The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992)

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992)

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is director Curtis Hanson's suburban horror story of a demented nanny bent on revenge for past wrongs. Peyton (Rebecca De Mornay) was once a happily married woman, but when her doctor husband is accused of assaulting a patient and he commits suicide, her world falls apart and she plots revenge. Claire (Annabella Sciorra), the woman who made the accusation, hires Peyton as a nanny, not knowing of their past involvement. Peyton then proceeds to terrorize the family, attempts to seduce the husband and generally destroy Claire as she feels she has been destroyed. The film, while somewhat implausible, is saved by the strong performances of Sciorra and De Mornay. Rebecca De Mornay has not given such a good performance since Risky Business, and she manages to make Peyton both believable, frightening and sympathetic. De Mornay has many great moments, but the scene, where she slowly destroys a bathroom in her impotent rage is unbelievably powerful. Hanson, a superb director of thrillers, manages to bring all the elements together to make The Hand that Rocks the Cradle a frightening psychological thriller and an interesting look at a woman's obsessive hatred and envy.more
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Amanda Silver
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001


Annabella Sciorra
as Claire Bartel
Rebecca De Mornay
as Peyton Flanders
Matt McCoy
as Michael Bartel
Ernie Hudson
as Solomon
Madeline Zima
as Emma Bartel
John DeLancie
as Dr. Mott
Justin Zaremby
as Schoolyard Bully
Eric Melander
as Baby Joe
Cliff Lenz
as `Seattle Today' Host
Penny LeGate
as `Seattle Today' Host
Mary Anne Owen
as Dr. Mott's Nurse
Laura Ferri
as Emergency Room Nurse
Dee Dee Van Zyl
as Emergency Room Nurse
Sara Jennifer Sharp
as Peyton's Nurse
Susan Chin
as Newscaster
Kimberly Hill
as Newscaster
Jane Jones
as Woman in Park
Ericka Matson
as Child in Schoolyard
Robert James
as Child in Schoolyard
Aimee Kanemori
as Child in Schooolyard
Elaine Micklesen
as Child in Schoolyard
Brian T. Finney
as Botanical Gardens Wo...
Stephen West
as Federal Express Cler...
David Scully
as Male Lab Worker
Julie Clemmons
as Female Lab Worker
Joseph Franklin
as Man at Cleaners
Tom Francis
as Marlene's Assistant
Jeff Conkel
as Paramedic
Patrick Ryals
as Policeman
Brian Finney
as Botanical Gardens Wo...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Critic Reviews for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (14)

This is De Mornay's film and she's a wicked treat, looking daggers at her enemy one moment and then glazing over with sweetness the next.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The film is unusually gripping.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The careful structure of THTRTC guarantees that the movie will generate a fair amount of suspense throughout. But the single-mindedness of the movie is a genuine limitation, and, watching it, you begin to feel spoon-fed.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

With its banal, docile household threatened by an enemy within, the film is like The Stepfather without wit or irony.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

At its best, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is a bright, nasty psychological thriller with a joker up its sleeve.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Unpretentious and efficient.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. That is very true in this nail-biting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. Excellent acting by Rebecca De Mornay, and Annabella Sciorra who I had not heard of until I watched this movie. Absolutely a great movie! You'll honestly enjoy this movie if your into thriller movies like I am. Rent it!!!! :)

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Fucking stupid movie that my local tv channel used to run almost daily.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer


Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Quotes

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