The Gift (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gift (2000)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: With a reported budget of around 10 million, The Gift is obviously a labor of love for those involved. Unfortunately, the A-list cast can't prevent the movie from becoming a by-the-numbers whodunit with an ending that's all but unsatisfactory.

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Movie Info

Annie, a young recently widowed mother of three, lives in Brixton, Georgia and supports herself by giving psychic readings. The narrow-minded townspeople shun her for her gift of psychic vision. When Valerie drops in for a reading, Annie advises her to leave her abusive husband. Soon, Annie finds herself in danger as the body of a woman is found and investigators turn to her for help. Slowly, the dark secrets of this rural southern town are exposed and Annie's 'gift' becomes her only hope of saving herself and her family.

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Cast

Cate Blanchett
as Annie Wilson
Keanu Reeves
as Donnie Barksdale
Katie Holmes
as Jessica King
Giovanni Ribisi
as Buddy Cole
Greg Kinnear
as Wayne Collins
Hilary Swank
as Valerie Barksdale
Michael Jeter
as Gerald Weems
Rosemary Harris
as Annie's Grandmother
Gary Cole
as Duncan
J.K. Simmons
as Sheriff Pearl Johnson
Chelcie Ross
as Kenneth King
John Beasley
as Albert Hawkins
Lynnsee Provence
as Mike Wilson
Hunter McGilvray
as Miller Wilson
David Brannen
as Ben Wilson
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Critic Reviews for The Gift

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (30)

There's really just one reason to see the Southern freak show that is Sam Raimi's The Gift, and fortunately it's the best reason: to watch the star of the piece.

January 19, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A glorious textbook example of a gifted film maker's ability to transform a familiar genre and, thrillingly, to confound our expectations in the process.

January 19, 2001
Detroit News
Top Critic

Raimi's latest picture, The Gift, looks like an attempt to create a classier version of the kind of horror movie that established his reputation nearly two decades ago.

January 19, 2001
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Uneven and conventional.

Full Review… | January 19, 2001
Newsday
Top Critic

The movie has an impressive cast. Blanchett is a terrific actress who deserves better than this.

January 19, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Unfortunately, Raimi and Thornton -- who collaborated as director and star on the genuinely creepy A Simple Plan -- have only enough material this time to sustain half a movie.

January 19, 2001
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Gift

½

A Supernatural Thriller with a convincing, natural performance by Cate Blanchett and a unique angle on a Murder investigation. There is something of an emotional commitment brought to the storyline by the characters in this film, which really comes across well on screen. All in all it is a decent (greatly underrated) film, one that I have watched time and time again.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

My second viewing of The Gift led me to realise how formulaic and structured the screenplay actually is. Yes it has some 'twists' and a guessing game as to who the killer is but there's no thrill in the chase. Jessica King is shown as a horrible woman who got what she deserved so there was no sympathy for her death which led me to not care about who killed her. An interesting watch but kind of a waste of time.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

½

Anytime Sam Raimi is mentioned in connection with the occult, the "Evil Dead" springs to mind. This however, is not quite the hilarious gore fest he'd produced earlier but a more character driven mystery. Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is recently widowed and now a struggling single mother. She has psychic abilities and it's in this that she tries to make ends meet by helping a few of the locals with her fortune telling abilities. Despite the skepticism of some of her neighbours and the local law enforcement she is asked to help in the investigation of a recent murder when all other leads come to nothing. But by becoming involved in the investigation, she puts herself and her children in danger with some people preferring that their secrets are left alone. More similiar in structure to Raimi's "A Simple Plan" with Billy Bob Thornton (who co-writes this) rather than his horrors or blockbusters like "Spiderman". It's a well crafted supernatural thriller that keeps the tension high and the mystery elusive long enough to hold your interest. It also helps to have an impressive cast, which this certainly has. Surprisingly though, it's not the Oscar winning/nominated actors like Blanchett, Hilary Swank or Greg Kinnear or even the excellent supporting actors like Gary Cole, J.K. Simmons or Giovanni Ribisi that shine in this film but it's Keanu Reeves who steals the show in this impressive ensemble. He is entirely convincing as a menacing and abusive wife-beating redneck husband. Complete with skip-hat and beard. It's probably his best performance to date and he should definately play more "bad" characters in future. A tightly constructed little who-done-it? and worth checking out, even if it's just for Reeves' excellent acting.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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