One Hour Photo (2002)



Critic Consensus: Robin Williams is very effective in this creepy, well-shot thriller.

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Movie Info

Funnyman Robin Williams steps out of character in this tense, low-key thriller that marked the feature-film directorial debut of music video veteran Mark Romanek. Semour "Sy" Parrish (Williams) runs the photo processing department at a large discount store; Sy is dedicated to his job, and takes great pride in his work. Sy's favorite customers are Nina and Will Yorkin (Connie Nielsen and Michael Vartan), an attractive and cheerful young couple with a nine-year-old boy, Jake (Dylan Smith). Sy dotes on the Yorkins and their son whenever they drop off film to be processed -- something they've been doing quite often ever since Jake was born -- and Nina and Will are indulgent of Sy's attentions, regarding his as a harmless eccentric. What the Yorkins don't know is Sy is a desperately lonely man with no real life of his own, and he's been obsessively making copies of their photos, for years, imagining himself to be "Uncle Sy," a member of the family. Sy's tenuous hold on reality begins to collapse when he develops a roll of film brought in by a new customer that suggests Will has been unfaithful to Nina; the notion that his ideal family may be falling apart is troubling enough for Sy, and when he loses his job, Sy reaches the breaking point. One Hour Photo was screened in competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
R (for sexual content and language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Robin Williams
as Sy Parrish
Connie Nielsen
as Nina Yorkin
Michael Vartan
as Will Yorkin
Dylan Smith
as Jakob Yorkin
Erin Daniels
as Maya Burson
Paul H. Krim
as Yoshi Araki
Lee Garlington
as Waitress
Gary Cole
as Bill Owens
Eriq La Salle
as Det. James Van Der Zee
Paul H. Kim
as Yoshi Araki
Marion Calvert
as Mrs. Von Unwerth
David Moreland
as Mr. Siskind
Shaun P. O'Hagan
as Young Father
Jim Rash
as Amateur Porn Guy
Nick Searcy
as Repairman
Dave Engfer
as Sav-Mart Clerk
Jimmy Shubert
as Soccer Coach
Clark Gregg
as Det. Paul Outerbridge
Andrew A Rolfes
as Officer Lyon
Carmen Mormino
as Officer Bravo
Izrel Katz
as Superintendent
Peter Mackenzie
as Hotel Desk Manager
Andy Comeau
as Duane
Robert Clotworthy
as Eye Surgeon
Wayne Wilderson
as Booking Clerk
Megan Corletto
as Risa Owens
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News & Interviews for One Hour Photo

Critic Reviews for One Hour Photo

All Critics (194) | Top Critics (40)

This immaculately made first feature from noted musicvid and commercials director Mark Romanek provides Robin Williams with one of his creepiest, atypical roles, and the comic star responds with an unusually restrained performance...

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

It has arresting things to say about how the family photo is used less to record than to project, and how far that projection can be from the truth.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Sy's scary ordinariness is a species of acting stunt. There's no there there.

September 26, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Not entirely satisfying as either a creepfest or a character study.

September 12, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Romanek's themes are every bit as distinctive as his visuals. Beyond the cleverness, the weirdness and the pristine camerawork, One Hour Photo is a sobering meditation on why we take pictures.

August 31, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Ranks among Willams' best screen work.

August 31, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for One Hour Photo

I can't believe the relatively low rating - this is a great movie. Probably the best role I have seen Robin Williams in. Very sad movie, especially towards the end as you start to understand Sy a little better.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Plastic-y feel to the movie which fits the mood of the movie. Incredible performance by Robin Williams. A movie that disturbs and crawls under your skin. Something not done too well in many films these days. Cinematography is picture perfect... something you would expect in a movie about a one-hour photo guy. Great movie.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer


Robin williams performs a role that should've deserved more praise. The story is meticulous about an overlooked art and gives us insight into the mind of a troubled man. Romanek's directing helped carry this thriller creepy all throughout the film until the last frame.

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

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