Vanilla Sky (2001)



Critic 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.

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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
R (for sexuality and strong language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Written By:
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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
Shalom Harlow
as Colleen
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
W. Earl Brown
as Barman
Ray Proscia
as Doctor from Berlin
Tim Hopper
as Man in Blue Coat
Alicia Witt
as Libby
Ken Leung
as Art Editor
Carolyn Byrne
as Beatrice
Mark Pinter
as Carlton Kaller
Jeff Weiss
as Raymond Tooley
Conan O'Brien
as Himself
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
Stacey Sher
as Rayna
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
Mark Bramhall
as Sneezy
Jack Hall
as Bashful
David Lewison
as Sleepy
John Kepley
as Dopey
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
Steven Colvin
as Himself
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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Critic Reviews for Vanilla Sky

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (33)

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.

Full Review… | December 19, 2001
New York Observer
Top Critic

[A] spectacular film!

December 18, 2001
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

If Crowe's eyes are open, he seems to have directed most of Vanilla Sky with his mind wide shut.

Full Review… | December 18, 2001
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Who would have thought that Cameron Crowe had a movie as bad as Vanilla Sky in him?

Full Review… | December 15, 2001
Top Critic

For all the filmmakers' efforts, this project is something of an artistic albatross.

December 14, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

A case of the vain leading the bland.

December 14, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Vanilla Sky


Penélope Cruz looks incredibly bored, as if forced to be in this overlong remake that seems more like an endless series of music videos with way too many songs and pop references all the time, while Crowe's changes in the original story (despite his personal style) only make it worse.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Being a massive fan of Cameron Crowe's work, "Vanilla Sky" has always been one of his pieces that I have never had the urge to watch. After mustering up the time to view it, I can truthfully say that even though I liked it, I really do not have a clue if it is a good or bad film. Tom Cruise plays David, a self-obsessed man who falls in love a few times, before getting into a car accident, but really not. The film begins to branch off of that ideal about forty-five minutes in, and actually becomes confused within itself, demanding your full attention in order to fully comprehend where it decides to go in the conclusion. It is one of those films where you either you believe in it or you will hate it. For me, I do not believe in what happened in the end, but I appreciate the thought that went into it. Overall, this complex "love story" had me from the beginning, but then began to drag me around until the ending explained it all. It is a very odd story to put on film to begin with, so I think Crowe did the best he could with it. It is a very well-made, yet flawed picture that I believe is good. "Vanilla Sky" is enjoyable fluff.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Good movie. Saw it years ago, couldn't remember the plot, so second watch was still a surprise. Won't post any spoilers, but it does make sense at the end, which is a plus in this type of movie. I have to say, I am really not a Tom Cruise fan at all, but he does a good job here. As do Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz. My favourite scene is the one early on when he goes down the deserted street in New York City. Very effective and actually I like the way the whole film was shot. It is a long movie which doesn't feel long or wear out it's welcome. I must add I have not seen the original movie, so my review only speaks for this remake.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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