Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark) 1988

A Cry in the Dark

Critics Consensus

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93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,990

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Movie Info

While on vacation in the Australian outback, Seventh Day Adventist priest Michael Chamberlain (Sam Neill) and his wife, Lindy (Meryl Streep), discover that their baby, Azaria, is missing from the tent where she was sleeping. Lindy claims she saw a dingo leave the tent with something in its mouth. Initial evidence supports the Chamberlains, but negative media coverage and unfounded rumors create a shift in public opinion as people begin to suspect the couple of murdering their baby.

Cast & Crew

Meryl Streep
Lindy Chamberlain
Sam Neill
Michael Chamberlain
Dale Reeves
Aidan, 6 years
David Hoflin
Aidan, 8 years
Jason Reason
Aidan, 11 years
Michael Wetter
Reagan, 4 years
Kane Barton
Reagan, 6 years
Yoram Globus
Executive Producer
Menahem Golan
Executive Producer
Bruce Smeaton
Original Music
Ian Baker
Cinematographer
Jill Bilcock
Film Editor
Rhonda Schepisi
Casting
Wendy Dickson
Production Design
George Liddle
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark)

Critic Reviews for Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark)

  • Nov 03, 2013
    Fred Schepisi's sole achievement is mainly two things: i) A furious denunciation of the mental framing that mass media employs in its communication strategy towards its national audiences. ii) A wake-up call for the audiences themselves to be objective, to question everything seen in the media and to have a mature perspective towards any situation while detaching themselves from any racial or religious prejudice that may blind their judgment. Evil Angels (aka A Cry in the Dark, the international English title made up for adding dramatic effect) moves at a merciless pace, covering whole years in the lives of the characters, moving from one tiny event to the next even if it may seem irrelevant, quickly moving from one comment of a random citizen to another quarrel between either Lindy Chamberlain and Michel Chamberlain or between random Australian citizens in intervals of between 10 to 15 seconds(!). As you progress, you perceive the film as something rushed, as if it was self-aware that it has a limited amount of screen time but also wants to capture every single view and comment ever spoken by everybody directly or indirectly involved in the conflict. Such technique somewhat mimics the furious editing of the last 30 minutes of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), that is, making a direct statement of social relevance while quickly depicting the effects of the events in the surrounding environment of the main character. The same case applies here. Meryl Streep is the highlight, and thanks to this film, I have seen enough of her filmography to declare her as one of the most gifted and talented actresses of our times, and possibly of all times. She can act with an accent, convincingly, as an angel in the middle of darkness and chaos fighting for her own sense of justice and for the sake of the moral survival of her family amidst a society that blindly makes hypocritical judgments, like if they were the perfect jurors of the world. How the film jumps from one fragment to the next may put off some audiences. For those not minding the unusual pacing decisions taken by some serious filmmakers during the 80s (such as Sidney Lumet or Costa-Gavras), please see this film. The relevance of its message is, right now, at its highest peak, and for those even seeking something visual that may compensate a couple of other aspects, the editing is sublime, the performances are out of this world, the cinematography is hypnotic (the 80s were good at this, as in Gorillas in the Mist) and Schepisi's attempt to replicate an immature nation is extraordinary just as it is incredibly prophetic. 83/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2013
    Meryl Streep plays the dingo lady..or at least the woman who was convinced that a dingo took her baby. A compelling look at one of the most pivotal events in Australian history.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2010
    "The dingo's got my baby!" I can't recollect how I stumbled upon this flick. But besides the above quote, a few other things tempted me to go for it: --> its title (Evil Angels) --> that it's based on true story --> its IMDb Rating --> its genre --> somewhere while browsing its IMDb page, I read "miscarriage of justice," which apparently is my area of interest --> that it stars Meryl Streep While a couple is on a vacation with their 3 children at Ayers Rock, their 10 weeks old baby disappears one night. The mother of the baby, Lindy Chamberlain, claims that a dingo took her baby. As bizarre as it sounds, some people find it quite hard to believe, & after a bit of police investigation, she ends up being accused for the murder of her child. What follows is what you should check out for yourself. The movie kinda tries to expose how media, at times, uses facts as per its convenience to boost its sales/viewership. It also shows how, as it often happens, someone's misery is merely a gossip tool for the public & how the speculations & rumors can sometimes cloud the judgments. While I appreciate its intent, somehow, I didn't find the movie that effective overall. It's good, but it could have been better than this. Was it made in a rush (taking into consideration that the final judgment was passed on September 15, 1988)? The execution wasn't quite up to the mark. Another thing that I found disappointing was the performances. Sam Neill was slightly below average. But what surprised me more was that Meryl Streep, for this once, seemed to me a miscast. She didn't look quite convincing in this role (although usually she adapts & absorbs herself quite well in almost any role; we're all quite aware of her versatility). Anyway, that's just me, because almost everyone else has applauded her performance & she even got nominated for several awards, including Oscar. All in all, the movie is still worth a watch once as it is. But it surely could have been greater than 6.5/10. A BIT OFF TOPIC: When I found that it's available on Youtube, I thought of giving it a go there. However, while the quality was good, it wasn't up to the standards I've got used to lately (but I guess those used to watching movies online will find it good enough. I used to do that for a while when I was a beginner on the internet, but haven't done so since quite long). So I stopped right after watching the first part there. Thought I'd mention it just in case any of you wanna check it out on youtube.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2009
    Lindy Chamberlin: "The dingo took my baby!" words forever etched in the Australian cultural psyche. A great courtroom drama film and a terrific performance by the incomparable Meryl, who had to play not only an Australian accent but also with a hint of A New Zealand accent reflecting the background of Lindy Chamberlain.
    Jeremy S Super Reviewer

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