Frailty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frailty Reviews

Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 30, 2013
Paxton steals the show. And O'Leary more than holds his own again here. Too bad it's in a movie that fails to live up to its potential.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
November 21, 2008
A resoundingly old-fashioned and well crafted study of evil infecting an American family, "Frailty" moves from strength to strength on its deceptive narrative course.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 14, 2007
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Paxton's first movie as director is better than you might expect. It has a first rate cast, and Bill Butler's camerawork and some deft editing help to crank up the tension.
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
September 16, 2002
With an admirably dark first script by Brent Hanley, Paxton, making his directorial feature debut, does strong, measured work.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
Paxton wins quiet victories here as both star and helmer.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
June 1, 2002
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 15, 2002
I love the way that it took chances and really asks you to take these great leaps of faith and pays off.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 14, 2002
A terrifying low-budget thriller that packs a greater wallop than most of the high-priced studio scarefests.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 12, 2002
A suitably suspenseful and disturbing drama.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
April 12, 2002
A spectacularly gruesome and emotionally destructive, if fictitious, account of child abuse, mounted to provide two tweaks of emotion in a clumsily telegraphed surprise ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
April 12, 2002
As a first-time director, Paxton has tapped something in himself as an actor that provides Frailty with its dark soul.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 12, 2002
An accomplished debut, but not an enjoyable one; the shivers it provokes are disturbing rather than delicious, and its story is unusually gruesome.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
April 12, 2002
If you're in the mood to be seriously creeped out, this is the shocker for you.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
April 12, 2002
Dumb but also unrelentingly dark and ugly, thereby depriving the viewer of any camp value.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
April 12, 2002
You ... get a sense of good intentions derailed by a failure to seek and strike just the right tone.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
April 12, 2002
All the eloquence and structure in the world couldn't save it from a fatal case of toxic ham poisoning.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 12, 2002
A genuinely creepy Southern Gothic thriller that once again proves that in horror movies, sometimes less is actually more.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 12, 2002
It's the cinematic equivalent of a good page-turner, and even if it's nonsense, its claws dig surprisingly deep.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
April 12, 2002
If the very concept makes you nervous ... you'll have an idea of the film's creepy, scary effectiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Sam Allis
Boston Globe
April 12, 2002
This is gruesome, not gripping.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
April 12, 2002
payoff isn't worth the time invested.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
April 12, 2002
Paxton has attempted to make a psychological thriller out of material that has no actual psychology in it.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 12, 2002
Intellectually cheap: a superficial exploration of child abuse, with some X-Files atmosphere and excessive narrative complication.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 12, 2002
An extraordinary work, concealing in its depths not only unexpected story turns but also implications, hidden at first, that make it even deeper and more sad.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 12, 2002
Everything in the movies depends on the strength of the script, and many an indie film has ridden a good script to glory. In this film, the greatest Frailty is the writing.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 12, 2002
Frailty may be only a genre film, but it forcefully reminds us of the degree to which all of us are our parents' ideological captives when we're children.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
April 12, 2002
Frailty isn't as gory or explicit. But in its child-centered, claustrophobic context, it can be just as frightening and disturbing -- even punishing.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 11, 2002
A completely spooky piece of business that gets under your skin and, some plot blips aside, stays there for the duration.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
April 11, 2002
A haunting tale of murder and mayhem.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 11, 2002
Whether or not you fall fully under the sinister spell of Frailty, the unsettling and accomplished directing debut of actor Bill Paxton, you will have to concede its bravery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 11, 2002
A meditation on faith and madness, Frailty is blood-curdling stuff.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 11, 2002
Although Frailty may not be a complete success, it offers ample evidence that Paxton could have a career in the director's chair.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 11, 2002
This is Paxton's directorial debut and it's quite impressive.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 11, 2002
Against all odds in heaven and hell, it creeped me out just fine.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
April 9, 2002
If Frailty isn't quite the devastation it could've been ... it remains the most pungent American-Pentecostal mini-nightmare since 1996's true-crime doc Paradise Lost.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
April 4, 2002
An unsettling, memorable cinematic experience that does its predecessors proud.