness
Michael Aron
as Reporter
Byron Scott
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Fallen

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (14)

Denzel Washington has the almost impossible task of holding together a convoluted picture that's only intermittently suspenseful and not very engaging emotionally or intellectually.

Jan 11, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

The first half of this movie holds some promise, but time is not on its side.

Jan 11, 2008 | Full Review…

God (or the Devil) is in the detail: every time a fluid is taken into the body, the fidgety camera zooms in, fascinated, suspicious.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A stylish if seriously far-fetched nightmare.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

A crafty piece of work, ending with a pair of marvelous twists.

Sep 26, 2002 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A human trifle that can be safely ignored in this eschatological genre.

Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fallen

½

A pulse-less, predictable thriller which seats Denzel Washington in a thankless role as a decorated Philadelphia cop who is tormented by a demon who once possessed a serial killer (Elias Koteas) that the detective helped put to death. While the story has an interesting aspect to it (the demon bounces around from person to person through a simple "touch"), you still get this feeling that you have all seen this before. Washington does what he can with his character, which is given slightly more information than the other few main characters, but the lack of color overall to the characters as well as a lack of a chilling atmosphere helps lull one to sleep pretty quickly. Of course, with cut and paste thrillers like this, there is a "twist" ending or two, and this one has a pretty clever one to it. However, the film is very, very forgettable just because it becomes tedious after awhile, despite Washington's earnest effort to make it somewhat respectable - it is just a downright bore.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

I find Gregory Hoblit to be a much underrated director. This impressive horror/thriller is very good. The film is definitely creepy and thrilling and Gregory Hoblit crafts a fine psychological horror film. Denzel Washington delivers a fine performance alongside John Goodman. The Fallen is a great mix of crime film, and supernatural horror with a psychological twist. I won't go into detail of the plot. Hoblit, I find is a fine director who knows how to craft an intricate story that is very engaging, and original. This is true speaking of Fallen. This is an interesting, very well executed film. The concept of the film, like most of Hoblit's films is very engaging film. Fallen is a remarkable psychological horror film that definitely is a must see. Fallen is a terrific film with plenty of twists. The performances of the cast make this film something truly special, and though it's not a perfect film, Fallen is still a top-notch psychological horror film with plenty to offer. The story is elaborate, and will keep you guessing till the very end. I enjoyed the concept of the film, and it made this film quite entertaining. Gregory Hoblit is an underrated talent, and with this film he shows that he can craft a terrific film. As far as psychological horror is concerned, Fallen sets out to achieve what it tries to do. A well acted, and executed film with an interesting concept, Fallen delivers, and with a cast like this, it's also a must see. The film is creepy, mysterious and above all very good. Yet another underrated film by an underrated director.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

It was pretty good. The cast seemed a little random...But Denzel Washington was good.

Martin Sahlin
Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

Edgar Reese: Howdy, folks. Ladies, gents, cocksuckers, pederasts, I hope you all enjoy the show. Yes, I do.  "Don't trust a soul." Despite being completely ridiculous and having many flaws, I really loved Fallen. It's a really cool and entertaining movie with a cast that is a lot of fun to watch. I'll admit, it does go over the top with its ideas at times. The best example of this is the body shifts, but it never became so ridiculous as to where I found it annoying. From the opening sequence to the last narration; Fallen is always an interesting and thrilling ride. I find that I didn't dislike anything about this movie.  The plot, while implausible, is a unique supernatural thriller meets cop drama. At first I wished we didn't know what was going on, while Washington's character was trying to figure it out, but in time it makes sense. The movie is a lot smarter than it seems. I think at times Gregory Hoblit tries to be too smart with it and he leads himself into some ridiculous scenes. But those scenes are the most fun. I really liked the way "Time Is On Your Side" is used throughout the movie to show the presence of the "Fallen." Any movie that uses The Stones as a motif is alright by me.  The plot leads up to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. The narration aspect of the movie was a really clever little add on and ties the whole movie together. Fallen, for me, is one of those movies that I like despite knowing that its not nearly as good as it could have been. It has a great idea and is a lot of fun, but that's not to say it couldn't have been much better.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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