The Night Listener - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Night Listener Reviews

Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 7, 2006
This thriller about books, belief and betrayal covers topical terrain -- JT LeRoy and James Frey, anyone? -- but itself proves unbelievable.
Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
September 23, 2006
The plot dawdles along, intrigue gives way to risible melodrama, and [director] Patrick Stettner fails to get to grips with the issues.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 9, 2006
The pacing and staging of the later scenes could use a little more electricity and momentum, and a little less restraint. Yet The Night Listener keeps you watching. And listening.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 7, 2006
A quietly disturbing and effectively haunting little gem.
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
August 5, 2006
Williams delivers a solid, twinkle-free (though closed-off) performance, but the film as a whole can't decide what it wants to be.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 5, 2006
The movie might make for a good book, but it's too awkward and lacks the necessary action for a film. And Williams' rather sluggish approach doesn't help much. Eventually, we just aren't interested in tagging along with him.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 5, 2006
An eerie, occasionally disturbing motion picture focused on the differences between perception and reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 4, 2006
This Sundance dud is a turgid gay soap opera with a limp twist, showcasing Robin Williams at his maudlin worst.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 4, 2006
The Night Listener, a movie with lots of heart but no heartbeat.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 4, 2006
File The Night Listener under Missed Opportunities.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 4, 2006
There's more to this story than meets the eye -- or ear -- especially when Collette, magnetic in her intensity, appears as a figure straight out of Vertigo or North by Northwest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 4, 2006
The Night Listener reveals itself in a grippingly quiet and enigmatic style reminiscent of Hitchcock.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 4, 2006
Night Listener draws you in to a tale well-told.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 4, 2006
The thriller is suspenseful enough, with a spooky mood and some real shocker moments, but the audience has to be willing to forgive its lack of rationality, as well as its totally cryptic conclusion.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
August 4, 2006
Noone [Williams] is a lethargic, beaten, humorless man, and the film is plugged into the same lifeless energy source.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 4, 2006
Based on a novel by Armistead Maupin, which was based in turn on an episode in Mr. Maupins life, The Night Listener explores a shadowy region between truth and fiction.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
August 4, 2006
To me, the movie is of interest only for its embrace -- of the eternal ambivalence with which writers tap the lives of people they know and/or love for their work.
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
August 4, 2006
More intriguing than enthralling, more creepy than disturbing, The Night Listener runs a tidy 80 minutes yet still feels stretched.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
August 4, 2006
Williams' solemn one-note performance, which we've seen variations of before in his 'serious films,' Insomnia and Good Will Hunting, ruins what should be a ghoulishly entertaining game of cat and mouse.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 4, 2006
Director Patrick Stettner -- seems unable to settle on what The Night Listener actually wants to say.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 4, 2006
Complexity helps maintain interest, although The Night Listener doesn't generate much by way of genuine excitement.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Jim Emerson
RogerEbert.com
August 4, 2006
It's a film about people with mixed motivations (maybe even compulsions), who don't always behave with full self-awareness or self-control.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
August 4, 2006
It's a relief to see Williams underplaying for a change and letting us fill in the blanks, but the movie's suggestiveness gives way to a certain thinness and lassitude.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 4, 2006
Adapted from Armistead Maupin's highly anticipated, woefully executed 2000 novel, this is surely among the best bad movies of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 3, 2006
The Night Listener is one of the few films that manages to be highly cerebral and a great popcorn movie simultaneously.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 3, 2006
A creepy head-scratcher more atmospheric than believable.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 3, 2006
Something happens to Robin Williams in serious roles. He becomes so drab that it's almost as if he's trying to efface himself from the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 3, 2006
Aiming to blur the distinctions between truth and illusion, it simply blurs its own effectiveness by relying on predictable and not particularly convincing mystery-thriller formula.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 3, 2006
Ultimately, The Night Listener is more admirable for what it tries to be than for what it actually achieves.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
August 3, 2006
There's so much menace and portent in this adaptation of Armistead Maupin's novel that you're psyched for a high-voltage compound of shock and awe that never materializes.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 3, 2006
The Night Listener has flaws, particularly a double ending that raises more questions than it resolves, but it conjures a haunting mood of anxiety that settles around you like a shroud.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
August 3, 2006
The story, effective in print, doesn't survive onscreen scrutiny. You'll feel detached and, even with its brief 82-minute running time, you'll get impatient.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 3, 2006
Ultimately, the film veers off-course into pure melodrama and a trickled-out ending that apparently was also a problem in Maupin's book.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Jim Ridley
Village Voice
August 2, 2006
As a consideration of the power of storytelling -- and the urge to mythologize one's own life as well as the lives of others -- The Night Listener could serve as creepy paranoid cousin to the current Lady in the Water.
Top Critic
Gregory Kirschling
Entertainment Weekly
August 2, 2006
... the movie doesn't cohere.
Full Review | Original Score: C