Don't Say a Word


Don't Say a Word

Critics Consensus

Don't Say A Word is slick and competently made, but the movie is routine and stretches believability with many eye rolling moments.



Total Count: 114


Audience Score

User Ratings: 52,813
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Movie Info

This psychological thriller from screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly reunites him with his A Perfect Murder (1998) star Michael Douglas. Dr. Nathan Conrad (Douglas) is a respected adolescent therapist faced with a nightmarish scenario when his young daughter (Skye McCole Bartusiak) is snatched by Koster (Sean Bean), a criminal with a talent for high-tech surveillance. Conrad learns that the kidnapper is desperate for a critical piece of information known only to Elisabeth Burrows (Brittany Murphy), one of his catatonic pro bono patients. While his wife Aggie (Famke Janssen) remains at home, bedridden due to a broken leg, Conrad races to unlock the secret stored in Elisabeth's fractured mind, while a New York City detective (Jennifer Esposito) inches closer to discovering the Conrads' dilemma. Don't Say a Word co-stars Oliver Platt and Guy Torry and is directed by Gary Fleder, who follows up his suspense smash Kiss the Girls (1997). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Don't Say a Word

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (34)

Audience Reviews for Don't Say a Word

  • Nov 24, 2012
    The suspense thriller Don't Say a Word is an impressive and intense film that's smart and well-crafted. The story follows a preeminent psychiatrist that must get a 6 digit number from a mental patient in order to save his daughter, who's been kidnapped and held hostage. The casting is phenomenal, and includes Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy, Sean Bean, and Jennifer Esposito. Douglas is in top form and Murphy gives an inspired performance that nearly steals the film. Additionally, the directing is quite good and does an excellent job at building suspense and intrigue as the story unfolds. There are a few weaknesses in the storytelling, but overall Don't Say a Word delivers a captivating and powerful psychological thriller.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2010
    This is your typical hollywood thriller--formulaic, predicatable, and nothing out of the usual. That being said, Douglas puts forth another fine performance, and his supporting cast is rock solid, especially the bad guy played by Sean Bean. Even though you know how it will all turn out, the suspense, tension and thrill quotient is played out rather well and will hold your interest. It is what it is and makes no pretensions otherwise, it entertains and thats ok with me.
    alan j Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2009
    Renowned psychiatrist Nathan Conrad visits an 18 year old woman who is mentally disturbed with his colleague Dr Sachs. The next morning he awakes to find his daughter kidnapped and him and his wife under surveillance by a shadowy group of men. He is given until 5pm that day to get the patient to reveal a 6 digit number to him that is locked up in her head. Meanwhile his wife is trapped in their flat and police woman Cassidy is piecing together a puzzle that begins with the discovery of two related murders. It doesn't matter how daft a story is if it manages to convince you for as long as it's on screen. For example Face/Off has the most absurd plot in the world, but for 2 hours it doesn't matter and it carries you along. This doesn't quite manage the same trick. The plot is daft - every single part of it is silly from the idea of a girl being unreachable is daft, the idea of the gang doing this is daft and the way that with very little notice the gang manage to set up cameras everywhere. That said it has it's moments - the opening robbery is good and some of the drama works well. However for too much of the film you feel like the director is really trying to make it feel more tense than it is - witness the scene where Conrad first finds talks to Patrick Koster on the phone, the camera spins wildly all round him. Similarly he uses a lot of handheld stuff to give the impression of more action than is really happening, he also uses other lazy tricks like having everyone shouting their lines at times and making everyone squeal their tyres etc when they drive! These combined with the silly plot make it hard to get into. Douglas is OK but he doesn't convince as the strong father figure that saves the day - he looks too old to take on Bean in a fight. He also looks far to old to have a beauty like Famke Janssen. She does well despite being stuck indoors all the time - the only problem with her is that she is far to warm and perfect a character. Murphy is good although she has moments where she's too hammy. Bean and his gang are good but they are distant from the action and never feel like a real threat - in fact you could almost sympathise with Bean, having been double-crossed at the start and wasting 10 years of his life. Esposito is OK but she doesn't really have a character - she tries to be tough and slightly sassy (a role she did so well everyday in Spin City) but she comes across as nondescript as her black leather coat. Victor Argo is a pleasure to see, but he's wasted here with nothing to do in a really small role. Fans of Abel Ferrera will know him while he's been in other things (notably the two Smoke films) and know how good a character actor he can be. Overall this never manages to rise above it's silly plot. It has it's moments but with lesser stars this would have been just another silly straight-to-video thriller.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2009
    Michael Douglas stars as Dr. Nathan Conrad, an uptown psychiatrist whose happy family life is turned upside down when his young daughter is suddenly kidnapped. X-Men's Famke Jansen is Douglas's physically-challenged wife but Brittany Murphy is the most brilliant in this film as the crazed mental patient, she appears to be so twisted it is almost scary. English actor, Sean Bean is very good as the villain. This is a solid thriller with excellent performances but the story is predictable and nothing you haven't seen before.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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