The Wicker Man (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wicker Man (2006)



Critic Consensus: Puzzlingly misguided, Neil LaBute's update The Wicker Man struggles against unintentional comedy and fails.

Movie Info

A young child has gone missing and it's up to a haunted but determined policeman to travel to the remote island community where she was last seen and solve the lingering mystery of her disappearance in director Neil LaBute's updated reworking of Anthony Shaffer's 1973 cult horror classic. Upon receiving a letter from his one-time fiancée, Willow (Kate Beahan), imploring him to search for her missing daughter on the secluded island of Summersisle, Policeman Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) quickly makes his way to the island to locate the girl and seek an answer as to why Willow suddenly and inexplicably disappeared shortly before their wedding date. Once there, Malus is troubled to discover that although there are traces of the child to be found in such locations as the local schoolhouse, the residents of Summersisle seem reluctant to offer any specific details as to the girl's apparent death. His investigation effectively stalled by the highly secretive Wiccan community, Sheriff Malus soon discovers that there are still some cultures that have their own unique beliefs about humankind's relationship with Mother Earth, and refuse to adapt to the rules of modern society. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing images and violence, language and thematic issues)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Anthony Shaffer, Neil LaBute, Neil LaBute
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 19, 2006
Box Office: $23.6M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Nicolas Cage
as Edward Malus
Ellen Burstyn
as Sister Summersisle
Kate Beahan
as Sister Willow
Molly Parker
as Sister Rose/Sister T...
Leelee Sobieski
as Sister Honey
Diane Delano
as Sister Beech
Christa Campbell
as Truck Stop Waitress
Emily Holmes
as Station Wagon Mom
Zemphira Gosling
as Station Wagon Girl
Matthew Walker
as Sea Plane Pilot
Christine Willes
as Sister Violet
Mark Black
as Sister Oak
Mary Black
as Sister Oak
Xantha Radley
as Village Sister No. 1
Tania Saulnier
as Attendant No. 1
Anna Van Hooft
as Attendant No. 2
Moraea Bieber
as School Girl No. 1
Jayda Bieber
as School Girl No. 2
Talia Ranger
as School Girl No. 3
Kendall Cross
as Female Cop
Simon Longmore
as Village Male No. 1
Andre Danyliu
as Village Male No. 2
Jacqueline Robbins
as Blind Twin No. 1
Joyce Robbins
as Blind Twin No. 2
Aaron Eckhart
as Truck Stop Patron
James Franco
as Bar Guy No. 1
Jason Ritter
as Bar Guy No. 2
Monique Ganderton
as Rams Horn Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Wicker Man

Critic Reviews for The Wicker Man

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (20)

The '73 film is brilliantly constructed and ends with a punctuation mark that was shocking in its day. LaBute's movie attempts to shock, as well, and does: Given the names involved and the casting of Cage, it is shockingly bad.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Neil LaBute's utterly misconceived remake of Robin Hardy's 1973 cult horror film is a boring, fright-free catastrophe.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Sometimes a movie hits the rarest of heights, in fact, some may refer to it as a low. A film that's so utterly bad it's actually good.

Full Review… | April 17, 2015

An exploitative mystery horror film in which Edward Woodward overacts his heart out.

Full Review… | August 15, 2011
Cinema Sight

LaBute has replaced the seduction of the first film with a general sense of bewilderment and loss; it's good for building tension but doesn't fit with the payoff. The plot elements lead where they need to go well enough but don't mix particularly well.

Full Review… | March 10, 2011

When The Wicker Man offers more laughs than Talladega Nights, it might be a sign for the auteur to switch brands to comedy

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

Audience Reviews for The Wicker Man

This was decent till the end and I was just disapointed in the entire ending.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

As a horror film, it fails completely, and I mean completely. However, as a piece of comedy, this film is excellent. For instance, there is a dream-within-a-dream sequence that missed the mark so spectacularly that I burst out laughing in utter shock. Funnier than that however is Nicolas Cage, whose lines 'How'd it get burned?!', 'What's in the bag, a shark or something?' and 'Oh no! Not the bees! Aghhhh!' deserve to be in the AFI Top 100 Quotes, thanks mainly to Cage's, shall we say, 'Cageseque' delivery. The terrific script is laced with unintentionally funny lines, another notable moment being when Cage turns the acquiring of a bicycle into a serious police procedure - *draws gun* "Step away from the bike." Merely quoting these lines here do not do them justice, you have to see it to appreciate it. As you may know, the film's direction was so markedly ill-judged that the aforementioned scenes have now become legendary in the Online community.

Cage's battles with the maddeningly brainwashed women of Summersisle are also a joy to watch, as there are no holds barred when things get physical; Cage lays down the law with a combination of thundering punches to the face, kicks to the chest and stern Cagesque shouting, and there are times where he does all of this whilst dressed a grizzly bear. I suspect my enjoyment of the film was significantly compounded by the HD copy that I watched, so I would recommend that, as the filming locations are quite pretty. Overall I think this film is firmly within the 'so bad it's good' category, it's impossible to take it seriously - it really is entertainingly poor.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

Avoided this film for a long time but finally sat down to watch it so here we go. A detective (Nicolas Cage) goes to Summer's Isle to look for a girl named Rowan at the request of a former girlfriend named Willow. But he is instead met by an island of women who dominate the men and sacrifice girls at an altar of fire to help their crops grow.

I enjoyed the acting of Ellen Burstyn (who plays Christopher Lee's role as Summerisle), though I was disappointed in the casting choice. I would have preferred an older horror actress, or even better someone from the original film. Burstyn makes a great matriarchal figure, but doesn't really have the credentials for the role she was cast in. (I should also briefly note Nicholas Cage is not a horror actor... and his acting here is splotchy and uneven, to say the least.) Neil LaBute directs, after being best known for "Nurse Betty". I've read the novella "The Shape of Things" by LaBute, as well, and don't see how LaBute got this project. What about these past projects says "you're the guy to remake an English horror classic"? Here's where the spoilers come in: As a film by itself, the movie was weak, but as a remake it was completely worthless. It was as if you took a great novel written on the college level and gutted it for 10-year olds. But did it in such a way that even the kids' intelligence is insulted. I have four primary concerns.

First, the replacement of the pagan religion with the women-dominated society. This sanitized the brilliant dichotomy of Christianity and paganism from the original, getting rid of the most thought provoking aspects. The all female society thing has been overdone (how many times has "Star Trek" done this?).

Along with this, the original made Christianity get called into doubt and made the islanders seem innocent. Here, we are confronted by people who outright murder and burn people... so even though Cage comes across as a jerk, the islanders are clear villains. This completely reverses the greatest dimension of the first film.

Third, the Willow character is completely stupid and extraneous. In the original, we were given a little piece at a time of the Rowan mystery. This made the film very enjoyable for the viewer. But in the remake, this Willow character shows up at random times to explain the plot to Cage (and us), making most of the mystery shallow or completely removed.

And finally, the death of Cage is utterly stupid nonsense. In the original, the detective is a Christian and his faith is tested for a couple days to make sure he is pure for sacrifice. In the new one, there is no purity or any hint of religiousness. All they require is a link to the island. So, my question is this: why did they give him the run-around instead of just knocking him unconscious in the first place? He was not tested, and the lies were pointless... making the entire film utter bull.

Can you tell I didn't care for this film? As a piece of entertainment, it serves a purpose. But it's poorly written, not expertly acted... and a great insult to the viewer and the original film. I wouldn't let anyone watch this, not even to compare to the original... it's just not worth the time. Watch the original instead

David Ladd

Super Reviewer

The Wicker Man Quotes

– Submitted by Do you even Jay C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jakob S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jamey B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jed G (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Wicker Man on our Movie forum!