The Ring (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ring (2002)



Critic Consensus: With little gore and a lot of creepy visuals, The Ring gets under your skin, thanks to director Gore Verbinski's haunting sense of atmosphere and an impassioned performance from Naomi Watts.

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A disturbing videotape appears to hold the power of life and death over those who view it in this offbeat thriller. A strange videotape begins making the rounds in a town in the Pacific Northwest; it is full of bizarre and haunting images, and after watching it, many viewers receive a telephone call in which they are warned they will die in seven days. A handful of teenagers who watched the tape while spending a weekend at a cabin in the mountains scoff at the threat, but as predicted, they all die suddenly on the same night. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), the aunt of one of the ill-fated teens, is a journalist who has decided to investigate the matter and travels West with her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman), a troubled child who has been drawing pictures of strange and ominous visions. Rachel managed to find the cabin in the woods and watches the video herself; afterward, she receives the same phone call, and realizes she must solve the puzzle of the video and the person or persons behind it within a week. Rachel turns to her ex, Noah (Martin Henderson), an expert in video technology, who at first is convinced the story is a hoax until he digs deeper into the mystery. The Ring was adapted from a 1996 Japanese film by Hideo Nakata, which became a massive box-office success in Asia and spawned two sequels. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Naomi Watts
as Rachel Keller
David Dorfman
as Aidan Keller
Jane Alexander
as Dr. Grasnik
Lindsay Frost
as Ruth Embry
Amber Tamblyn
as Katie Embry
Shannon Cochran
as Anna Morgan
Sasha Barrese
as Girl Teen No. 1
Tess Hall
as Girl Teen No. 2
Adam Brody
as Male Teen No. 1
Joe Chrest
as Doctor
Sara Rue
as Babysitter
Lindsey Stoddart
as Grad Student
Joe Sabatino
as Orderly
Maura McNamara
as Girl On Ferry
David Povall
as Girl's Father
Keith Campbell
as Ship's Mate
Chuck Hicks
as Ferry Worker
Coleen Maloney
as Mourner No. 1
Catherine Paolone
as Mourner No. 2
Guy Richardson
as Librarian
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News & Interviews for The Ring

Critic Reviews for The Ring

All Critics (202) | Top Critics (47)

Gore Verbinski creates an air of dread that begins with the first scene and never lets up, subtly incorporating elements from the current wave of Japanese horror films along the way.

July 25, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

The filmmakers have wisely stayed close to the original's mood, which is somber and flat, with quick (near-subliminal) inserts and a soundtrack full of watery-grave groans and murmurs.

July 25, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

An edgy, watchable film, but one that makes you feel more squeamish than screamish.

July 25, 2014 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The Ring, about a videotape that kills people, is so full of inconsistencies and plot holes that I stumbled from a recent screening with few answers, and a ton of questions.

July 25, 2014 | Full Review…
Associated Press
Top Critic

Watching The Ring won't kill you, but it could bore you half to death.

July 25, 2014 | Full Review…
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

I hated it, but I grant that it does tap into a vein of technological horror -- the fear of the VCR! -- that will have young videophiles chatting it up for weeks.

July 25, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Ring


Naomi Watts makes a good performance, but overall this movie is very disappointing. The story is rather predictable other than the plot twist at the end, but the direction of the movie makes the surprise all the less surprising. From the beginning when the two young girls are teasing each other about the urban legend about the tape, you're given the clue the director is going to tease you by presenting suspense only to turn around and say everything is just a joke. The buildup is somewhat entertaining but the conclusion is quite rushed and leaves you with an empty feeling. The relationship between the characters is almost nonexistant, you're given no indication of any connection between Rachel and her son other than she's his mother. Most of the interaction occurs between Rachel and Noah, but even that relationship is distant and uninteresting. I found the Japanese version to be much more scary and enjoyable. 2 1/2 Stars for the USA version. Updated 2-16-2004

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

An urban legend says that seven days after watching a mysterious videotape, you will die; a journalist investigating the phenomenon has a week to figure out the secret behind the tape. Well-made, satisfying horror-thriller about viral vengeance from beyond the grave.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

There's plenty of supporting thriller, narrative and character to make this relatively understated film really creep up on you and linger in the mind, unpredictable, seriously tense and seriously frightening, though without quite reaching a layer of thematic depth to qualify a place in the hall of horror greats.

Louis Rogers
Louis Rogers

Super Reviewer

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