Critics Consensus

Berry's acting talents can't save Gothika from its preposterous plot and bad dialogue.



Total Count: 168


Audience Score

User Ratings: 397,742
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Movie Info

A brilliant and respected criminal psychologist, Dr. Miranda Grey is an expert at knowing what is rational. What is logical. What is sane. Under the direction of her husband, the chief administrator of the psychiatric ward at the Woodward Penitentiary for Women, Miranda treats dangerously disturbed patients like Chloe, an intensely charismatic murderess whose confessions of satanic torture are dismissed by the judicious doctor as the psychotic meanderings of a paranoid mind. But Miranda's comfortable marriage and stable life are thrust into terrifying jeopardy after a cryptic encounter with a mysterious young girl leads to a nightmare beyond her wildest imagination. When Miranda awakens from the horrific incident, she is shocked to discover that her husband has been murdered--and the bloody evidence points directly at her. Unable to fathom having committed an unmotivated act of such sheer brutality against a man she loved and admired, Miranda suddenly finds herself confined to Woodward alongside the highly unstable patients she used to treat with methodical detachment. With no memory of the night in question except for fractured visions of the hauntingly enigmatic girl, the doctor's behavior becomes increasingly erratic. Her claims of innocence are seen as the beginnings of a deep descent into madness by her former colleagues like Dr. Pete Graham, Miranda's sympathetic but skeptical coworker who is wrestling with issues of his own. Forced to rely on her instincts rather than facts, Miranda begins to believe that she has been possessed by a supernatural force determined to exact revenge at the expense of her sanity. As Chloe draws her deeper into her own personal hell, Miranda must determine if she is being driven to madness...or closer to the truth.


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Critic Reviews for Gothika

All Critics (168) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (144)

Audience Reviews for Gothika

  • Sep 07, 2019
    A mediocre supernatural thriller, Gothika is rather disappointing. When criminal psychiatrist Dr. Miranda Grey has a blackout and wakes up in prison accused of murdering her husband she has to try to remember what happened and convince people that she's not crazy in order to exonerate herself. Starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., and Penelope Cruz, the film has a pretty strong cast; however their performances are rather lackluster. Also, the script has some issues; i.e. the investigation only serves to find more damning evidence against her and the resolution is inexplicable. Still, the film does a good job at creating suspense and intrigue. And the set designs, music, and cinematography set a creepy, foreboding tone. Gothika has some problems, but it also delivers some chilling moments as well.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2013
    Poor Berry once again being stuck in a horrible horrible film. I did enjoy the acting from the female cast, not sure how the rest got their roles... It's pretty pathetic really. Way too predictable, you just watch and forget.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2011
    "Gothika" is a well-made ghost story. It doesn't advance the horror art form in any way. But as a traditional ghost story, it's quite effective. I am completely mystified by the critical drubbing it received when it came out. My only explanation is that Halle Berry seems to have been the victim of a backlash from both critics and audiences after winning her well-deserved Oscar about a year before "Gothika" came out. Berry here stars as a psychiatrist who becomes a patient in the hospital where she works after she starts seeing ghosts and then commits a gruesome crime. The story is fairly simple, but it gains some complexity by way of a minor character played spectacularly well by Penelope Cruz. Gradually the disparate threads in the story get woven together nicely. Robert Downey, Jr. also has a nice small bit as one of the psychiatrists with whom Berry works. All in all, a good old-fashioned ghost story that makes for an entertaining DVD night.
    William D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2011
    Despite its success, "Gothika" squanders its star power with unnecessary shocks and unrealistic motives. The twists and turns are forced and the constant screaming is headache inducing. There are no explanations to the supernatural portions of the thriller and though the director attempts at a horror genre, there is little there to grasp, apart from the dreary, darkness of the film. Who would have thought that a film where Halle Berry appears naked quite frequently is incapable of holding a viewer's attention?
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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