2 Days in the Valley


2 Days in the Valley

Critics Consensus

A labyrinthine thriller with a host of memorable characters, 2 Days in the Valley is an uneven but intriguing thriller/black comedy.



Total Count: 54


Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,753
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Movie Info

A variety of crooks, losers, and working stiffs living in the shadow of Hollywood find their various personal crises overlapping in this intricately woven melodrama. Lee Woods (James Spader) is a cold-blooded hit man and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello) a soft-at-heart gangster; they've been sent to murder Roy Foxx (Peter Horton), the former husband of also-ran Olympic skier Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher). Lee's girlfriend Helga (Charlize Theron) is unhappy about his habit of killing people, and she attracts the attention of Alvin (Jeff Daniels) and Wes (Eric Stoltz), two cops who've been put on vice detail but don't have the heart to bust the prostitute they've been trailing. Alvin dreams of becoming a homicide detective, so when he discovers that he might be on the trail of a murder, it's like Santa Claus showed up in mid-July to hand him a present. Dosmo manages to escape the crime scene, only to foil a murder attempt by Lee, forcing him to hide out in the home of Hopper, a pretentious English art dealer (Greg Cruttwell), whom Dosmo holds hostage along with Hopper's long-suffering assistant, Susan (Glenne Headly). In the midst of all this, a down-on-his-luck television director (Paul Mazursky) contemplates suicide (the main stumbling block is finding someone to take care of his dog) while also being pestered by an actor with equally bad luck (Austin Pendleton) and meeting a compassionate nurse (Marsha Mason) on a visit to a cemetery. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for 2 Days in the Valley

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (22)

  • To the director's credit, the actors all seem responsive to his touch, giving performances that are lively and flavorsome, if not deep or unlike anything each of them has done before.

    Apr 16, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • Herzfeld has a tolerable eye for filling a 'Scope frame but a tin ear when it comes to creating dialogue; these are all characters we've met before, and most even seem bored with themselves.

    Apr 16, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Smoothly constructed, for such a busy piece of work, and Hatcher's ascent to stardom continues.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A sleek, amusingly nasty screen debut by a film maker whose television credits include an Amy Fisher docudrama.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Funny, pathetic, sad, absurdist -- writer-director John Herzfeld plays it any number of ways, and makes them all work.

    Jun 18, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There are too many characters, but some are a lot of fun. The tone shifts, from graphic murder to wig-flipping farce, are too extreme, but much of it works.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 2 Days in the Valley

  • Aug 20, 2011
    This multiple-stories-intersecting-at-the-end cornucopia was actually a strikingly fresh approach at the time of its release in 1996 and represents one of the true successes of that oft-imitated form. Also achieves the rare feat of maintaining interest & involvement in the lives and deeds of a collection of criminals & crooked lowlifes. Charlize Theron has never looked better either - rawr!
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2009
    AA great movie. Somehow I have run into a string of movies lately where the lives of about 6 people all intertwine with each other during the movie. This one is the best of all. Danny Aiello plays an excellent part, along with Paul Mazursky. What we have is a divorced couple, and the wife pays to have her husband killed, which sets of a sequence of events that not only are comical but also suspenseful at times. The Sound Track helps make this a 5 star movie. get it anyway you can, its excellent. 5 STARS
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2009
    this movies kicks ass on many levels
    Coxxie M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2008
    Entertaining to watch, especially sexy Charlize in quite a memorable role.
    Nicolas K Super Reviewer

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