Eyes of Laura Mars

1978

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Eyes of Laura Mars hints at interesting possibilities, but they're frittered away by a predictable story that settles for superficial thrills.

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Movie Info

Eyes of Laura Mars has an intriguing premise -- which, alas, is abandoned halfway through in favor of gratuitous violence. The title character, played by Faye Dunaway, is a high-priced fashion photographer, specializing in gory "murder" layouts. When Laura is plagued by visions of genuine murders, she at first dismisses this as a by-product of her kinky specialty. And then she begins telepathically witnessing the bloody killings of her friends and co-workers, as seen through the eyes of the actual killer. Anyone who can't guess who the murderer is within five minutes deserves to be drummed out of the theatre in disgrace. Tommy Lee Jones does what he can with an underdeveloped role, while Rene Auberjonois steals the film as a belligerently flamboyant homosexual. Watch for talk-show host Bill Boggs and future LA Law star Michael Tucker in minor roles.

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Critic Reviews for Eyes of Laura Mars

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5)

... you find yourself chewing over "Laura Mars" after the lights come up. Unfortunately, it's the kind of chew that leaves your jaw feeling tired and your mouth tasting sour.

Oct 3, 2017 | Full Review…

Especially well handled are the screen realizations of Dunaway's premonitions. They look like a blurred videotape, as she explains to Jones at one point, a conception which works well on screen.

May 27, 2008 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

A shallow, chic confusion of eyes, camera lenses, and saleable images of violence of the sort it now purports to question as an 'issue'.

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

In any case, high-minded artistic fluttering - the kind Diane Keaton attempts in "Interiors" - comes so naturally to Miss Dunaway that Tommy Lee Jones, as a down-to-earth, soothing cop, is not just a good foil but an indispensable one.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

Eyes of Laura Mars tries to say Serious Things about fashion photography, corruption in advertising, and the violence in our society. It does not succeed, but it tries.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Irvin Kerschner's stylish 1978 paranormal thriller has a premise ahead of its time.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Eyes of Laura Mars

One of the great American giallos, Eyes of Laura Mars is an unsung little thriller masterpiece. Very little gore and violence is actually seen taking place, but the score makes it a hell of a lot more thrilling than violent content could. I can't believe I've gone all of these years without seeing this gem. I don't want to brag and say I knew who the killer was right from the beginning, but I kind of did. I just knew there was something very off-kilter about a certain character (those who have seen it will know who I mean). Very Argento-esque, it reminded me a lot of Opera and Suspiria. A truly underrated classic of the genre, to be sure.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

½

So, I got to see this movie again yesterday. It's very interesting how Laura has psychic powers, yet doesn't know who the killer is till the end, but then the ending is cliche. Overall, it's pretty good, but it could be better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

A great film but I was sad at the end when Tommy Lee Jones (John Neville) was the killer. Worth a watch & a classic 70s film :)

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

The Eyes of Laura Mars begins with legitimate promise, itching at the surface of this New York art-or-trash aesthetic that sort of serves as an interesting mirror for the movie itself. It seems to have a few smart ideas about the scene it deals with, ideas that quickly fizzle out to give way to a disappointingly generic slasher. Perhaps the most exciting part of the film is how batshit hysterical Faye Dunaway is - she isn't necessarily bad, pulling some sympathy out of us and displaying some pretty exemplary dialogue timing, but she hits astronomically over-the-top heights during her chase scenes. She's just not meant to be a scream queen, not especially with her hilarious wounded-seal hollering. Eventually even my derision of the film grew unappealing as it made its way toward a predictable ending propped up on some really shitty psychodrama. Still, The Eyes of Laura Mars has some surprises up its sleeve, mostly in its first half hour, when it promises to say something insightful about art and death but mostly just ends up acknowledging that they both exist. The photo shoots themselves, often accompanied by music that must have been too cool in 1978, are entertainingly lurid (though not even remotely objectionable or violent as this movie's world seems to think they are). And that cast is fun; Rene Auberjonois is a special treat, camping it up something fierce as Dunaway's ambiguously gay agent, and Brad Dourif is befuddling as her hobo driver. Tommy Lee Jones is also hilarious as possibly the ugliest cop I've ever had a movie tell me was hot. Check that unibrow, dude. Not imperative viewing. Worth it if you're really running low on your late-70s thrillers, which I don't think you ever will be.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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