Comfort of Strangers

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

50%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,825
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Movie Info

In this erotic thriller, a young English couple on vacation in Venice find themselves seduced by a mysterious older couple. Mary (Natasha Richardson) and Colin (Rupert Everett) have come to Italy to chart the future of their troubled relationship. They soon meet Robert (Christopher Walken), the enigmatic owner of a picturesque watering hole. He entertains them with copious vino and colorful stories of a childhood spent with a brutal, domineering father. Later, drunk and lost in the maze-like city, the couple once again encounter Robert, who puts them up at his gorgeous villa. They also meet his wife, Caroline (Helen Mirren), who suffers from crippling back pain and obvious emotional instability. Fascinated by the glamorous older couple but disturbed by their dysfunctions, Colin and Mary find themselves slowly drawn into sexual and emotional games that culminate in sudden violence. Directed by Paul Schrader, The Comfort of Strangers was adapted by playwright Harold Pinter from the novel by Ian McEwan. Richardson previously starred in Patty Hearst, Schrader's portrait of the newspaper heiress-turned-terrorist.

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Critic Reviews for Comfort of Strangers

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Comfort of Strangers

  • Apr 14, 2011
    "The Comfort of Strangers" is hardly groundbreaking. In fact most of the film is so insignificant that without the intriguing ending the film would have simply floated away. Thankfully the acting is top notch (Natasha Richardson, Rupert Everett, Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren) are all well suited to the material. They are skilled actors who do well with Harold Pinter's dialogue. In fact, "The Comfort of Strangers" would make a good companion piece to Pinter's older screenplay "The Servant." This picture is rather easy to read, simply put it's about the death of beauty but it's competently made and has an interesting ending making it worth at least one viewing.
    Steven C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2009
    <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-comfort-of-strangers-11990786"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/11/99/07/11990786_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"> </a> <div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-comfort-of-strangers-11990789"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/11/99/07/11990789_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-comfort-of-strangers-11990796"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/11/99/07/11990796_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-comfort-of-strangers-11990801"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/11/99/08/11990801_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a></div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-comfort-of-strangers-11990793"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/11/99/07/11990793_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"><B><I>The Comfort of Strangers</I></B></a> </div></div> Written by Harold Pinter (The Quiller Memorandum) based on Ian McEwan;'s novel. Directed by Paul Schrader with Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, and Helen Miren. Colin and Mary are two naive tourists trying to escape the present in Venice. Disillusioned with their trip, and a little disoriented, they are befriended by a seemingly magnanimous couple played by Walken and Miren who seem to come along at just the right time. Walken and Miren first welcome them as guests, and Colin and Mary are grateful to spend time in a strange city with two fellow English speakers. However the hospitality of their hosts takes a dark turn as they begin engaging in increasingly eccentric behavior, making odd demands, and finally becoming abusive. When Mary catches Miren's character voyeuristically watching Mary and Colin sleep nude, Miren informs her with cryptic delight, "This is the other side of the mirror." All attempts to leave seem to be somehow frustrated. Have Collin and Mary simply met up with a couple of lonely oddballs, or does something more twisted and sinister beckon? Walken plays one his more unusual roles and Venetian location photography highlights the arty visual feel of this slickly produced, unconventional multiple character. study.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2008
    A study of how a director can control performances, tone, editing and cinematography to create an overwhelming mood of menace.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2007
    Venice is the perfect back drop for this movie about lust and obssession and love?Helen Mirren and Christopher Walken are amazing.
    Robert C Super Reviewer

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