Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark) (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark) Videos & Photos

Movie Info

A barely recognizable Meryl Streep plays the real-life Lindy Chamberlain, who for a long period in the early '80s was the most hated woman in Australia. While visiting the Ayers rock monument in the Outback with her husband, Michael (Sam Neill), Lindy notices a dingo creeping into the tent where her baby lies sleeping. Seconds later, the horrified woman discovers that her child is gone. Despite Lindy's anguished insistence that the dingo killed her baby, the Australian public is of the opinion … More

Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Fred Schepisi, Robert Caswell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 21, 1999
Warner Home Video


as Lindy Chamberlain

as Michael Chamberlain

as Aidan, 6 years

as Aidan, 8 years

as Charlwood

as Avis Murchison

as O'Loughlin

as Justice Muirhead

as John Buckland

as Joy Kuhl

as Leslie Thompsomn

as John Eldridge

as Cliff Murchison

as Sally Lowe

as Constable Morris

as Greg Lowe

as Professor Cameron

as Golligan

as Sturgess

as Lyle Morris
Show More Cast

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

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6)

Streep's beauty and talent and director Fred Schepisi's intelligence are both shown to best advantage, without easy points or grandstanding.

Full Review… | December 19, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Streep and Neill are the film's perfectly matched thoroughbreds. But the film is neither a double star turn nor the best kind of courtroom drama; it is a sort of epic mosaic of national character.

Full Review… | December 19, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Streep (the best thing she has done in ages) carries it along.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Streep ... plays Lindy Chamberlain with the kind of virtuosity that seems to redefine the possibilities of screen acting.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Streep -- yes, with another perfect accent -- brings her customary skillfulness to the part. It's not a showy performance, but the heroine's internal struggle seems to come from the actress' pores.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Streep's performance is risky, and masterful.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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


"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 stranger

Super Reviewer

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 Smith

Super Reviewer


A CRY IN THE DARK is an extremely well told, deeply involving drama.

Director Fred Schepisi is excellent in the directors' seat, as is Meryl Streep in the lead role, proving once again why she's an acting legend. Her portrayal of Lindy Chamberlain is chillingly perfect.

Sam Neill brings good support to this Streep-centric film.

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