The Night of the Hunter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Night of the Hunter Reviews

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Top Critic
Variety Staff
August 28, 2007
This start for Gregory as producer and Laughton as director is rich in promise but the completed product, bewitching at times, loses sustained drive via too many offbeat touches that have a misty effect.
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
Eleanor McKeown
Electric Sheep
January 20, 2014
Laughton made a unique and sublimely stunning film. It enchants, haunts and frightens in equal measures.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
November 28, 2010
...quite possibly the most disturbing American film I've ever seen.
| Original Score: 90/100
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
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
One of the most frightening of movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
September 30, 2005
Laughton and cinematographer Stanley Cortez definitely create some very memorable imagery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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
Larry Carroll
September 27, 2002
Classic film that just hasn't dated very well. Mitchum gives a tremendous performance, but the rest of the movie elements don't hold up so well.
| Original Score: 3/5
Chris Barsanti
Film Threat
November 12, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
January 26, 2006
It's the most haunted and dreamlike of all American films, a gothic backwoods ramble with the Devil at its heels.
Rob Gonsalves
April 21, 2007
Corny, yes; pretentious, sure; overwrought, definitely -- but every frame of it is thrilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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.
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+
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
December 14, 2001
Easily ranks among the greatest American films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
May 21, 2004
Charles Laughton's only directorial effort is a work of inspired brilliance.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
November 19, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
James Plath
Movie Metropolis
March 21, 2005
One of the most legitimately scary thrillers ever made.
| Original Score: 5/5
Sean Axmaker
Parallax View
December 3, 2010
... one of the most beautiful pastoral nightmares the cinema has seen.
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
October 23, 2001
Though purely homegrown, Hunter contains no social critique -- the issues are elemental, the morality biblical, the trials Homeric. In terms of cinematic texture, it's a hound from hell.
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