The Deep End - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Deep End Reviews

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April 6, 2018
Tilda Swinton stars as a mother who, believing her teenage son has killed his homosexual lover, hides the body. After it is discovered, Goran Visnjic comes along with evidence about the connection between her son and the corpse demanding $50,000 to stay quiet. She cannot come up with the money, and manages to win over Visnjic with a fairly impassioned plea. He cannot, however, dissuade his partner from demanding his cut of the money. This extremely effective noir thriller is based on a 1949 novel previously adapted by Max Ophüls as "The Reckless Moment". It's well executed, but gains it's real power from Swinton's performance.
January 1, 2018
Not at all compelling for what was intended to be a thriller. It will bore you to sleep. (First and only viewing - 11/28/2017)
½ April 21, 2017
Rediculous storyline. Blackmailer turned friendly ally! Weekend afternoon movie at best!
½ December 24, 2016
A mother will go to great lengths to protect her children from the atrocities of the world, and 2001's "The Deep End" compellingly explores that societal recurrence with Hitchcockian flair. The film, aloof and noirish, stars a deglamorized Tilda Swinton as Margaret Hall, an acutely average housewife turned woman in trouble after she discovers that her eighteen-year-old son, Beau (Jonathan Tucker), is having an affair with sleazy nightclub owner Darby Reese (Josh Lucas). Already afraid that her husband, always at work, won't accept Beau for who he really is, she insinuates herself into the situation (the film's opening finds her nervously approaching Darby's cobalt cool gay club) and demands that the two stop seeing each other.
But alas a mother cannot always stop what her child thinks is true love, and the very night of her attempting to tell him off is Darby meeting Beau at the family's boathouse for sex. Things come to blows, though, when Darby suggests Beau try to discreetly get money from under the noses of his parents. But like most arguments that get a little too passionate in the movies, Darby happens to take one wrong step on the property's dock and falls smack dab onto the jagged point of an anchor lurking beneath the surface of the waves. Killed instantaneously, Beau fails to mention the accident and leaves the body in its same position for the rest of the night.
The next morning, when she stumbles upon Darby's remains on the shore, Margaret assumes that Beau must have murdered his immortal suitor in some sort of twisted self-defense. Both not wanting the potential laden kid to spend the rest of his life in jail and not wanting anyone to find out about his homosexuality, she takes matters into her own hands, tying the body to the anchor and dropping it off in the middle of Lake Tahoe. The conflict is complicated, however, by the sudden appearance of a man (Goran Vinji?) who claims to have a Darby and Beau starring sex tape. To ward him off, $50,000 must be paid within a few days -- or else.
And a deceptively simple setup that is. But "The Deep End" is a neo noir just effectively sincere enough to rise sympathy out of us when things could have merely taken on the shape of convincingly structured homage. An adaptation of Elizabeth Sanxay Holding's "The Blank Wall" (1947), a novel additionally brought to the silver screen by Max Ophüls's praised "The Reckless Moment" (1949), it's an engaging cinematic examination of a mother's love and how far that said love can go before ever present danger starts to make its way onto the scene.
"The Deep End" has the makings of a hackneyed woman in trouble feature, but Swinton and Vinji?, along with thoughtful writing/directing team Scott McGehee and David Siegel, inspire compassion that makes the film's thrills come second to its many shades of desperation. Swinton is wonderful as an ordinary woman forced to be extraordinary to preserve what's left of her son's virtue, even if that forced extraordinariness makes her skirt the edges of morality one too many times. Vinji? subverts two-dimensional villainy and ultimately touches as an essentially good man in a bad business that begins to empathize with the forlorn situation of his would-be victims. And with McGehee and Siegel's commiserative screenplay and appropriately slithering direction supporting their actors, never does the film bear tone undermining false notes -- it's emotional without saccharinity, its tension as intact as our feeling for characters trapped in a seemingly ineludible labyrinth of intrigue.
Everything about "The Deep End" is just right, except for an ending that unavoidably succumbs to the melodramatic pretense so much of the movie impressively avoids. But a conclusion of deep fried triteness cannot upstage all that stands behind it -- the film is a terse balancing act tightly made urgent by its smartly placed injections of pathos.
September 15, 2016
Truly ridiculous film. bad. No thinking person would make the ridiculous moves of the main character. The "bad guy" who's really not SO bad? Not buying that either. Waste of my time, though I did give up at about the halfway mark.
½ May 27, 2016
Great casting...and Queen Tilda.
½ April 9, 2016
There's 90 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Save yourself and don't waste your time on this one.
½ February 7, 2016
This is a very good film. Tilda Swinton is amazing as an ordinary woman under exceptional duress. It's a story about how far a mother will go to protect her homosexual 17 year old son. It's intelligent, gripping and moving at the same time.
February 5, 2016
suspense is weak. no real climax & the ending was also throw away.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2016
Despite the riveting plot summary, the only things that rescue "The Deep End" from being bland are Tilda Swinton's strong performance as a terrified, desperate mother and a somewhat interesting music score. Otherwise, it's dime-a-dozen weekend afternoon TV fare.
December 5, 2015
one of the dumbest plot lines ever. The lead character does the most stupid things throughout the movie, including bonding with her blackmailer with no reason whatsoever. Don't bother unless you enjoy being frustrated for a solid 90 minutes.
August 10, 2015
Tilda Swinton is so talented. I enjoy every movie in which she acts.
½ May 27, 2014
tilda swinton's great as usual!
May 4, 2014
From the synopsis 'The Deep End' is not that great, but glad I trust my faith in RT rating; this gripping tales keep me on the edge and so nice to take a break from typical pompous A-type thriller movie and enjoy the story more.
April 18, 2014
3 stars just for the fact that Swinton plays an ordinary character.
March 6, 2014
I love Gorman Visnjic! Tulsa Swinton was amazing - identified with her characters crisis! As a mom. Plot was a grabber.
January 22, 2014
Deeply moving story of a mother who tries to save her family with great fortitude and strength, and a man whose slide into crime is halted by his recognition of her desperate devotion to saving her son from being stained by the death of a man who seduced him. Excellent performances by Tilda Swinton and Goran Visnjic.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2013
The Deep End is a well-executed all around noir, one that features yet another powerhouse performance from Tilda Swinton. The story, revolving around a housewife caught in the midst of a blackmail scheme involving her son, is told in way that creates constant tension, being truly suspenseful. The end result is a film that is smart, engaging, well acted, and often compelling.
What catapults Deep End over typical noir films is, without question, Tilda Swinton. Swinton's acting range has long been lauded, and here she completely inhibits her character, conveying a powerful sense of desperation, while also employing a smart cunning. She is surrounded by other strong performances, the most impressive of which being Goran Visnijic, with whom she held a great deal of chemistry.
The script for Deep End is also smart. It gives us scenarios that are grounded in reality, characters with motivations and actions that we can identify with. We understand why they act the way they act, and are therefore invested in both the decisions they make, and the situations they find themselves in. This smart script is complemented by tight direction, which creates a magnificent atmospheric yet intense tone, in the vein of other great noir films, such as In the Bedroom.
While offering us the intrigue of a good noir film, Deep End never forgets to keep the emphasis on the characters and their plights. This emphasis on character dynamics serves the film well, and makes it an overall strong noir piece.
4/5 Stars
August 9, 2013
Don't remember it too well.
June 2, 2013
Swinton rocks in this remake of a twisted thriller--Swinton Soars, Script Sinks!!
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