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Post-Misery Kathy Bates proves to be another wonderful conduit for Stephen King's novels in this patient, gradually terrifying thriller. Read critic reviews

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Dolores Claiborne Photos

Movie Info

In a small New England town, Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) works as a housekeeper for the rich but heartless Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt). When Vera turns up dead, Dolores is accused of killing her elderly employer -- so her estranged daughter, Selena (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a well-respected New York City journalist, decides to visit her mother and investigate the matter for herself. As Selena digs deeper into the case, she uncovers shocking truths about the murder and her own childhood.

Cast & Crew

Kathy Bates
Dolores Claiborne
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Selena St. George
Judy Parfitt
Vera Donovan
Christopher Plummer
Det. John Mackey
David Strathairn
Joe St. George
John C. Reilly
Const. Frank Stamshaw
Ellen Muth
Young Selena
Bob Gunton
Mr. Pease
Roy Cooper
Magistrate
Michael Kelly
Associate Producer
Stephen King
Writer (Book)
Tony Gilroy
Writer (Screenplay)
Danny Elfman
Original Music
Gabriel Beristain
Cinematographer
Mark Warner
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Dolores Claiborne

Critic Reviews for Dolores Claiborne

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Dolores Claiborne

  • Jul 06, 2018
    Smartly acted and directed, this is one of the finer Stephen King adaptations you'll find.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2013
    A mostly standard mid-90s melodrama that's elevated by some strong performances (Leigh is the standout among a first rate cast) and a solid screenplay.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2012
    I was initially a little skeptical about this, mainly because it is supposedly a psychological thriller, yet it sounded like a pretty predictable drama. My skepticism was pretty much spot-on, and the movie felt like what could have just been the main character explaining what happened, but instead was stretched out into a full-length movie. As great as Kathy Bates is at just about everything she does, the plot wasn't all that interesting to me, and it was far from a thriller.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2011
    Dolores Claiborne is not your typical Steven King vehicle, it's a straight drama with haunting imagery and horrifying secrets. The script worked well, as did the overall flow of the story. I thought the direction was very competent, and was especially impressed with how the film incorporated flashbacks. Kathy Bates was phenomenal (Judy Parfitt was almost as good, and David Strathairn deserves an honorable mention). Unfortunately, though, the same can't be said about Jennifer Jason Leigh who was a bit too melodramatic. The ending scene with the magistrate felt forced and too cliche for an otherwise smart film. Minor criticisms aside, this is a fine, authentic, and mature thriller.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer

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