Red Lights


Red Lights

Critics Consensus

Wasting the talents of an impressive cast on a predictable mystery, Red Lights lacks the clairvoyance to know what audiences want.



Total Count: 92


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,324
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Movie Info

Veteran paranormal researchers Dr. Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) debunk fraudulent claims of ghost whispering, faith healing and other psychic phenomena by detecting what Matheson calls "red lights," the subtle tricks behind every staged supernatural occurrence. But when the legendary blind psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro)comes out of retirement after 30 years, his once-fearless adversary Matheson warns Buckley to back off, fearing reprisal from the powerful Silver. Determined to discredit Silver, Buckley and his star student (Elizabeth Olsen) use every tool at their disposal to uncover the truth behind the charismatic, spoon-bending, mind reader. But Buckley is forced to reexamine his own core beliefs as his quest builds to a mind-blowing conclusion in this taut psychological thriller from award-winning writer and director Rodrigo Cortés. -- (C) Official Site


Cillian Murphy
as Tom Buckley
Robert De Niro
as Simon Silver
Sigourney Weaver
as Dr. Margaret Matheson
Elizabeth Olsen
as Sally Owen
Toby Jones
as Paul Shackleton
Joely Richardson
as Monica Hansen
Leonardo Sbaraglia
as Leonardo Palladino
Garrick Hagon
as Howard McColm
Burn Gorman
as Benedict Cohen
Mitchell Mullen
as Jim Carroll
Nathan Osgood
as Michael Sidgwick
Madeleine Potter
as Sarah Sidgwick
Eloise Webb
as Susan Sidgwick
Jeany Spark
as Traci Northrop
Jan Cornet
as David Matheson
Robert G. Slade
as Interviewer ('70s)
Eugenio Mira
as Young Simon Silver
Lynn Blades
as Dana (TV)
Eben Young
as Dick (TV)
Becci Gemmell
as Lucy Marconi (Theater Booth)
Jee-Yun Lee
as Fiona Stewart
Emma Reynolds
as Female Reporter #1
Karen Shenaz David
as Female Reporter #2
Molly Malcolm
as Female Reporter #3
Peter R. Brooke
as Male Reporter #1
Robert Paterson
as Male Reporter #2
Jason Lewis
as Male Reporter #3
Jeff Mash
as Male Reporter #4
Lilliana Cabal
as Female Reporter (sprc)
Gordon Harris
as Male Reporter (sprc)
Ignacio Carreño López
as Man in the Bathroom
Anselmo Cuesta
as Stevie's Father
Patricia Potter
as Female Doctor
Bola Olubowale
as Bodyguard
Simon Lee Phillips
as Standing Spectator
Anna Dorca
as Katia Novikova
Gina Bramhill
as Judi Cale
Jajube Mandiela
as Girl with Piercings (TV)
Jesse Bostick
as Guy (TV)
Roscoe Van Dyke
as Biker (TV)
Paulette Sinclair
as Woman in a Wheelchair
Jean Daigle
as Sally's Father
Ann Turnbull
as Sally's Mother
Eric Loren
as Policeman
Max Hausmann
as Doctor Campbell
Julius Cotter
as Doctor Jennings
Merce Vidal
as Doctor Heynes
Miquel Bordoy
as Professor Franklin
Benjamin Nathan-Serio
as Student in Magna Room
Benjamin Nathan
as Serio-Student in Magna Room
Markus Parillo
as Notebook Man
Kathy Imrie
as Indigent Woman
Howard Swinson
as Old Man on the Bench
Larissa Bouvier
as Teenager on the Bench
Syd Mostow
as Martin Weiner
Brian Lehane
as Psychic Surgery Patient
Aidan Shipley
as Tom's Soldier Son
Wendy Boyd
as 45-Year-Old Sally
Anna Ferguson
as Older Sally
Alicia Caycho
as Maria Vargas
Clelia Bain
as Dorina Vargas
Richard Felix
as Man in Bathroom #1
Joshua Zamrycki
as Man in Bathroom #2
Lex Lang
as Presenter #1
Grant George
as Presenter #2
Bridget Hoffman
as Radio Duo Female Voice
Rif Hutton
as Radio Duo Male Voice
Angelina Wahler
as Susan Sidgwick
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Critic Reviews for Red Lights

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (64)

Audience Reviews for Red Lights

  • Oct 04, 2015
    Really cool. I seriously enjoyed this film. Great acting by Murphy, De Niro, and especially Sigourney Weaver. Suspenseful and worth seeing. I really enjoyed this film's ending too.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 16, 2014
    "Roxanne, you don't..." Okay, I just can't finish that, because it's too obvious, and at any rate, Sting is singing about "the" red light, as if to say there's one red light, whereas this film is about "Red Light[u]s[/u]". Hey, there's a difference that makes quite a difference, because if you've ever been stuck behind a series of red lights, I don't know if you can so much call this film a thriller, as much as you can call it a bona fide horror film. Shoot, I don't even know if I can joke about that either, because this film is about a physicist and a psychologist teaming up to mess with some psychic, so, seriously, just how thrilling can this possible be? Oh, that's what we said about "Buried" some film about some bum being buried, yet it came out as a success, and this is the same director. Well, in all fairness, in "Buried", he was working with Ryan Reynolds, who has always been charming enough for me to sit in a coffin with him for a while, but here, all Rodrigo Cortés has to work with is... Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro and Toby Jones. Wow, this is kind of an impressive cast for a film that no one saw, but at any rate, the point is that this film at least has some charm going for it, although that's not going to be enough to overshadow the problems. Not especially realized as a thriller with only so much consequentiality, this film tends to rely on heavy-handedness to get its points across, having a certain liveliness to its abrasiveness, but nevertheless bearing down on you with unsubtle score plays, alone, and further distancing through scripting whose thin characterization and plotting lacks depth that should drive this steady thriller. Rodrigo Cortés turns in a script that is lacking in storytelling layering, which cannot be justified by meat in this film's dramatically lightweight story concept, for even on paper, this drama was never to carry much in the way of momentum, it's just that Cortés doesn't help. As if there wasn't enough limpness to Cortés' drawing thin characters being a thin execution of a plot concept that was never to be particularly meaty, what Cortés' scripting lacks in material it makes up for in filler, or at least repetitious material, which drags and drags, until the film becomes aimless and unevenly paced, and not just in storytelling's written form. Again, the lack of delicacy to Cortés' direction, on top of shaking subtlety, keeps the film kind of lively, with highlights that really bring the engagement value to life, but when not much is going on to either impact you with or simply beat you over the head with, Cortés fails, if not neglects to incorporate some kind of flare, resulting in bland spells that really water down a sense of suspense. Of course, the storytelling element which most reflects laziness and defuses shock is a lack of originality, because at the end of the day, there's hardly, if at all anything in this film that you haven't already seen in "The X-Files", let alone other paranormal and psychological thrillers of this type, leaving impact to go slowed down simply by your knowing what's coming. Despite an adequate amount of surprising spots, predictability plagues the final product about as much as anything, which is saying a lot, because there is a lot which plagues this unsubtle and unevenly paced "thriller". Quite frankly, while I was watching the film, I found myself forgetting it, but I can recollect enough to tell you that while this thriller occupies your time, by no means does it waste it, not even as much as it squanders its potential, however limited. Inconsistent in dramatic weight, lacking in layers as a thriller, and not even original, this film's story concept limits the final product's bite enough through natural shortcomings, which are themselves limited, by elements that are, in fact, intriguing, perhaps thoroughly so, whether they be tightening in on some edgy conflicts, or incorporating some depth to the dramatics, or painting a paranormal mystery whose evidence of reality in questionable. Like I said, there's plenty to predict in this formulaic thriller, but at the same time, while the film has to resort to a silly twist or tow, the fact of the matter is that this study on what may or may not be the paranormal, and coming to terms with truths about yourself has its shocking moments and thematically weighty aspects, both of which primarily reside in a concept that is done both injustice and justice in a fair execution. Even the film's visual style anchors much of the effectiveness of the tension, as Xavi Giménez's cinematography has a bleakness to its lighting and coloration that, while not particularly unique or richly dynamic, is rugged in its grit, to where it both fits and augments the thriller's intensity, and looks good by its own right. A little more significant of a compliment to the edge of this thriller is, of course, Rodrigo Cortés, at least as director, for although Cortés' storytelling is either limp or heavy-handed, moments of realization to momentum really do get to the nerves, drawing some genuine tension to highlight pacing that is rarely entertaining to some extent. Yes, there are dull spots, but they're relatively rare in this tightly paced, if a little abrasive thriller, which is, at the very least, pretty entertaining, if not kind of tense, despite being rather dramatically lacking. Of course, if there is some dramatic effectiveness, then it's not Cortés' performance that drives it, but rather, the performances that one might predict are pretty solid, given the quality of a cast, from which Sigourney Weaver - as a particularly thinly drawn, but still charismatic and somewhat emotionally uneasy psychologist - and Robert De Niro - as a blind possible psychic who grows tired of his career, if not his life as a unique being - stands out, about as much as leading man Cillian Murphy, who is always as charming as he usually is, but does more than the film deserves by gradually packing on dramatic layers that capture the confusion of a man against the paranormal who fears that his lack of beliefs, if not his safety are challenged. When material to really play with finds Murphy, if not his peers, the acting really shines, and quite frankly, the drama shines with it, for although this is a generally limp thriller, there are plenty of highlights, which grow a little more recurring, until you end up with decent latter acts that are worth waiting for in an effort which is still consistently entertaining enough to hold your interest, even if it's typically with a loose grip. When the light dies down, intensity which natural dramatic shortcomings thin enough in concept go further watered down by subtlety and pacing issues, and a lack of originality that ultimately render the final product underwhelming, if not forgettable, but not to where you can completely disregard an intriguing idea's being done enough justice by a rugged visual style, some biting direction, and strong performances - especially by Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy - to make Rodrigo Cortés' "Red Lights" a fairly entertaining and often tense thriller with bright spots for every shortcomings. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2014
    I really enjoyed the directors last film but this doesn't fulfill the promise shown there. The initial set-up is promising and I enjoyed the relationship between Murphy and Weaver but that's over too quickly and the film starts to fall apart once Murphy launches his vendetta. The twist at the end is far from satisfying and isn't as clever as it thinks it is. De Niro brings a nice edge of menace to his role but apart from a particularly brutal fight in a toilet (that would realistically have killed one of the actors) there is nothing overly memorable about the film.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2013
    In "Red Lights," psychology professors Margaret Matheson(Sigourney Weaver) and Tom Buckley(Cillian Murphy) spend most of their time out of the classroom debunking various and sundry supposed psychics. Even with their high success rate, they have trouble getting funding for their research, only being able to afford to hire Sally(Elizabeth Olsen), one of their students, as an assistant. However, that is not the reason why Matheson does not want to go after Simon Silver(Robert De Niro) who is finally reemerging back into the public eye after decades of seclusion. For most of its extended length, "Red Lights" takes an old and tired argument and drags it out with mostly just a few bumps and chills to keep things interesting, wasting an excellent cast in the bargain. But since I enjoy watching Cillian Murphy in almost anything, this movie might just have had a chance if it was about forty minutes shorter. That way there would have been some satisfaction with the twist filled ending, providing a couple of surprises and proving me wrong on at least one character, despite the fact that at least one other person was doomed to get their comeuppance big time, anyway.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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