Dolores Claiborne (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Dolores Claiborne (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A daughter who has come to imagine the worst about her mother learns the facts are quite different -- and more shocking than she ever imagined -- in this adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling novel. Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) has spent nearly a quarter of a century looking after a mean-spirited woman named Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt) on a small island off the coast of Maine; when Vera is found dead after falling down a flight of stairs, Dolores is considered a prime suspect in her murder. Word of the affair reaches New York-based journalist Selena St. George (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Dolores's estranged daughter. Though she's about to leave on an important assignment, Selena instead flies to Maine to find out what's happened with her mother. Selena's father, Joe St. George (David Strathairn), died under mysterious circumstances 15 years before; more than a few people believe Dolores killed Joe, and many feel she did the same with Vera. Though the strong and tough-talking Dolores stands her ground, police detective John Mackey (Christopher Plummer) is convinced that there's more to her story than she's letting on, and in time Selena learns the ugly truth about her mother's connection to both deaths. This was Kathy Bates's second starring role in a film based on Stephen King's work; she earned an Academy Award for her breakthrough role in the movie version of King's Misery.

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Kathy Bates
as Dolores Claiborne
Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Selena St. George
Judy Parfitt
as Vera Donovan
Christopher Plummer
as Det. John Mackey
David Strathairn
as Joe St. George
John C. Reilly
as Constable Frank Stamshaw
Ellen Muth
as Young Selena
Bob Gunton
as Mr. Pease
Roy Cooper
as Magistrate
Wayne Robson
as Sammy Merchant
Vernon Steel
as Ferry Vendor
Ruth Marshall
as Secretary
Weldon Allen
as Bartender
Tom Gallant
as Searcher
Kelly Burnett
as Jack Donovan
Matt Appleby
as Kid on Street
Thomas Skinner
as Kid on Street
Vernon Steele
as Ferry Vendor
Taffara Jessica
as Selena (age 5)
Stella Murray
as Selena (age 5)
Susan Lane
as Crying Girl
Frank Adamson
as Detective Supervisor
Ed Rubin
as Detective Supervisor
Dean Eilertson
as Moving Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Dolores Claiborne

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (5)

A patient and mature thriller featuring a protagonist fascinating in her agony.

September 5, 2010 | Full Review…
Clothes on Film

Denso e melancólico, o filme supera suas ocasionais falhas de roteiro graças às fortes atuações de seu elenco feminino (incluindo a jovem Ellen Muth).

December 26, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
Cinema em Cena

Dreadfully depressing, but Kathy Bates stuns

October 24, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
Kansas City Kansan

Gothic and creepy.

June 12, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
Shadows on the Wall

The film boldly refuses to satisfy the horror fans who are its expected audience, but it's massively unclear what kind of audience it does have in mind.

August 17, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
Nick's Flick Picks

Effective character study thriller.

April 24, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Dolores Claiborne

Constable: Going on a morning walk? Dolores Claiborne: No, I'm just packing the get-away boat, so I can make my great escape. Dolores Claiborne is a good drama from Stephen King that translates well to the screen. Kathy Bates gives a great performance as Dolores; a woman who is a suspect in a murder investigation. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays her daughter who has been gone for 15 years. A great supporting cast features Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, and Eric Bogosian(the guy from one of the most underrated films of all-time, Talk Radio). Danny Elfman gives the film a great score like always. It always makes me laugh when people complain about Stephen King books not being good movies. There's been Shawshank, The Green Mile, The Dead Zone, 1408, The Shining, Misery, Stand By Me, Carrie, Christine and Dolores Claiborne. Looks like they translate well.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A shocking drama from King, about a mother and daughter and a secret. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, and I think you will be too. I highly recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


This was far better than what I was expecting. (Even though I'm a Stephen King fan in general, this particular plot didn't seem too interesting to me.) There are a few turns and twists, most of which (if not all) are predictable, but the way they're unveiled is commendable. And the stellar performance by almost every actor involved only made the movie more worthwhile.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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