The Night of the Hunter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Night of the Hunter Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
December 4, 2016
A magnificent example of a movie doing what movies do best: capturing emotions on film and presenting a feverish, imaginative state with the tactile quality of the real.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Wendy Ide
Times (UK)
October 5, 2015
It's overwrought and lurid; the story is grotesque and so are the characters. It's unlike anything else before and since. And that is why this strident psychological horror stands up now as one of the great pieces of American genre cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Josh Larsen
October 28, 2014
Mitchum is a dreamily terrifying presence, partly because he's filmed in menacing silhouette a good quarter of the time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 14, 2014
One of the great movie horror tales, with one of the greatest of all movie villains.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
October 14, 2014
Mitchum gives one of cinema's greatest performances as a demented man who's one part preacher, one part murderer, and totally determined to track down a stash of stolen loot in the possession of two kids.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Graham Young
Birmingham Mail
October 10, 2014
A classic that is beautifully restored to life, successfully mixing lightness and humour in a dark film that would even have Frankenstein's monster running for cover.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
April 18, 2014
A unique blend of fractured fairy tale, Southern gothic grisliness and striking German expressionism, it also has some pitch-black humor thrown in for good measure.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
February 7, 2014
Laughton's only film makes up, in atmospherics and its horribly righteous wrongdoer, for lapses into talkiness and staginess. There are the moody, often German Expressionist shots and that twinkling gleam to the word-crafty, preaching predator's malice.
Eleanor McKeown
Electric Sheep
January 20, 2014
Laughton made a unique and sublimely stunning film. It enchants, haunts and frightens in equal measures.
Mark Kermode
Observer (UK)
January 19, 2014
A perennially unsettling masterpiece from which modern chillers could learn much.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Mark Asch
Little White Lies
January 17, 2014
It is both Christian parable and folk tale, with its hymns, homilies, and orphans carried to safety by nature's benevolence; but it is also grounded in the social concerns of its makers.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Peter Bradshaw
January 16, 2014
A stunning piece of work, with the shadows of German expressionism and a compositional sense comparable to the work of George Stevens: it trumps its own noir cynicism with a thrilling and plausible idealism in the final moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Miles Fielder
The List
January 16, 2014
This southern American Gothic chiller remains both gloriously cinematic and utterly terrifying almost 60 years after it was made.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Adam Smith
Empire Magazine
January 13, 2014
Mitchum is magnetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Adrian Turner
Radio Times
October 6, 2013
This thriller is one of the great masterpieces of American cinema, a movie so strangely repellent, so poetic and so utterly hypnotic that it sadly never found an audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

Total Film
October 9, 2012
One of the richest, most haunting films to emerge from the '50s.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Cole Smithey
July 22, 2012
[VIDEO ESSAY] Charles Laughton, a consummate British actor of stage and film, directed only one film during his lifetime, but he made it count.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight
August 15, 2011
An astounding thriller with a chilling performance by Robert Mitchum.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Sean Axmaker
Parallax View
December 3, 2010
... one of the most beautiful pastoral nightmares the cinema has seen.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
November 28, 2010
...quite possibly the most disturbing American film I've ever seen.
| Original Score: 90/100
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