The Caveman's Valentine


The Caveman's Valentine

Critics Consensus

The Caveman's Valentine has an intriguing premise, but the film falls flat under the weight of its ambition.



Total Count: 84


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,152
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Movie Info

A man struggles back from madness to avenge the death of someone he knew in an intelligent thriller based on the acclaimed novel by George Dawes Green. Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson) once had a career as an acclaimed concert pianist, a position at the Juilliard School of Music, and a loving wife and children. But Ledbetter's life has been devastated by paranoid schizophrenia; now homeless, Ledbetter wanders the streets of New York City as he rails against Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, a man whom he believes controls all the evil in the world while following his movements from a perch atop the Chrysler Building. Most nights, Ledbetter takes shelter in a cave in Central Park, earning him the nickname "the Caveman." One morning, Ledbetter discovers a frozen corpse caught in the branches of a tree near his cave; the body is that of Scotty (Sean MacMahaon), a homeless drug addict who was close friends with his pal Matthew (Rodney Eastman). Ledbetter is determined to get justice for Scotty, and he's also eager to prove himself to his daughter Lulu (Aunjanue Ellis), now a New York City police officer. While Ledbetter is at first convinced that his nemesis Stuyvesant is responsible for Scotty's death, in time he focuses on another suspect: David Leppenraub (Colm Feore), a famous photographer known for his controversial erotic images of young men, who occasionally hired Scotty as a model. As Ledbetter attempts to investigate Leppenraub's possible role in the murder, he soon gains an unexpected ally -- Moira (Ann Magnuson), a noted sculptor and Leppenraub's sister. The Caveman's Valentine marked the major-studio debut for director Kasi Lemmons, who made an impressive debut in 1997 with the independent drama Eve's Bayou.


Samuel L. Jackson
as Romulus Ledbetter
Ann Magnuson
as Moira Leppenraub
Tamara Tunie
as Shelia Ledbetter
Aunjanue Ellis
as Lulu Ledbetter
Colm Feore
as David Leppenraub
Henry Stram
as Social Worker
Carla Collins
as First Reporter
Deborah Lobban
as Librarian
Mica Le John
as Young Lulu
Joanne Jang
as Beauty/Cassandra
Alex Karzis
as Byzantine Emperor/Dan
Val Boyle
as Lucinda
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Critic Reviews for The Caveman's Valentine

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (30)

Audience Reviews for The Caveman's Valentine

  • Jul 12, 2012
    Romulus Ledbetter: I got freezing temperatures all over my brain. And I got legends of angels up there! Like little moths, and they'll beat the hell out of you with their wings!  "Inside a tortured mind... The clues that lead to a killer." This weird crime thriller is just as schizophrenic as its character Romulus. I really don't know exactly what to think about it. As of now, all I really know is that I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't particularly thrilled by the story, nor was I enamored by the style. It was also maybe the first time I have seen Samuel L. Jackson in a movie, and didn't love his performance. His acting was more than just schizophrenic, it was off the wall and over the top. I'm guessing that's what the director wanted because the whole movie came off like that as well. It had all the makings to be a truly intelligent thriller. I liked the initial idea for the movie, but by the thirty minute mark, I was less then thrilled by what was going on. By the hour mark, I knew this wasn't going to be good. And by the hour and a half mark, I really just didn't care anymore.  Romulus is a genius musician who attended Juilliard. Now he lives in a cave in a New York City park. He's also crazy as fuck, seeing images and talking to his ex-wife like she is present. He also has a variety of crazy theories. When he finds a frozen corpse in a tree outside of his cave, he starts expressing what he thinks happened, to the police; one of which is his daughter. Obviously they think he is crazy. He decides to try to investigate what is going on by himself.  The Caveman's Valentine isn't an unwatchable movie, it's just one that I couldn't particularly get into and enjoy. I normally can enjoy these psychological, mind fuck movies, but this one was either too much or too little. I haven't really decided yet. I still can't really organize my thoughts on this one. Maybe I'll revisit it in a few years and I'll like it. Or maybe I will realize why I disliked it to the extreme of which I did, because normally like a movie or not; I know exactly why. This one... not so much.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2010
    It was very weird seeing Samuel L. Jackson with big beard and long dreadlocks. Jackson stars as a genius and educated musician who gets very affected by hallucinations and paranoia, he ends up living in a cave and one morning he finds a dead body outside his cave and panics. The investigators believe that this man has frozen to death but the caveman knows that the man has been murdered and he will do anything to convince people that this is the case. This movie was very different from what I'm used to and surprisingly good.
    Naughtia N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2008
    First of all AMAZING PERFORMANCE BY SAMUEL L JACKSON. There were some moments in the Movie that I was abit lost, but then I was fine. I liked the special effects, those Pictures in his Mind, but at the same time they were really confusing me. That Green was really ehh I dont know how to describe it... buah. This Movie deserves at least four stars. I was positively surprised at the End.
    Lilo C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2007
    A delusional homeless man finds a body, and then proceeds to investigate. Except nobody will listen to him, or take him seriously - let alone believe him. Plot wise, it's not the greatest whodunnit, it's Jackson's performance along with some great production work that keeps you interested.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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