The Stepfather - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Stepfather Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
June 21, 2012
That's really all the movie needs to work: a sublime villain, with tight, driven direction, perfectly sturdy, effective writing, and a heroine who we can believe in.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
June 27, 2011
The key to this movie is O'Quinn as the title character. He's a scary bastard, and as an actor he commits to the role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
February 11, 2011
The Stepfather works for American Eagle Realty, and the company logo pegs him as both a patriot and a predator. 'It's like living with Ward Cleaver,' his stepdaughter complains, not knowing that the 'cleaver' reference could be another pun...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
November 25, 2009
...ultimately manages to overcome its almost aggressively uneven atmosphere to establish itself as a solid little '80s thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 16, 2009
The Stepfather is the full package: fast-paced, well-acted, suspenseful and brimming with bursts of nasty violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
January 15, 2008
Ruben's surprisingly resonant and durable tale ... cannily reflects, in a larger way, the era of its creation
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Variety Staff
September 24, 2007
An engrossing suspense thriller that refreshingly doesn't cheat the audience in terms of valid clues and plot twists.

TV Guide
September 24, 2007
Just when it looked like slasher movies were wholly irredeemable, director Joseph Ruben came along to prove there is some intelligent life in this otherwise bereft subgenre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Douglas Pratt
June 15, 2007
The Stepfather makes use of a classic fairy tale device--the false parent--but it turns out to have a powerful effect upon one's involvement with the characters.
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 4, 2006
A high water mark of 1980s horror/suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
One is left longing for Hitchcock's dark, daring wit and disturbingly amoral insights.
Emanuel Levy
July 6, 2005
Borrowing from Hitchcock (Shadow of a Doubt) and Kubrick (The Shining), Ruben's elegant, darkly humorous tale deconstructs patriarchy and can't be divorced from the Republican family values that dominated the 1980 with their 1950s retro feel.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Clint Morris
March 11, 2005
One of the classiest thrillers to never come out of Hollywood
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
August 30, 2004
Too often disappointingly thin.
| Original Score: 2/5
Blake Davis
KFOR Channel 4 News
September 12, 2003
An inventive, overlooked, classic slasher film from the 80's.
| Original Score: 3/5

May 24, 2003
Thankfully, director Rubens doesn't take advantage of every opportunity for cheap thrills and gore.
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
August 13, 2002
A wonderful horror film because the people are so ordinary
| Original Score: 3/5
Janet Branagan
Apollo Guide
February 13, 2001
The Stepfather has no problem standing alone as an excellent horror flick. Fans of the horror genre and fans of just a good campy film will delight in this movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 79/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
While I was watching the film, I was distracted by elements of the Idiot Plot Syndrome -- moments when only an idiot would have made such obvious mistakes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
May be the best movie about the breakup of a family since Shoot the Moon.
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