Vanilla Sky


Vanilla Sky

Critics Consensus

An ambitious mix of genres, Vanilla Sky collapses into an incoherent jumble. Cruise's performance lacks depth, and it's hard to feel sympathy for his narcissistic character.



Total Count: 170


Audience Score

User Ratings: 297,947
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Vanilla Sky Photos

Movie Info

A remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (1997), this thriller from director Cameron Crowe bears one of several discarded titles for his previous, Oscar-winning film Almost Famous (2000). Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death. Vanilla Sky (2001) bears the expected Crowe trademark of an obsession with recent pop culture and particularly rock music, a more important element of the remake than the original film. That project's writer/director, Alejandro Amenabar, crafted his own supernatural hit the same year with The Others (2001), starring Nicole Kidman, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Cruise. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Tom Cruise
as David Aames
Penelope Cruz
as Sofia Serrano
Cameron Diaz
as Julie Gianni
Kurt Russell
as Dr. Curtis McCabe
Jason Lee
as Brian Shelby
Noah Taylor
as Edmund Ventura
Timothy Spall
as Thomas Tipp
Tilda Swinton
as Rebecca Dearborn
Oona Hart
as Lynette
Delaina Mitchell
as David's Assistant
Johnny Galecki
as Peter Brown
Jhaemi Willens
as Jamie Berliner
Armand Schultz
as Dr. Pomeranz
Cameron Watson
as Other Doctor
Robertson Dean
as Third Doctor
Ray Proscia
as Doctor from Berlin
Tim Hopper
as Man in Blue Coat
Ken Leung
as Art Editor
Carolyn Byrne
as Beatrice
Mark Pinter
as Carlton Kaller
Jeff Weiss
as Raymond Tooley
Jim Murtaugh
as Benny's Owner
Mark Kozelek
as Dude, Fix Your Face Guy
John Fedevich
as Silent Ed Vallencourt
Bobby Walsh
as Young David
Fred Shruers
as Cryo Man
Jessica Siemens
as Sofia's Friend
Julia Carothers Hughes
as Sofia's Friend
Holly Raye
as Dancer
Marty Collins
as Martini Waiter
Jack Hall
as Bashful
Laurel Wiley
as Dr. Jennifer Ash
Nicole Taylor Hart
as Party Videographer
Alice Marie Crowe
as Lucid Dreamer
Mel Thompson
as Frozen Pediatric Cardiologist
Tommy Lee
as Frozen Vintage Car Man
Ana Maria Quintana
as Frozen Theologist
Paul Haggar
as Frozen Risk Taker
Randy Woodside
as Frozen Dad
Jane Pratt
as Herself
Cindy Crowe
as Herself
John Sypolt
as Himself
Steven Spielberg
as Party Guest (uncredited)
Danielle R. Wolf
as Coat Check Girl
Scotch Ellis Loring
as L.E. Building Guard
Brent Sexton
as Security Guard
Curt Skaggs
as Security Guard
Lori Lezama
as Skyscraper Girl
Todd Harrison
as Skyscraper Guy
Laura Fraser
as The Future
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News & Interviews for Vanilla Sky

Critic Reviews for Vanilla Sky

All Critics (170) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (71) | Rotten (99)

  • I now find Cruise tolerable only when he's in a movie that undercuts or ridicules his narcissism--as Eyes Wide Shut did and as this movie does even more noticeably.

    Feb 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Vanilla Sky is nearly identical to the 1997 Spanish film it's based on, except it's set in Manhattan instead of Madrid and has a much better soundtrack.

    Oct 24, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The real mystery here is why a filmmaker as talented and unique as Crowe would want to devote several years of his life to recreating someone else's movie.

    Mar 31, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • A tremendously vivid work which rewards patience and attention with a wonderful and exhilarating resonance.

    Jan 21, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Danny Graydon
    Top Critic
  • A good example of what self-destructive cinematic havoc can be wrought by handing over millions of dollars to movie stars to produce their own ego trips.

    Dec 19, 2001 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • [A] spectacular film!

    Dec 18, 2001

Audience Reviews for Vanilla Sky

  • Apr 05, 2017
    I love the unique style and background Cameron Crowe brings to his films. It's like an unexpected mixture of juvenile wonder and adult innocence that appeals to me about his films. Vanilla Sky is by far his darkest feature, but also the one with the least amount of heart and pizazz. In fact, most of it is just a dull mess. Vanilla Sky is an American remake of the 1997 Spanish film, Open Your Eyes. While I haven't seen that film yet, I can imagine it's probably a little more coherent. The remake poses some thought provoking questions and themes, including questions centered around life, death, dreams, guilt, regret, and a few other heavy hitters. But the way in which those themes are covered is less than impressive. It's a poor pun, but perhaps it isn't too surprising that this film feels very vanilla. The performances were great all around, and became the main driving force for my dwindling interest as the film went along. You can see Tom Cruise's passion for this role dripping through the character of David. This may be the best Cameron Diaz has ever been, as the creepy but seductive Julie Gianni. And of course, Penelope Cruz is great as Sofia Serrano. As much as I love their performances, it's difficult to become invested in any of the relationships when the script isn't where it needs to be. It's a dull screenplay that feeds off your attention span, or lack thereof. By that I mean that the film is only as interesting as you make it out to be. It takes plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest enough, but what's the point of a twist if you don't really care where the characters end up? Vanilla Sky is essentially a melodramatic soap opera disguised as a romantic mystery. I wasn't necessarily bored during the film, but it didn't grab my interest the way a film like this should have. Great acting, trippy visuals, and a classic Cameron Crowe soundtrack wasn't enough to save this dreamy picture. +Acting +Poses interesting questions -But takes too many twists and turns for those questions to mean anything -Dull script 5.6/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2015
    Crowe is adept at the helm but that's expected. Vanilla Sky finds him in deeper, gorgeously surrealistic swirls of sub-conscious featuring Cruise and Cruz in centre stage, for the majority just making puppy eyes at each other and talking in grossly seductive riddles. Cruise's protagonist David Ames whines constantly about sub-terranean anonymity and narcissistic oblivity and his character is deeply unlikeable but that's intended, so its not as bad but it makes his "retribution" harder to digest. Crowe seems committed to doing what he wants to do but he's remaking a film that doesn't need to be remade. Abre Los Ojos ("Open Your Eyes") also featured Penelope Cruz and alot of the shots, expressions and even the costumes are identical which leaves the question, what was the actual point? What was the point of remaking Abre Los Ojos when you brought nothing new to an already over-crowded table.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2012
    "Vanilla Sky" hits some worthwhile moments and impacting emotions, but the overdrawn, over-complicated path that it takes to get to them is riddled with unnecessary turns, not to mention a questionable soundtrack. Despite solid showings from both Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz is the one to steal the show, bringing a sense of beauty to the love interest role that is often sought after in romantic films. Her character is authentic, coming off like an actual person. Jason Lee also achieves this authenticity as Cruise's best friend, begging the question, "why hasn't Jason Lee been in more high profile roles like this". With countless twists and revelations, all of which are often hit-or-miss, "Vanilla Sky" rarely takes the easy way out and ends quite nicely, despite its lengthy diversions along the way.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    A very complex, confusing, odd, and intimate film. Tom Cruise plays a rich guy named David who gets badly disfigured in a car accident. Prior to the accident, he falls in love with a woman named Sofia (played by Penelope Cruz). The best element of the film is the way it addresses dreams. In one of David's dreams, he's speaking to Sofia and something she says gives away the fact that he's dreaming. The expression on Tom Cruise's face can be described as disappointed, sad, and angered all at the same time and could only be pulled off by an actor with skill. Tom Cruise is a skilled actor, and it shows in Vanilla Sky. The story itself is very good, but should have been presented to the audience in a more clear way instead of throwing everything at us all at once. As confused as I was, Vanilla Sky still entertained me with it's excellent lead performance, great chemistry between Cruise and Cruz, and interesting portrayal of dreams.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer

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