The Strangers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Strangers Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 18, 2008
The Strangers has a couple of scares, but it's not anywhere near as frightening as advertised. The creepy folks of the title are more fumbling than fiendish.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Nigel Floyd
Time Out
August 29, 2008
This suspense film by first-time writer-director Bryan Bertino initially squeezes some surprisingly effective scares out of familiar elements. Sadly, the scenario quickly becomes attenuated and unbelievable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 18, 2008
At least it's short.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
June 2, 2008
A sadistic, unmotivated home-invasion flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
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Ebert & Roeper
June 2, 2008
Don't let the attractive cast, the slick look or the 'inspired by true events' nonsense mislead you. The Strangers is a despicable and mean-spirited practical joke.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 31, 2008
Kind of like what The Shining might be if you took out the ESP. And the ghosts. And the chilling atmosphere. So call it The Sucking.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 30, 2008
I like watching snakes eat mice just as much as the next fella, maybe even more, but The Strangers turns the gobble-'em-up into an ordeal. It's a fraud from start to finish.
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
May 30, 2008
With no plot to speak of, no character development whatsoever, no theme and precious little intrigue, what we have here is simply a pileup of effects. And not especially special effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
May 30, 2008
Bertino relies too heavily on occasionally nonsensical terror tricks that every horror buff has seen a million times since John Carpenter's Halloween set the standard for domestic fright-night mayhem.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 30, 2008
Let's give writer-director Bryan Bertino credit. He knows how to frame a shot to make characters seem vulnerable. Now for his next trick, he just needs to turn his talents toward something that isn't repulsive.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 30, 2008
It's intense but not necessarily fun and may disappoint less sophisticated horror fans. However, for die-hard supporters of unsettling peeks into the dark side of human nature, this is a welcome excursion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 30, 2008
Fans of the 'pitiless/merciless killers' school of horror should get a jolt out of The Strangers, a harrowing real-time tale of an assault on a remote country home.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 30, 2008
Writer and first-time director Bryan Bertino wastes his taut, tense premise -- two lovers, three villains, one house -- by depending on wearingly familiar tricks.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 30, 2008
Unfolding with an almost startling lack of self-awareness, young filmmaker Bryan Bertino's debut is such a careful, straight-faced knockoff of '70s exploitation films it plays like a parody.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 30, 2008
Every silence, pause and sudden noise startles -- and the results, frankly, are more frightening than the graphic torture scenes in movies like Hostel and Saw.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 30, 2008
After a while, the suspense starts seeping out of The Strangers, because you realize that's all there's going to be to the movie.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 30, 2008
A frightfully effective chiller.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 30, 2008
It sounds stupid enough, and ultimately is, but the director, Bryan Bertino, stages The Strangers' early scenes with spooky panache.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 30, 2008
It's an efficiently made, appropriately terrifying film, downright minimalist in approach and all the more horrifying for it. It's so basic it's believable.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 30, 2008
It's so gruesomely relentless that the effect is like watching a slo-mo snuff film.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 30, 2008
The movie deserves more stars for its bottom-line craft, but all the craft in the world can't redeem its story.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 30, 2008
There's nothing remotely new here, but the movie has the taut, queasy feel of an early 70s drive-in shocker: old-fashioned suspense without any guarantee of old-fashioned mercy.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
May 30, 2008
[Director] Bertino has the pretensions of an artist and the indelicacy of a hack. He tries to get under our skin with a pile driver.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/4
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
May 30, 2008
This is no splatter movie: spare, suspenseful and brilliantly invested in silence, Bryan Bertino‚(TM)s debut feature unfolds in a slow crescendo of intimidation.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
May 30, 2008
Chilling feature.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 30, 2008
No one is getting at anything in The Strangers, except the cheapest, ugliest kind of sadistic titillation.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 29, 2008
As an exercise in controlled mayhem, horror movies don't get much scarier.
| Original Score: A-
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
May 29, 2008
It's all efficiently nerve-jangling, with Tyler and Speedman credibly registering every hue of panic.
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
May 29, 2008
A must-see for horror fans, but the fewer questions you ask, the more effective it will be.
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Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
May 29, 2008
Anchored by convincing performances from Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, both of whom elevate their roles above the standard horror-movie caricature, this is an enormously unsettling movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
May 29, 2008
If you're a fan of the genre, The Strangers provides all the shocks and scares you could possibly want.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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David Fear
Time Out
May 29, 2008
Bertino's cat-and-mouse chase is genuinely terrifying. If the director learns how to make what happens once the mouse is caught just as interesting, he'll have a long, prosperous future ahead of him.
| Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Ed Gonzalez
Village Voice
May 27, 2008
An old-school spooker spun from the blood splatter on a wall, a nearby record player scratching an oldie, a CB radio in the garage, a creaky swing set in the backyard.