A Perfect Murder

1998

A Perfect Murder

Critics Consensus

A slick little thriller that relies a bit too much on surprise events to generate suspense.

56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 72,605
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Movie Info

A Perfect Murder is based on Frederick Knott's play Dial M for Murder, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954. Married to commodities trader Stephen Taylor (Michael Douglas), Emily Bradford (Gwyneth Paltrow) is romantically involved with artist David Shaw (Viggo Mortensen). Aware of this affair, Stephen researches David's past, visits his loft studio, and informs David that he knows about his aliases, jail sentences, and various cons and scams directed at rich women. Then Stephen offers David $500,000 to murder Emily, and David agrees. The plan is calculated to make the murder look like an accident, but events soon go on an unscheduled course. Enter Detective Mohamed Karaman (David Suchet). Knott's original play opened June 1952 in London, followed by a New York run that began October 1952. Several books and sources describe how Hitchcock's film was made in 3-D but neglect to mention that, despite trade screenings in 3-D, Dial M for Murder was originally released in 1954 with ordinary, flat 2-D prints. It was finally shown to audiences in 3-D during the mid-'80s. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Cast

Michael Douglas
as Steven Taylor
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Emily Bradford Taylor
Viggo Mortensen
as David Shaw
David Suchet
as Det. Mohamed Karaman
Sarita Choudhury
as Raquel Martinez
Constance Towers
as Sandra Bradford
Michael P. Moran
as Det. Bobby Fain
Novella Nelson
as Ambassador Alice Wills
Will Lyman
as Jason Gates
Maeve McGuire
as Ann Gates
Stephen Singer
as Effete Man at Met
Laurinda Barrett
as Met Woman #1
Aideen O'Kelly
as Met Woman #2
Reed Birney
as Merchant Prince #1
Robert Vincent Smith
as Merchant Prince #2
Bill Ambrozy
as Merchant Prince #3
George S. Blumenthal
as Merchant Prince #4
Iris Alten
as Guest at Met
Marion Blumenthal
as Guest at Met
Andrew Sussman
as Guest at Met
Robynn N. Sussman
as Guest at Met
Radney Tucker
as Guest at Met
Beverly Tucker
as Guest at Met
Bradford Billet
as Guest at Met
Robert Bosco Cokljat
as Croatian Delegate
Marat Yusim
as Russian Delegate
Lee Wong
as Japanese Diplomat
Roberta Orlan
as Italian Diplomat
Francis Dumaurier
as French Delegate
Deen Badarou
as African Delegate
Jean De Baer
as Secretary
Michel Moinot
as Maitre d'
Monica Parker
as Janice Moran
Scott Dillin
as Detective Scott
Starla Benford
as Police Technician
Bob Bowersox
as Police Photographer
Joanna Adler
as Vyczowski
James Georgiades
as Policeman #2
Jose Ramon Rosario
as Policeman #1
Gerry Becker
as Roger Brill
William Bogert
as Harrington
Adrian Martinez
as Young Tough
View All

Critic Reviews for A Perfect Murder

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (23)

  • ...a fast-paced thriller that probably will leave Alfred Hitchcock aficionados mourning its shallowness -- but not until after they've enjoyed an adrenaline rush.

    Nov 6, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • None of the amusement gained in watching the performances, unfortunately, amounts to much, as the script, in a desperate attempt to lend action interest to the original, static, puzzle plot, compounds surprise turn after surprise turn.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • What the film lacks is suspense, surprise (the new ending is a dud) and passion.

    Jun 5, 2001 | Rating: 2/5
  • A Perfect Murder begins better than it ends, and the pleasures it offers turn out to be more of a transitory nature.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Loaded with dramatic irony in the first half and with tension in the second, the film gives Douglas another chance to do his slick, sinister best; Paltrow a chance to extend her emotional range; and Mortensen a chance to play the chameleon.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4
  • ...there's nothing about this thriller to prevent it from soon becoming enmeshed in the memory with others in which Michael Douglas wears a starched collar and grits his teeth.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Perfect Murder

  • May 07, 2012
    interesting take on the original hitchcock film. I didn't like the changes and like psycho i just didn't feel the need for this to be remade. why remake a classic, once a film hits perfection leave it alone
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2011
    A typical mid-90's thriller with the murders and the twists and the mystique and the sexual tension. But hey....I like the mid-90's thrillers...they get the money rolling. Pretty okay movie.
    Martin S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2010
    I've just watched 'A Perfect Murder', and once again I'm impressed by Michael Douglas' performance. Maybe Michael Douglas is very good at reading scripts, because almost all his movies are good or at least average. New Douglas movies like One Night at McCool's and Traffic confirms Douglas' skills to choose roles. It shouldn't all be about Douglas, but I needed to praise this great actor. The movie is pretty exciting with some thrills throughout the whole movie. Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen are good supporting actors and their performances shouldn't be missed either. If you like an exciting crime story with some complications, then 'A Perfect Murder' is a good choice. It is good, but there are better movies on the market .
    Mouhannad S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2010
    This stylish and dark drama stars Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow as a married couple ensnared in a web of mutual deceit and treachery. Despite the couple's wealthy lifestyle, neither one is happy. The wife is cheating on the husband. Instead of being furious at her lover (Viggo Mortenson) Douglas offers him a lot of money to kill his wife and the man accepts. They work out a plan for the perfect murder, but then things go wrong... The plot is like a time-bomb ready to explode as the story develops into a thrilling and a guessing game to see what will happen to each of the characters.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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