Critics Consensus

This dark psycho-thriller from Jennifer Lynch, is violent, sharp and baffling, but not to everyone's taste.



Total Count: 74


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,894
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Surveillance Photos

Movie Info

An FBI agent encounters three would-be victims of a serial killer, all of whom have very different stories of their experiences.

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Julia Ormond
as Elizabeth Anderson
Bill Pullman
as Sam Hallaway
Pell James
as Bobbi Prescott
Ryan Simpkins
as Stephanie
French Stewart
as Officer Jim Conrad
Kent Harper
as Officer Jack Bennett
Michael Ironside
as Captain Billings
Hugh Dillon
as Dad (Steven)
Gill Gayle
as Officer Degrasso
D.R. Haney
as Drug Dealer
David Gane
as Grocery Man
Shannon Jardine
as Elaine Meyer
Charlie Newmark
as Officer Wright
Jennifer Miles
as TV Reporter
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News & Interviews for Surveillance

Critic Reviews for Surveillance

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (22)

  • Pullman's striking performance here is undermined by Lynch's overreliance on those same grisly shock tactics, as well as a script that fails to capitalize on a promising premise and then swiftly collapses upon the revelation of a not-so-shocking twist.

    Jul 24, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The film's a failure.

    Jul 24, 2009 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • In this long-time-coming sophomore film, Lynch exercises powers of her own. She gets repellant, seductive, sympathetic performances from her actors. Ormond and Pullman are frightfully good at teasing intimacy.

    Jul 17, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Surveillance suggests 'Jennifer Lynchian' should be used for films that aspire to David's moody, idiosyncratic genius and fall woefully short.

    Jul 3, 2009 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Its mad killers may wear masks. But the real and cheap disguise here is the film's own -- an exploitation shocker trying to pass itself off as art.

    Jul 3, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A grubby, disturbing serial-killer mystery, a kind of blood-simple Rashomon.

    Jul 3, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Surveillance

  • Nov 17, 2012
    Two FBI agents question witnesses of a brutal slaying. As this film began, I thought it was going to be a post-modern Rashomon -- the same story told from multiple perspectives with the post-modern conception that truth is mutable. David Lynch's daughter at the helm only furthered my suspicions. However, the characters' stories merely serve as diving boards for the director's objective reality, so the film has no post-modern twist or any original concept driving it forward. Lynch uses her father's scare tactics, slow shots of looming devilish figures straight out of a Carl Jung handbook for "scary," but these flourishes bore with over-use. Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond are stolid until the last act, during which they become cartoons. The antics of the police officers and most of the other characters are so outlandish that they defy credulity; even in a small, out-of-the-way town, there's no way these officers could have gotten this far shooting out random travelers' tires and sexually assaulting drivers. Overall, Lynch proves that she's her father's daughter, but she's without his ideas, which makes her a copycat, a poor excuse for the original.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2012
    Brilliant movie, starts off a bit weird but stick with it, it is well worth it.
    Stuart B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2011
    Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the enigmatic David Lynch, delivers a bizarre, twisted, and often humorous film. In classic Lynch style, the point of it all is of course ambiguous. The third act reveal is sloppy and asinine, but that can be said of the entire storyline. The other problem is the unrealistic reactions of the characters involved, i.e. a young woman smiling and making jokes prior to being killed. It's all very weird, but I can't say it wasn't entertaining.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2011
    A superbly shot, casted, and executed film by Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David Lynch). I absolutely love when actors are taken out of their typecast and thrown into a role that is completely opposite. The plot of the film is told in such an original way. Watch the trailer!
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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